Each year thousands of people are killed and millions are injured in motor vehicle crashes. Hundreds of thousands of vehicular accidents occur annually in Michigan alone. Most often collisions occur due negligent driving, which frequently result in the death or injury of innocent victims. In Michigan, there are three potential claims which arise following involvement in a vehicular accident.
Car, Truck, Bus and Motorcycle Accidents
Since Michigan is a No-Fault state, the insurer of your own vehicle is typically responsible for your claims for economic losses, such as: medical expenses, lost wages, household services, attendant care (nursing services), medications, rehabilitation, etc. This claim is known as a “First Party”, or a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) claim.
The bodily injury claim (also known as a “BI” or “third-party claim”) is for your non-economic losses, more commonly known as pain and suffering and is typically brought against the at-fault driver and/or owner of the vehicle he was operating.
The claim for property damage to your vehicle is known as a “mini-tort claim”. Under Michigan’s mini tort law, victims of auto accidents can only recover a maximum of $1,000 for vehicle damage from the driver who caused the crash. This is called a mini tort claim. If you are less than fifty percent at fault for the accident, you are able to file a mini tort claim against the driver who is more than 50% at fault.
Uninsured/UM & Underinsured/UIM
There are also cases in which the at-fault driver either is uninsured, or underinsured, in that the value of the damages sustained by the accident victims exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s available insurance coverage. It is for this reason that most vehicle insurers offer what is known as “uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage”, which essentially “makes up for” a lack of insurance by the other driver, or insufficient coverage for the injuries sustained, by offering these optional coverages for an additional premium on your own policy, which contractually expand the coverage available for your bodily injury claim.
Michigan’s no-fault insurance law is without a doubt, the best and most comprehensive auto insurance scheme in the country. It currently provides a lifetime of medical benefits for injured individuals, so long as the treatment is reasonable, necessary and related to the accident.
Don’t Go it Alone
Michigan’s no-fault law is also extremely complex and one of the most litigated series of statutes in our state’s courts. For your best results, you should have an experienced, knowledgeable and skilled advocate to guide you through its many technicalities, limitations periods, and potential traps for the unwary.
If you, a family member or friend was injured in a car, truck, bus or motorcycle accident, your life has most likely been affected and you probably have many questions.
Vehicular accident victims may be entitled to significant compensation under the law. Don’t suffer in silence. To see how our Michigan auto accident attorneys can help you, call our firm today.