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Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer | Michigan Car Accident
Michigan Car Accident Insurance Claims
The staff of The Mike Morse Law Firm is always available to answer your questions or clarify any of the answers provided below. Please contact us should you need further assistance.
When you say “claim,” do you mean “lawsuit”?
Pursuing a claim does not mean that you are suing anybody.
Many claims for injury involving an auto accident, motorcycle accident or tractor trailer accident are settled informally without ever having to file a lawsuit.
What are the limitations or barriers to pursuing a claim resulting from an auto accident?
In Michigan, to pursue a claim against the person who caused a motor vehicle accident, you must meet two legal requirements.
First, the other driver must be legally at fault for causing the accident. Second, you must meet the legal requirements for a “threshold injury”. This is a complicated area of the law and our team of experts at The Mike Morse Law Firm will be happy to explain it to you and answer all of your questions.
Does my injury have to be permanent for me to be compensated?
No. For you to receive compensation, the impairment need not be permanent.
However, as with many other facets of the law, these are very complicated issues, and you should consult with an attorney to fully understand your rights.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident?
In any state, there is a window of opportunity for filing a claim or a lawsuit. Simply stated, you can’t wait too long after an accident to file, or you’ll lose the right to be compensated.
The legal term for the rule prohibiting you from waiting beyond a specified time period is a “statute of limitations.” The time period during which you must file a lawsuit changes based on the type of claim you are making.
In Michigan, you must file a lawsuit within 3 years after a motor vehicle accident for you pain and suffering.
What is an Economic Damages claim?
If you are injured in a Michigan car accident, any loss of wages and expenses pertaining to medical or chiropractic treatment, rehabilitation, home and nursing care, home modifications, and travel expenses are paid by the appropriate automobile insurance company.
Michigan’s No-Fault system says that “reasonable charges” will be covered. This type of claim is also referred to as a First Party claim or PIP claim.
Which automobile insurance policy covers my Economic Damages?
Regardless of who was at fault for an accident, your own automobile insurance company is the first one responsible for paying damages.
If you do not own an insured vehicle, you may use: 1) the policy of a relative you live with, and then 2) the policy covering the car you were in at the time of the accident.
If none of these apply, contact the State of Michigan for coverage through the Assigned Claims Facility. The rules for an injured pedestrian are similar.
What if I am in a Michigan motorcycle accident?
If the motorcycle had the legal required liability insurance, the responsibility rests with: 1) the insurance company of the owner, and then 2) the insurance company of the operator of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
Owners or drivers of an uninsured motorcycle cannot make claims for economic benefits.
If the car involved in the accident was not insured, responsibility rests with: 1) the insurance company of the operator of the motorcycle, and the 2) the insurance company of the owner of the motorcycle.
If none of the above applies, contact Michigan’s Assigned Claims Facility.
Once I find the appropriate automobile insurance company, how do I start my claim in Michigan?
Call the automobile insurer and request an “application for benefits” form.
You have one year from the date of the accident to send the form to the insurance company. This form should be filled out completely and accurately. If you need assistance, contact your insurance agent, or an attorney who specializes in automobile accident cases.
This form is the key to getting benefits paid. In most cases, you will not have to give a sworn statement or examination under oath. If you are asked to do so, contact an attorney at once.
What specific economic damages am I entitled to if I am injured in a Michigan car accident?
Work loss benefits are payable to an injured person for three years following an accident, covering 85% of the gross lost wages. The maximum benefit is raised annually; for 2018 it is $5,541.00 per month. A doctor’s disability slip and proof that you were earning a wage are required. If you were still looking for work or were temporarily unemployed at the time of a accident, you will still be able to receive benefits. If your earnings exceed the statutory maximum, then additional wages lost can usually be collected from the negligent driver’s automobile insurer. This is known as an “excess wage claim”.
Medical expenses are all necessary expenses incurred for your care, recovery and rehabilitation. This includes diagnostic testing, physical therapy, psychological care and treatment, and vocational and occupational rehabilitation.
Attendant Care Benefits
Attendant Care Benefits are available for parties who have suffered a significant injury as a result of an auto accident, motorcycle accident or semi-truck accident in Michigan. When the party involved in an accident is unable to adequately care for themselves, a third party assistant may be hired to help during the injured party’s time of need. The assistant chosen can be a husband or wife, neighbor, friend or professional. The No-Fault Insurance Company is financially responsible for the reimbursing those who provide these services to you. You will need a doctor’s note and an affidavit from your caregiver to receive this benefit.
You can receive $20 a day for household chores that you cannot do as a result of the accident. This includes cooking, cleaning, babysitting, running errands, mowing the lawn and shoveling snow, and more. This benefit is called “replacement services” and is paid up to 3 years. You will need a doctor’s note saying that you are unable to perform these chores due to the injuries you sustained in the automobile accident.
You can receive a designated rate per mile for trips to the doctor’s office, physical therapy and all other medical or chiropractic visits. Medical mileage is a lifetime benefit.
What is required to bring a Non-Economic Damages claim (known as a “pain and suffering” claim)?
1. Another driver must be more than 50% at fault of the accident.
2. You must suffer a “serious impairment of a body function, or a serious and permanent disfigurement or death”.
3. A physician must indicate that the accident was more likely than not, the cause of your injuries.
4. You must have objective medical evidence of an injury.
5. You must not have intentionally caused the accident.
5. You must not be the driver/owner of an uninsured automobile.