The Probate Pro scored another victory against an insurance company that refused to pay the reasonable attorney fees associated with the administration of guardianship and conservatorship files.
PIP and Probate: Guardianship Case
In 2009, a nineteen year old woman was injured in an automobile accident while a passenger in her boyfriend’s vehicle. The driver was killed in the accident and she sustained a traumatic brain injury. Following the accident, her mother filed a petition for guardianship and conservatorship. The Probate Pro serves as attorney for the guardian and conservator.
For years, the insurance company paid the reasonable and necessary professional fees associated with the administration of the estates (Heinz v. ACIA expenses). Without warning and with no legal basis, it then refused to pay.
PIP and Probate: Cases
In Heinz v. Auto Club Ins. Ass’n, 214 Mich. App 195; 543 NW2d 4 (1985), the Michigan Court of Appeals published its opinion stating:
In short, Michigan No Fault Act’s § 3107(1)(a) provides for the payment of expenses incurred for the reasonably necessary services for an injured person’s care. It is clear to us that if a person is so seriously injured in an automobile accident that it is necessary to appoint a guardian and conservator for that person, the services performed by the guardian and conservator are reasonably necessary to provide for the person’s care. Therefore, they are allowable expenses under § 3107.
To protect my client’s estate, an action was filed in the Oakland County Probate Court to compel the insurance company to pay. In a 17 page Opinion, the court ruled that the fees are “allowable since a nexus exists between the accident and the guardianship and conservatorship…”
The Probate Pro can assist you in evaluating how best to address issues involving an insurance company’s failure to pay Heinz related expenses.