What Should Pedestrians Do After Being Hit by a Vehicle?
As a pedestrian, whenever you walk through traffic, you open yourself up to a lot of risks. While there are designated areas such as crosswalks and sidewalks, a passerby may still be subject of an accident caused by a reckless driver. Though it is always good to be careful and cautious, in some cases, these aren’t enough to avoid pedestrian accidents.
Of course, if you do find yourself in an accident, your immediate reaction is that you have a right to recover compensation. But as to the process, most of us probably don’t know how.
Michigan’s No-Fault Statute
A no-fault statute provides that a claimant does not need to prove negligence or fault of another party to file a claim.
Michigan is one of the states that impose a No Fault Statute which means pedestrians who suffered injuries from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, or truck accidents are entitled to receive personal injury protection benefits regardless of fault. An injured pedestrian could claim benefits even if there were no actual contact with the vehicle as long as the vehicular accident substantially contributed to the pedestrian’s injuries. In fact, the pedestrian does not even have to prove a driver’s negligence to claim benefits.
Furthermore, the statute does not limit benefits to medical expenses and damages. The statute provides specifically that the injured pedestrian is entitled to claim the following:
- Reasonably necessary expenses for the injured pedestrian’s recovery including attendant care, replacement services, and medical mileage;
- Loss of income for the first three years following the date of the injury;
- Expenses not exceeding $20.00 per day for products and services that the injured pedestrian would not have availed of had he not suffered the injuries for the first three years from the date of the injury; and
- Survivor’s loss, which consists of the expenses that the dependent incurred upon the death of the injured pedestrian which the former would not have incurred had the latter been alive.
Who Pays for the Benefits?
You would most often think that if you have suffered an injury, you would have to claim against the person who caused your injury. That is not the case for no fault injuries, however. Under Michigan’s No Fault Statute, the injured pedestrian must seek remuneration from his own personal insurance protection provider called first party benefits. Only when the coverage is not sufficient or unattainable may the injured person seek coverage from other sources.
This part may be tricky because the law requires that the injured pedestrian seek remuneration to insurers by order of priority.
Steps to Take to Ensure Full Benefit Claim
If you have suffered pedestrian-related injuries, here are a few steps you need to immediately do to secure your claim:
- Seek medical attention.
It is critical to understand that in order to be entitled to a full benefit claim, you have to seek medical attention immediately before doing anything else. Any delay in receiving treatment could mean disallowance of benefit because a delay can easily aggravate injuries or may be seen as a means to increase claims. This is detrimental not only to your claim but also your health, as the effects of the accidents may occur a few days after.
No matter how little injury you have, whether they are small scratches or a headache, tell the paramedics immediately about every pain or injury you have suffered.
- Recall and gather information regarding the accident.
This may not work well if the accident happened and you are alone, but if you have someone with you, ask him or her to gather enough information about the incident. There are cases when the driver decides to hit and run, instances where people gather and tamper with evidence, so you have to take action right away and remember the events that took place.
- Apply for No-Fault Benefits with your insurer.
To ensure that at the very least your medical bills are settled by your insurer, file an Application for No Fault Benefits with your insurer as soon as possible. The law provides a year from the date of the accident to file. If you want immediate remuneration, filing right away is the way to go. Upon receipt of your application, your insurer must pay your claims within 30 days.
Note that insurance coverage varies for every insurance company and would also depend on the injury suffered. In some cases your insurer is liable, while in other cases, it is the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. There is also a possibility that while your insurance company should cover your benefits, it refuses to pay for these benefits. In such instances, you need the help of a lawyer.
No-Fault Injury Lawyers in Michigan
Need a Lansing car accident lawyer to help with your claims? Contact the Clark Law Office. Clark Law Office is an experienced law firm specialized in handling personal injury and auto accident claims in Michigan. We have been serving different types of clients for the past thirty years, and we aim to help more people. Our extensive knowledge of the law and courtroom experience have allowed us to win over a million cases over personal injury and auto accident claims. Let us help you receive the benefits you deserve. Visit or call The Clark Law Office today.