For the past six years, the courthouse doors in Michigan have been virtually padlocked for people injured in car collisions due to someone else’s negligence. No matter the circumstances, the 2004 case of Kreiner v Fischer said in effect that you could seek redress for your injury caused by someone else’s wrongdoing only if you were killed or maimed for life.
But now a new, more consumer-oriented Michigan Supreme Court has righted the wrong of the Kreiner case. In McCormick v Carrier, the court held that a man who injured his ankle in an auto accident could seek monetary reimbursement from the at-fault driver since the injury, while not permanently debilitating, still affected his life for several months after the accident while he stayed off the affected ankle, underwent a lengthy physical therapy regimen, and missed work until the healing was complete. The McCormick decision recognized that the Kreiner decision was nothing more than judge-made law that constituted a radical departure from the specific language and overall intent of the Michigan No-Fault Act.