Under the no-fault law, persons who are injured in motor vehicle collisions can use the services of an auto accident case manager. Basically, a case manager helps injured individuals coordinate their medical care during their recovery.
It’s crucial that Michigan car accident victims understand the nuances of using an auto accident case manager. Why? Because some insurance companies lead their insureds to believe that they must use a case manager selected by the insurance carrier, or else risk jeopardizing a claim for no-fault PIP benefits.
This simply is not true. Here’s why.
Auto Accident Case Manager Services And The No-Fault Law
The services of a case manager are specifically allowed under the Michigan no-fault law.
According to the No-Fault Act, the services of an auto accident case manager must be “reasonable” and “necessary” for the injured person’s care, recovery and rehabilitation. Case manager services are lifetime benefits, or may be used for as long as they’re needed.
Auto accident case managers are typically nurses or vocational rehabilitation counselors who have an understanding of no-fault law and medicine. They help persons who’ve suffered a Michigan car accident injury coordinate their treatment and care. For example, case managers will schedule doctor appointments, make referrals to other doctors, arrange transportation to doctor appointments, and so forth.
In many cases, the insurance company that pays no-fault benefits will assign a case manager for the auto accident victim.
However, if you’ve been injured in a Michigan auto accident, it’s important to remember that you have the absolute right to choose your own case manager. Car crash victims need a case manager who has their best interests in mind – and not the interests of the insurance company.
It’s also critical to remember that persons injured in an auto accident also have the right to fire their case manager.
Case Managers Are Not The “Gatekeepers” Of Benefits
Another important thing to keep in mind is that an auto accident case manager does not have to pre-approve medical treatment before no-fault benefits are paid. In other words, case managers are not the “gatekeepers” of no-fault insurance coverage.
In fact, there is nothing in Michigan’s auto no-fault law that:
- authorizes an insurance company to insist on using a case manager as a pre-condition to paying benefits.
- obligates an insured to work with a case manager as a pre-condition to receiving no-fault benefits.
- requires a medical provider to deal with a case manager as a pre-condition to receiving payment for services.
Remember: if you’ve been injured in a Michigan car crash, you have the right to hire – and fire – an auto accident case manager. If your insurance company leads you to believe otherwise, it is engaging in unscrupulous conduct.