There is still alot of confusion of how car accident insurance works in the State of Michigan even though no-fault has been enacted for years. If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident, there are several claims that you can file in court for injuries and property damage. Obviously, the amount of these claims are highly dependent on many factors including but not limited to, the amount of harm caused by the accident, who was responsible or at fault for the crash, if both drivers have insurance, how much insurance the drivers have, and more. Here are the 5 different types of claims that you can file after an auto accident in the state of Michigan:
1) No-Fault Insurance or First Party Claim
This is the most common form of claim resulting from an auto accident in Michigan. This type of claim is to help recover financial costs for your expenses related to the crash. If you successfully win this claim, you are entitled to medical expenses, wage loss, services for attendant care, modifications done to your home out of necessity, and expenses related to your transportation. Believe it or not, you will actually be suing your own insurance company to recover these expenses. If you would like more detailed information, visit our comprehensive page about first party benefits for Michigan accident victims.
2) Personal Injury Damages or Third Party Claim
This type of claim is for injuries suffered after the crash or accident. While this claim is quite common, it’s much harder to win. No-Fault law makes it easier to recover 1st party benefits, but the drawback is that it’s much more difficult to prove and win a third party claim. The reason for this is the serious impairment of a bodily function language that is in no-fault law. If you fail to pass this injury threshold, you simply can’t file a 3rd party lawsuit to collect damages for your injuries. This suit includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment from life, permanent disfigurement, and permanent scarring. If the accident was severe and a victim died as a result, the surviving family can file a wrongful death claim against the at fault party or driver. If you would like more detailed information, visit our in-depth page explaining third party benefits in Michigan.
3) Uninsured Motorist Claim
These accident claims are filed when you are injured due to the negligence of another driver that isn’t carrying ANY auto insurance. In order to make this claim, you must have this policy built into your own auto insurance. Many people fail to realize this fact and find themselves helpless when they are hit by a negligent driving with no auto insurance. This shows the importance of talking closely with your insurance agent and making sure that you you the best policy available given your budget.
4) Under-Insured Motorists Claim
This type of claim is very similar to the uninsured motorist claim above. The difference is that the negligent driver that hit you does have some insurance, but not enough to cover your damages. For example, let’s say that your damages exceed the policy limits that the other driver carries. After you max out the negligent driver’s auto insurance policy, you would make a claim with your own insurance policy if you purchased additional under-insured motorist insurance. If your insurance company fails to pay this amount, you simply file a claim against your own insurance policy.
5) Property Damage Claim
This type of insurance claim is to recover damage to the automobile and any other property that may have been damaged by the car accident. It is recommended that you also purchase additional collision coverage if you are worried about property damage. The amount of recovery varies but the largest factor is what type of collision coverage you carry in your auto insurance policy. If you do not have any collision coverage, you can still recover $1000 through the Michigan Mini-Tort Law.
Should I Notify The Insurance Company After My Accident?
You should definitely notify your own insurance company after the accident. If you or someone else involved in the accident requires medical treatment, take care of this first and foremost. After determining that everyone is OK, you should takes some photos of the accident, your own injuries, and anything else that may be contested. It’s also very important to get the contact information for everyone involved including eyewitnesses. This can be extremely valuable in the future when building your case. At this point you should call your insurance company and fill out any required forms so they can be sent to the insurance adjuster.
Contact Our Michigan Auto Accident Attorneys
If you were involved in a Michigan auto accident and have questions or concerns regarding these 5 types of lawsuits, give us a call today at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation with an expert. We will listen to the story of your accident and give you an honest opinion if we can help you with your claims. There is absolutely no charge for the initial phone call and will gladly give you some advice about how to handle your claims.