Michigan is a no-fault insurance state, which means that some things work a little differently when it comes to compensation than in other states. In Michigan, all drivers are required to carry insurance that covers no-fault injury costs, regardless of whether or not you are at fault for the accident. Hiring an auto accident attorney can go a long way in navigating the complex insurance system and making sure you receive the proper compensation for your injuries and damages.

You will need to file a claim with your own insurance company first to cover all your necessary expenses. You can file a lawsuit only if the accident meets four special criteria: the accident caused serious injury, disfigurement, or death; the at-fault driver is not a resident or registered in Michigan; the accident occurred in another state; or, the other driver is more than 50% at-fault. Your auto accident attorney can help you in these special circumstances.

What does no-fault insurance entail?

All auto insurance policies are required to have no-fault insurance coverage which will pay for damages such as:

  • lost wages
  • property damage
  • medical expenses
  • attendant care

These no-fault portions of your policy are known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Protection Insurance (PPI). In Michigan, PIP coverage will take care of your necessary medical expenses. There are no maximum limits. They may also pay up to 85% of your lost wages for up to 3 years.

Your PPI will cover up to $1 million in property damage, including structural damage such as to a building or fence, and parked cars.

The no-fault policy was put in place to reduce the number of lawsuits that can result from auto accidents. Unless you were operating in a negligent or criminally negligent way, such as driving drunk or texting while driving, and your actions resulted in serious injury, death, or disfigurement, your insurance policy should be sufficient enough to cover all associated expenses. If you are found to be more than 50% at-fault for the incident, you may be required to pay up to $1,000 in residual liabilities.

In Michigan, no-fault insurance covers your entire family. For instance, if your child is a passenger in another car that is hit, they are covered by your insurance policy, too. The insurance policy applies to all family members living in your household.

What damages might I be entitled to?

In Michigan, you may be entitled to a variety of damages, depending on your injuries, lost work, and other factors that will be considered. These damages can include:

  • medical expenses
  • disability
  • lost wages
  • property damage
  • repairs and/or car replacement costs
  • rental car and/or transportation costs
  • pain and suffering

Should I file a police report?

Even if you think the accident was minor, you should absolutely file a police report as soon as you can. This will support your claim that an accident occurred, who was involved, and that it was significant enough to file a report.

Some injuries, such as whiplash, do not appear for up to two weeks after an accident. You may need to file a claim with your insurance company for medical expenses associated with that car accident and having the report on file will bolster your claim.

Many insurance companies require a police report to be filed within 24 hours of the accident in order for them to consider your claim at all.

Time considerations

In Michigan, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for injuries or wrongful death. Generally, you will want to file your claim as soon as possible, although the extent and impact of your injuries may take time to fully understand. However, you don’t want to lose valuable evidence in your case.

Should I seek out an attorney?

Yes. If you have been injured in a car accident, or if you suspect you may have been at-fault in a car accident, seek out the help of an auto accident lawyer to go over your case. Your attorney can assess the details of your case, including the conclusions made by a police investigation if the accident was severe enough.

Your car accident attorney can gather all supporting evidence and structure your claim in a way that highlights your injuries and rights to compensation. Seeking out an attorney for your car accident compensation claim will be extremely beneficial to you as you pursue your case.