A few weeks ago, I took part in the Fall conference for the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI). Like any conference, you get the good things: seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, making connections and learning. But there was also this new sense, that things were changing.
And that’s true. Things are changing. The PIP law has fundamentally shifted, and it’s left people in a vulnerable state.
The way things used to be
For eight years now, I worked with BIAMI to create “the Legal Track,” a conference in which legal professionals speak on the most important issues to those with and who work with brain injury for people in Michigan. Every year I go, and I sit at a booth, and I meet the people who are, like me, in the trenches when it comes to fighting for people with brain injuries.
This year, our “Legal Track” was included in the larger Fall conference and because of that, we had a larger audience, and we focused on speaking on important issues. Our speakers covered the following topics:
- Proving TBI in a court case
- Pricing in litigation and PIP cases
- Apartment programs in the new era
- The current state of Auto No-Fault Insurance.
That last point is where the biggest shift has come for Michigan.
The Personal Injury Protection law (PIP) has been one way that Michigan stands out against the entire country. When people got hurt in a car accident, they were taken care of, full stop. New caps introduced into the law have changed that so fundamentally, we don’t really know the full extent of harm that is going to do.
The “new normal”
I work with the people, every single day, who are affected by accidents in this state. They have troubles and struggles that I feel for. I work with these people, but more than that, I work for these people to get them help.
Helping people has been part of my family’s work since we started our firm. My father did this, and my brother does this. I do it. I joined the BIAMI to learn more about the people I work with and how to better help them. I made friends here. I made relationships. I see the people who build the prosthetics and create the programs, which are going to help my clients.
And now that chain of compassion has a chance of having their livelihood taken away. It was hard. The uncertainty is a weight on all of us. We really can only look out for each other.
The next steps
I don’t know what next year is going to look like for the friends I’ve made here. I certainly don’t know what it’s going to look like for my clients. There are real dangers in this change. How this will affect people as time goes on is anybody’s guess.
I do know that as an attorney, I have the best chance to fight to get the right results for my clients. I’m still here to help. I always am.