G. McConway
August 1, 2023

Michigan Supreme Court Finally Announces 2019 Legislation Decision

Victims of accidents in Michigan finally know their fate after a key ruling was handed down by the Michigan Supreme Court.

On the docket was a case to see if accident victims prior to a 2019 law taking effect would be covered under the new law.

In a 5-2 decision, the court rules they are not, reported Crain's Detroit.

Bad News

This was a double-edged sword in that even though the law did not technically take effect until July 2021, it would still cover those who qualified when the law was originally passed and signed into law in 2019.

The court ruled that the state legislature never intended for the cost control measures to be put in play for anyone prior to the date the new rule was signed into law.

Because of the decision of the court, the 15,000 people on the books who had been catastrophically injured in accidents must be paid "at full rates and not subject to cost controls," reported the Detroit Free Press.

The new law will require providers who service catastrophic accident survivors by 45 percent. Due to the cutting of costs, some providers were dropping patients or threatening to drop them.

The famous example is retired Red Wings star Vladimir Konstantinov, who suffered severe brain injuries in a 1997 limousine crash.

Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) immediately celebrated the decision by the court.

It stated, "The Supreme Court has issued a strong affirmation that accident victims who were injured prior to the passage of the new law cannot have the rights and benefits they purchased through their auto insurance premiums stripped away by this legislation."

Currently, there are 14,872 catastrophic survivors from accidents prior to the insurance overhaul legislation.

When Governor Whitmer was asked about changes to the legislation, she responded, "I know that our legal counsel is still reading through all the documents and making sure that we have any questions that need to be answered answered, and then we'll figure out what next steps look like — if next steps are necessary."

Dan Korobkin, the Michigan ACLU's legal director, added, "The Michigan Supreme Court made the correct legal decision, as well as a humane one.

"Applying the law retroactively has resulted in the withdrawal of critical care from people who are living with severe disabilities as a result of catastrophic injuries suffered in car accidents — care that allows them to continue living their lives and participate in society."

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