Insurance Benefits Almost Everyone Injured in a Car Accident is Entitled to

Good news! Pursuant to Michigan law almost everyone is entitled to first-party no-fault insurance benefits (Source: MCL 500.3101 et seq.).

In other words, if you were injured in a car accident, you’re entitled to insurance benefits, even if the accident was your fault.

There’s one exception. If the person seeking the benefits was the driver of the vehicle, owns the vehicle they were driving, and the vehicle was not insured, then they would not be entitled to benefits.

Generally speaking, auto insurance in Michigan covers three areas:

  • Personal Injury Protection or PIP – to cover injuries to the occupants of the vehicle
  • Collision Coverage – to cover the damage to the vehicle
  • Liability Coverage – to cover damage or injury to the other driver

The exact amount of coverage depends on the terms of your policy. It’s important to understand what you have before you need it. You can probably find your coverage on the declarations page. If you need help call us at (231) 722-2444 and we will review your policy.

In most situations, compensation for a car accident injury will be paid by the company that insures the vehicle. You might be surprised to learn that in most personal injury lawsuits, you’re suing your own insurance company. You might do this if the insurance company offers poor compensation for your injuries. Read more about this below.

If you were injured riding a motorcycle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, regardless of fault, will pay the first-party no-fault benefits of the injured motorcyclist. You contact us at (231) 722-2444 so that your right to first-party no-fault benefits can be explained.

How Much Should You Be Compensated for an Auto Injury?

The following is a brief explanation of the types of compensation a person injured in an automobile accident may be entitled to:

Medical Expenses

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.

Wage Loss

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.

Replacement Services

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.

Mileage Reimbursement

The first-party no-fault insurance provider is responsible for the reasonable cost of travel to and from medical facilities.

Death

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.

Timeline to Submit Claims

All of the above benefits assume they are necessitated by the automobile accident.  You must present each of the claims to the insurance company within one (1) year of the date the expense accrues, or the benefit will be denied.

How Do you Know When To Call An Injury Attorney?

If you suffered an injury that resulted in medical bills, lost wages, or any of the other items discussed above, it’s a good idea to call us at (231) 722-2444 just to be on the safe side. Our consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose.

Something else to consider is that the insurance company most certainly has an attorney. If you’re not experienced negotiating with an insurance company’s in-house legal counsel, then it’s probably a good idea to go about getting your own representation. Do not think that the insurance company’s attorney is there for you.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is provided for general informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal advice. Every situation is different, and if you have been injured, please call (231) 722-2444 for personalized legal advice.