What Happens In A No-Fault Accident, Who Pays?
Answers to the question “What happens in a Michigan No-Fault accident?” regarding No-Fault insurance coverage issues, who pays No-Fault benefits and your rights following a serious crash
If you happen to be injured in a car accident in a No-Fault state such as Michigan, your medical bills and lost wages will be paid regardless of who caused the crash. Your own auto insurance company will pay these benefits. You can still sue the at-fault driver for your injuries, pain and suffering, and any excess economic losses.
However, if your Michigan No-Fault benefits like medical bills and lost wages exceed the PIP coverage levels of your own auto insurance policy, then you can also sue the at-fault driver who happened to cause the crash for Michigan No-Fault benefits that exceed the applicable PIP coverage.
You can also bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for your injuries and pain and suffering. Under Michigan’s auto No-Fault law, you will be required to show that the other driver was at-fault and that your injuries have affected your general ability to lead your normal life.
What is a No-fault accident?
A No-Fault accident is when you happen to be in a car accident in a No-Fault state, No-Fault insurance will help pay for medical bills, lost wages, travel costs for doctor visits, attendant care, and household replacement services. It doesn’t matter who was at-fault in causing the crash. That’s why it’s called “no-fault” insurance
What is a No-Fault state?
A No-Fault state, like Michigan, is one where a person who happens to be injured in a car accident gets their medical bills paid and lost wages reimbursed regardless of who was at-fault in causing the crash and the insurance company for the injured person pays certain benefits, not the at-fault driver’s insurer.
In what are called “pure” tort liability states, a car crash victim can essentially sue for all of his or her losses from the crash. This includes medical bills and lost wages. The important difference is that to recover this in a pure tort liability state, you must first prove that the other driver was at-fault for causing the crash.
List of No-Fault states
There are 12 U.S. states and Puerto Rico where No-Fault auto insurance is required for drivers:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Is Michigan a No-Fault state?
Michigan is a No-Fault state, which means that a person’s auto insurance company will pay for his or her medical expenses and lost wages after a car accident regardless of whether the person or someone else was at-fault for causing the crash. Auto No-Fault insurance is mandatory for all vehicle owners.
What is No-Fault Insurance in Michigan?
When you happen to get injured in a car accident in Michigan, No-Fault insurance will help you pay for your medical bills and reimburse you for wages you lost if you could not return to work. These are called PIP benefits or No-Fault benefits, and they are paid by your own auto insurance company.
If you are in a No-fault state like Michigan, it also does not matter who happens to be at-fault for causing the car accident. These insurance benefits are paid regardless of fault and regardless of who causes the crash, which is why these states are called “No-Fault.”
What does No-Fault insurance cover in Michigan?
What happens after being injured in a Michigan car accident is your No-Fault insurance will help cover your: (1) medical bills; (2) lost wages; (3) medical transportation expenses for traveling to and from doctor and medical appointments; (4) household replacement services; and (5) attendant care services.
If you happen to be in a car accident in Michigan, the amount of coverage that you will receive from No-Fault insurance depends on the level of PIP coverage that was selected in the policy that you are claiming insurance benefits under.
The No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level that applies in Michigan can be unlimited with no cap on medical coverage, $500,000, $250,000 or $50,000 if the named insured on the policy receives Medicaid.
Is No-Fault insurance mandatory in Michigan?
No-Fault insurance is mandatory in Michigan. Drivers who fail to maintain a valid auto insurance policy on their vehicle are guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined $200-$500. They will also be disqualified from suing for pain and suffering compensation and No-Fault benefits.
What is personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in Michigan?
When a person has been injured in a car crash in Michigan, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will help them pay for their medical bills. It will also help them financially by paying for some of the wages the person lost if his or her injuries kept him or her from returning to work.
What does personal injury protection (PIP) insurance cover in Michigan?
In Michigan, when a person happens to be injured in a Michigan car accident, No-Fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover medical bills, lost wages, and household replacement services. In the event of a fatal crash, it also covers survivor’s loss benefits.
What happens after a no-fault accident in Michigan?
In Michigan, what happens after a car accident in the No-Fault is the at-fault driver must stop at the scene, help secure medical aid for anyone injured, and provide their driver’s license and insurance information. If you were injured, report all of your injuries to the first responders and doctors.
How to file a No-Fault insurance claim in Michigan
In Michigan, if you happen to be in a car accident, you must file an application for No-Fault benefits with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year of your crash. If you do not file the application on time, you will be barred forever from claiming or suing for No-Fault benefits.
The responsible auto insurer will likely be your own or the insurance company for your spouse or a relative who lives with you. If no coverage is available through those sources, then you will have to file your application with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Can you sue in a No-Fault accident in Michigan?
In Michigan, if you happen to be in a No-Fault accident, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation and you may be able to sue your insurer if it refuses to or delays paying your No-Fault benefits.
To sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation, you will need to prove that his or her negligence caused the crash and that your resulting injuries have caused you to suffer a “serious impairment of body function,” meaning that your general ability to lead your normal life has been affected.
To sue your insurance company for unpaid, overdue No-Fault benefits, you will need to file your lawsuit within one year of your claim being denied by your insurer.
Do insurance rates go up after a No-Fault accident in Michigan?
In Michigan, after an accident your No-Fault insurance rates will likely go up if you were at-fault. Insurance premiums are based on actuarial risk assessments, and causing a crash mathematically puts you at a higher risk to the insurance company to provide you insurance coverage.
What happens when you are in a No-Fault state like Michigan and you are not at fault in causing a car accident?
Unfortunately, in most No-Fault states like Michigan, if you happen to be in a car accident, there is no law stopping insurers from increasing premiums even after a not-at-fault crash where you did nothing wrong. As an auto No-Fault lawyer, this is probably the biggest complaint I hear from people, but without a specific prohibition against it, your insurance company can charge you more money for any reason at all, or for no reason at all. The best protection is to shop around and compare your quoted premiums to what other insurance companies will offer for similar coverage.
In Michigan, if you happen to be “substantially at-fault” in a car accident (i.e., “more than 50% of the cause of a crash”), then your No-fault insurance rates will almost certainly increase. (MCL 500.2111(3)(a); 500.2104(4))
However, as stated above, there is nothing in Michigan’s Insurance Code that prevents your auto insurance company from increasing your rates for a car accident where you were NOT at-fault.
Who pays for car damage in a No-Fault state?
In Michigan, collision insurance may pay to repair car damage if this optional coverage was purchased by the vehicle owner. An unoccupied, parked vehicle may be covered by the at-fault driver’s PPI insurance. Michigan’s mini tort law allows a vehicle owner to collect up to $3,000 in vehicle damage from the at-fault driver.
How long do car accidents stay on your record in Michigan?
In Michigan, in general, car accidents will stay on your driving record for this long: points on your driver’s license, which will remain there for 2 years; and/or convictions on your driving record which will remain there for a minimum of 7 years.
As stated above those are the general rules but there are several factors that determine if the crash goes on your record and how long it will be there. If you are not at-fault in causing the crash, it will not appear on your driving record.
However, if you were ticketed and convicted of violating the Michigan Vehicle Code (and/or determined to have committed a “civil infraction”), the crash will appear on your driving record. The key is what your conviction or civil infraction is for because the length of time it stays on your driving record will vary based on how serious the underlying conviction or civil infraction was for.
Did you happen to be injured in a No-Fault accident in Michigan? Call Michigan Auto Law now!
If you or a loved one happens to be injured in a car accident in Michigan call now (855) 781-7747 for a free consultation with one of our experienced No-Fault accident lawyers. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.
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