Auto insurance company attempts to use the “one year back rule” in Michigan auto accident case

In a recent Michigan Court of Appeals case, auto insurance company Farmers Insurance Exchange did not dispute that it was obligated to pay about $15,000 for Jones' hospital care after suffering from serious injuries in a car accident. However, Farmers Insurance Exchange did not want to pay.

The auto insurer found a legal technicality that they thought would prevent them from paying. Farmers Insurance Exchange found the "one-year back rule" which limits the recovery of No-Fault medical expense to only those expenses incurred within a year preceding the filing of the lawsuit to collect unpaid medical expenses (MCL § 500.3145).

Farmers Insurance Exchange knew that they could not use the "one-year back rule" against Jones because Jones' hospital expenses were incurred less than a year before Jones filed her lawsuit. Jones had filed her lawsuit in April 2008 and her medical expenses incurred in May 2007. However, Farmers Insurance Exchange tried to get around the one year rule by claiming that the hospital should not receive the money because the hospital did not make its claim within the one year rule. The auto insurer argued that the hospital joined the lawsuit in April 2009 which was more than a year after servicing Jones.

Fortunately for Ms. Jones and Henry Ford Health System, judges concluded the hospital's claim was not barred by the one year rule because the one year period is only measured from the time the lawsuit was filed and not from the time the hospital joined the suit.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident or are in need of pursuing a no-fault claim, please contact our car accident attorney Brian McKenna at (313) 496-9416 or fill out the free case evaluation form on the right side of the page.

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