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How Does Michigan’s No-Fault Law Affect My Claim?

Michigan has no-fault laws regarding car accidents, which means that your own car insurance will cover your injury-related costs whether or not you were at fault in causing or contributing to your accident. While no-fault laws aim to limit the number of individuals facing lawsuits and make the courts in our state more efficient, these laws can have a significant effect on your injury claim after a car accident. The following are only some ways that no-fault laws in Michigan can affect your claim.

You file a claim with your own insurance company

In many states, a victim who was injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence would file a claim with the insurance company of the responsible party. However, no-fault laws require that you instead seek recovery from your own insurance company for your medical bills and other losses arising from your injuries. You must do so by filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim with your insurer. This process is quite different than that in other fault-based states.

Recovery may be limited

Unfortunately, your no-fault insurance policy may not fully cover all of your losses, especially if your injuries were serious. For example, no-fault policies do not compensate policy-holders for non-economic damages caused by your injuries. Non-economic damages can include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability

In cases involving relatively minor injuries, the non-availability of non-economic damages may not be an issue. However, if your injuries are serious or even catastrophic, you deserve to recover for more than just your financial losses.

Limitations on lawsuits

In many other states, injured accident victims always have the right to file a personal injury claim against negligent parties that caused their collision. In Michigan, however, no-fault laws limit rights to sue the negligent party to those who have suffered severe injuries. You may only be able to sue for the full range of your damages if your injury caused a serious impairment or disability in your life.

While no-fault laws may seem harsh, they are generally successful and making the claim process more streamlined and efficient. However, injured victims in outlier cases may face numerous challenges in the recovery process. If you have any questions about your car accident claim, please do not hesitate to call 313-438-4357 today.