Attendant Care Service Case Helps Car Accident Victims | Salman v Amica Insurance
Insurance companies often refuse to pay attendant care benefits or underpay the proper rate for services. They also have claimed in the past that they do not have to pay these benefits, until there is evidence that the accident victim had already "incurred" the cost. The insurance companies often deny payment claiming that forms submitted for payment did not contain the necessary information to show that the the cost was incurred. Fortunately, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a favorable opinion on when an expense is incurred. This decision helps the accident victim who is denied payment from the insurance company.
In Salman v. Amica, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals decided December 17, 2009 (Docket No. 286923) is an important decision regarding the issue of attendant care. Under the law, No-Fault benefits must be "incurred" before a claimant is entitled to payment from the insurer. With regard to attendant care and replacement services provided by family and friends, the Courts have held before an insurer will be held liable for the expense, the care providers "must perform the services with a reasonable expectation of payment."
In Salman, the care provider completed forms providing the insurer with dates, hours and generally describing the nature of the care provided. The Salman Court held that "there is no requirement that these forms be filled out contemporaneously. Rather, there is a permissible inference that Miriam had a reasonable expectation of payment because she filled out the forms going back to the day of the accident." Moreover, the Court held that there is no requirement that the care provider assign a dollar amount to the care provided in order to satisfy the incurred requirement. In this regard, it was permissible to request "whatever the jury thought was reasonable."
Accident victims who are being denied payment of attendant care service benefits should contact our office immediately to discuss your case. There are strict time deadlines for filing claims and if you miss a deadline, your can never get paid those benefits. You may also receiving payments that are much less than you are entitled to under Michigan law. We can help you receive the proper amount.