Michigan Auto Insurance Claims | Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer

The staff of Michaels P.C. is always available to answer your questions or clarify any of the answers provided below. Please contact us should you need further assistance.


In Michigan, what are the various types of claims available to motor vehicle accident victims?


There are several. One is a claim against the person driving the motor vehicle that caused the accident. Another is against the owner of that vehicle. He or she may also be liable for your injuries.


There is also a "dramshop" claim. This is filed if the driver who caused the accident had been served intoxicants after being visibly intoxicated. In addition, a product liability claim is filed when a defective product may have been a proximate cause of your injury.


A medical malpractice claim occurs if a doctor caused an injury to be worse or fatal by deviating from the appropriate standard of medical care in treating the initial injury.


When you say "claim," do you mean "lawsuit"?

Pursuing a claim does not mean that you are suing anybody.


Most 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 a 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 person must be legally at fault for causing the accident. Second, you must meet the threshold injury requirement: the injury must result in a serious impairment of body function or a permanent, serious disfigurement.


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 technical 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 limitation." 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 your personal injury, pain and suffering.


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 technical issues, and you should consult with an attorney to fully understand your rights.


What other rules or laws should I know about concerning filing claims when involved in a motor vehicle accident?

There are many. Nevertheless, one of the most important is this: with some claims, you must send a notice to the party at fault for causing the injury.


Failing to provide notice may destroy the claim. Again, these are very technical issues and you should consult an attorney to be informed of your rights.


What is an Economic Damages claim?

If you are injured in a 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 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 an auto accident?

Lost wages
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 2005 it is $4,293.00 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.

Medical Expenses
All necessary expenses that you incur for medical or chiropractic care, recovery and rehabilitation are covered, including diagnostic testing, physical therapy, psychological care and treatment, and vocational and occupational rehabilitation.

Attendant Care
Michigan 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, child, neighbor, friend or professional. The No-Fault Insurance Company is financially responsible for the third party assistant. You will need a doctor's note and an affidavit from your caregiver to receive this benefit.


Replacement Services

You can receive $20 a day for household chores, such as cooking, cleaning, baby sitting, doing errands, mowing the lawn and shoveling snow, that you cannot do as a result of the accident. The daily allowance can be paid to a spouse, child, friend or anyone else for up to three years. You will need a doctor's note saying that you cannot do these chores due to 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. Benefits are available for a lifetime. Benefits also include transportation services, if you do not have an automobile, or the purchase of a customized van, if you are in a wheel chair due to the accident.


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, or you are a passenger in a motor vehicle.

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 not have intentionally caused the accident.

5. You must not be the driver/owner of an uninsured automobile.


Contact us or complete our free online consultation today to find out just what you are entitled to receive and how to get maximum money for your pain and suffering.







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"When I was hit by a drunk driver, my attorneys at Michaels, P.C. filed a lawsuit on my behalf so I could get compensated for my pain and suffering. Throughout the course of my case, my attorney kept me updated on a regular basis and the staff always returned my calls right away. The customer service was always top notch and I ended up with over $80,000 in settlement money. "
 -Tamika Washington
   Detroit, Michigan

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