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What happens when an out-of-state driver gets hurt in a car accident in Michigan?

June 3, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

Our attorneys often receive questions from drivers from other states who are in Michigan and become involved in a car accident. Michigan is a popular tourist state, especially during the summer months and hunting season.

One common scenario is when Michiganders move to Florida, and then sometimes come and go, back and forth, between Florida and to see family back in Michigan.

Today I want to share a question I received that helps to clarify what happens when a resident from another state is hurt in a car accident in Michigan:

Q. I’m A Florida resident who was in a car accident here in Farmington Hills, MI. I was not at fault and only have liability insurance. I have some back pain and muscle spasms in my back. I have not consulted a doctor yet. And wanted to get your legal advice on what to do.

A. If your insurance company in Florida sells auto insurance here, or if your insurance company has filed a voluntary certificate in accordance with Michigan law, then you are eligible for Michigan No Fault benefits. And if you are eligible, you almost certainly should make a claim under Michigan No Fault, because it is far superior and the protection is far greater than in other states.

Michigan No Fault insurance benefits include reimbursement of all reasonably necessary medical treatment for life. It also includes reimbursement for wage loss, for up to three years, attendant care nursing services if you are very seriously injured, and replacement services, such as help around the house and child care if you are unable to do these things because of your injuries.

If you’re an out-of-state resident, but in Michigan for longer than 30 days, you’re required to carry Michigan No Fault insurance by law.

If you want to file a tort lawsuit for your back injuries, which includes a claim for your pain and suffering, you would have to consult with a Michigan injury attorney.

Michigan is an unusual state because it is one of the very few in the nation with an injury threshold law that a car accident victim is required to meet before they can file a lawsuit and recover compensation for pain and suffering.

If you have questions, please call me or any other attorney at Michigan Auto Law. We’ll be glad to answer your questions and explain your legal rights, at no cost or obligation.

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