When Should I Contact a Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance Lawyer?

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As a Michigan auto no-fault insurance lawyer, people often ask me whether or not they need to hire a lawyer to help them make a claim for their auto no-fault PIP benefits. My response to this question is often the same – “You shouldn’t have to. But unfortunately, in many cases, you may need to, especially if you have suffered severe injuries that require you to seek ongoing medical treatment.” Many people then follow this response with another frequently asked automobile accident question, “Well, when should I contact a Michigan auto no-fault insurance lawyer then?” The objective of this article is to provide further clarity in answering that question.

Why Do I Need an Attorney to Claim No-Fault PIP Benefits from My Insurer?

While the concept of your auto insurance provider paying the medical bills for injuries suffered in an auto accident is relatively straightforward, the reality is that nothing about making a PIP claim is often very simple. Michigan’s auto no-fault law is very complex, and it is often difficult for people to understand. Because of that, contacting an attorney who specializes in auto no-fault claims can often be critical to understanding and protecting your right to bring a claim once you have been injured in an accident. For example, a qualified Michigan auto no-fault lawyer can help you understand things such as:

  • who you should claim benefits from
  • what benefits you are able to claim
  • when you must make a claim before time runs out so
  • whether you are in a situation where you should retain legal counsel to assist in processing the claim
  • why you often need to protect yourself from insurance industry practices designed to work against you
  • how to best assert your claim in a manner that will result in prompt adequate payment by an insurance company

When Should I Contact a Michigan Auto No-Fault Lawyer After My Crash?

As for when a person should contact a Michigan auto no-fault insurance lawyer contact, it often depends on the specific details of your accident, and the nature of your injuries. On one hand, you may not need legal advice for claims involving minor injuries clearly linked to your accident.  Insurers often pay those types of claims without incident so long as the insurer is provided with medical documentation linking the injuries to the accident and can confirm your need for the particular benefits you’re claiming.

On the other hand, for claims involving substantial injuries, it is often a good idea to retain a lawyer as quickly after your car crash as possible to assist you with all aspects of the claim submission process. Retaining an experienced Michigan auto accident lawyer early on helps ensure your claim is submitted with all the proper documentation an insurer will need and the insurer is provided all the related details that must be submitted before the insurer is obligated to pay your claim. Also, retaining an attorney early will provide you with the ability to quickly proceed with legal action if it becomes necessary to force an insurer to pay your claim.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations

Generally, victims injured in auto accidents must bring a lawsuit within one year. This auto no-fault claim statute of limitations also expedites an injured person’s need to retain early legal representation. Another important note regarding timelines includes mention of the one-year-back rule and the one-year-notification rule. While the extent of those time restraints surpasses this article itself, you can click below to learn more about each time limitation and requirement.

Avoid Insurance Bad Practices by Retaining an Auto No-Fault Lawyer Early After Your Crash

It is a well-known tactic of the insurance industry known as the “Delay, Deny, Defend” tactic, which is to delay getting back to you once you have submitted a claim, deny your claim months later, and defend its denial if need be in the event that the claimant decides to take legal action after the fact. Insurers are much less likely, however, to use this tactic against claimants who submit claims with the assistance of a qualified Michigan auto no-fault insurance lawyer.

Ultimately, retaining an attorney is much easier than people often think. A no-fault attorney can assist you in submitting a no-fault claim for a reasonable hourly rate. Then, if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit to force payment of the claim, most no-fault attorneys will agree to do so on your behalf for a 1/3 contingency fee, which will be paid out of the money you receive from your claim once the suit is over and results in a recovery of benefits. Also, in some cases, the insurer may even have to pay your legal fees.

All things considered, I personally believe that, while a person should not have to seek legal representation for the payment of a benefit they have already paid for, they should not hesitate to consult with a qualified no-fault attorney whenever they feel uncomfortable making a claim on their own, or as soon as the person starts to feel uncomfortable after attempting to pursue a claim on their own.

Joel Finnell

Joel Finnell provides our attorneys with additional tactical legal support in heavily defended and more-complex cases, particularly serious automobile accidents involving complex claims for no-fault benefits and liability lawsuits against at-fault drivers. Joel’s role at the law firm is very unique and is one that often sets Sinas Dramis Law Firm apart from other firms.