Michigan No-Fault Law
Michigan’s no-fault insurance system provides insurance coverage to vehicle drivers and passengers after an auto accident—regardless of who was at fault. If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident, determining your coverage can be complex and confusing. This is especially true now that the no-fault laws in our state changed as of July 2020.
You do not have to decipher your rights under the law alone, as Michigan Injury Lawyers can help. Our auto accident lawyers understand the current Michigan no-fault law, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve from your insurance company or other parties.
Don’t risk losing the full amount of benefits you need for your accident-related expenses, contact our legal professionals today. Just dial (888) 454-0801 or fill out a free initial consultation form. We’re here to help.
Changes to Michigan No-Fault Law
Michigan had the same no-fault insurance law since 1973, which required every driver to have unlimited no-fault coverage. You could not obtain your license plates for your vehicle without showing proof of this coverage, which would cover ongoing medical expenses (even if they lasted a lifetime), as well as other losses, such as wage loss, household services, and more.
In 2019, Michigan lawmakers decided to change the no-fault laws, and these changes went into effect in July 2020. It is important to understand your obligations and options under the new law to ensure you have maximum protection if you sustain injuries in a crash.
Drivers are still obligated to purchase no-fault coverage, unless they qualify to opt-out, which has specific requirements, including showing proof of adequate other coverage.
If you do not qualify to opt-out, your new options for purchase or renewal after July 2, 2020, are:
- Unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) policy
- PIP policy up to $500,000
- PIP policy up to $250,000
- PIP policy up to $250,000 with medical exclusions (if you can prove other coverage)
- PIP policy up to $50,000 (if you qualify for Medicaid benefits)
The lower your policy limit, the lower your premiums will be, so many drivers will likely shift from unlimited coverage to a limited policy. While it is always beneficial to have unlimited coverage when possible, it is the reality that many drivers will not voluntarily choose this policy.
Michigan Order of Priority
Michigan no-fault law allows accident victims to seek first-party benefits—or benefits covering economic losses—from auto insurance carriers.
You can determine what policy will pay your claim using the Michigan Order of Priority:
- First priority: Your insurance policy. Your own auto insurance policy pays your first-party benefits after an auto accident, whether or not you were driving at the time of the accident.
- Second priority: Resident relative insurance policy. If you don’t have auto insurance, you may have coverage from a policy held by your resident relative, such as a parent, spouse, or sibling whom you live with.
- Third priority: Vehicle owner’s insurance policy. If no auto insurance coverage exists within your household, the accident vehicle owner’s policy can cover you.
- Fourth priority: Vehicle driver’s insurance policy. If your accident vehicle was uninsured, but the driver had insurance at the time of the accident, you can seek first-party benefits through his or her carrier.
- Fifth priority: Michigan assigned claims facility (MACF). The MACF provides no-fault benefits to accident victims when no other no-fault coverage is available.
Whether you were a driver or a passenger, our Michigan auto accident lawyers can help you get the full amount of compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, and accident-related expenses.
When Can You File a Lawsuit Against At-Fault Drivers?
Having a no-fault system means that the right to file a lawsuit is limited. You must seek most of your benefits through a first-party claim with your own no-fault insurance company.
No-fault coverage should provide benefits for your:
- Medical care
- Majority of your wage loss (up to a maximum amount)
- Household services
- Personal care
What no-fault does not cover is non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering or mental trauma from your injuries. In cases of severe injuries, the non-economic losses can be devastating. You can file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver to seek non-economic damages if you meet the “liability threshold,” which means that you can sue for pain and suffering if your injuries are serious enough.
Under the new law, however, things will be quite different, as the number of car accident lawsuits against other drivers will likely increase. This is because if you have a limited policy, and your losses exceed your policy limits, you can sue an at-fault driver for the excess losses. As part of their no-fault coverage, drivers will select bodily injury liability coverage in case they are the subject of a lawsuit by an injured person. These limits default to $250,000/$500,000, though drivers can opt to purchase policies as low as $50,000/$100,000.
If your injuries are severe, it is critical to have the help from the right car accident lawyer right from the start who can identify the different sources of possible compensation and benefits.
Get Help from Our Michigan Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we know what costs your no-fault insurance should cover, and we can help you receive proper and full reimbursement for all your expenses, such as mileage reimbursement, medical caregivers, and even domestic services like snow removal. We know these things can weigh on you, and we are here to help so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Life after a car accident and serious injuries is never easy, and you should not live with the added stress of how you will pay for your medical bills and other losses. You can trust our legal team to take the necessary steps to ensure you have the right compensation, even if it comes from a variety of sources. Do not wait to get the help you need after an injury—please contact us today by calling (888) 454-0801 or contacting us online.