Let’s face it, almost no one really understands what Michigan’s No-Fault insurance is until after they’ve been involved in a car accident. Even the majority of attorneys in this state have no idea what it is (which is why an essay question on the No Fault law has been on three of the last five bar exams).
Here’s a crash course on what No Fault is, and on how Michigan’s No Fault insurance laws can help you after you have been injured in a car accident.
First, the term “No Fault” is important. It means insurance benefits are paid regardless of who causes a motor vehicle accident. This is why they call it “No Fault.” The name means that both parties involved in an automobile accident are entitled to benefits from their insurance companies. Unlike in pure tort states, in Michigan, it does not matter who causes the accident.
Michigan No Fault benefits include:
- Auto accident-related medical expense reimbursement for life;
- Up to 85% of your lost wages for three years;
- Replacement services (help with childcare, chores);
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from your medical appointments;
- Attendant care benefits (in-home nursing services, if you are seriously injured).
You may also be entitled to home and vehicle modifications under Michigan No Fault, should your injuries require.
To receive No Fault insurance benefits, you must file an application for insurance benefits with your own insurance company within one year from the date of your accident. You do not need to hire an attorney to do this for you. But you must make sure you include all of your injuries – even those that may not seem like a “big deal” at the time. If you don’t include all of your injuries, the insurance company later on may refuse to pay for your benefits, including your medical expenses. And some injuries, such as those involving the brain and neck and back, can often worsen over time.
No Fault benefits can sometimes become complicated when there are multiple insurance policies, such as disability or health insurance that have exceptions or exemptions to motor vehicle accidents. There is also a complicated interplay between workers’ compensation and No Fault insurance if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident while on the job.
And Michigan also has one of the nation’s most difficult threshold laws when it comes to suing the at-fault driver for your injuries and pain and suffering from a car accident.
If you have questions, feel free to call Michigan Auto Law and speak to one of our attorneys for No Fault insurance advice, at no cost.