Michigan Survivors Loss Benefits
Michigan survivors loss benefits are provided as a No-Fault personal protection insurance benefit to family members who have lost a loved one in a car accident. These No-Fault benefits provide dependents with the financial support that the deceased would have provided.
What is covered by Michigan survivors loss benefits?
The No-Fault law explains that these benefits compensate the dependents of a deceased car accident victim for the “contributions of tangible things of economic value” that the deceased would have continued to provide had he or she survived the car accident. (MCL 500.3108(1))
Additionally, these No-Fault benefits provide the deceased’s dependents with up to $20 per day for “expenses” that “reasonably incurred” in “obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that the deceased would have performed for their benefit if the deceased had not suffered the injury causing death.” (MCL 500.3108(1))
These No-Fault benefits may also cover: Hospital/medical insurance premiums; Old-age Social Security benefits; Disability coverage; Pensions; Investment income; Annuity income; and Workers’ compensation benefits.
Is there a limit to claim these No-Fault benefits?
Michigan survivors loss benefits are available only for “the first three years after the date of the accident” and they are subject to a monthly maximum amount. (MCL 500.3108(1) and (2))
The monthly maximum for October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020, is $5,718.
For the period of October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, the monthly maximum is $5,755 per month.
The monthly maximum that applies to a person’s claim for benefits is the monthly maximum that was in effect at the time that his or her motor vehicle accident occurred.
Importantly, a No-Fault insurance company paying these No-Fault benefits may reduce some payments by the amount of taxes the Michigan wrongful death victim would have paid. However, there is no deduction for the deceased’s personal compensation.
Additionally, payments of survivors’ loss benefits may be “set-off” (i.e., reduced) in the event of an eventual wrongful death verdict or settlement.
What if these No-Fault benefits are not enough?
The dependent of a deceased car accident victim can sue the at-fault driver who caused the fatal car crash for “excess” present and future Michigan survivors loss benefits. (MCL 500.3135(3)(c))
Who can claim these No-Fault benefits?
The deceased’s “dependents” can claim these benefits. (MCL 500.3108(1)) This includes spouses who lived with the deceased at the time of death, children under 18 and those who are “physically or mentally incapacitated from earning.” (MCL 500.3110(1))
How do I make a claim for Michigan survivors loss benefits?
To collect these No-fault benefits, a No-Fault application must be filed with the applicable auto insurance within ONE YEAR from the date of your car accident. (MCL 500.3145(1))
Failure to file the No-Fault application on time – within one year from the date of your car accident – will result in losing all of your legal rights to claim these No-Fault benefits.
Who pays for Michigan survivors loss benefits?
If the deceased car accident victim had his or her own auto insurance policy in which he or she was the “named insured,” then that auto insurer will pay for these No-Fault benefits.
Otherwise the No-Fault law’s “priority” rules will determine what insurer is responsible. Generally – albeit subject to certain exceptions – if the deceased didn’t have a policy, then the applicable insurance company to pay will be his or her spouse’s insurer or the insurer for a family member who lived with the deceased.
If the deceased didn’t have coverage through any of these sources, then the No-Fault application will be filed with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan and they will assign an auto insurance company to pay for these No-Fault benefits.
Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law
If you have been injured in a car accident and you have questions about your legal rights to Michigan PIP benefits, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.