A. When a car accident victim is injured so badly that he can't take care of even his most basic needs, such as eating, walking or even dressing themselves, the victim's auto insurance company will pay a nurse or someone in the family to help. This service is called attendant care and is also referred to as nursing services.
Q. What are examples of attendant care?
A. Attendant care help comes in many forms, including but not limited to help with grooming and bathing, eating, getting dressed, administering medications, transportation, wound care and medical equipment.
Q. Who can provide attendant care in Michigan?
A. Attendant care can be provided by nurses, home-health aides, and even family members or legal guardians. In many attendant care cases, the family - parent, spouse, child, receives special training so they can provide the bulk of the attendant care, and a service comes in to provided needed rest for the family in catastrophic care cases where it is needed every day, around the clock, for long periods of time.
Q. Are there any limits on the duration of attendant care?
A. No. It's not uncommon for doctors to prescribe attendant care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for seriously injured auto accident victims. There is also no limit as to how long a Michigan auto accident victim can receive attendant care, as long as it is necessary. Attendant care can be a lifetime benefit.
Q. Who pays for attendant care costs?
A. In most cases, the auto insurance company of the victim will cover attendant care -- given the injured person's care is "reasonably necessary" for his recovery.
Q. How much are attendant care providers paid?
A. There is no set statutory rate for attendant care. This is most often where a lawyer is called to help. An attendant care rate depends on a number of things such as the average wages in a particular geographical area. It also depends on the qualifications of the person performing the nursing services (i.e. home care attendant from a service, nurse or family member). An attendant care service will normally charge a higher amount than an individual. But an individual may be entitled to a commercial agency rate because of benefits such as overtime, vacation or insurance.
What You Need to Know About Attendant Care
Be aware that many insurance company claims adjusters will not inform their own customers after a serious injury that attendant care is available, and many Michigan lawyers are unfamiliar with attendant care unless they are very experienced handling car accident and no fault attendant care cases. Even today, there are probably hundreds of car accident victims in Michigan who don't realize that attendant care no-Fault insurance benefits are available to help them after a serious injury.
An estimated 9 out of every 10 attendant care cases handled by Michigan law firms today are about a disputed hourly rate of attendant care, the number of hours the insurance company is willing to pay, or both.
Additional resources provided by the author
For additional resources including how to record your time as a caregiver for reimbursement, visit the links below:
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