Experienced Michigan No-Fault Law Accident Attorneys
Being the victim of a car accident can be a traumatizing experience; not only are you suffering physical and emotional trauma, but you are also left to deal with an unsympathetic insurance company. We understand how important money can be after a devastating crash. For more than 45 years, The Lobb Law Firm has been helping auto accident victims in Southfield and throughout Michigan get the money they deserve.
We understand the physical, emotional, and psychological difficulties that crash victims face, and we are here to make things easier. We genuinely care and will treat you like a member of our own family, fighting aggressively for your rights and future. Our goal is to get you the money you need and deserve. We are available 24/7. Contact us online or call 844-LOBB-LAW for a free consultation today.
What is No-Fault Law in Auto Insurance?
The purpose of auto insurance is to provide coverage for any expenses and losses that arise as a result of an accident. These include medical expenses and treatment costs for any injuries suffered, as well as any potential loss of income due to hospital stay, etc.
Under the no-fault system, if you get hurt in an auto accident, you can claim compensation for medical expenses and wage losses from your no-fault insurance provider. It doesn’t matter which driver was at fault for the accident.
In states with no-fault laws, all drivers are required to purchase no-fault insurance, which is often called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) from their auto insurance providers.
What is Covered Under No-Fault/PIP Insurance?
Personal Injury Protection in no-fault auto insurance is mainly used to cover any injuries received by drivers or their passengers in an auto accident. The insurance provider will cover hospital bills, other valid medical expenses, a percentage of your lost wages for a specific period, as well as any funeral/burial costs in the event of death.
Moreover, PIP plans do not cover any damage caused to your vehicle by a collision or accident, you cannot claim compensation when your vehicle gets stolen or vandalized, nor does it cover the medical expenses of the other driver involved in the accident.
PIP is solely aimed at covering the immediate costs associated with injuries/death caused by an accident. It has a very narrow scope when compared to a comprehensive car insurance plan. Apart from personal insurance protection coverage, a no-fault insurance policy may include the following:
Bodily injury liability coverage – to cover the expenses of others who get hurt in auto accidents where you are at fault
Property damage liability coverage – to cover the damages caused to third-party vehicles or property by your car in an accident
Is Michigan a No-Fault State?
Michigan is one of the 12 states in the country where no-fault insurance is mandatory. The other states with similar laws are Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah.
The first no-fault law was passed in the state by Michigan lawmakers in 1973. Anybody who drives a vehicle regularly on state roads is required by law to buy no-fault/PIP coverage from their insurance companies.
Why Does Michigan Have No-Fault Auto Insurance Requirements?
The traditional alternative to the no-fault system is called the tort liability system. In states with tort liability, you have to first figure out who was at fault for the accident. The driver who is at fault is legally liable to pay for all medical expenses and costs incurred by others in the accident.
The at-fault party’s insurance company will pay for all this, up to the available coverage limit. If the expenses exceed this limit, the injured party can file a lawsuit in a court of law against the at-fault driver. Then, the at-fault driver has the burden of financial responsibility in a tort liability state.
Over time, people discovered that this system had many flaws. Identifying the driver at fault for the accident can take time and is often hotly contested since many factors can lead to an accident. The process of going to court is also quite time-consuming.
At the end of the day, people were losing out on insurance coverage and monetary compensation when they need it the most – to cover treatment costs or expenses when they are unable to work. This is why several states like Michigan switched to a no-fault system in the 1970s.
No-fault insurance removes the need to find and assign blame. If there is an accident in no-fault states, each driver can claim coverage from their own providers. It drastically decreases the time taken by an injured person to receive compensation.
The system also discourages people from filing frivolous or fake lawsuits in cases where the injury is minor or negligible. In no-fault states, you can only file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in very specific conditions involving severe injuries, permanent disability, or death.
How Does Michigan No-Fault Insurance Work in Practice?
In any no-fault state, you have to immediately file a first-party claim with your insurance provider if you get involved in an auto accident. To get the full spectrum of benefits from your insurance policy, you have to provide all relevant details.
This includes all records pertaining to your medical expenses – hospital records, medical bills, and other duly-certified documents from your care provider. If you want to claim lost wages, you may also have to provide proof that you did indeed miss work as a result of the accident.
The insurance firm will scrutinize the claim and the paperwork you provide. If you make any error here, they may contest your claim and try to settle at a lower amount. Other factors like your Medicare coverage can also come into play, further complicating matters.
This is why it’s highly recommended that you secure the services of a hard-working and accomplished Michigan accident attorney. They will make sure that you are paid the full amount of compensation that you deserve under your active no-fault policy.
