Passenger Injuries in a Michigan Car Accident

Anxious female passenger looking at road, poor taxi services, traffic jam concept for Passenger Injuries in a Michigan Car Accident.

“I was injured in a car accident as a passenger. What are my legal options?”

As Michigan personal injury lawyers, this is a question we frequently hear. While no one wants to be hurt in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation and can file a passenger injury claim to recover benefits. But Michigan passenger injury claims can be complicated, and determining which insurance company will provide coverage is not always straightforward.

Which Insurance Policy Provides Coverage for a Passenger Injury Claim?

Under Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance law, injured passengers can recover personal protection insurance benefits (PIP) for accident-related medical expenses and lost wages. Injured passengers generally receive PIP benefits through their own insurance carrier, if they have one, or through the insurance policy of a spouse or relative who lives with them.

Michigan’s “order of priority” determines which insurance company will pay an injured passenger’s No-Fault benefits.

  • First priority. The injured passenger’s insurance company has first priority for paying No-Fault insurance benefits where the injured passenger is the “named insured” under the policy.
  • Second priority. The insurance policy for the injured passenger’s spouse has second priority for paying No-Fault insurance benefits.
  • Third priority. The third priority for paying No-Fault benefits is the auto insurance policy that issued the policy to a resident relative (related by blood or marriage) of the injured passenger.

The amount of coverage available is determined by the insurance policy that provides No-Fault insurance benefits. You selected one of the following cap levels when you purchased auto insurance:

  • Unlimited coverage;
  • $500,000 cap;
  • $250,000 cap;
  • $250,000 cap with PIP exclusions;
  • $50,000 cap;
  • Opt out of PIP coverage.

What If an Injured Passenger Does Not Have Auto Insurance?

If you suffered a passenger injury but do not have your own insurance policy and are not covered under the insurance policy of a spouse or relative, you can recover benefits through Michigan’s Assigned Claims Plan (MACP).

The MACP provides No-Fault PIP coverage to people who do not have other auto insurance coverage. To apply for benefits under the MACP, an injured person must complete the MACP Application for No-Fault Benefits and provide reasonable proof of the losses sustained.

The MACP application is complicated, and success requires an accurate and complete application. We recommend hiring an experienced passenger injury lawyer to complete the application and submit supporting documentation.

Can an Injured Passenger Sue for Compensation in Michigan?

In Michigan, a passenger injured in a car accident can sue for (1) compensation for pain and suffering and excess wage loss benefits; and (2) unpaid No-Fault benefits.

When you file a lawsuit for pain and suffering, you are entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault driver (and their insurance company) for your injuries, pain and suffering, and economic loss that exceeds your No-Fault PIP cap.

However, to bring a claim for pain and suffering, you must first show that you have suffered a “serious impairment of bodily function.”

How Do You File a Lawsuit for a Passenger Injury Claim?

Sometimes the insurance company that is supposed to provide coverage denies your claim or delays paying you. And even if the insurance company does pay your PIP benefits, they may not be enough to cover all of your losses. In these cases, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover your benefits.

The passenger injury lawyers at Muth Law, P.C., can help. We have extensive experience representing people in even the most complex auto insurance claims, and we know how to get results. Our firm has represented injured passengers since 1987, and we understand how Michigan insurance companies operate.

When the insurance company that is supposed to provide coverage denies your claim or delays paying your benefits, you may need to file a “first party” claim against the insurance company to recover medical and rehabilitation expenses, wage loss benefits, replacement service expenses, and survivor’s loss benefits when the accident results in death.

If PIP benefits do not cover the full extent of your losses, you may be able to recover additional benefits from the at-fault driver through a “third party” lawsuit for pain and suffering damages and excess economic loss. If the accident results in death, a claim under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act may also be available.

Contact the Michigan Personal Injury Lawyers at Muth Law, P.C., Today

Recovering benefits for a passenger injury claim in Michigan is not always easy. But Muth Law, P.C., is here to help. We invite you to learn more by contacting us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation. We will listen carefully as you describe what happened. Then we will explain your options and how we can help.

Contact Muth Law by calling 734-481-8800, emailing, or completing our online form. We look forward to helping you and your family.