November 19th, 2021
If you were hurt in a car accident in Michigan, your car insurance will pay for the cost of your injuries, regardless of who caused the crash. This is because Michigan is a no-fault car accident state. But in certain circumstances, it is still necessary to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
At Muth Law, P.C., our lawyers will explain the car crash claims process, help you understand and navigate Michigan’s no-fault accident laws, and fight for the compensation and benefits that you and your family recover the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
If you were hurt in a car accident, it is important that you protect yourself, your rights, and your well-being.
- Check for life-threatening injuries and ask the people in your car if they were hurt.
- Ask the people in the other car if they were hurt.
- If there were serious injuries, call 9-1-1. Tell them there is an emergency situation and that you need immediate medical attention. Explain where the accident occurred and stay on the line until they hang up.
- If there were no serious injuries, call the police and make a report.
- When the police arrive, be cooperative and follow their instructions as they gather information to write a report.
- Get contact information from the other driver(s), including their name and insurance information. If you have a cell phone, take a picture of the other driver’s license and insurance card. Also ask for the driver’s phone number.
- Get names and contact information for other people who were involved in the accident.
- Look for witnesses and ask for their names and contact information. They are not required to provide it, but many people will be willing to help by explaining what they saw.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles and, if possible, weather, road conditions, and traffic signs.
- See a doctor, even if your injuries seem minor. It often takes a few days for symptoms to appear.
- Photograph your injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, etc.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Hire an attorney.
What Are Michigan No-Fault Insurance Laws?
Michigan is one of several states that have adopted no-fault insurance laws for car accident victims. No-fault insurance is intended to remove the question of which party will be responsible for the accident. This, in turn, is supposed to make it easier for a car accident injury victim to receive fair compensation for their injuries. In a no-fault insurance state like Michigan, your own insurance company will compensate you for your injuries based on the type and amount of insurance coverage you have in place.
However, no-fault insurance can make it more difficult to sue the driver who caused your injuries. In cases involving severe and catastrophic injuries, there are exceptions to Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws that allow you to pursue a claim against the driver who caused the accident and your injuries.
No-Fault Insurance Is Intended to Provide Protection for All
No-fault insurance policies are intended to protect people who have insurance, as well as people who are uninsured. In an at-fault state, the insurance company must first determine who caused the accident before addressing the amount of compensation an injury victim may be entitled to receive. But in a no-fault insurance state like Michigan, your own insurance carrier will compensate you for your injuries.
In theory, this means car accident injury claims are resolved more quickly and without the need for expensive and time-consuming litigation. However, insurance companies often only award a specific dollar amount for each type of loss the injured party suffered in a car accident. These damage awards are calculated using a state’s average cost per car accident.
In many cases, you still need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. You will also need to file a lawsuit if the other driver did not have insurance (an Uninsured Motorist or “UM” claim), did not have adequate insurance (an Underinsured Motorist or “UIM” claim), or if a loved one died as a result of the crash (a wrongful death claim).
How No-Fault Insurance Is Supposed to Work
In no-fault insurance states like Michigan, all drivers are supposed to carry car insurance. This way, all drivers are protected if they suffer financial losses or are injured in a car accident.
Someone who was injured in a Michigan car accident makes a claim under their personal injury protection (PIP) and their insurance company provides them with monetary compensation for their injuries. PIP coverage will pay the medical expenses for the driver, passengers, and anyone living in the covered person’s home at the time of the accident.
Passengers who were hurt in a car accident and who have their own PIP insurance often file their claim under the driver’s insurance policy.
Because PIP provides insurance coverage regardless of who was at fault, it is less likely that a party will file a lawsuit for financial compensation because of injuries sustained in a car accident.
Property damage liability (PDL) insurance covers any property damage that was caused in a car accident.
Can I Still File a Lawsuit in a No-Fault State?
The goal of no-fault insurance is to reduce the necessity and likelihood that someone who was injured in a car accident will need to file a lawsuit to receive compensation. However, in certain circumstances, such as accidents that resulted in severe injuries or if the cost of medical treatment exceeds a certain monetary threshold, someone who was injured in a car accident may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.
Muth Law, P.C.: Help After a Michigan Car Accident
At Muth Law, we help people who were hurt in car accidents. While we can’t heal your physical injuries, we can lift the emotional and financial burdens by seeking financial compensation for your injuries.
From our offices in Ann Arbor, Muth Law proudly works with people in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and throughout Michigan. We handle car accident injury cases on a contingency fee, which means you will never pay us a fee unless we recover money for you.
Learn more about the people we represent, read testimonials from other people we have helped, and contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss how we can help. Call us at 734-481-8800 or by sending us an e-mail.
Categories: Auto Accidents