September 9, 2018
Factors that Determine Your Insurance Policy Payout
When a victim of an auto accident fills an insurance claim for personal injury, he or she wants to get an estimate of what his or her case is worth. However, this is always a hard question to answer. Honestly, it cannot be answered right off the bat. This is because an insurance payout is dependent on several factors. Thus, it is not a matter of summing up your medical bills and coming up with a random number that you believe caters for the pain and suffering. Here is a list of the factors that will play a huge role in the amount that you will receive in your payout. A Michigan car accident lawyer can help you understand how to file a Michigan auto accident claim.
1. How Severe Your Injuries Are
The more severe your injuries are, the higher the amount of money you will receive in your payout. For example, a brain injury that may cause trauma will rack up more in medical expenses alongside pain and suffering benefits compared to a soft-tissue injury. Since winning a pain and suffering claim means more in the payout, it is a tad more difficult to win in Michigan. This is because there is a set injury threshold that your injuries must pass to file such a lawsuit. This entails proving that the injury is a severe impairment of a body function or that you sustained a severe, lasting disfigurement.
If your injuries do not meet this threshold, you will not be able to file a pain and suffering lawsuit. However, this does not mean you will not receive any benefits. In Michigan, you are entitled to first party benefits that cover for lost wages and medical expenses.
As mentioned above, getting a higher payout in Michigan requires that you win a third party lawsuit. To win this, you have to prove that the other driver was partially at fault over the accident. To receive a pain and suffering payout, you must prove that the other driver’s negligence was at least 50% leading to your injuries. Since Michigan is a no-fault state, you will still have your medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed even if you were entirely at fault.
3. Location of the Accident
Oblivious to many, the scene of the accident plays a considerable role in the amount you receive in compensation. Often, the outcomes of auto accident lawsuits often vary depending on the city and the county. For example, the payout in a lawsuit in Detroit will be higher than the payout in a tiny rural town. This is attributed to myriad reasons. However, larger metropolitan regions’ incomes are higher, and the jurors in these areas are willing to hand out huge sums of injury awards. Nonetheless, our auto accident lawyers at Elia & Ponto will help you get a fair payout regardless of the location of the accident.
4. Comparative Fault
Generally, Michigan is not a comparative fault state. Still, the ratio of fault for both drivers determines the final payout. This is in the event that you file for third-party benefits by suing the other driver. In this case, the comparative fault will be a great determiner. The settlement in this lawsuit is reliant on the percentage of fault in which you played a hand. For example, if it has determined that your pain and suffering amounts to $50000, and if the other driver was entirely at fault (100%), you would get the whole amount. On the other hand, if it is established that you were 20% at fault, you will only receive $40000 of the $50000 total. So this is how comparative fault affects the amount you receive in your payout.
5. Medical Costs
Often, many people are under the illusion that the insurance provider will agree to the amount they want to be reimbursed for medical fees. Precisely, insurance companies will not pay for medical procedures that they consider excessive or unnecessary. In many cases, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments fall under this category. Even though you consider the procedures vital to your healing process, the insurance adjuster might not be for the same. So say after a visit to the acupuncturist and chiropractor, your medical bills amount to $4000. Your insurance adjuster may consider $2,000 to be the reasonable amount. This leaves you covering the excess amount, and you do not want this. As such, ensure that you receive medical treatment from a reputable doctor. Our Michigan auto accident lawyers at Elia & Ponto will help fight off insurance adjusters who might want to downplay your medical expenses.
6. Limits in the Insurance Policy
This is mostly the limiting factor in accident payouts. Under Michigan’s no-fault law, you are assured of medical coverage that is for life. However, in third-party claims, policy limits will come to play when you take the other driver to court in a bid to receive a payout for pain and suffering. For example, most drivers in Michigan buy the absolute minimum insurance that is demanded by the law. Therefore, if your pain and suffering the other driver’s policy limits, the insurance company will only give you the whole amount according to the policy limit. Thus, you will be left to sue against the driver’s personal assets and if they are not enough, you will have to do with what you received.
If you or a loved one was in an auto accident in Michigan, you need not suffer from low payouts. At Elia & Ponto, we have the best Michigan car accident lawyers who will help you in filing a Michigan insurance claim and in filing for third-party benefits. We also have a Michigan truck accident lawyer ready to help you now!