No-Fault: An Outdoorsman’s Tale

My buddy Dave likes to hunt.

And fish. He’s a fanatic.

Always talking about the next trip, deer camp, his biggest buck, or how to fry up walleye.

He drives an old pickup truck that he sometimes uses to haul freshly cut wood for the wood stove that heats his home in the winters.

We’ve hiked the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

He gave up cigarettes a while back, but if he’s tipping a few in some U.P. watering hole, he starts looking for smokes, and usually finds them.

He likes Jack Daniels whiskey and the King James Bible. Work hard, play hard, church on Sunday.

That’s Dave.

Dave was taking a load of wood from a new cut to his home a couple of years back. It was oak, which he says burns real nice. I wouldn’t know.

I do know it’s heavy, because I helped him stack it once. He bought me a six-pack and said we were square.

We were.

Anyway, he stepped up onto the back wheel to get a better grip on some of the larger pieces. His boot slipped on the muddy tire and down he went. Poor guy. Foot got stuck somehow in the wheel well and he snapped his ankle.

He said it didn’t hurt right away, so he sat there in the dirt looking at his left foot all twisted around and took stock. He knew he was going to live, but wondered how he’d climb a tree stand with one foot.

Then the pain hit.

He fished out his cell phone and dialed 911.

Long story short, after surgery, a cast, and some wrestling matches with a physical therapist, he’s back in the saddle.

Michigan’s No-Fault law provides coverage for medical bills arising out of a person’s use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle.

Dave insured his pick-up and, as it turns out, his medical bills were covered as well as the costs of his physical therapy. He didn’t miss much work, but that would have been covered too.

He thought No-Fault covered you only when you were driving a vehicle, but that’s not true.

If you are injured while using the motor vehicle as a motor vehicle, it is important for you to check with a lawyer about coverage for your injuries under No-Fault, especially if the insurance company denies your claim or give you the run-around.

Dave missed out on ice fishing that winter. I thought that was a blessing in disguise after nearly dying of hypothermia with my brother one time while trying to ice fish on Reeds Lake.

I went to Dave’s house a couple of days after his surgery to see how he was doing. He was watching a “Dirty Jobs” rerun while loopy on Vicodin.

He thought I should try that myself sometime.

I sat with him for an hour.

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