SUPREME COURT DENIES CAR INSURER EFFORT TO DODGE RESPONSIBILITY

In 2006 the Michigan Supreme Court changed the law to limit children and incompent people (like someone in a coma) from collecting No-Fault benefits from their own insurance company in the case of Cameron v Auto Club.

In a 4-3 ruling just issued by the Michigan Supreme Court, the Cameron decision was reversed. The Court found in Regents of the University of Michigan v Titan that the one-year-back rule for insurance claims has taken on new meaning for incompetents and minors. The one-year-back rule in MCL 500.3145(1) states that a claim for personal protection insurance must be brought within one year of an accident. The July 31, 2010 opinion in Regents of University of Michigan v. Titan Ins Co explains that the one-year-back rule in does not prevent a minor or incompetent from bringing suit when they reach the age of responsibility or become competent.

MCL600.5851(1) explains that incompetents and minors have one year from when the disability is removed to file a lawsuit. This means that a minor would have a year after their 18th birthday to file suit. These laws seem to conflict as to when someone can bring a claim against an insurance company and the Michigan Supreme Court now says that the law that deals with incompetents and minors is what ultimately governs.

In the 2006 opinion Cameron v. Auto Club Ins Ass’n, case the court changed decades of case law by saying that incompetents and minors were subject to the same one-year-back rule provisions as the general public. The court has now reversed that case and reinstated the previous law, which now means that under MCL 600.5851(1), incompetents and minors have one year from the date the disability is removed to file a claim.

The court has reinstated a standard that was good law in Michigan for at least 24 years before the Cameron decision. A rightful outcome when it comes to people like incompetents and minors who lack the capacity to know if they should be filing a lawsuit. Time is always critical when it comes to filing a lawsuit against an insurance company, contacting an attorney is always your best bet to make sure that your case is handled properly.