Michigan Auto No-Fault Law FAQs
If you’ve been injured in a Michigan car accident, your rights are governed by Michigan’s auto no-fault law. Because of this, the first thing an injured person should do following their accident is to familiarize themselves with how the no-fault system works. Understanding what your rights are and which benefits are available to you under this system is paramount to your recovery.
However, the Michigan no-fault law is incredibly complex. In addition, the recent reforms signed into law in 2019 further complicated the system. To help answer your questions or ensure your rights are preserved, our personal injury attorneys who specialize in no-fault claims have compiled the following useful information below. Should you need further guidance or assistance, we are here for you. Please feel free to contact us.
The basic concept of Michigan auto no-fault law is to guarantee payment of certain insurance benefits to anyone injured in motor vehicle accidents in Michigan, no matter who’s at fault for the crash. These benefits are available through the injured person’s own auto insurance provider and include allowable (medical) expenses, work loss, replacement services, and survivors’ loss.
At its core, Michigan no-fault law was established to ensure those injured in motor vehicle accidents have access to a system that puts them on the road to recovery. No-fault benefits are available to those injured in motor vehicle accidents in the state, so long as they are not disqualified under the law.
The no-fault system was created to provide certain benefits to anyone injured in auto accidents, no matter who was at fault. However, certain conditions may disqualify a person from accessing these benefits. Accident victims should understand the ways people can be disqualified from no-fault benefits to see if they’re eligible to collect benefits.
If you’re injured, you generally collect no-fault PIP benefits from your own no-fault insurance company. If you don’t have your own no-fault policy, you may be able to obtain benefits from a policy issued to your spouse or resident relative (family member you live with). However, there are a few exceptions.
Understanding the difference between coordinated and uncoordinated auto insurance policies – and which type you have – is vital. Coordinated no-fault means your private health insurance company pays first for medical expenses, whereas your no-fault insurer pays first in uncoordinated policies.
Certain rules apply to how you must notify your auto insurance company about your injuries as well as how to submit your claims for benefits to your no-fault insurance company. With strict proof and notification requirements, it’s important to understand how to file no-fault claims in order to protect your right to PIP benefits.
Michigan auto no-fault law adheres to two very strictly enforced time limitations for processing claims for No-Fault PIP benefits. With a one-year-back rule and a one-year notification requirement, you don’t want to miss these important deadlines. Read more about PIP claims time limitations in order to protect your right to no-fault benefits.
No-fault insurers have a legal obligation to pay valid claims for no-fault benefits. If your no-fault provider doesn’t pay your claim within a certain time period, they may be required to pay penalty interest and penalty attorney fees.
Your no-fault provider has the right to request an Independent Medical Evaluation if your mental or physical condition is at issue. In addition, your no-fault provider has the right to use a physician of its choosing to conduct the examination. Certain IME requirements changed with the 2019 no-fault reforms.
Do other benefits I receive (social security, worker’s compensation, disability, etc.) reduce my no-fault PIP benefits?
Your no-fault provider is legally allowed to subtract any government benefits you receive from your total payment of no-fault benefits. However, government setoffs such as these must meet two requirements: the government benefit must be a result of your auto accident and it must serve the same purpose as your no-fault benefits would.
If your injuries prevent you from returning to work for any period of time, you may be eligible to recover work loss benefits from your own auto no-fault insurer, up to a certain monthly maximum.
Because the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code doesn’t recognize motorcycles as motor vehicles, motorcyclists injured in a crash are not entitled to no-fault benefits unless a motor vehicle contributed to the collision. In these situations, the motorcyclist could be entitled to no-fault benefits. If available, these benefits can greatly improve the care and recovery of motorcycle crash victims.
Our state’s no-fault system provides benefits for surviving family members following a fatal car accident. These benefits are known as survivor’s loss benefits and provide some coverage for certain economic losses the family sustains to help bridge the financial gap created by the untimely death of a loved one.