In many cases a Michigan Attorney is not consulted by an auto accident victim until after the first year has passed. During that first year an Application for No Fault Benefits must be filed to receive reimbursement for medical bills, wage loss, replacement services, attendant care benefits and mileage. It is very difficult for any Michigan Attorney or specialized auto accident lawyer to help if the victim has failed to file an Application for Benefits with their no fault insurance company within the first year. This point can not be stressed enough – it is essential to file an application for benefits with your no fault insurance company within one year after a motor vehicle accident in Michigan. Anyone injured in a car accident in Michigan who waits more than one year to notify his or her own no fault insurance (or the insurance company that will be responsible for paying Michigan no fault benefits) will lose the right to collect these important benefits, forever.
Michigan auto accident attorneys see many common reasons that auto accident victims delay filing their Application for Benefits. Many car accident victims postpone filing an application for no fault benefits, hoping the injuries they suffered in the automobile accident will go away over time. Unfortunately, some car accident personal injuries worsen instead of getting better. If the injuries do prove more serious, or if they do get progressively worse, and an application for benefits is not filed within one year, the Michigan no fault insurance company that would have been responsible for paying for medical bills, wage loss, replacement services, attendant care benefits, and medical mileage is no longer responsible for payment under Michigan insurance laws.
Not only is it critical to file within 1 year, but Michigan auto accident attorneys urge clients to document all existing and potentially masked injuries. Demand prompt response from the managed care plan for referrals to specialists. Trained Michigan attorneys who understand the law and medicine can help recommend doctors and specialists that are sensitive to these important no fault time constraints.
“Masking” is another reason why people injured in Michigan automobile accidents delay in completing their application for benefits. People seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents sometimes have other serious injuries that are masked by more obvious injuries, such as broken bones. Months of recovery, inactivity, time off work, and strong pain medications can all mask the effects of these latent physical injuries. However, under Michigan insurance laws, if these injuries are not documented within one year from the date of the motor vehicle accident, the Michigan no fault insurance company will not be responsible for medical treatment and payment of Michigan no fault benefits due to disability for these injuries.
An obvious example that the car accident personal injury lawyers at Michigan Auto Law see too often is with someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a serious car accident. A traumatic brain injury can be a serious and disabling injury. However, many brain injuries that occur in car accidents are not discovered right away. Many brain injuries are not medically documented until more serious, obvious physical injuries have healed and the symptoms of the brain injury become more noticeable, for example, when the car accident injury victim tries to return to work and the cognitive deficits from the traumatic brain injury begin to manifest themselves.
Managed care plans can be another serious obstacle for motor vehicle accident victims to properly document all of their personal injuries from the accident within the one year time requirement for notice. The managed care plans can add months of delay in many cases in documenting injuries. There are now tens of thousands of Michigan drivers stuck in unresponsive managed care health plans. Primary doctors can delay for months before writing referrals for car accident patients to see specialists or for expensive diagnostic testing. This delay in documenting your injuries after a car accident can have serious and devastating consequences for a person seriously injured in a car accident, as seen in Ross v Allstate.