Michigan Auto No-Fault Law
If you have been involved in an auto accident in the state of Michigan, it is important to understand state laws which govern these accidents. Traffic laws, as well as negligence laws, could be relevant in your particular auto accident claim. A police officer will often generate an accident report following your car collision and may reference the traffic laws violated, even identifying the driver at fault in some cases. Usually, the insurance company may conduct its own investigation to determine fault. In either case, determining fault is crucial to your auto injury claim.
What Are the Recent Changes in Michigan's No-Fault Law?
Due to changes in the Michigan Auto No-Fault Laws in 2019, Michigan drivers will no longer be required by law to purchase unlimited No-Fault PIP benefits for policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020. Drivers can choose between a variety of No-Fault medical benefit coverages, and drivers with Medicare may elect not to maintain coverage for No-Fault PIP medical benefits. Under these new no-fault laws, a person injured in a car accident can sue for excess medical costs and economic expenses which exceed the No-Fault PIP cap amount selected.
Every Michigan driver must now choose between six medical benefits options:
1. Unlimited coverage
2. Up to $500,000 in coverage
3. Up to $250,000 in coverage
4. $250,000 in coverage with PIP Medicaid exclusions
5. Up to $50,000 in coverage
6. PIP Medical Opt-Out (Only available to Medicare recipients)
Because of recent changes to the Michigan No-fault laws, you need a No-Fault lawyer with extensive experience and a thorough knowledge of Michigan’s car crash-related laws. Our attorneys have the necessary expertise and resources to help guide you through each step of your claim.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Why You Need an Experienced No-Fault-Law Attorney in Michigan
The no-fault system was created to reduce litigation and make it easier for injured drivers to get compensation when they need it the most, regardless of who was at fault. Taking this into account, in practice, the system is a lot more complicated, particularly in the state of Michigan.
Here are 3 main reasons why you may need to consult an experienced attorney if you were involved in an auto accident:
Insurance firms don’t always play fair – in some instances where your expenses and medical bills are on the higher side, or if they involve other claims for managed care and lost wages, the insurance firm may reject your claim. In such instances, you will need a lawyer to negotiate with the firm or sue them in court.
Michigan no-fault rules are complex – the recent changes have made the claims process in no-fault insurance a lot more complicated in Michigan. This is particularly the case if you opt out of PIP and involve in Medicare. For the best outcome in your auto insurance policy claims case, you need expert assistance.
To file a tort case – you can only file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver in very specific circumstances under Michigan law. In case of grievous injuries, permanent disabilities, death, or severe pain and mental anguish, you may be eligible to file a claim – but you need a lawyer to know for certain.
Auto Accidents in Michigan
There were 314,377 auto accidents in the state of Michigan in 2019. As a result of those accidents, 985 drivers and passengers were killed, and 74,963 were injured, with 5,629 suspected severe injuries. These numbers are also higher than in 2018, when 974 victims died, and 5,586 sustained severe injuries. A Forbes article published years ago, found that the “average” driver will be involved in a car accident once about every 18 years. So, while you are likely to have 3-4 auto accidents in your lifetime, only about three out of every 1,000 auto accidents involve a fatality.
There are about six million auto accidents in the U.S. each year, with about three million of those resulting in significant injury. Nearly two million drivers or passengers will experience permanent injuries each year from these accidents, with almost ninety people dying each day from an auto collision.
What are the Primary Injuries Sustained in an Auto Accident?
While your specific injuries will depend on your auto accident circumstances, there are several types of injuries often seen following an auto accident. These include:
Head and brain injuries may occur, including skull fractures, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, and internal bleeding. A head injury can be closed or open, can resolve within a few weeks, or can cause severe issues for months, years, or life.
Neck and back injuries are common, including sprains, strains, spinal cord damage, herniated discs, and whiplash.
Soft-tissue injuries often occur during a car accident, resulting in significant pain which can linger for a very long time. A soft tissue injury involves stretched or torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Spinal injuries can occur, particularly in more severe auto accidents. When the spinal cord is damaged, there can be loss of movement or sensation in the lower extremities with paralysis of legs and lower body or from the neck down.
Broken bones are common auto accident injuries, often requiring surgery and resulting in pain and significant healing time.
Contact a Michigan No-Fault Attorney Today
Our car accident attorneys never want you to handle the frustrations and complexities of a car accident claim on your own. We want to take the burdens from your shoulders, providing you with instant relief as you recover. Many insurance companies will attempt to cut a deal quickly and move on. The insurance companies goal is to avoid paying claims when possible or, alternatively, to pay the absolute minimum.
We will never allow an insurance company to disregard the serious nature of your injuries. After a car accident injury, it’s essential to call an attorney who knows the law and cares about your case and injuries. We have the experience, knowledge, and required resources to take aggressive legal action, helping you get the money you need and deserve. Contact us online or give us a call 844-LOBB-Law for a free consultation about your case.