OAKLAND UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PARALEGAL PROGRAM SYLLABUS AUTO ACCIDENT LAW & CASES- CEPL 25780

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1 OAKLAND UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PARALEGAL PROGRAM SYLLABUS AUTO ACCIDENT LAW & CASES- CEPL FACULTY: TEXT: AVAILABILITY: SCHEDULE: COURSE DESCRIPTION OBJECTIVES/ OUTCOMES: CREDIT HOURS: PREREQUISITES: Allan Gordon Attorney at Law P.O. Box West Bloomfield, MI (248) Gordon, Allan (2005). No-Fault Auto Accident Law, (16 th ed.). West Bloomfield, MI: NLI Publishing. MCL , Michigan No-Fault Statutes. 9am-5pm Monday-Friday by phone; by appt or before class 6:30-9:00pm Mondays 12 weeks Detailed study of No-Fault motor vehicle law providing a basic understanding of N/F concepts, auto insurance and terminology. Auto case preparation: Identification of who can be sued, what benefits and damages are collectible, 1 st & 3 rd Party cases, work-up, client interviewing, legal investigation, gathering and organization of materials, document drafting, complaints, medical and settlement statements, case evaluation and duties at trial. 3 CEUs awarded upon completion of course None COURSE EXPECTATIONS & REQUIREMENTS: Successful completion of specific coursework as listed in Outline and Course Assignments: required readings, written and oral presentations, problems, drafting of court documents, problem solving, calculating 1 st party benefits, extra credit and class participation. Two-week workshop emphasizes interviewing & investigation skills. Internet and Law Library research including MCLA, MCR, Michigan Law & Practice Encyclopedia. GRADING: Written Assignments= 75%* Workshop = 25%* Above ratings could be affected, and course grade may be adjusted one level, based on class participation, improvement, workshop, extra credit & late assignments. A.5 is added to the total points for each Extra Credit. Late assignments are marked down.25 for each week late. All assignments must be satisfactorily completed for course credit. Attendance is a factor in awarding CEUs with 2 absences permitted. All documents are to be typed and comply with University standards. 3.6 to 4.0= A 2.0 to 2.9= C 0.0 to 0.9= 3.0 to 3.5= B 1.0 to 1.9= D No Credit/CEU STUDENT RESOURCES: The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) is the campus office responsible for verifying that students have disability-related needs and determining academic accommodations, auxiliary aids and other services. Students with learning, psychological, or physical disabilities

2 who may require accommodations should contact DSS at: 103A North Foundation Hall, Phone: ; TTY: to schedule an appointment with a DSS advisor. COURSE OUTLINE: WEEK 1 & Hours/per week I. INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW OF COURSE A. The Basic Scheme of Course 1. Think like a lawyer (should) 2. Familiarization with the No-Fault Law and application to practical legal experience 3. Develop skills to draft pleadings through use of proper investigation and discovery techniques 4. How to obtain information B. The Michigan No-Fault Law 1. What is No-Fault (N/F) 2. Law went into effect 10/1/73 3. Governs all motor vehicle accident cases in Michigan 4. Act has undergone amendments and court challenges 5. Complicated and difficult law 6. Understanding basic terms C. N/F Study Divided into 6 Areas 1. Introduction & basic terms 2. First Party N/F benefits & lawsuit 3. Third Party N/F case 4. Pre-trial case work-up 5. Trial preparation & duties at trial 6. Workshop D. Basic Terms 1. No-Fault (N/F) 13. Threshold 2. Plaintiff/Defendant 14. Serious Impairment of Body Function 3. Motor Vehicle 15. Permanent Serious Disfigurement 4. Motorcycle 16. Economic Loss 5. Moped 17. Noneconomic Loss 6. ORV 18. Residual Liability 7. Motor Vehicle Accident 19. Tortfeasor 8. Motorcycle Accident 20. Negligence 9. 1st Party N/F Case 21. Proximate Cause 10. 3rd Party N/F Case 22. Liability 11. PIP Benefits 23. Comparative Negligence 12. PPI 24. Damages 25. Others= i.e. Replacement Services, Survivors Loss and more will be discussed throughout course. E. Questions to be Asked 1. Who is injured? 2. Does the injury arise out of a motor vehicle accident? 3. Is s/he entitled to be paid N/F benefits? 4. Is Third Party Carrier liable? WEEK 3 & Hours/per week II. 1ST PARTY N/F BENEFITS & LAWSUIT A. The 1st Party Action

