DETROIT (WOOD) — Attorneys were in a state court of appeals Tuesday afternoon arguing about the validity of Michigan’s current automotive insurance laws and catastrophic care coverage.

In 2019, lawmakers amended the law to effectively get rid of the no-fault system. At the time, Michigan had some of the highest insurance premium rates in the nation. The changes were meant, in part, to lower costs for drivers.

While the reforms did save drivers money, people injured in crashes prior to the law taking effect say it also resulted in less help or no help at all for their medical bills.

“These attempted changes to the contractual relationship have to be found unconstitutional under the contract laws,” said attorney Mark Granzotto, who argued before the court on behalf of drivers injured.

Granzotto told the court that drivers who were injured before the law took effect in July 2021 should continue to be compensated after years of paying premiums for lifetime coverage.

“Retroactive application would relieve defendants of the legal duty owed to plaintiffs at the time the injury occurred. In other words, because (the) plaintiff’s claim had already accrued on the day she was injured, the retroactive application of the statute would effectively rewrite history as to the duty the defendant owed to the plaintiff,” said Granzotto as he read a portion of a ruling in a similar case. “Those words apply equally here. The defendant is trying to rewrite history.”

Attorney Lori McAllister, who argued the case on behalf of insurers, said the reforms mean insurers are not responsible for medical payments after a certain point.

“The statute applies to future care and treatment, treatment and rehabilitation,” McAllister said.

McAllister argued the case parallels workers compensation cases that are currently upheld by the law. She went on to say that insurers are not arguing that drivers have no legal claim to any compensation but that the changed law means there are limits to payouts.

“These insurers are not off the hook for lifetime benefits. Under the statute, lifetime benefits continue. They are still subject to paying reasonable benefits for reasonably necessary care. What this debate is now is how do you define what a reasonable amount is for the reasonable, necessary care,” McAllister said.

After about an hour and a half of arguments, the court adjourned. How the no-fault law will apply to past victims and victims in the future is now in the court’s hands.