It is essential that you know how to file an auto insurance claim against someone if you have been in a car accident. The three potential claims that you may have are for No-Fault benefits to cover medical bills and lost wages, for pain and suffering compensation and for a mini tort recovery to pay for vehicle damages.
Each type of car insurance claim is different because each claim recovers different benefits (or compensation, or damages). Each type of insurance claim also has its own specific rules for filing an auto insurance claim against someone.
How to file an auto insurance claim against someone for No-Fault benefits
To file an auto insurance claim against someone for No-Fault benefits, you start by filing an application for No-Fault benefits with the car insurance company that has the highest priority to pay you your benefits. If the claim is denied, then you can hire an attorney to file a first-party lawsuit in court for unpaid No-Fault insurance benefits.
Here is what you need to know:
- No-Fault PIP benefits will cover and pay for your car accident-related medical expenses, lost wages if your injuries have disabled you from working, household replacement services, attendant care benefits and reimbursement for mileage and transportation costs associated with traveling to and from your medical appointments.
- You must file an application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called your “written notice of injury” – with the responsible car insurance company within one (1) year after the bus accident. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4)) If you fail to file your application on time – within ONE YEAR from the date of your automobile crash – then you will forever lose any benefits to which you might be entitled.
- If the auto insurance company refuses to pay your No-Fault benefits, then your claim for unpaid, overdue No-Fault benefits must be reported against the insurance company within one year from the date that the medical bill, wage loss, medical mileage, replacement service or attendant service was incurred. (MCL 500.3145(2)) If such a claim is not filed within the one-year time period, then the bill will be time-barred and you will lose all rights to payment and/or reimbursement for the overdue benefits.
For pain and suffering compensation
To file an auto insurance claim against someone for pain and suffering compensation, you must first have suffered an injury and it must have been the fault (negligence) of another driver. If you are considering filing a claim against someone, you should first consult with a lawyer who can help you to understand the deadline for filing your claim, how to prove negligence of the at-fault driver and what you must prove to recover pain and suffering compensation.
Here is what you need to know:
- This type of claim allows you to recover compensation for your pain and suffering from the at-fault driver who caused your car accident. You may also be able to recover for the excess medical expenses and excess lost wages that were not covered by your No-Fault benefits.
- Your claim is made against the at-fault driver and the insurance company that issued his or her third-party car insurance.
- You have three (3) years after the date of your car crash to sue for pain and suffering compensation, excess medical benefits and excess economic loss. (MCL 600.5805(2))
- To recover pain and suffering compensation, you will need to satisfy the No-Fault law’s tort threshold which requires that you show that you have suffered a “serious impairment of body.”
How to file an auto insurance claim against someone for vehicle damage
To file an auto insurance claim against someone for vehicle damage, you will need to bring a mini tort claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or against the at-fault driverif he or she does not have coverage. You do not need a lawyer to file a mini tort claim.
Here is what you need to know:
- If the at-fault driver who caused your car accident that resulted in damage to your vehicle has mini tort coverage (usually described on the Dec page as “limited property damage coverage), then your claim will be filed with the insurance company.
- If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, then you will file your claim with him or her directly, requesting that the driver pay you the money you are owed for vehicle damage repair costs under the mini tort law.
- If the auto insurance company or the at-fault driver refuses to pay your mini tort claim, you will have to file a lawsuit in small claims court.
- To succeed with collecting on your mini tort claim, you will need to show the other driver was at-fault in causing the accident, that your vehicle damages were not covered by insurance, the cost of your vehicle damage repairs (although the mini tort maximum recovery amount is $3,000)
How to file an auto insurance claim against someone who was uninsured or underinsured
To file an auto insurance claim against someone when you were injured in a car accident caused by an at-fault driver who was uninsured or underinsured, you will need to bring a suit against the insurance company who issued your uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage policies.
It is important to talk with your lawyer about the contractual requirements for filing a UM or UIM claim. Because these are contractual and not statutory coverages, they often impose stricter notice and filing requirements than, for example, a lawsuit against a negligent, at-fault driver who causes a car accident as part of a third-party tort claim for pain and suffering. For instance, one insurance company requires a car accident victim to notify his or her auto insurance company within 30 days for a hit and run Michigan accident.
Need help? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and would like to speak with an experienced lawyer, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.