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26 Nov 2008

Michigan Attendant Care Benefits

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Attendant Care Benefits are extremely important benefits that are available to some injured motorcyclists in Michigan through their No Fault insurance policy.  No Fault insurance benefits are available when a biker has been injured in an accident involving a car, truck, SUV, or other motor vehicle.

Attendant care benefits are available when a person sustains serious injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident, which renders him or her unable to do things that he or she was able to do prior to being injured. Sometimes, the injured person requires professional agencies to care for him or her at home, but, more often, family and friends care for the injured person.

Attendant Care services commonly include, but are not limited to: preparing meals and feeding; assistance with personal hygiene, such as dressing and bathing; attending to wounds; assistance with medication; providing transportation to and from medical appointments; and supervision and monitoring, etc.

Section 3107(1)(a) of the Michigan No-Fault Act is the specific statutory section that entitles auto accident victims to be compensated for “attendant care” rendered by family members.  Courts in Michigan have held that the word “services” in this section of the No-Fault statute includes both skilled and unskilled attendant care as well as supervision.  The courts have also held that attendant care can be provided by family members as long a physician deems the services are reasonable and necessary.  Once it is established that a person requires and is provided attendant care, the insurer is obligated to pay for the attendant care regardless of whether it is being provided by family or friends.

In order to submit a claim for attendant care you must provide the insurer with “reasonable proof of the fact and of the amount of loss sustained.” This is usually done by submitting a claim, in the form of written documentation, to the insurer with: (1) the name of the injured claimant; (2) the name and address of the care provider; (3) the days and number of hours the care was provided; (4) the specific types of care provided; and (5) a note from a physician stating that the care is necessary, including the number of days/hours needed

Once the claim is documented, the claimant must then demand an amount to be reimbursed by the insurer, by establishing an hourly rate and then multiplying that rate by the number of hours provided. There is no fixed amount or “rate schedule” of how much an insurer must pay for in-home attendant care.  However, sometimes No-Fault insurers improperly advise claimants that attendant care is limited to $20.00 per day.  This is wrong and is an attempt by the insurer to limit attendant care to the rate at which Household Replacement Service Expenses are compensable. The only legal criteria is that the hourly rate must be “reasonable.” The hourly rate that the law deems reasonable, can vary greatly depending on the type of care being provided. As a general rule, family provided attendant care is commonly paid at a rate of anywhere between $10.00 – $30.00 per hour, depending on the nature and extent of the person’s injuries, the level of care being provided, the skill and expertise of the care provider, geographic location etc.

If you would like more information about your rights after a Michigan motorcycle accident, you can order our FREE book, “The Ultimate Michigan Motorcycle Accident Handbook” by calling our law firm.  We will send it along with other important information.

If you would like to speak with one of our Michigan Motorcycle accident attorneys about your case, feel free to call us anytime at (800) 606-1717 or simply submit this contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

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