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Vehicle modifications after a car accident in Michigan

Our No-Fault lawyers answer FAQs on how people disabled from auto accidents can make their vehicles handicap accessible

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vehicle and van modifications after a car accident.

To speak with a No-Fault lawyer now, call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028. There’s no cost or obligation.

What are “vehicle modifications”?

Vehicle modifications are modifications to a Michigan auto accident victim’s car, truck or van that accommodate accident-related physical, mental or functional limitations, permitting the victim to drive his vehicle.

In some instances, modification of an auto accident victim’s existing vehicle is not enough and the victim’s limitations can be accommodated only by purchasing a new vehicle or van that is specifically modified to meet the person’s specific needs.

When are vehicle modifications necessary?

In some cases, vehicle modifications may be necessary where a serious auto accident has imposed physical, mental or functional limitations on a person that make it impossible to operate his car or truck — or otherwise facilitate transportation — in the same manner as before the accident.

The Michigan Court of Appeals summed up the “vehicle modification” rationale in its 1992 decision in Davis v. Citizens Insurance Company of America: “Transportation is as necessary for an [injured] person as for an [uninjured] person.”

Who pays for vehicle modifications?

In most cases, the No-Fault insurance company of the accident victim pays for the vehicle modifications as part of his No-Fault insurance benefits, under Michigan’s No-Fault insurance law.

However, the victim’s No-Fault insurance company is obligated to pay for vehicle modifications only as long as the cost is reasonable and the modifications are “reasonably necessary” for the person’s care, recovery or rehabilitation.

When is a vehicle modification reasonably necessary?

Below are examples of what Michigan courts has found to be “reasonably necessary” vehicle modifications:

  • In Davis v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, a vehicle modification was deemed “reasonably necessary” because it had been prescribed by the Michigan auto accident victim’s physician and the availability of alternative means of transportation was inadequate. The “vehicle modification” involved purchase of a van that had been modified to accommodate the needs of an auto accident victim whose accident rendered her a paraplegic, confining her to a wheelchair.
  • In Begin v. Michigan Bell Telephone Company, et al., a vehicle modification was deemed “reasonably necessary,” because the auto accident victim’s “transportation needs were different from those of an uninjured person,” and the modifications sought were “related to care necessitated” by the victim’s accident-related injuries. The “vehicle modification” involved purchase of a van that had been modified to accommodate the needs of a Michigan auto accident victim whose accident had rendered him a quadriplegic.

What are some of the issues that come up in regard to a home modification?

The issues include:

  • Warranties
  • Rebates
  • Medical mileage
  • Liability/indemnity
  • Purchase or financial contribution
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Replacement or operational use
  • Damage/repair/total loss
  • Change in medical condition
  • Change in circumstances
  • Additional transportation (emergencies, inclement weather and unavailability of purchased vehicle due to damage, maintenance or repair)
  • The effect, if any, of vehicle modifications on the victim’s ability to recover other or future Michigan No-Fault benefits

These issues can seem complicated and overwhelming. But an experienced personal injury lawyer from Michigan Auto Law can help you every step of the way, to ensure you have the proper vehicle after your car accident. Call (800) 777-0028 for help now.

What about modifying my home after an accident?

Home modifications are changes to a Michigan auto accident victim’s home or living space that accommodate the victim’s accident-related physical, mental or functional limitations and, thus, permit the victim to live and move about freely. Home modifications for disabled auto accident victims are considered an allowable medical expense according to the Michigan No-Fault Law. Here’s an FAQ page on home modifications.

Call our No-Fault lawyers for help with you vehicle or van modification. We can help.

Our lawyers are here to answer all of your questions about your vehicle modifications — an anything else that can help you regain your independence.

Call us at (800) 777-0028 or you can fill out our consultation form. The call and the advice is free.

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