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Another survey finds widespread loss of care for car crash survivors due to 2019 auto no-fault law

Catastrophically injured car accident survivors gather at the State Capitol on Jan. 13, 2022.
Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
Catastrophically injured car accident survivors gather at the State Capitol on Jan. 13, 2022.

New research has found a widespread loss of care among car crash survivors in the wake of no-fault reform in 2019.

The Michigan Public Health Institute said its survey sample of 498 car crash patients found that nearly 80% had lost care, because the law cut payments to many care providers to less than the cost of providing services.

In addition, 10% of patients who reported they lost care said they were hospitalized, and 20% said they had to go on Medicaid.

Tom Constand is President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, which commissioned the research. He said the survey shows the insurance industry is making false claims about the impact of the no-fault law.

"There's an obvious negative impact here on survivors that must be addressed," he said. "Why put these people through this? I hear from the insurance companies and from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services that people are getting care, cases are being resolved, when we know that's not the case."

A previous study by MPHI found that at least 6,800 car crash survivors had lost medically necessary care, and more than 4,000 workers in the care industry had lost their jobs.

The industry group Insurance Alliance of Michigan called the institute's research "deeply flawed pseudo-studies" and said insurance companies "remain liable" to pay for medically necessary care for crash survivors with catastrophic injuries. The group also said the 2019 no-fault law is saving customers money, though other analysts have found that's not the case.

Copyright 2022 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.