Navigating Michigan’s No Fault Laws

Written by on January 15, 2014 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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michigan car accidentWhen you have been involved in a car accident in Michigan, it will always be in your best interest to hire an auto accident attorney to protect your rights. Michigan is a no-fault accident state, and this can complicate making a claim for compensation.

Under Michigan’s No Fault laws, benefits for a car accident are divided into two categories – First Party Benefits and Third Part Benefits. Under the law, your car insurance carrier is responsible for paying all first party benefits, even if you were not the cause of the accident or were a passenger or pedestrian.

If you were a passenger or pedestrian that was not required to carry no fault insurance, the insurer of the owner of the car or the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility may be responsible for your benefits. A Michigan car accident lawyer would be able to advise you which category your accident falls under.

What Is Covered Under First Party Benefits In Michigan?

Reimbursement for all medical expenses that are injury-related. This benefit applies to you for all life-long expenses directly related to this event.
Wage loss benefits. You are eligible to receive compensation for up to three years at 85 percent of your previous yearly wage. (Limits apply).
Attendant or nursing care necessary for recovery. This may even be paid to family members that were required to stay and provide you with care instead of working.
Replacement services of up to $20 per day for three years. This is to reimburse for services such as lawn car, dog walking, and even laundry services.

First party claims must be filed within a year of the accident. This includes the hiring of an attorney to force insurers to meet their obligations and justly compensate accident victims.


Third Party Benefits

Under the no fault law, there are instances where a person can sue the at-fault driver for additional lost wages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Wage loss must exceed the first three years that are able to be claimed under first part benefits.

Pain and suffering cases are a subject of heated debate in Michigan. The victim must be able to prove to the Court that the injury they sustained has so greatly impacted their life that they can no longer function in the same manner that they did prior to the accident.

It generally requires disfigurement or a disability to be approved. However many attorneys have been able to successfully prove that chronic pain and emotional scarring should be considered in pain and suffering cases.

As you can see, it can be very difficult to receive fair compensation for your injuries and economic losses in Michigan. The strict deadlines and requirements necessary to receive first party benefits can be confusing and chaotic. Third party benefits are basically unattainable without legal representation due to the different definitions of disability and suffering.

Car accident victims will benefit most by hiring an attorney early in the process and allowing the lawyer to manage the legal aspects of the case. This allows the victim to concentrate on the most important thing: a full recovery.

Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who spends a lot of time researching car accident claims. By conducting an online search like Michigan car accident lawyer, she was able to locate valuable information for this article.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philms/8443256548/

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