The Michigan no-fault law is a special area of law that covers motor vehicle accidents. In short, if you are involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle, a car insurance company is responsible for paying various benefits to you because of your car or truck accident injuries.
These benefits are numerous. They include the payment of medical expenses, including hospital and doctor’s bills, lost wages, reimbursement for prescriptions, reimbursement for medical mileage, payment for household chores and even payment to people providing more personal attendant care to an accident victim.
In Michigan, a person is entitled to these benefits no matter if he or she was at-fault for causing the accident. This is why the law is called the “no-fault” law. For example, if you are driving down a roadway, lose control of the vehicle and run into a tree, you are still eligible for Michigan no-fault benefits.
There is one main exception to this general rule. Under the Michigan no-fault law, if are the title or registered owner of the vehicle, or even the constructive owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, you must have car insurance on that vehicle to recover benefits. So if you are operating your own uninsured vehicle, and you are injured in a car accident, you cannot make a claim for no-fault benefits. Because of this reality, it is very important to maintain proper automobile insurance on vehicles that are operated on Michigan roadways.
Individuals entitled to benefits include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and really any person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident.
The benefits available to injured individuals are very generous. First, there is no dollar limit for medical expenses. This means the car insurance company responsible for paying medical bills must pay all the reasonable and customary charge for medical services so long as the treatment is motor vehicle related. For example, if a person is catastrophically injured and requires multiple surgeries, intensive rehabilitation and round the clock care, the car insurance company must pay for this treatment – even if the cost goes into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions.
Second, there is no time limitation for medical expenses. It is a lifetime benefit. This means the car insurance company must pay for medical expenses related to the accident for life.
Lost wages do have a monthly maximum, but it is still a high limit. Currently, the maximum amount an individual person can receive in lost wages from a no-fault insurance company is $5,282.00 per month. Lost wages are available up to 3 years from the date of the accident. The benefit is typically 85% of gross wages.
The Michigan no-fault law also provides compensation for people taking care of the car accident victim. For example, if a person is completing the household chores the injured person would have completed if not for her car accident injuries, that person is providing replacement services. Under the Michigan no-fault law, the compensation for this is $20.00 per day and is available for up to 3 years from the date of the accident.
If a car accident victim requires more personal care, or attendant care, the car insurance company must reimburse the individuals providing this care as well. Attendant care typically requires more hands-on work by the care provider, such as hygiene, bandage changing, assistance with dressing, assistance in the bathroom, driving or general supervision.
Like an attending nurse, the attendant care provider is entitled to an hourly rate for the work he or she is completing. Also important is the fact an attendant care provider can be anybody – a family member or friend – it does not have to be a person with a medical background.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. has been handling Michigan no-fault cases for over 40 years. We are experts in this area of the law and can help you. Please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE or 1-800-533-3733 for a free consultation so we can answer all of your questions.