The following blog post is another addition to my ongoing Michigan Car Accident Attorneys No-Fault Law Practice Tip section. This particular post is about Survivor’s Benefits, which is found under MCL 500.3108.
When a person dies in a car accident, the deceased’s dependents are entitled to certain no-fault benefits. The benefits are actually quite extensive and are called Survivor’s Loss Benefits. Under the law, survivor’s loss benefits include the payment of medical expenses, replacement services, and the payment for what’s called “contributions of tangible things of economic value.”
Like all Michigan no-fault claims, the decedent’s medical bills and hospital bills are to be paid by the car insurance company responsible for paying Michigan no-fault benefits. That is a basic benefit under the Michigan no-fault law.
Another basic benefit are wage loss benefits. However, in a Survivor’s Loss Benefit situation things are a little different. When a person is injured in a car accident, he or she is entitled to lost wage benefits from the applicable auto insurance carrier responsible for paying no-fault benefits. Typically, lost wages are 85% of the gross wages you were earning at your job at the time of the accident. However, in a survivor’s loss claim, the dependents of the deceased are entitled to more than just 85% of the deceased lost wages. They are entitled to what’s called “contributions of tangible things of economic value”. This term, which is found directly in the no-fault law, allows dependent to obtain other earnings the decedent left behind, including insurance benefits, disability coverage, annuity income or lost fringe benefits.
Another benefit is a funeral and burial expense benefit. This benefit provides for the payment of funeral and burial expenses of not less than $1,750 or more than $5,000, depending on the policyholder’s coverage.
Still another benefit is the payment of replacement services. Replacement services in a Survivor’s Loss Benefit claim act exactly the same way as in a no-fault claim involving injury rather than death – in this case the dependent who is performing the household chores and other ordinary services is entitled to receive the $20.00 per day maximum for up to three years from the date of the death.
Last, like wage loss and replacement services, survivor’s loss benefits are payable for three years from the date of the accident. In addition, there is a maximum survivor’s loss benefit that a dependent can receive in one month.