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CONFUSED ABOUT HOW MICHIGAN NO-FAULT COVERAGE WORKS? What You Need To Know To Get Michigan No-Fault Insurance Answers To Your Questions
What is no-fault coverage?
Under no-fault laws, each driver, or their insurance pays for their own financial damages up to the limit of coverage, without regard to who was at fault in the automobile accident. Your ability to sue the at fault driver is limited by the amount you receive in no-fault PIP benefits, but you generally walk away with limited financial burdens unless it’s a catastrophic injury. In other words, you cannot sue the at fault driver for the financial losses no-fault insurance covered. However, you can sue the at fault driver for excess economic losses such as excess medical and wage loss income which was not covered by no-fault insurance. This is where people get confused. So, to emphasize you can sue the at fault party for pain and suffering damages (also known as noneconomic damages) and excess financial losses/damages not paid by your no-fault insurance company.
How does Michigan no-fault insurance work?
So far No-fault insurance sounds great, because you don’t have to prove fault to get your benefits paid. But you don't just get to walk away from an accident without any burdens if you carry no-fault insurance. The Michigan no-fault law is complex legislation where you generally end up needing a no-fault insurance lawyer eventually to under the actions of the auto insurance company. Here's how no-fault generally works:
If you're in an auto accident, you make a claim to your own insurance company for your economic damages such as medical bills, loss of income, attendant care, household chores or bills you have as a result of the car accident. In the no-fault system, it doesn't matter who caused the accident to get paid the PIP benefits. However, there's a catch: You can't sue to get the other driver or his insurance company to pay for PIP benefits you receive due to the car accident. This is why the name for this type of no-fault insurance coverage is: personal injury protection (PIP). This coverage protects you from certain financial burdens due to the auto accident injuries you sustain.
What happens if you're in an accident in a state like Michigan that require no-fault insurance?
The confusion is usually when people think of Michigan no-fault as being a complete bar to suing the at fault driver. Michigan no fault does not stop you from suing the at fault driver. The term "no-fault" in a Michigan is used to describe where PIP insurance is mandatory, and you get certain benefits from your own insurance regardless of who’s at fault. So, it’s not “true no-fault” in the sense that you can’t sue the at fault driver. In Michigan where no-fault insurance selection is required, drivers still can still sue the at fault driver if the damages involved are over your no-fault insurance coverage and/or your injuries meet the serious impairment threshold. Let's explain, in other words, they can sue for actual damages and for "pain and suffering." The two main thresholds in Michigan are:
• Monetary threshold: In Michigan to have a claim against the at fault driver for medical bills and/or lost income they must go over the amount of PIP coverage over to be allowed to claim in the lawsuit.
• Serious impairment threshold: Michigan also allows a lawsuit if injuries are deemed "serious impairment." Death is usually considered serious impairment, but Michigan had set the definition of "serious impairment” in the law to any important body function like use of the neck, back, leg, arm, hand, finger etc., which has "some" affect on your life compared to before the car accident.
In Michigan you can buy PIP protection on an auto policy. In case of injury, you will get paid your covered financial losses no matter who was at fault for the accident. But if you are not the at fault driver you can still sue to get money for injuries as well as "pain and suffering." In Michigan, you can also be sued if you are the driver who caused the accident that resulted in injuries and/or financial losses to the other drivers.
Michigan is a state whose laws allow "choice no-fault insurance." This system basically allows drivers to choose the dollar level of no-fault plan coverage or keep more rights under the traditional tort system. Selecting not enough no-fault coverage can be dangerous because if you are badly injured in a car accident your medical bills could me hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, which the at fault driver cannot afford to pay or you may be at fault, and you cannot afford to pay your own medical bills or bear the burden of wage loss or lost income.
When you choose the no-fault level of coverage be sure to select unlimited PIP medical coverage. DO NOT SIGN A WAIVER!
What if I’m only partially at fault for the car accident?
If you have no-fault insurance coverage your rights to sue are restricted only by the level of coverage and your own percentage of fault, as are the rights of others to sue you. If you are less than 00% at fault you can sue for your financial losses to get paid the percentage the other driver is at fault.
Questions about how Michigan no-fault works? CALL 866-HIRE-JOE
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, truck accident, bus accident, motorcycle accident, or car accident and you have questions about how your Michigan no-fault coverage works, please call us for free question and answer consultation. Get all your questions answered about your no fault coverage and claim rights by calling 1-248-352-2110 or till free 866-HIRE-JOE. to speak to a lawyer with expereince and knowledge on how the no-fault auto insurance law works.
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