BEWARE OF NO FAULT INSURANCE PRIORITY CHANGE INVOLVING PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS

Before the June 11, 2019, the uninsured pedestrian looked to the insurance company of the vehicle involved in the pedestrian accident. If the pedestrian has their own insurance, the pedestrian would look to their own insurance or that of a resident relative for payment of no-fault benefits. The new amendments to the no-fault act changed the order of priority for pedestrians, bicyclists and certain occupants of privately owned vehicles. Beginning June 11, 2019, a pedestrian or bicyclist injured by a motor vehicle must now go straight to the MACP if there is no applicable no-fault PIP coverage in the household.

The new priority provisions require certain claimants to make a claim with the Michigan Assigned Insurance Placement Fund (“MAIPF”) rather than the insurer of the vehicle(s) involved in the accident for their PIP insurance benefits. In determining the order of priority, attorneys must make the claim with correct insurance company or MAIPF. Under the old law, a pedestrian or occupant that did not have their own coverage, or coverage through a spouse or resident relative, would have a right to unlimited lifetime benefits from the insurer of the vehicle(s) involved in the accident. However, under the new law the pedestrian is required to present his claim to the MAIPF where the maximum limits on allowable expenses is now capped at $250,000.00. The one (1) no-fault insurance provisions requires that the claim be made within (1) year of the accident. To be safe, attorneys should put both the insurer of the involved vehicle and the MAIPF on notice of a claim until the Michigan Courts have decided the effective date of the pedestrian priority statute.