It was a horrible crash. Our client, a cocky teenager at the time, was not wearing a seatbelt when he lost control of the car he was driving and crashed into a tree. He was ejected from the car, suffering spinal injuries that would leave him paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. He grew up and lived permanently in Florida, but he had been staying with his aunt and uncle in Michigan for several months. His own car was still in Florida, and it was his aunt’s car that he was driving when the crash happened.
This situation created an insurance puzzle. Our client’s own insurer in Florida denied coverage because he had been staying in Michigan for more than 30 days. The insurer of his aunt’s car denied coverage while falsely claiming that he was driving that car without permission. There was no insurance for the hospital to rely on, even while performing multiple surgeries to save our client’s life. The hospital wanted to discharge our client at the earliest opportunity, but there was no rehabilitation facility available, and he was not ready to go home. So the hospital placed our client in a darkened room where the other patients were all on life support. Our client was alone, but fully conscious and aware of the life-changing injuries he had suffered. This was literally the darkest denial, and our client was desperate for help.
After our client’s aunt called us, we went right to work. We convinced the hospital to transfer our client to a normal patient room, assuring them that we were working diligently on the insurance issue. We made claims for our client with both potential insurers, and they both confirmed that they were denying coverage and claiming that the other insurer should be paying.
This was no help, so we filed a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP), which was established by the Michigan legislature to provide insurance coverage in situations like this. We pushed the MACP to expedite their process because of the circumstances, and they promptly assigned our client’s claim to a third insurance company, which was responsible for providing coverage and working out any reimbursement rights with the other insurers. As a result, our client was able to get a multitude of surgeries, aggressive therapy, and accommodations such as a modified van that he could drive.
Like so many of our cases, this is one where our client is truly our hero. Our work made rehabilitation possible for him, but rehabilitation is hard work, and only the client can do that. Our client took advantage of every opportunity to get better and stronger, struggling through great adversity and eventually returning to Florida where he is married and works as a teacher, giving back to others whenever he can. Clients like him make all of the work worthwhile.