If you were severely injured in a car or truck crash, motorcycle collision or bicycling wreck—or other accident—you may be entitled to benefits under Michigan’s no-fault insurance. However, it is important to understand what benefits are available under this system and if you are eligible.
For example, under certain circumstances, it is necessary for a person or agency to provide the victim with attendant care services in the home. These services often include assistance with medications, activities of daily living, monitoring, and supervision. A dedicated lawyer can help to explain your rights and how you can pursue these benefits after suffering an injury.
Types of Attendant Care Duties
Injury victims often require a number of different duties for their safety, rehabilitation and recovery, including assistance with:
- Bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Toileting and changing diapers
- Feeding and supervision during meals to prevent choking
- Providing medications at specific times with proper doses
- Changing IV’s, bandages, and other medical supplies
- Supervision and monitoring to prevent additional harm or injury, including making sure an individual does not wander away from the home.
Many injury victims need on-call help to assist them in the event of an emergency, like a house fire, because they would be unable to exit the property on their own.
Attendant Care Services Provided by Family Members in Michigan
In Michigan, family members are entitled to be paid for attendant care services provided to a relative accident victim. However, many family members do not know they are entitled to be paid for these services and, quite often, the insurance adjusters do not tell them that they can submit attendant care service claims.
Attendant care services are a major type of benefit available under the Michigan no-fault insurance laws for those seriously injured in an accident. These benefits— also known as “in-home nursing care,”—are actually a part of the medical benefits that a person is entitled to receive under the state’s no-fault laws. These services include assistance with a number of daily activities during a person’s recovery.
The dollar amount paid for these attendant care services depends on the level of care and supervision being provided. In cases involving severe injuries, the rate is paid twenty-four hours a day even when the person is sleeping. This is because it may be necessary for someone to be available in the middle of the night to assist the injured person with going to the bathroom, or in the case of an emergency.
Twenty-Four Hour a Day Attendant Care Services
The need for attendant care services is determined by a physician. A physician must write a script for these services and it is the physician who determines the number of hours each day that attendant care services are necessary. In many cases, the doctor will determine these services are needed twenty-four hours a day.
The determination as to the type of service needed and the number of hours is dependent on the type of injury suffered an accident. For example, in cases involving spinal cord injuries and closed-head injuries, it is often necessary to have supervision for twenty-four hours a day for the remainder of the victim’s lifetime.
Other times—such as when a person suffers severe orthopedic injuries—the need for 24-hour attendant care services may be only temporary until the person recovers.
Many times, the insurance adjuster will tell the injured person that they are only entitled to a certain number of hours of attendant care a day, and not when they are asleep. This is false because many people need someone on standby twenty-four hours a day for safety, supervision, and monitoring.
What is the Rate of Pay for Attendant Care Services?
The hourly rate paid for these services is much-disputed issue between the insurance company and the provider. To determine the amount, it is necessary to consider the severity of the injury, the type of supervision required, and the geographic location in Michigan where services are being provided.
If an agency is providing the services, it is easier to determine the rate. A survey to companies in the area or phone calls asking about the rate can assist in appropriate rate. When family members provide services, the analysis is slightly different but the same factors are considered. Insurance companies argue that relatives should receive less pay than agency workers, but this is not always true.
Both insurance companies and lawyers for injury victims often perform their own analysis of the proper dollar amounts. These often conflict, with the insurance company wanting to pay much less than the standard industry rate in the area.
Filing an Attendant Care Benefit Lawsuit
When the insurance company underpays the required hourly rate for benefits or denies a claim altogether, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit. Many times, the adjuster will cut off your benefits after you are evaluated by an insurance company doctor. Other times, the adjuster will simply deny benefits without any basis.
In these circumstances, it is necessary to file a lawsuit against the insurer demanding payment of benefits. Our legal team will gather all of the necessary evidence and records to win your benefits for you. In some cases, the judge can even award additional attorney’s fees and interest against the company.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Michigan Attendant Care Services
If you have been denied or underpaid attendant care service benefits, you should contact our experienced no-fault insurance lawyers today. We have the skill and experience needed to force the insurance company to treat you fairly pay past, present, and future benefits.
There are strict deadlines for filing no-fault insurance claims and filing lawsuits demanding these benefits. If you miss a deadline, you will forfeit money owed to you. Call us today to start your case. We charge no legal fees unless you win a settlement and it costs nothing to get started.
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