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The Michigan Court of Appeals has strengthened medical service providers’ rights under the Michigan No-Fault Act.  On October 22, 2015, the court published a recent decision which upheld Covenant Medical Center’s claim against State Farm.  Specifically, Covenant had notified State Farm of its billings and its claim for payment.  Unbeknownst to Covenant, State Farm then negotiated a settlement with the patient.  When Covenant filed its lawsuit to collect, State Farm attempted to avoid liability because the insured patient had released State Farm from any liability.  In rejecting State Farm’s disingenuous ploy to avoid liability, the court relied upon the plain language of the no-fault statute, section 3112, which makes plainly clear that when the insurer has written “notice of the claim of some other person”, the insurer’s liability is not extinguished.  Critical to the court’s holding and application of the statute was the fact that Covenant’s written notice preceded State Farm’s settlement with its insured.  The case is titled Covenant Medical Center v State Farm and can be found here.  For more information about this case and how it can either help or harm medical service providers, please contact us for a free consultation, in that regard.

Authored by L. Page Graves

Up here in northern Michigan, we are blessed with so many trails, walkways and places to walk, hike, bike or recreate. And to many, dogs are equally part of that cherished family activity. For everyone’s benefit and safety using the trail, sidewalk, walkway or venue, dogs are required to be leashed at all times. Keeping dogs on a leash not only safely protects others from unwanted or unexpected contact, but it also serves to keep the family pet safe, too. Summertime brings increased motorized traffic to our region which, statistically, adds to the probability of a dog being hit by a car, when not on a leash. For more information about Michigan’s leash law or about dog bite liability, generally, please contact Smith & Johnson, for a free consultation.

Authored by L. Page Graves

The nice weather is upon us. Naturally, with that, so are avid motorcycle enthusiasts and cyclists. Sadly, although a motorcyclist or bicyclist is generally highly prudent and safe consciously aware of the road environment, this common Michigan traveler on the roadway seems to be the one missed, more than the one seen. Accredited motorcyclist and cyclist organizations promote high visibility programs to enhance safety for all. Studies show that high visibility clothing and accessories lower the risk to the motorcyclist or cyclist. Vehicle motorists must always still be aware of motorcyclists and cyclists on the roadway; revisiting the 10 common rules for safe coexistence, is always recommended. When a motorcyclist or cyclist is, regretfully, involved in a crash with a motor vehicle, special legal rights attach under Michigan’s compulsory automobile no-fault insurance system. Accident victims are welcomed to contact Smith & Johnson, Attorneys, P.C., for a free consultation to learn their legal rights.

Authored by L. Page Graves