The latest news in Michigan no-fault,
personal injury, bicycle and family law.
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Volume I, Issue 1
February 2017       
Auto No-Fault News & Information

More Failed Attempts To Change No-Fault Benefits

Toward the end of 2016, state lawmakers launched another attack on Michigan's auto no-fault insurance system. Fortunately, the efforts by some in the lame-duck Legislature to drastically change the auto no-fault law failed.

The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) took a leading role in the defeat of the last-minute attempt to cut auto insurance benefits. The proposals would have:
  • capped injury benefits for uninsured children and seniors.
  • limited family provided attendant care for catastrophic accident survivors.
  • created a biased fraud authority.
The legislation included zero cost savings for Michigan families and benefited one entity: insurance companies.

It is likely that, in 2017, there will be continued efforts to fundamentally change the auto no-fault law. Hopefully, legislators will recognize that rather than drastically limiting and diminishing the comprehensive insurance coverage provided under the law, the people of Michigan want the law to be improved and enhanced, so that it works better for everyone . . . not just insurance companies.

As lawmakers continue to consider significant changes to the no-fault system during the new legislative session, stay with Sinas Dramis for important news and developments.

What Is "Reasonable Proof" Under The No-Fault Act?

Despite the complexities of Michigan's No-Fault Act, there are various no-fault concepts that remain relatively simple — and one is "reasonable proof." Yet some no-fault insurers continue to mistakenly conflate the requirements of the initial elements of a personal protection insurance (PIP) claim with the "reasonable proof" requirement.

Learn more.

No More Payment Delays For Medical Providers
The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that medical providers do not have to appeal a denial of health insurance coverage before seeking payment for their services under the No-Fault Act. The Court's binding decision in St. John Macomb Oakland Hospital  v State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins Co is a welcome relief for providers because it lets them receive payments in a more timely manner. 

Find out more.

Sinas Dramis Lawyers Teach MSU Students

No-fault is a complicated and constantly changing area of law, which is one reason why Lansing auto accident attorneys George Sinas, Stephen Sinas and Bryan Waldman teach an auto no-fault class at Michigan State University College of Law.

George, Stephen and Bryan have been adjunct professors at MSU College of Law for several years. Together, they have more than six decades of auto no-fault experience. Students in their "Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance Law" class learn by studying case law, a no-fault textbook (co-authored by George) and a brochure produced by Sinas Dramis titled The Michigan Auto No-Fault Law: Your Rights & Benefits (8th ed.). This brochure is available for free, along with many other resources, by clicking here.
Bike Law Michigan Update
Bicycle Safety Legislation Remains In Limbo

Unfortunately, Michigan's proposed bicycle safety legislation was not approved during the 2015-2016 legislative session. Senate Bills 1076, 1077 and 1078 would have established a statewide 5-foot safe passing law for cyclists and would have required that driver's education programs include bicycle law instruction, among other things.

Although the Senate approved the measures, a House committee did not vote on the bills before the legislative session adjourned in December 2016. As a result, Michigan is now one of only six states without a safe passing law.

Lansing bicycle law attorney Bryan Waldman testified in support of the legislation on behalf of the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB). Bryan is an LMB board member and a member of Bike Law, a national network of attorneys who serve as advocates for cyclists.

"In 2017, cycling advocates, cyclists, friends and family members of cyclists must work together to let their state and local politicians know that continuing to ignore the deaths of Michigan cyclists is not something we can tolerate any more," Bryan says. "We must demand action and, in our opinion, it is best accomplished if we work together through one central advocacy group. The League of Michigan Bicyclists is the one organization that has taken the lead on this issue and will continue to be the organization with the ability to lead cyclists toward positive change."

Learn how you can help.


Bryan Waldman Named "Michigan Cyclist Of The Year"
Congratulations to Bike Law Michigan attorney Bryan Waldman for being selected "Michigan Cyclist of the Year" by Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC). Bryan, a competitive cyclist, received the honor for his tireless work representing injured bicyclists across the state, as well as his efforts to make Michigan roads safer for all cyclists.

Find out more.
Understanding Dangerous Roads

Sinas Dramis recently launched its "Understanding Dangerous Roads" campaign, aimed at educating motorists about Michigan highways that require extra caution due to a high rate of car crashes.

The I-496/US-127 corridor in Lansing was the first roadway identified as being particularly risky. In addition to producing a video showing the dangers of this area, Lansing auto accident attorney Stephen Sinas spoke with FOX 47's "Morning Blend" program about the problems associated with the interchange. Stephen also provided viewers with tips for traveling safely through the area.

As more dangerous roadways are identified across Michigan, additional informative videos will be produced. All the videos can be accessed on the Sinas Dramis website.
Family Law Corner 

Changes To Michigan's Child Support Formula

Numerous revisions to the Michigan child support formula recently went into effect. Some of the more noteworthy changes are:
  • retirement contributions can no longer be used as a way to reduce income available for child support.
  • clarification of when income can be imputed to a payer.
  • because federal law requires that everyone have healthcare coverage, a deduction of the actual cost of such coverage is now allowed.                          
For details on these and other child support changes, visit the Sinas Dramis Family Law Division website.
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Sinas Dramis Law Firm · 3380 Pine Tree Road · Lansing, MI 48911 · USA