November 7, 2018
What to Expect When You Are At-Fault in a Michigan Auto Accident
The No-Fault Insurance Act was enacted in 1973 in the state of Michigan. Several decades later, many still don’t know what it entails. One question that lingers in the minds of drivers in the state is: In the event of an accident, does it mean all the parties leave scot-free? Even the at-fault party? Let’s take a look at what to expect if you are the at-fault driver in an auto accident in Michigan. If you have been in an auto accident in Michigan, the car accident lawyers at Elia & Ponto will help you recover your benefits from the insurance company. We have a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals standing by to help you. Our team will help you file a Michigan car accident claim and help you understand your rights.
First Party Benefits
As per the Michigan No-Fault Law, you are entitled to first party benefits or PIP (Michigan Personal Injury Protection) even if you were at fault. Some of the benefits include:
- Medical expenses: The No-Fault law allows for you to be reimbursed for all the medical expenses that were accrued following the auto accident. This means that you will get back the amount of money that you used to cover for medical care. However, the insurance company has to ascertain that the medical treatment you received was essential. To maximize on this benefit, ensure that you see a medical professional immediately after the accident to get checked up. The professional will assess your injuries including internal injuries which might not be evident.
- Medical mileage: In addition to the medical expenses, the No-Fault act allows for one to be paid back the amount they spent in transportation when going to the doctors’ offices, visiting hospitals or to rehabilitation clinics. In this case, ensure that you have a stash of your mileage expenses and give them to your insurance company alongside the medical bills.
Wage loss: Another benefit under the No-Fault act is the reimbursement of 85% of one’s wages. This is in the event that one is unable to go to work because of the injuries they sustained from the accident. However, this amount is adjusted each year and is payable up to three years from the date of the accident.
- Household services: If after the accident, you are unable to perform normal household duties that you could do before the accident, you are entitled to a maximum of $20 daily so as to hire someone to do them for you. This could be a house help or a relative.
- Attendant care: This refers to nursing services which are broken down to ‘activities of daily living’. These include services such as grooming, bathing or dressing among others. The money is given to the family members or guardians who are mandated with carrying out these services to the victims.
The Downside: Third Party Benefits
Alongside the first party benefits, an auto accident victim is entitled to benefits under the third party claim. These include remuneration for pain and suffering and non-economic losses. However, in order to receive these benefits, the victim must meet a certain threshold that is required. Additionally, the auto accident victim must prove that the other driver was largely at fault. Even if you are injured from a truck accident, a Michigan truck accident lawyer at our firm can help you.
In order to receive this payout, the plaintiff must prove that you were at least 50% at-fault and this led to their injuries. In this case, you will be barred from receiving these benefits.
Auto Accident Attorneys
Even if you consider yourself to be entirely at-fault, you should not resign to this fact. Instead, ask for an auto accident lawyer who will assist in the following:
- An attorney will help disprove some if not all the accusations of fault. You might think that it is pretty obvious that you are at fault, but a lawyer can help in lifting these accusations and ensure that you are not thrown under the bus.
- An attorney may also identify other parties that may have played a part in the occurrence of the crash. For example, the attorney may stumble upon evidence that proves the other driver was also negligent such as traffic citations.
- A Michigan car accident lawyer will also prove that you were not totally at fault. This means that if your fault rate is below 50%, in most cases, you might not end up in court due to a pain and suffering lawsuit from the plaintiff.
So even if you think that you are entirely at-fault, a Michigan auto accident lawyer from Elia & Ponto can help you avoid paying for the victim’s pain and suffering from your personal assets, if their needs exceed your policy limit.
If you or a loved was in an auto accident in Michigan and you need to file a Michigan insurance claim, our auto accident lawyers at Elia & Ponto will guide in you in the process of securing your first party benefits and third-party benefits if need be.