Who Pays Your No-Fault Benefits if You A Pedestrian in an Accident?

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Who Pays Your No-Fault Benefits if you are a Pedestrian in an Accident?

no fault benefits pedestrian accident

Key Points of This Article:

  • Injured pedestrians in Detroit and Michigan can seek benefits through their own no-fault insurance coverage.
  • Pedestrians that do not have auto insurance can still get coverage for their injuries and other damages.
  • Further compensation can be pursued by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for the accident.

Being involved in an accident as a pedestrian can be scary and traumatizing. Not only do pedestrians often suffer more severe injuries than passengers in the cars involved, but they also tend to have worries and concerns about who they can pursue for compensation since they were on foot and not in a car.

Despite not being in a car, pedestrians can seek compensation for a car accident through a car insurance company. However, the car insurance company that is responsible for paying will depend on something called the order of priority.

Michigan no-fault benefits, also known as personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, are specific items that auto insurance company must pay an injured person following a motor vehicle accident. The most important benefit is the payment of medical bills resulting from the crash.

If you are involved in a car accident as a pedestrian, the legal team at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm in Detroit and throughout Michigan can assist you. We can help guide you through the process of filing a pedestrian accident claim based on the order of priority to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Order of Priority After a Pedestrian Accident

So, what is the order of priority exactly, and how does it affect pedestrians? To begin, you must first understand that Michigan is a no-fault state, which means whether you are a pedestrian or a driver involved in an accident, you must first seek benefits through your own no-fault car insurance coverage.

However, not everyone in Detroit has car insurance coverage, which is where the order of priority comes into play. This order is essentially used to determine which car insurance company will be responsible for paying the injured pedestrian for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, replacement service expenses, and survivor loss benefits.

1. Your Own Car Insurance

The first step in the order of priority is to seek compensation through your own insurance company. These Michigan no-fault benefits are paid through auto insurance companies under what is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP benefits can help pay for medical expenses and 85% of lost gross wages for up to three years from the date of the accident.

However, it should be noted that a new law was recently enacted that changes the amount of coverage for medical expenses. Previously, injured pedestrians could receive unlimited PIP medical benefits, but they are now limited to the chosen coverage level of their own car insurance policy.

These coverage levels include:

  • $50,000 for drivers on Medicaid
  • $250,000
  • $500,000
  • No Limit or unlimited

2. Resident Relative’s Insurance

If the pedestrian does not have their own car insurance coverage, the next step in the order of priority is to go through the insurance company of their spouse. If they have no spouse, they would then go through the insurance company of a relative they live with, such as a parent, sibling, aunt or uncle, grandparent, or even a cousin.

If the pedestrian goes through a spouse or resident relative’s insurance, the coverage will again depend on the limit that person chose for their auto policy. If there is no spouse and the pedestrian lives alone or with someone other than a relative, they would move on to the next step in the order of priority.

3. Michigan Assigned Claims Plan

If no-fault PIP benefits are not available to the pedestrian, the new Michigan no-fault law allows  them to next seek compensation through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP). Previously, prior to filing a claim through the MACP, injured pedestrians would typically file a claim against the negligent party or driver responsible for causing the accident.

However, they may now file through the MACP first if they desire. After a claim is filed through the MACP, an insurance company will be assigned to provide no-fault benefits to the injured pedestrian.

Filing a Lawsuit As an Injured Pedestrian in Detroit After a Car Accident

It is also possible for pedestrians to pursue further compensation by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for causing the accident. No-fault benefits are often not enough to cover damages as they primarily account for medical benefits and lost wages and are subject to policy coverage limits. However, a lawsuit can help cover additional damages such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent impairment, and scarring and disfigurement.

The Lee Steinberg Law Firm

If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident as a pedestrian in Detroit, the Lee Steinberg Law Firm is here to help. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience helping injured victims get the compensation they deserve. We can review your case and help guide you through the claims process—we can even help you file a lawsuit if you require further compensation for your pain and suffering.

Call our Detroit personal injury lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) to speak with an experienced attorney. Our consultations are free and confidential, and you’ll pay nothing until we settle your personal injury case.

Video Transcript
This is Eric Steinberg from the Lee Steinberg Law Firm. I’m here to talk today about the order of priority. What’s that? The order of priority is the auto insurance company that’s going to pay your claim if you’re injured in a car accident. There’s a certain order to figure out which car insurance company is responsible. If your pedestrian, meaning someone who wasn’t in the car, whether you were walking or on a bicycle, and you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, let’s say you’re hit by a truck or a car, there’s a certain order for who’s going to pay your no fault benefits. These benefits include medical bills and lost wages and other things. 

First, you always start with your own car insurance. So let’s say you’re walking down the street and unfortunately you get hit by a car. You always start with your own car insurance. So if you have State Farm, State Farm would cover your claim. It’s not the person who hits you. Next, if you don’t have insurance of your own, you go to a resident relative. This is like a spouse, or a sibling, or an aunt and uncle, or anybody you live with. Their car insurance would be responsible for paying your claim even if their car wasn’t involved in the accident.

Well, if you live alone, or if you don’t have car insurance of your own, you can still get no fault benefits. In that situation, the next order priority is the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, or the MACP. The MACP is an organization run by the insurance companies through the state of Michigan. And after you complete an application, they will assign an insurance company like Farm Bureau, or Citizens, or AAA to pay your no fault benefits. This can be a confusing process. Give us a call at 1-800-LEE-FREE. We’re standing by ready to assist you and answer your questions. The phone call is free and we never charge anything until we win your case. Give us a call at 1-800-LEE-FREE.