Injured in an auto accident? Know your Michigan no-fault rights.
The following is a quick summary of your rights under the Michigan No-Fault Act. It sets forth both your interests and your obligations. If your insurer rejects your efforts for protection or otherwise fails to meet its obligations pursuant to your insurance contract, do not hesitate to contact me with regard to seeking the protection of your rights. Michigan’s No-Fault Law provides extremely valuable benefits to which you are entitled because of your accident. These economic benefits include medical expenses, wage loss and replacement services as necessitated by your injuries.
The Medical Expenses Provision provides reimbursement for all medical expenses incurred by you because of your injuries. Depending upon the type of insurance coverage involved, these may be coordinated benefits, which pay all expenses not covered by your basic health insurance or full benefits, which pay all medical expenses incurred even if those are paid by a health insurance provider.
Part of the medical expenses provision of the No-Fault Act provides for the reimbursement of transportation expenses. These include expenses for mileage to and from doctors or hospitals or rehabilitation clinics. In the event that you do not drive, it can include bus fare or taxi fare. Please keep a complete record of all your mileage expenses and submit them to the insurance company along with your other medical bills.
One other benefit that falls under the medical expenses provision is attendant care services. If you or a loved one require one on one attendant care as a result of an automobile accident you or they are entitled to have attendant care services paid for. This is different than replacement services benefits which are explained below. Attendant care can be provided by a family member or service, both of which would be entitled to payment. Attendant care can be as little as an hour or two a week to 24/7 365 days a year depending on how severe the injuries are.
The Wage Loss Provision will reimburse you for 85% of any wages lost as a result of your injuries, up to a statutory monthly maximum which is adjusted every year.
The Replacement Services Provision will pay up to $20.00 a day for any services you used to do for yourself but cannot do because of your injuries and now must have someone else to do them for you. This provision should be used with caution, as abuse of it may affect your ability to get medical treatment.
The Medical Expense Provision is a lifetime benefit, the Wage and Replacement Services are payable for three (3) years from the date of the accident.
To secure these benefits, there are some important things you must do. First of all, you must immediately file a No-Fault Application with the applicable insurance carrier. Nothing starts until you file this application. This application must be filed within twelve (12) months from the date of the accident, or you will forever lose any benefits to which you might be entitled.
Secondly, if any particular item of reimbursable expense is not paid by your insurance carrier, you must file a lawsuit for that particuar item within twelve (12) months from the date that such expense was incurred. If such a lawsuit is not filed within that twelve (12) month period, then again, you will lose all rights to reimbursement for that particular item of expense.
I appreciate that much of this sounds quite complicated and in many respects, the law is complicated. The important thing to remember is that you must file a No-Fault Application immediately and if, after a reasonable period of time, you are experiencing any difficulties with the insurance company, please feel free to give me a call as I would be happy to help you obtain those benefits for which you are entitled.
Remember you DO NOT have to hire an attorney to get your benefits unless your insurance company has refused to pay for them. So don’t pay a percentage of your benefits to a lawyer when the insurance company is paying them voluntarily.