Unfortunately, accidents will always happen, and you may be at fault sometimes. Since Michigan is a no-fault state, the driver responsible for the accident can still receive compensation for damages. After a car accident, it can be challenging to understand what you can recover compensation for when that accident is your fault.
The Michigan car accident lawyers from Lipton Law have been representing clients in all types of car accidents and can help ensure that your rights stay protected. When you meet with one of our personal injury attorneys, your accident will be investigated, and, in some cases, our team may find that you can share the fault with the other driver.
If you are found at fault, you need proper legal representation if the other party pursues a lawsuit against you. Schedule a free legal consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys by calling 248-557-1688 today.
What Happens if the Car Accident Was Your Fault?
Determining what happens after a car accident where you are at fault will depend on where you live. In at-fault states, the person responsible for the accident is held liable for damages for all parties involved in the accident. In no-fault states, the insurance companies for all parties will cover any damages.
Michigan is a no-fault state, so all car accident victims will have their medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and replacement costs covered. The only exception for the at-fault party is their insurance policy will not cover any damages to their vehicle.
Michigan Fault Laws for Car Accidents
It’s against the law in Michigan to drive without no-fault car insurance. In fact, Michigan is so serious about its insurance laws that drivers cannot get license plates without the minimum required no-fault coverage.
The Michigan no-fault laws protect all parties involved in a car accident and ensure that the other driver is not left with an unnecessary financial burden. When drivers are involved in car accidents that are not their fault, they shouldn’t be responsible for damages. Thanks to Michigan’s no-fault laws, drivers are protected from being stuck paying for damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t have the proper insurance coverage.
Michigan requires all drivers to have the following three types of insurance:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage pays medical costs regardless of who is found responsible for the accident.
- Property Protection: This covers damage to another’s property up to $1 million. If the other driver’s vehicle was parked, this coverage will pay for the vehicle’s damages.
- Residual Liability Insurance, Bodily Injury, and Property Damage: This covers injury-related costs and damages to the other party’s vehicle. It only applies if the injured driver has sustained severe damages. Under certain circumstances, it also protects drivers from being sued for an accident.
Will Insurance Pay Out If I Was Partially to Blame?
Yes, your insurance will pay regardless of how much fault you’re assigned for the accident. The comparative fault rule will kick in if the car accident damages exceed no-fault coverage. This rule states that if you’re partially responsible for the car accident, you cannot recover damages if your negligence exceeds the other driver’s. Basically, to recover damages based on this rule, you cannot be more than 50% to blame for the accident.
How to Qualify for Compensation After an Accident
As long as you carry the three types of required insurance policies, your insurance company should compensate you for medical expenses and wages lost. If you suffered serious injuries from your accident, your at-fault policy will only cover your costs up to a certain amount.
Based on Michigan’s fault laws, the party responsible can only recover compensation for medical costs and lost wages. If the other driver is found partially responsible for the car accident, you could recover damages that exceed your insurance claim.
The fault laws and compensation for car accidents can be confusing in Michigan. It’s best to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss what compensation you’re entitled to.
What Damages Are Covered if You Contributed to an Accident?
The damages covered in accidents you’re responsible for are limited, but you can still be compensated to a degree. The amount of compensation you can recover for an at-fault accident may vary, so it’s important to contact one of the Michigan personal injury lawyers at Lipton Law immediately following your accident.
Property Damage to Your Vehicle
According to Michigan’s fault insurance and laws, you are not entitled to compensation for property damages on your own vehicle.
Physical Injury and Medical Bill Compensation
Your no-fault insurance will cover medical bills and any wages lost. However, your car insurance company must have proper documentation proving that the medical bills and lost wages are due to the accident injuries. This is why it’s critical to seek medical treatment after an accident to have proof for your insurance company when seeking compensation.
What Should You Do After an Accident You Caused?
Taking the necessary steps after a car accident should always be followed regardless of whether you are responsible. You can ensure that your rights are protected by following the steps below.
Get to Safety and Seek Medical Attention
If you cannot move your vehicle, leave the car and get yourself and your passengers to a safe area. Check everyone for injuries. Also, check with the other vehicles and passengers on their injuries. This way, you can report the injuries when you call 911, and they can send proper medical personnel to the scene.
Once you can leave the accident scene, seek medical attention even if you don’t think you’ve sustained injuries. Some injuries caused by accidents can appear days later. Seeking medical treatment after your accident can also help your car accident claim.
Exchange Information and Document the Accident Scene
After the police have been called and you’ve checked for injuries, exchange information with the other party involved. Make sure that you have their insurance and contact information. It’s also recommended to note their license plate and the car’s make and model.
Now that most people have smartphones with cameras, you can easily take pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles involved. Include photos of any injuries and car damages. Photographic evidence is beneficial in any car accident case and can prevent anyone from changing their stories later.
Speak with an Attorney
Following your accident, contact a Southfield car accident lawyer. Suppose the accident was partially your fault. You still need to protect your rights in case the other party pursues legal action against you. They can only sue you for damages if they sustained serious physical injuries caused by the accident.
At Lipton Law, one of our personal injury lawyers will evaluate your case and determine if the other driver can share some of the fault. In these cases, you could recover compensation for damages that exceed the fault insurance.
If you’re held 100% at fault for the accident, you cannot pursue a lawsuit to recover non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Even if you cannot sue, you still need to ensure your rights remain protected if the other party files a lawsuit.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your car insurance company as soon as possible following your accident. When you report your accident, you’ll want to avoid admitting fault. If you believe that you were responsible for causing the accident, there could be evidence that the other driver was partially at fault and can be held partly accountable. Admitting fault can affect your insurance claim and benefits under these circumstances. So, let the police report or insurance company be the one that determines fault.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
You have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit in Michigan. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to recover compensation. If you’re held responsible for the accident, you can still recover no-fault benefits. So, discussing your legal options with an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Attorney with Lipton Law Today
If you were involved in a car accident and were found partially responsible, you still have rights that need protecting. The fault laws in Michigan can be confusing, so you need an experienced car accident attorney representing you. In some cases, your personal injury attorney may be able to prove that the other driver can share the responsibility. This can open up the damages you’re entitled to.
Schedule a free consultation at Lipton Law by calling 248-557-1688 to learn more about your rights following an at-fault car accident.