If you are confused about the fine points of Michigan No-Fault law, you’re not alone. The Michigan No-Fault insurance system is among the most complex in the country. And, with new rules scheduled to take effect on July 1st, the system is about to become even more bewildering. While some regulations will change, drivers will still be required to have No-Fault policies for each of their vehicles. Here is a guide to help you understand your benefits under Michigan No-Fault law.Do You Have a Case?
First, it’s important to understand the concept behind No-Fault insurance. Basically, it works exactly as its name implies. The general rule is that drivers who are injured in an accident seek reimbursement for their medical bills and related expenses from insurers in a specific order of priority, beginning with their own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault.
No-Fault insurance policies cover two main categories of benefits: economic (first party) and non-economic (third party).
Economic costs can be covered under the policy holder’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. These can include direct costs such as medical bills, rehabilitation, home care, lost wages, and replacement services and home modifications.
Non-economic benefits include losses that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, such as pain and suffering. These third-party benefits are usually paid by the at-fault driver or the insurance company that covers the vehicle involved in the accident.
In Michigan, Personal Injury Protection benefits currently cover the following:
For life (or as long as services are needed):
For up to 3 years:
In addition, first-party benefits include Property Protection Insurance (PPI). This coverage usually pays up to $1,000,000 for damage to other people’s property or legally parked vehicles.
Generally, every member of the insured person’s household can be covered under their No-Fault policy, as long as they are a spouse or qualifying resident relative of the policyholder. The insured’s PIP benefits can also cover a household member who is injured as a pedestrian or a passenger in someone else’s car. PIP benefits also cover other people, such as passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, who are hurt in an accident involving your car.
However, such non-household members are only covered if they do not have their own No-Fault policies. Otherwise, their own insurance policy covers their injury-related expenses.
Accident victims are eligible for these non-economic damages only if they are less than 50% at fault. Furthermore, these claims are very complex because they usually involve serious and/or permanent injuries that require extensive medical documentation. Therefore, you are likely to achieve a greater financial settlement when you hire an experienced accident attorney.
Motorcycles are not considered motor vehicles under Michigan No-Fault law. Therefore, motorcyclists do not have the same unlimited medical coverage as automobile drivers. However, if a motorcyclist is injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle, the resulting medical costs are usually paid through the policy that covers the automobile. In addition to the required liability coverage motorcyclists must carry, they may purchase additional coverage for liability, collision and personal injury protection.
As of July 1, 2020, there will be several changes to the current Michigan No-Fault insurance laws. One important difference is that vehicle owners will be able to select from different tiers of PIP coverage options. Premium costs will be based on the amount of coverage chosen, along with some other factors. Additionally, the minimum limits for liability coverage will increase.
Michigan No-Fault insurance law is complicated, but finding the right attorney is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation consultation.Do You Have a Case?
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