As everyone who lives in Michigan knows that pure Michigan campaign attracts many tourists from everywhere. All you have to do is look at the hotels, camp grounds, busy roads, and beaches to see for yourself, especially during the summer. Even with social distancing measures in place, Michigan is expecting many tourists to swarm into the state over the Memorial Day weekend — and they aren’t alone.
Michigan has a high demand for attractions that can’t be found anywhere else but there are some bad circumstances that the Great Lakes State residents may find themselves in. Such as a car accident with a tourist.
What should I do if I’m involved in an car accident with someone from another state or even a foreign international visitor? Here’s what you should know to ensure that you are treated fairly when involved in an accident with an out-of-towner.
Michigan is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that drivers and passengers involved in an accident must first contact their own insurance to deal with any injuries that may occur, as well as to receive any compensation for things such as lost income, losses, and medical bills.
Claims can only be brought against other drivers in certain situations involving serious impairment of an important body function injury. A serious injury in an accident can qualify as one involving:
If you have an injury that meets any of these types of injuries, then you are not limited to your own policy. You can hold the other driver responsible for the accident accountable via a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
If you’re involved in a car accident in Michigan (even with an out of state driver in the other vehicle, you need to report the accident if:
Contact the local police department in the municipality where the accident occurred, the county sheriff if it occurred outside of a municipality, or the Michigan Department of State Police.
This means that when both parties are found to be at fault for the accident, the damages are calculated based upon the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. However, if the Plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault that person cannot claim pain and suffering (noneconomic) compensation only. The injured party can still claim economic damages in the form of financial losses like excess medical bills and wages, even if they are over 51% at fault for their own injuries.
For example, if you were found to be 30 percent at fault for the accident in court of law, then a pain and suffering damage award of $100,000 would be reduced down to $70,000 to reflect your own percentage of fault. By Michigan law the apportionment of fault is decided by a jury.
If you want to bring a claim against another driver at fault, but the driver is not from Michigan, what can you do? Luckily, many insurance companies are national or international — even if their coverage varies from place to place. Out-of-state drivers are generally still covered by their car insurance when driving in Michigan, even if they’re in a rental car.
After an accident, you are entitled to a copy of the other driver’s insurance information that allows you to see what is and isn’t covered by their insurance. You should take a picture of the driver’s insurance certificate and driver’s license for accuracy.
In Michigan, there is something called the Long-Arm Statute that can help you sue if you are involved in an accident with someone from out of state. This law states that as soon as a person crosses the state line into Michigan with a car, they give their consent to appear in Michigan courts if they are involved in an auto accident.
This can help to ensure that you can file a claim for damages in Michigan if you want to. However, it can be a complicated process to navigate, which is why hiring a Michigan attorney to represent you is important.
In Michigan, has a statute of limitation law, which specifies a time limit for your right to file a lawsuit or claim against someone else. If you miss this deadline, then your case is likely to be dismissed by Michigan courts.
You have one year to file a claim with your on insurance company for personal protection insurance benefits for a crash that resulted in death or injury. In most injury cases, you have three years to file lawsuit from the date of the accident. The same three-year deadline applies if you wish to file a lawsuit to seek mini tort damages for your vehicle. If, however, the vehicle accident resulted in another’s death, a wrongful death suit must be filed within three years. Minors have until their 19th birthday to file a lawsuit for their injuries.
Getting hurt in an accident can be complicated but rest assured that you have the right to seek damages whether the other driver is a native Michigan or not. The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm has specialized in car accident cases for over 27 years with a record of winning 99% of the claims for our clients. Call us today at 248-352-2110 or toll free at 1-866-HIRE-JOE for a FREE consultation. You can also email us for an appointment 24/7.