First-Party Claim and Benefits in Michigan

A first-party claim is different from a basic insurance claim following an auto accident. If you were involved in this unfortunate situation, which led to property damage or your pain and suffering, then you may file for a first-party claim to receive compensation.  However, insurance companies will not immediately fork the cash to shoulder the cost of your medical bills and other expenses related to your claim. They will have to carefully investigate your case and then give you an offer of what its insurance adjusters have decided as the right compensation for the damage or loss. Sometimes, however, their offer may not match your expectations or what you justly deserve.

Understanding Michigan’s No-Fault Law

Michigan has a no-fault law which precludes that every auto insurance must have a no-fault policy. It would be a violation of the law to drive a car without this coverage.  The no-fault insurance coverage entitles a person to receive some benefits following a car accident under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This means that regardless of who caused the car accident, a person may file a first-party claim for compensation for medical expenses or potential loss of wages due to the injuries.

Scenarios for Filing First-Party Auto Claims

A first-party claim, however, will not pay for your car repairs. For this procedure, you need to file a Notice of Claim or Notice of Accident from your car insurance company.  So, in what situations do first party claims apply? For instance, you were cycling when you got hit by a car, which led to some damages to your bike and injuries to your legs. Under the no-fault law’s PIP provisions, you may claim for first-party benefits even if:

  • you did not own the car that was involved in the accident
  • you were not inside the vehicle during the crash
  • you have no have auto insurance

Therefore, it follows that even injured or affected pedestrians may file for first-party claims after a vehicular accident. The PIP benefits entitled to the claimant may include but are not limited to:

  • coverage of medical bills, including succeeded visits to the doctors or therapists
  • compensation for potential lost wages
  • financial support for a caregiver if the situation so requires

Where to File First Party Claims

Filing for a first-party claim will depend on a lot of factors. There are plenty of rules in place that prevent the claimant and the insurance company from circumventing the system. Thus, you need a good lawyer to guide you through the proper process who will carefully consider all these factors before going to court.  First-party claims may be filed at the district (local) or circuit court. Your lawyer should know the right place, after considering how large your claim would have to be. Serious injuries which may have life-long complications are filed at the circuit court but if you’re filing to collect reimbursement of your medical bills, then going to the local court will do.  Understand, however, that filing at the wrong place may cost more time and money if you request to move courts. Thus, it’s important to file in the right place as soon as you lodge your claim to avoid any hassle.

Statute of Limitations of a First-Party Claim

The state of Michigan provides a one-year statute of limitations, or 12 months to the date of the accident, to file for a first-party claim, so you don’t have to go to court immediately. However, if you miss just a day of filing after the statute has passed, you may not be able to benefit from the no-fault law.

Advantages of Waiting to File a First-Party Claim

Good lawyers know the importance of doing a thorough investigation before filing for a first party claim. Your medical condition must be carefully assessed first for the lawyers to demand reasonable personal injury compensation from the parties involved.  Consequently, your injuries following the accident may cause complications over time, especially for head or soft-tissue injuries. If you wait to file, then your lawyers will be able to fight for a better deal to benefit your situation.

Contact a First Party Claim Attorney in Michigan Free

Needless to say, you have to find the perfect balance between filing your first-party claim versus the deadline mandated by law. Thus, you’ll need the guidance of a capable lawyer from The Clark Law Office who can handle your case with care, concern, and meticulousness. Contact us for a free consultation so we can get started!  We charge no fees unless you win for all auto accident cases including first party claims!

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