Pursuant to Michigan law almost everyone is entitled to first-party no-fault insurance benefits. MCL 500.3101 et seq. With one exception, any person who is injured in Michigan in an accident involving a motor vehicle (operation, use, or maintenance of a motor vehicle) is entitled to first-party no-fault benefits. The only time a person is not entitled to first-party no-fault benefits is when the person seeking the benefits is the driver of a motor vehicle that he/she owns and that motor vehicle is not insured.
Many times a person’s first-party no-fault benefits will be paid by the automobile insurance company that insures their vehicle. Frequently, if you do not have automobile insurance, your first-party no-fault benefits will be paid by the insurance company of a resident relative with whom you lived at the time of the accident. There are other exceptions to these rules and the experienced lawyers at Nolan & Shafer, PLC, can thoroughly explain your right to first-party no-fault insurance benefits.
If the injured party was riding a motorcycle which was involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, regardless of fault, will pay the first-party no-fault benefits of the injured motorcyclist. You should contact one of the attorneys at Nolan & Shafer, PLC, so that your right to first-party no-fault benefits can be explained.
The following is a brief explanation of the types of first-party no-fault benefits to which a person injured in an automobile accident may be entitled:
100% of your medical expenses for injuries sustained as the result of the motor vehicle accident are paid for the rest of the injured person’s life, as long as the medical expenses are related to injuries sustained in the accident.
85% of an injured person’s gross wage loss will be paid by the first-party no-fault insurance provider for a maximum period of up to three (3) years from the date of the accident. The basis of the wage loss must be related to the injuries sustained in the accident. There are certain maximum amounts that are payable by the first-party no-fault insurance provider.
Services for which an injured party is required to hire others to perform that the injured party would normally perform, but is unable to due to the injuries sustained in the accident, are called replacement services. Examples of replacement services include raking, shoveling snow, doing the laundry, preparing meals, and other household chores.
Regardless of the expenses incurred by the injured party, one cannot claim more than $20.00 per day for a maximum period of three (3) years for replacement services.
Attendant Care Services
An injured party may also have the right to attendant care services. Attendant care services are similar to nursing or professional medical care. For example, if the injured party requires wound care or physical therapy while at home, the injured party is entitled to have a qualified medical professional hired for the purposes of performing these services. The first-party no-fault insurance provider is required to pay a reasonable rate of pay for these services.
The first-party no-fault insurance provider is responsible for the reasonable cost of travel to and from medical facilities.
In the event of death, no-fault benefits can be paid to surviving dependents. These benefits consist largely of the same benefits described above. A dependent is entitled to “contributions of tangible things of economic value” that the dependent has lost as a result of the death of a relative. These “tangible things” include lost wages, social security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, pension benefits, medical insurance premiums, and fringe benefits. In addition to these items, the $20 per day replacement service benefit is also paid. Funeral expenses are also payable in the amount specified by the applicable no-fault insurance policy.
All of the above benefits assume they are necessitated by the automobile accident. You must present each of the claims to the first-party no-fault insurance company within one (1) year of the date the expense accrues, or the benefit will be denied.
Once it is determined who the first-party no-fault insurance carrier is, the appropriate forms to complete should be supplied by the insurance company. All proper forms have to be submitted before the insurance company has any obligation to pay you or your medical providers.
These benefits and your rights are often quite complex and time-sensitive. Call us for your free consultation.