The arguments by State Farm and Farm Bureau have caused quite a few snide remarks. Some lawyers even warn that this case could impact many of the 300,000 elderly and/or disabled people across the country that depend on motorized scooters to get around.
“If they pull this off in Michigan, you will start to see this all over the country,” says Steven Gursten, a lawyer who represents auto accident victims, “For every person dependent on a motorized scooter or wheelchair for transportation, God help them if they get hit by a car.”
Lawyers in Michigan, which is one of about twelve states in the country that has no-fault auto insurance, say that they don’t know of a similar defense ever being used in a case involving a mobility scooter. The attorney for the scooter victim, Harold Perakis, says that, “It might be a way for insurance companies to find a way to create new premiums on the one hand and deny lawsuits on the other.”
The scooter victim, George Veness, was paralyzed in a 2004 work accident. In 2012, he was on his way to a Dunkin Donuts when he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee while crossing the street. He is seeking payments for his medical bills for injuries that were caused by the accident, as well as for pain and suffering.
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