If you suffer injuries in a car accident in a no-fault state, you may wonder who will be paying for your medical bills and other expenses. A number of differences exist between at-fault states and no-fault states, and our Michigan personal injury lawyers are here to outline those differences. And who pays for car damage in a no-fault state such as Michigan? This blog serves to answer common questions regarding no-fault laws in Michigan and how they can apply to your situation.
At Lipton Law, we understand that handling the aftermath of a car accident can be difficult and stressful on your own. This is especially true if you were injured in the accident. A Michigan car accident attorney with our firm will guide you through the process of filing a claim with your insurance company, as well as against the at-fault driver. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced no-fault accident lawyer, please call our office at 248-557-1688 today.
What Is a No-Fault State?
No-fault states are those in which injured accident victims can have their medical bills and lost wages covered regardless of who the at-fault driver was. Each victim’s own insurance company will cover their lost wages and medical expenses. However, they can still sue the at-fault driver for any damages that exceed their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage levels.
One of the most important elements of no-fault states is that you don’t need to prove who caused the accident. Instead, each driver’s insurance company pays for their damages. However, victims can also file personal injury lawsuits against the other driver for damages other than medical bills and lost wages. This will require the plaintiff to prove that the other driver was responsible for the crash.
At-Fault vs No-Fault State Car Accidents
So, what are the differences between who pays for what in at-fault states and no-fault states? As we mentioned previously, each driver’s PIP coverage will reimburse them for medical bills and lost income in a no-fault insurance state. In at-fault states, the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance will cover the other driver’s medical expenses.
At-fault states are also called tort states. The at-fault driver’s bodily injury and property damage liability coverage will pay for medical costs and car repairs up to their policy limits. They must pay any overages out of pocket.
But what does no-fault insurance cover? Each driver’s own insurance companies will cover medical bills. However, the at-fault driver’s insurance is still expected to compensate victims for property damage and vehicle repairs.
Is Michigan a No-Fault State?
Yes. Michigan is one of twelve states that adhere to no-fault auto insurance law. According to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Michigan requires drivers to have no-fault insurance on their vehicles. In the event of a car accident, your own insurance company will cover your medical bills and any property damage your vehicle does to others’ property.
Drivers are specifically required to carry bodily injury liability insurance that covers up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. They must also carry $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.
What Happens if You’re Involved in a Car Accident in a No-Fault State?
It can be difficult to determine what to do after a no-fault accident in Michigan. This is why working with an automobile accident lawyer is imperative. If you get into a car accident in a no-fault state, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone involved is safe. Call the police and get a copy of the official police report for your records. Then, call your insurance company and inform them of the accident.
Carefully explain the situation to your insurance carrier. If you speak with the other driver, refrain from making any comments about who is the liable party. Once you leave the scene of the accident, we recommend seeking medical attention. Many injuries from car accidents are not apparent right away, as the adrenaline in your body may prevent you from feeling pain. Have a doctor evaluate you for any unseen injuries.
Lastly, contact a Michigan car accident attorney. Especially in accident cases involving two or more vehicles, it can be difficult to handle the claims process on your own. Our attorneys will ensure that you meet all necessary filing deadlines and help you build a strong case.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
Generally speaking, what is no-fault car insurance? No-fault insurance is also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. It covers the lost income and medical expenses for both you and your passengers in the event of a covered accident. This is true no matter who is found to be at fault for an accident.
No-fault auto insurance differs from other insurance policy types in that you don’t need to prove fault to receive insurance benefits. As long as the accident is covered under your policy, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will pay your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.
What Is the Purpose of No-Fault Insurance?
Currently, eighteen states require drivers to carry no-fault insurance. But why is this? The no-fault system intends to lower insurance premiums by keeping smaller accident claims out of the court system. Some states require PIP coverage, while others give drivers a choice between no-fault auto insurance and traditional tort liability coverage.
Do No-Fault Insurance Policies Cover Vehicle Damage?
No. Although it does cover certain other economic damages, it does not cover a property damage claim for your vehicle. Instead, your collision coverage or the other driver’s at-fault liability policy will reimburse you for property damage to your vehicle.
Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit Against a Negligent Driver in a No-Fault State?
Technically, yes. However, your claim must meet certain requirements before you can do this. You must first file a claim with your own insurance company and receive compensation. This compensation will come from your PIP insurance policy. If your injuries are extensive or if they greatly impact your life, you can usually pursue a claim under the other driver’s car insurance. We recommend speaking with an experienced attorney if you wish to file a claim in a no-fault state.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Michigan’s No-Fault Law
Each form of auto insurance has both advantages and disadvantages, and no-fault car insurance is no exception. Below, we outline the pros and cons of Michigan’s no-fault laws.
- Faster payouts
- Fewer lawsuits
- Less money spent on legal fees
- Broader coverage
- Fewer penalties for the at-fault drivers
- Higher rates of traffic fatalities
- Fewer legal options
What Damages Are Covered by No-Fault Insurance?
No-fault car insurance covers the following damages after a car accident in Michigan.
- Medical bills incurred from the accident
- Deductibles for your health insurance
- Lost wages and earnings
- Other essential services, such as cleaning expenses, grocery shopping, and even child care
- Wrongful death expenses, including funeral and burial expenses
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer at Lipton Law Today
Lipton Law is one of the premier personal injury law firms in Michigan. We have extensive experience handling no-fault car accident cases, and we are well-equipped to advise you on the best course of action. It can be difficult to navigate the claims process on your own, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Our Michigan auto accident attorneys will help you navigate the insurance claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation with us and begin the legal process, call our office at 248-557-1688 today.