ABATE of Michigan Inc.
P.O. Box 99
​Constantine, Mi. 49042

​Call: 269 435-2058


Fighting for the rights of all motorcyclists since 1976

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Last month, I wrote about the incredibly damaging piece of no fault reform legislation that was pending in Lansing.  It was House Bill 5013, announced by Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan, and House Speaker Tom Leonard and introduced by Insurance Committee Chair Lana Theis on September 26, 2017.  The bill proposed to put significant and unprecedented limitations and restrictions on the No Fault benefits that persons injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle are currently afforded under our No-Fault law. 

For example, whereas current law provides for unlimited attendant care benefits, the bill would cap such care to only 56 hours per week for care provided in the home of an injured person by a relative or friends.  The bill would also require doctors or hospitals providing care for emergency medical conditions to accept no more than 125% of the Medicare payment rate for their services, instead of requiring insurance companies to pay a reasonable rate under current law. Finally, the bill would require auto insureds to select capping medical benefits at $250,000.00 per person (only $25,000.00 of which is for non-emergency care and other no-fault benefits), $500,000.00 per person or to remain with no maximum limit.  Under the plan, persons over 62 who have health insurance/benefits under a public or private retirement program will not be eligible for payment of any medical expenses under their policy unless they specifically elect to purchase it.  This portion of the bill is particularly damaging to motorcyclists.  Under current law, an injured motorcyclist receives his/her no fault unlimited medical expense payments from the insurer of the involved motor vehicle.  Under the bill, the motorcyclist medical expense payments will be bound by the medical expense limit that the insured elected for himself/herself on their auto policy.  For example, if the operator of the auto chose the $250,000.00 cap on medical expenses for himself/herself on their auto policy, that same cap will apply to the motorcyclist who is injured by that insured in an accident, giving the motorcyclist no choice regarding his own no fault benefits!

Since my last article, the bill passed out of the Committee on Insurance and was presented to the House for a vote.  In the meantime, various legislative officers and representatives of ABATE including but not limited to Vince Consiglio, Butch Brown, Jim Rhoades and myself met with various members of the legislature and Governor’s office to educate them on the disastrous ramifications of the bill, and I know that many ABATE members contacted their representative in Lansing to do the same. 

Fortunately, on November 2, 2017, the bill was defeated in the house by a tally of 63 votes against the bill versus 45 votes for the bill.  Below is the screen shot of how the legislators voted (green – for the bill, red – opposed to the bill, or if in black and white then the lighter appearing names were for the bill and the darker appearing names were against the bill). 

 

               Please check and see which way your legislator voted so you have an idea of where he/she stands.  If you are unaware of legislators that represent your area, you can go to www.legislature.mi.gov and click on the “Legislators” link to find that information.  If your legislator voted against the bill, it is worth a call or e-mail to thank him/her.  If your legislator voted against the bill, it is worth a call or e-mail to educate him/her on the damaging implications of the bill if a similar bill is raised in the future.  It seems like every year or so a new bill with sweeping “No Fault reform” is introduced, so keep your eye on things.  Also, as Michael Duggan was recently re-elected as Mayor of Detroit, it is very likely a similar bill will be attempted in the future since he was one of the biggest advocates behind House Bill 5013.   

As always, if anyone has any questions or if I can be of legal assistance to you or anyone you know dealing with this issue or who has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact me as I deal with these types of claims on a daily basis on behalf of injured motorcyclists statewide.

            Further, if you would like to have me come out to your Region to speak or give a presentation on the legal rights of an injured motorcyclist or on any specific topic that your region may be curious about, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at (248-569-4646) or shoot me an e-mail at Dondi@buckfirelaw.com.  I give presentations to Regions state-wide and there is never a charge associated with having me out.  I enjoy having the opportunity to come out and meet motorcycle enthusiasts from all parts of our State!   

shifting gears

Dondi Vesprini dondi@buckfirelaw.com

Phone: 248 569-4646