Personal property benefits; one-year limitation of action
This no-fault statute determines the timing of filing for a lawsuit after a car accident. An injury victim will lose her right to no-fault benefits unless either:
(1) You or your representative (for example, a lawyer hired on your behalf after a car accident) claim no-fault benefits from the insurance company by sending notice of the injury to the insurance company. The written notice of the car accident must be in writing and within one year of the date of the motor vehicle accident that caused the personal injury. This written notice must provide the injured individual’s name, time, place, and nature of injury.
(2) The insurance company has previously made a payment for no-fault benefits for the car accident causing the personal injury.
If it is necessary after a car accident to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit for outstanding no-fault benefits, the lawsuit can be filed at any time within one year after the most recent expense, wage loss, or survivor’s loss.
However, an individual will not receive no-fault benefits for any injury incurred more than one year before the day the lawsuit was filed. As of the date of this commentary, there is no tolling or equitable estoppel (reliance) for outstanding no-fault claims that are not filed within the one year statute of limitations for no-fault benefits. This means that even when an adjuster may say he is investigating the claim, or is going to pay a claim, if the one year passes, the incurred no-fault benefit becomes time-barred. If a no fault PIP lawsuit has not been filed within that one year period, the ability to hire a lawyer and bring a no fault lawsuit is forever lost.
The lawyers of Michigan Auto Law have been specializing in auto no-fault litigation for more than 50 years. If you have been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident and are having trouble with your no-fault insurance company, please call one of our expert attorneys for a free case evaluation at (800) 777-0028 or fill out our consultation form. There is no fee or obligation.
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