Getting in a car accident is always a shocking and scary event. Unfortunately, the headache of insurance recovery and lawsuits that often follow the accident can be almost as bad as the accident itself. Michigan law is especially complicated on this problem. Michigan’s so called “no-fault” law is a commonly used but rarely understood term. Michigan law requires that all car owners purchase “no-fault” auto insurance at a minimum.
What is “No-Fault” Insurance
“No-fault” insurance is a term used to describe insurance that covers the driver of an automobile for a variety of benefits regardless of who caused the accident. These include:
· medical expenses;
· wage loss benefits;
· replacement services, such as money to pay someone for activities they are no longer able to do; and
· any damage done to other’s property in the accident.
In other words, if you or someone you know has been in a car accident, the insurance company is required to pay for all of those things, even if the accident was your fault. However, be aware that this coverage does not always include insurance to pay for damages to your car and other potential damages. You can also choose to purchase more insurance coverage that might cover some of these costs. These benefits are known as economic benefits or first party benefits.
What if You Have Other Injuries from an Accident that Was NOT Your Fault?
If you have been in a car accident, you may also be entitled to non-economic benefits, known as a third-party claim. The victim of a car accident can bring a lawsuit for tort damages against the driver who was at fault, if and only if the victim can prove:
· permanent serious disfigurement; OR
· a serious impairment of a bodily function.
Under a new Michigan Supreme Court case from 2010, the threshold for “a serious impairment of a bodily function” has been lowered. Prior to this case, it was near impossible to bring a case for car accident victims with injuries. In other words, it is easier now than it was in the past to recover for injuries from a car accident, but it is still not a simple process. In fact, it is harder to win a case in Michigan for injuries from a car accident than in almost any state.
Winning a claim for injuries from a car accident in Michigan is not an easy task. The lawyers at the Clark Law Office, however, will not be intimidated. Having an experienced and intelligent lawyer on your side in a lawsuit can make all the difference. If you or someone you know has been in a car accident and need help with your legal case, contact the Clark Law Office or visit our website for more information.