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Auto Accidents

If you have suffered serious injury in a vehicle collision, you can always contact us directly at 1-800-288-9080 or submit your inquiry via the form below :

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If you are concerned about your legal rights, contact an attorney before you talk with the insurance company of the person at fault. Signing the wrong papers could mean you've settled for less than you deserve.

Michigan Auto Accident Basics :

What Should I do if I'm in a Michigan Auto Accident?

  • -Stay calm, do not do things out of panic, such as leaving the scene of an accident.
  • -If possible, call the police, and if anyone is injured, ask for emergency medical personnel to be summoned.
  • -If the police can not be summoned, make a police report immediately with the local police department of the city where the accident occurred.
  • -Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Often, very serious injuries are not immediately apparent.
  • -Obtain the following information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident - name, address, phone number, drivers license number (including expiration date), license plate number, registration, and insurance information, including the specific insurance policy number.
  • -If the owner of the other vehicle involved in the accident is not the same as the driver, you should also obtain the owner's name, address, phone number and insurance information.
  • -Seek out all witnesses to the accident and get their names, addresses and phone numbers. This would include passengers in vehicles involved in the accident.
  • -Promptly notify your own insurance company that you were in an accident. Obtain a claim number and make clear that you wish to have a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) file opened to preserve all of your rights under your policy. See our No-Fault section for more information on this important topic.
  • -If the driver who struck you fled the scene of the accident, you still must make out a police report and notify your insurance company immediately of the accident. Some insurance policies require that you give notice of your intent to make a claim due to an unidentified driver within thirty days of the accident. Immediate consultation is recommended in any hit and run accident
  • -If the driver/owner of the car that struck you did not have automobile insurance (a violation of Michigan law) immediately notify your own insurance company that you wish your rights to an uninsured and/or underinsured motorist claim be preserved. Some insurance companies require prompt notification of such claims, and reserve the right to deny benefits to those who do not follow the strict regulations of their policies.
  • -Contact our office to make certain your legal rights are preserved. This should be done promptly, as you have only a fixed period of time to make certain legal claims.

Michigan No-Fault Law Basics

The laws that govern Michigan automobile accidents are extensive and complex. Often, the terms spoken by Michigan auto accident lawyers and insurance agents can be confusing. Two of these terms are First-Party Benefits and Third-Party Benefits.

Michigan is a No-Fault State. This means that most of the economic damage you suffer in an automobile accident will be paid by your own insurance company regardless of whether or not you were at fault in the accident. These economic benefits are called First-Party Benefits. Third-Party Benefits are typically non-economic in nature and typically involve damages sought for pain and suffering. Both of these types of benefits are described in greater detail below.

Michigan First-Party Basics

The Michigan Statute defining First-Party benefits states in part:

First-Party benefits are payable to anyone who suffers an injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle.

Michigan First-Party Order of Priority :

Although your own insurance is first in line to pay in a Michigan automobile accident, there are occasions where an uninsured individual is an innocent passenger in a motor vehicle. In such circumstances, determining who is responsible to pay Michigan No-Fault Benefits can be complex, and an attorney should be consulted to verify that your claim is being handled by the proper insurance company.

    Driver or Passenger Order of Priority

1st priority is your own insurance policy, if none then...

2nd priority is to the insurance company of a resident relative (i.e. spouse, parent or sibling), if none then...

3rd priority is to the insurer of the owner of the vehicle occupied, if none then...

4th priority is to the insurer of the operator of the vehicle occupied, if none then...

5th priority is to the Assigned Claims Facility.

    Pedestrian Order of Priority

1st priority is to your own insurance, if none then...

2nd priority is to the insurance company of a resident relative (i.e. spouse, parent or sibling), if none then...

3rd priority is to the insurer of the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, if none then...

4th priority is to the insurer of the operator of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, if none then...

5th priority is to the Assigned Claims Facility.

    Motorcycle Order of Priority :

Motorcycles are not considered true motor vehicles under Michigan law. In a motorcycle/auto collision the priority would be as follows:

1st priority is to the insurer of the owner of the motor vehicle (car or truck) involved in the accident, if none then...

2nd priority is to the insurer of the operator of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, if none then...

3rd priority is to the motor vehicle insurer of the operator of the motorcycle involved in the accident, if none then...

4th priority is to the motor vehicle insurer of the owner of the motorcycle involved in the accident, if none then...

