How wage loss works in Michigan
Wage loss from your No-Fault insurance provides a financial lifeline for many people in the state of Michigan who are too injured to return to work after a car accident. It’s one of your Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits, and it is also one of the most important legal rights that people have under our state’s No Fault law.
Of the many insurance-related questions I receive as an accident attorney, one of the most common is:
Q. How long will it take to receive my wage loss check from the insurance company?
A. That last part of the question changes things a bit. I can tell you legally how it’s supposed to work, but this is an area of law that far too many insurance adjusters and insurance companies just plain ignore.
So what happens when you’ve been injured in a car accident, and for the time being at least, you cannot return to work?
We understand the stress and and pressure that so many people are under, when suddenly they’re no longer receiving a pay check after a car accident. Panic can set in. How do you pay your monthly bills? How do you pay your mortgage?
The wage loss provision of the Michigan No Fault Act will reimburse you for 85 percent of any wages lost as a result of your injuries, up to a statutory monthly maximum that’s adjusted every year.
As of October 1, 2013, your maximum wage loss benefits are $5,282 per month for up to three years following your accident.
The insurance company is supposed to pay within 30 days after reasonable proof of the loss is provided. If 30 days has passed, you need to call your insurance adjuster to find out what is the holdup and/or what additional documentation you need to submit.
The 30 days part is the part many claims adjusters ignore. Sadly, for too many people, you are just one more file on their desk, and often one of two hundred or more claims files. And often for claims adjusters, it’s easier to send people out to rather notorious and reliable cut-off doctors for so-called Independent Medical Examinations, than it is to pay valid No Fault claims. In a state like Michigan, without bad faith laws or punitive damages to stop this, and where the most people can get for insurance company bad behavior is penalty interest and attorney fees – after hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit for No Fault benefit – too many people see and experience the dark side of claims handling.
Here’s information on how to apply for your No Fault insurance benefits. Remember, you have one year from the date of your accident to apply.
Wage loss benefits are restricted to only taxable income. Therefore, they do not include health insurance, pension and other contributions.
Here’s more information on the basics of wage loss benefits.