Michigan No-Fault Benefits: How They Can Help You
Our lawyers explain what your Michigan No-Fault benefits are and how they can help you after a car accident
Michigan No-Fault benefits are provided to car accident victims regardless of fault by their own auto insurance companies in order to help them recover from their accident-related injuries and to begin rebuilding their lives. These benefits pay for medical bills, lost wages and attendant care services.
What are Michigan No-Fault benefits?
If you have been injured in a car accident, then you are legally entitled to collect Michigan No-Fault benefits under the “personal protection insurance” or PIP coverage portion of your auto insurance policy.
Your benefits will cover and provide the following valuable protections to help you with your recovery and with rebuilding your life:
- Medical care expenses – Your benefits will pay for accident-related medical bills.
- Medical mileage – Your benefits will pay to reimburse you for transportation costs that you incur traveling to and from your medical appointments.
- Wage loss – Your benefits will reimburse you for the wages you have lost because your injuries have disabled you from returning to work.
- Replacement services – Your benefits will pay for someone else to perform the every day, household tasks – such as chores, running errands and childcare – that you can no longer do as a result of your accident-related injuries.
- Attendant care – Your benefits will pay for nursing care that you received either in your home and in a residential facility. To learn more, check out our Attendant Care FAQs page and our page on Attendant Care Case Law.
- Home modifications – Your benefits will pay the necessary costs to make your home accessible and accommodating to you in light of your accident-related injuries and limitations.
- Vehicle modifications – Your benefits will pay the necessary costs to make your vehicle accessible and accommodating to you in light of your accident-related injuries and limitations.
Michigan No-Fault benefits and medical coverage
The amount of medical coverage that your benefits will provide will depend on the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level that was selected in the auto insurance policy under which you have filed your claim. (MCL 500.3107(c)(5))
For auto insurance policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020, the coverage level will be one of the following:
- A $50,000 limit on accident-related medical expenses for drivers who are enrolled in Medicaid (MCL 500.3107c(1)(a))
- $250,000 limit on accident-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(b)
- $500,000 limit on accident-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(c))
- Unlimited or no dollar-amount limit on accident-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(d))
- Opt out of No-Fault PIP medical benefits altogether for drivers on Medicare (MCL 500.3107d(1))
Excess benefits coverage
You may be able to sue the at-fault driver for “excess” medical and lost wages benefits if: (1) your accident-related medical bills exceed the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level in the policy; and/or (2) the wages you’ve lost because your injuries have disabled you from working exceed the No-Fault law’s 3-year or monthly limitations. (MCL 500.3135(3)(c))
Making a claim for Michigan No-Fault benefits
To make a claim, you must immediately file an application for Michigan No-Fault benefits with the applicable auto insurance company, according to the No-Fault law’s “priority” rules. This application is also referred to as a “notice of injury.”
Importantly, time is of the essence when it comes to filing your application because you MUST file your application for Michigan No-Fault benefits within ONE YEAR from the date of your car accident. (MCL 500.3145(1))
If you fail to file your application on time – within ONE YEAR from the date of your car accident – then you will forever lose any benefits to which you might be entitled.
Who pays my benefits?
Generally, you will turn to your own auto insurance company to pay for your Michigan No-Fault benefits. However, if you do not have your own policy in which you are the “named insured,” then – subject to certain exceptions – you will generally file with and receive benefits from your spouse’s auto insurance company or the insurer for a relative who lives in your home.
If no coverage is available through those sources, then you will file your claim with and receive benefits from the auto insurance company who is assigned by the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan to handle your claim.
When can I expect my benefits?
Your auto insurance company must pay your Michigan No-Fault benefits within 30 days of you providing “reasonable proof” that benefits are due. If your benefits are unpaid for more than 30 days, then they are deemed to be “overdue.” (MCL 500.3142(2))
However, if you provide proof of medical bills that need to be paid more than 90 days after the care or treatment was provided, then your auto insurance company has an extra 60 days to pay. (MCL 500.3142(3))
Suing for Michigan No-Fault benefits
You can sue for unpaid, overdue benefits, but your lawsuit must be filed within one year from the date that the medical bill or wage loss or replacement service was incurred. (MCL 500.3145(2))
If such a lawsuit is not filed within the one-year time period, then you will lose all rights to payment and/or reimbursement for the overdue benefits.
Importantly, the one-year period of limitations “is tolled from the date of a specific claim for payment of the benefits until the date the insurer formally denies the claim.” (MCL 500.3145(3))
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 and the benefits under your personal protection insurance, 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 attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.