3 1. How claim arises 2. Who can & cannot collect PIP benefits 3. Can an injured uninsured person collect N/F benefits? 4. Where to collect PIP benefits 5. When is 1st Party suit necessary? B. Overview of N/F 1st Party PIP benefits 1. Medical & rehabilitation expenses 2. Work loss benefits 3. Replacement services 4. Survivors' loss benefits C. Property Protection Insurance (PPI) 1. Property damage without regard to fault if motor vehicle strikes tangible property or a legally parked motor vehicle. 2. $1,000, coverage per accident 3. Exclusions 4. Examples D. What Can Be Collected 1. Medical and rehabilitation expenses 2. Work loss benefits 3. Replacement services 4. Survivors' loss 5. Property Damage to tangible property or legally parked vehicle 6. Governmental benefit setoffs 7. Coordinated benefits 8. Attorney fees and interest 9. Mental anguish damages 10. Assigned Claims Plan E. Penalties 1. Criminal 2. Civil F. Preparing the 1st Party Complaint 1. Analyze insurance policy 2. Breach of contract 3. Mental anguish 4. Damages G. Your Insurance Policy 1. Required N/F coverage 5. Driving Record 2. Optional coverages 6. Points- State and Insurer Eligibility 3. Mini-Tort 7. Reducing Premiums 4. Rates WEEK 5 & Hours/per week III. 3RD PARTY N/F CASE A. Residual Liability Insurance Coverage 1. Covers bodily injury and property damage to others caused by you 2. In Michigan, this liability insurance covers one who is sued subject to Tort Liability Exemption B. Tort Liability Exemption 1. If insured, then tort liability for non-economic loss if threshold is met 2. Tort liability abolished with exceptions 3. To bring action must surpass threshold and not be more than 50% at fault

4 4. Tort liability if no insurance C. Fact or Law Question: Summary Judgment, Definitions 1. Threshold Elements 2. Definitions 3. Type of Injury 4. Question of Fact or Matter of Law? D. Non-Economic vs. Economic Loss 1. Economic loss 2. Non-economic loss E. Preparing the Complaint Against 3rd Party Tortfeasor 1. Retention-Lien Letter to Defendant and Defendant's insurance company 2. Use of Auto Negligence Interview 3. Use of work-up materials 4. The Auto Accident Complaint 5. Jury Demand WEEK 7 & Hours/per week IV. PRE-TRIAL CASE WORK-UP A. Client Interview 1. Liability- Comparative negligence 2. Injuries, damages 3. To take or not take case B. How to Construct Case File 1. Checklist, Pleadings Sheet and Computer Client Data List 2. Sections- Correspondence, Medical, Investigation, Pleadings, Law Notes Search) C. Case Work-up Notice, Investigation, Discovery (How To Get Information, including Internet 1. Retention-Lien Letter to Defendant 11. Wage Release 2. Retention-Lien Letter to Defendant's 12. Social Security Release Insurance Company 13. Medical Release 3. Photos- Client, Scene, Property Damage 14. Medical Records and Bills 4. Police Report 15. IRS Authorization 5. Freedom of Information Act Request 16. Policy Limits Letter 6. Vehicle Information Invoice- Registration 17. Medical Opinion Statement 7. Driving Record Information 18. Interview Witnesses 8. Insurance Policy 19. Interrogatories 9. Statements, Application For Benefits 20. Depositions 10. Property Damage Bills and Estimates D. Settlement Demand Letter 1. Theory of liability 2. Injuries and medical history 3. Work Loss 4. Specials 5. Evaluation of case- Damages E. Case Evaluation (Mediation) 1. Notice of Case Evaluation 2. Case Evaluation Statement- Theory of Liability (Party's Claim); Injuries, Medical and Damages; Work Loss; Specials; Evaluation

5 WEEK 9 & Hours/per week V. TRIAL PREPARATION AND DUTIES AT TRIAL A. How to Prepare for Trial 1. Scheduling Conference and Order 2. Witness List 3. Prepare question areas for each witness 4. Deposition De Bene Esse 5. Subpoena medical records for trial 6. Subpoena witnesses for trial 7. Talk to witnesses 8. Request for Admissions 9. Plaintiff's Claim 10. Voir Dire 11. Brief and/or anticipated legal arguments 12. Opening and Closing Statements 13. Jury Instructions 14. Trial Notebook B. Duties at Trial 1. Assist Attorney in trial of case 2. Coordinate exhibits 3. Coordinate appearance of witnesses 4. Work with client 5. Complete Jury Instructions 6. Legal research 7. Bill of Costs WEEK 11 & Hours/per week VI. WORKSHOP A. Hypotheticals 1. Who can collect? 2. What can be collected? 3. Where can you collect? B. Interviews and Preparing Complaint 1. Use of Interview and Work-Up Materials 2. Investigation C. Request for Medical Opinion Statement 1. Drafting Request 2. Discussion with Doctor D. Preparation of Settlement Demand Letter 1. Use of Case Work-Up Materials 2. Investigation & Discovery E. Case Evaluation Statement F. Voir Dire G. Jury Instructions

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