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Who pays Michigan No-Fault benefits for pedestrians and bicyclists?

How the”order of priority” law identifies the insurance company required to pay your No-Fault PIP insurance benefits

This is the second blog in my series about who pays No-Fault insurance benefits for auto accidents victims under different scenarios. Since the weather is warming up, and I’m watching people taking walks and riding bikes as I write this, I thought the topic of how Michigan’s No-Fault law works for people hit by cars on bikes or on foot would be a good place to start today.

As I explained in my last blog, Michigan has “priority” rules contained in our No-Fault Act. The purpose of these “orders of priority” is to determine which of the more than 100 auto insurance companies in Michigan has the highest legal responsibility to pay an auto accident victim’s No-Fault PIP insurance benefits.

Michigan No-Fault benefits cover all of your reasonably necessary auto accident-related medical expenses and mileage, up to three years of wage loss, replacement services (chores), attendant care (in-home nursing), and vehicle and/or home modifications.

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in Michigan and you were a pedestrian, or a bicyclist, or otherwise “not an occupant of a motor vehicle” at the time of the accident, then the following “priority” rules will help you determine the auto insurance company that’s going to pay for your benefits:

1. First priority: If you have a No-Fault insurance policy in which you are the named insured, then you should file your claim for No-Fault PIP benefits with your No-Fault insurance company. (MCL 500.3114(1))

2. Second priority: If you don’t have No-Fault insurance, but your spouse has a No-Fault insurance policy in which he or she is the named insured, then you should file your claim for benefits with your spouse’s No-Fault insurance company. (MCL 500.3114(1))

3. Third priority: If neither you nor your spouse have No-Fault insurance, but a relative (of yours or your spouse’s) who lives with you has a No-Fault insurance policy in which he or she is the named insured, then you should file your claim for benefits with your relative’s No-Fault insurance company. (MCL 500.3114(1))

4. Fourth priority: If neither you nor your spouse nor your relatives have No-Fault insurance, then you should file your claim for benefits with the No-Fault insurance company for the owners or registrants of the motor vehicles involved in the accident. (MCL 500.3115(1)(a); Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company v. Titan Insurance Company, et al., Michigan Court of Appeals, 2002)

5. Fifth priority: If neither you nor your spouse nor your relatives nor the owners or the registrants of the motor vehicles involved in the accident have No-Fault insurance, then you should file your claim for No-Fault benefits with the No-Fault insurance company for the operators, i.e., drivers, of the motor vehicles involved in the accident. (MCL 500.3115(1)(b))

6. Sixth priority: If there is no No-Fault insurance available through any of the above sources, then you should file your claim for No-Fault benefits with the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility. (MCL 500.3172(1))

Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top No-Fault attorneys handling auto accident lawsuits. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve frequently writes and speaks about Michigan No-Fault law and auto insurance, and is available for comment.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Related information to protect yourselves:

Bike safety tips

Your 3 potential cases after an auto accident

Free book: Guide to Michigan No-Fault law

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. Call (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our Michigan No-Fault attorneys.

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