Michigan is a no-fault insurance state. Under a no-fault automobile insurance system, all victims of car accidents are guaranteed payment of certain “economic losses” regardless of who was at fault in the car accident. Consequently, the no-fault insurance laws place certain restrictions on an accident victim’s right to bring a lawsuit for “non-economic losses” against the negligent driver who caused the accident. Every motor vehicle owner in Michigan is required to carry a minimum amount of no-fault automobile insurance in case of an automobile accident.
The majority of Michigan car accidents are covered under the Michigan No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act (MCL 500.3101, et seq).
Under the Act, whenever a car accident occurs in Michigan and causes either personal injury or death, the car accident victim can pursue two separate and distinct claims. One is economic in nature, the other is non-economic.
The first claim is for no-fault insurance benefits, or legally known as personal protection benefits (PIP). This is the economic claim. You may also hear it called PIP benefits, first party benefits, no-fault benefits or even economic loss benefits. PIP benefits are always paid regardless of who was at fault for the car accident, but generally the car accident victim’s own insurance company will pay. No-fault insurance benefits are also available to pedestrians, bicyclists and others in addition to drivers and those who occupy a motor vehicle. Click here to learn more about who can recover no-fault insurance benefits and when they are payable.
There are four types of no-fault or PIP benefits that a car accident victim can recover:
- Allowable medical expense benefits
- Wage loss benefits
- Replacement service expenses
- Survivor’s loss benefits
The second type of claim — the non-economic one — is the tort liabilty claim or otherwise referred to as a third-party claim, tort claim, non-economic loss claim and residual bodily injury (RBI) claim. Under the Michigan No-Fault Insurance Act, a car accident victim can bring a private lawsuit against the at fault driver for non-economic losses but only if the victim suffered one of three types of “threshold” injuries — death, permanent serious disfurement or a serious impairment of a body function.
While the above two claims deal with accidental bodily injury, there is also another type of claim called personal property insurance (PPI) that is for accidental property damage. Unlike PPI benefits, where the victim’s own auto insurance company pays the benefits, PPI benefits are paid by the auto insurance company that insures the vehicle that caused the property damage.
Click on the links above to read more about these car accident injury recoveries.
If you are reading this, it is likely that you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident or truck accident. If so, then to protect your best interests, you will want to get in touch, as soon as possible, with an experienced auto accident injury lawyer that can properly evaluate your case.
Please set up a free case review with a recommended and highly qualified Michigan car accident injury law firm, in which you will have a chance to have all of your questions answered.