When you buy insurance, you think that you will be covered in the event of the accident. This is especially true if you answer all the questions truthfully and continue to pay your premiums. However, sometimes insurance companies may see things differently and try to get out of paying the money that you are owed. If this happens to you, you should contact a knowledgeable Michigan personal injury to help you hold the insurance company accountable. In a case recently heard by the Michigan Court of Appeals, the court upheld a ruling that forced the insurance company to pay the damages that the injured plaintiff was entitled to.
The Insurance Policy
In 2006, the husband of the plaintiff purchased a no-fault insurance policy for their family cars. The plaintiff used one of the vehicles for one half-day a week to deliver mail. The insurance policy asked if any of the vehicles were used for business. The agent answered no, even though the plaintiff’s husband testified that he told the insurance agent about the plaintiff’s part-time delivery job. The policy automatically renewed. In 2012, the plaintiff got a new car and her husband got coverage for that car as well. He testified that he once again told the insurance agent that his wife used the car to deliver mail.
In December of 2012, the plaintiff was in a car accident while she was delivering mail. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, multiple internal injuries, respiratory failure, and other very serious injuries. At the time of the trial, she still had very serious injuries. The insurance company was contacted about the accident soon after it happened.
The plaintiff filed suit against the at-fault driver. Since she was working for the United States Postal Service at the time, the Federal Employee Compensation Act (“FECA”) covered her medical bills. However, they were entitled to reimbursement from any third-party recovery. After the third party claim was settled, and the FECA was reimbursed, the plaintiff then asked the insurance company to reimburse her for the money she needed to pay to FECA.
The insurance company did not agree to pay. A couple of years after the accident the insurance company sent a letter of recession to the plaintiff’s husband. They stated that they were rescinding the policy because the plaintiff’s husband stated in the initial application that the vehicle was not used for work purposes. Thus, the policy was not in effect at the time of the accident and the insurance company would not be required to pay.
However, the trial court found for the plaintiff based on the statute of limitations. In this case, the appeals court upheld the trial court’s holding. They also noted that the defendant was alleging that the plaintiff made a fraudulent misrepresentation. In order for something to be a fraudulent misrepresentation they need to have made a material false representation that they knew was false at the time. Fraudulent misrepresentations also require that the person makes the misrepresentation so that the other party relies on it and the other party suffers damages from the misrepresentation. As this was not the case here, the court also noted that the plaintiff did not do anything fraudulent.
Contact An Experienced Michigan Personal Injury Attorney Today!
Even if you have insurance, after you get in an accident the insurance company may still refuse to pay. The personal injury attorneys at Neumann Law Group can help you get the benefits you are owed for your injuries. Neumann Law Group works with clients in Western Michigan, including Detroit, Saginaw, Southfield, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City. Call us today at 800-525-6386 or use the contact form on this website to schedule your free consultation!
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