Mother says Michigan's No-Fault Insurance saved daughter's life

(WXYZ) - One Michigan resident has experienced the other side of Michigan's No-Fault Auto Insurance Law that many of us never see. 

"No-fault insurance has made a tremendous, tremendous, tremendous difference in my life," said Claudette Williams.

It's no secret we have some of the highest premiums in the country but for those injured in catastrophic auto accidents, the benefits those premiums provide can be life-changing.

For every teen starting college it's is a major milestone, but for Kacie Williams it's a miracle.

"I feel a little nervous, but excited," Kacie said.

Her mother Claudette couldn't be more proud.

"My daughter graduated from high school with a diploma, something that they said was impossible," she said. 

Back in 2006, Kacie was a budding young gymnast, when in an instant her bright future went dark.

"On our way to that competition, my vehicle hit black ice and my daughter was ejected from the vehicle," Claudette said.

"In the accident, she lost quite a bit of brain function," Claudette says doctors told her to prepare for the worst and that "if she lived she would be a vegetable."

But Claudette had faith, and she had Michigan Auto Insurance.

Fast forward 12 years, there's not much Kacie can't do.

"She loves to draw," Claudette said. "She loves to paint. She loves to write poetry."

Kacie added, "I have a monologue class and a theater class."

And Kacie, like many other young adults, has a job, Claudette said. She works at Special Tree, which has more than 30 facilities in southeast Michigan specializing in Brain and Spinal Cord Rehabilitation.

"We see miracles every day that's in large part because they have the funding to put in the time to do the work and make these amazing improvements," said Joseph Richert, president and chief executive officer of Special Tree.

For many patients like Kacie, that funding comes from Michigan's No-Fault Insurance.

"Once something happens then you see – OK, I get it, I understand why my car insurance is so expensive," Claudette said.

It paid for Kacie to begin therapy immediately after the accident.

"The earlier the rehab, the better the results," said Richert, adding that in other states without No-Fault, patients often have to sue for money to pay medical bills.

No-Fault covers more than just the typical physical, speech and occupational therapy. Kacie has thrived in art therapy and unique programs like Special Tree's outdoor adventure.

Also, with No-Fault, there's no cap on coverage. 

"In a typical 3rd party insurance case you might get 11 sessions of physical therapy and a patient who sustained a serious catastrophic injury might need years of physical therapy," Richert said.

Claudette said that because of Michigan's No-Fault Insurance, Kacie will receive lifelong benefits for the rest of her life.

Richert added that through the insurance, catastrophic injury can be provided for in numerous ways, mores o than in any other state. 

"It's a blessing, it's a blessing," Claudette said. "Just to see where she came from, it's like wow. I didn't think that we would be here you know," Claudette said. "I pay $500 a month in car insurance, but I'd never go without it because if I went without it, where would my daughter be?" 

Richert said he believes that Michigan needs to reform the No-Fault law to make insurance more affordable, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. For the sake of their patients, he hopes the benefits of No-Fault insurance are here to stay.
 

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