How Michigan’s No-Fault law determines the insurance company required to pay your No-Fault PIP benefits
Here’s the fourth blog post in my series about who pays No-Fault benefits for people who are injured in auto accidents under different but very common scenarios.
For those of you just joining in, Michigan has rules contained in our No-Fault Act that create an “order of priority” for auto accident victims. Many people who call our insurance attorneys after a car accident need help determining which of the more than 100 auto insurance companies in Michigan has the highest priority (legal responsibility) to pay their No-Fault benefits. This is what the “order of priority rules” do.
What many of us forget is how common it is for people to take taxis and buses to get to work. Many of our clients, especially from Detroit, take buses and taxis to see me at the office, and it is important for these people to know how they can receive No-Fault benefits if they are injured while riding a bus or a taxi.
Unfortunately, the No-Fault law is a little complicated when it comes to collecting PIP benefits from taxicabs and buses, and this problem is made worse because often, the bus or taxi cab company is less than forthcoming about giving the people injured in car accidents their insurance information so they can file a No-Fault claim.
So, if you were injured in a Michigan motor vehicle accident and you were riding as a passenger in “a motor vehicle operated in the business of transporting passengers” such as a taxi, a cab, a public bus or a school bus, then, under the Michigan No-Fault Law, you should:
- File your claim for benefits with your No-Fault insurer or that of your spouse or a relative (of yours or your spouse’s) who lives with you. (MCL 500.3114(2))
However, if no No-Fault insurance is available through those sources, then you should:
- File your claim for No-Fault benefits with the No-Fault “insurer of the motor vehicle,” i.e., the No- Fault insurer of the taxicab or bus in which you were riding as a passenger. (MCL 500.3114(2))
We have written a series of blog posts on SMART bus accidents, which pose special risks, and cases that have denied injured bus accident victims their No-Fault benefits… Sadly, auto insurance companies, including municipalities like Detroit, are making it nearly impossible for seriously injured bus accident victims to recover their benefits.
– Steve Gursten is a No-Fault attorney 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, by Diego3336
Related information to protect yourselves:
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 at no cost.