5th priority is to the Assigned Claims Facility.

The Michigan Assigned Claims Facility :

The Michigan Assigned Claims Facility is a State Agency founded in 1973 and empowered to assign an insurance company to provide benefits if the injured party could not obtain benefits from other sources. Remember that an uninsured driver, operating a vehicle they owned, does not qualify for Michigan Assigned Claim Facility assistance. For an application for Michigan Assigned Claims Benefits call the Michigan Assigned Claim Fund directly at 517-322-1875.

Specific Michigan First-Party Benefits :

 Specific Michigan First-Party No-Fault Benefits that you should be entitled to from your own insurance company include:

-Medical Bills for Life which relate to injuries from the accident.

Insurance companies in Michigan provide two types of medical coverage in the event of an accident. The first type is un-coordinated benefits and the second type is coordinated benefits. The terms of your policy control which benefits you will receive. An uncoordinated policy pays benefits regardless of the presence of other health insurance. A coordinated policy requires that if you have health insurance that insurer must pay first, and amounts not piad by your health insurer then are paid by your own auto insurance.

It is common for a primary health insurance policy and an automobile insurance policy to contain contradictory language about who has the first obligation to pay medical bills. If there are any questions in this area, or bills are not being paid in a timely manner, an attorney should be promptly consulted. If a bill is not submitted within one year of the date it is incurred, the insurance company may escape its obligation to pay.

-Wage loss

Michigan No-Fault law allows for an injured individual to receive 85% of their salary if a doctor has disabled the injured party from working due to the injuries suffered in the automobile accident. This benefit cannot exceed a period of 3 years. The 15% reduction reflects taxes. The money received through no-fault wage loss reimbursement is considered tax free. There are many additional rules that govern this form of a wage loss claim and an attorney should be consulted. There is a statutory cap on the maximum that an insurance company is obligated to pay to an individual per month in wage loss.

-Attendant Care

Attendant care benefits are sometimes referred to as Nursing Services. Severe Injuries often require the injured person to receive supervision and assistance for prolonged periods of time. It is not uncommon for a physician to state that a severe injury warrants around the clock supervision. There is no firm guideline that indicates how much an insurance company must pay for attendant care. Often, the quality of care and ability to choose the care provider are dependent upon an insurance carrier fulfilling its obligations under its contract of insurance. You should contact our office to secure premium attendant care benefits for yourself or a loved one.

-Replacement Services

This term refers to reimbursement for services that you would have performed on your own had you not been injured in an accident. If you paid or promised to pay for household services, chores, errands, etc. that you would have accomplished on your own, then you may be entitled to reimbursement for these expenses. A physician needs to document that you are unable to do these tasks on your own, and your insurance company may require documentation of who performed what services for you and when. Currently, Michigan law states that no insurance company is obligated to reimburse more than $20 dollars per day for replacement services. Michigan law allows for only three years of replacement service benefits.

-Mileage Reimbursement

Often, proper medical treatment and physical therapy require an injured person to travel significant distances. Michigan No-Fault Law provides for the reimbursement for mileage traveled to and from doctor's appointments.

The statute of limitations for first party no-fault benefits is very short. Therefore, it is important that you act quickly or you could lose these benefits.

Third-Party Basics :

While economic damages are recovered in a No-Fault state through one's own insurance, damages for pain and suffering, disfigurement, death, and wage loss in excess of the amount covered by first party benefits represent the components of a Third-Party claim. A Third-Party claim is one made against the at-fault driver in an automobile accident.

In Michigan, to prevail in a claim against the other driver for these 3rd party damages, it must be demonstrated that the injured party has suffered what the law terms a threshold injury. This is defined by statute as either:

A serious impairment of an important body function or serious disfigurement/scarring, or death.

It is very common to find an insurance company adjuster who wishes to classify an injury as not being a serious impairment of a body function. However, if you have an objectively documented injury to an important part of your body, and this affects your life, then you should contact our office to fight for your rights.

The Statute of Limitations or time a person has to file a Third Party lawsuit is 3 years. Minors are allowed until one year past their 18th birthday and there are certain other exceptions for military personnel and those judged mentally incompetent. If your are hurt in an auto accident, it is advisable to contact our office immediately.

There is no charge or obligation, and submitting a form does not create an attorney/client relationship. A member of our legal team will review this information and respond the same day.

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