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  Michigan's No-Fault Law  

Michigan's No-Fault Law

No-Fault Law

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Michigan's No-Fault Law


Michigan's No-Fault Law

A Brief History
The Michigan No-Fault law went into effect in 1973. The law was enacted in large part because injured Michigan drivers without private health insurance were forced to file a lawsuit against the party at fault to collect payment for medical bills. Because those lawsuits frequently took years to resolve, Michigan citizens injured in automobile accident were not getting appropriate medical care.

As a result, automobile insurance companies in Michigan struck a compromise. Insurance companies insuring automobiles in Michigan agreed to pay various benefits, including medical care, to its own insured drivers and passengers without regard to who was at fault in the accident. In exchange, automobile insurance companies no longer had to pay compensation for pain and suffering for injuries caused to third persons by its own insureds - unless the injured party could prove that his or her injuries reached a threshold of - serious impairment of body function.-

No-Fault Benefits Available
No-Fault benefits are also referred to as First-Party benefits or PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits. The No-Fault benefits available to individuals injured in a collision include:

  • LIFETIME MEDICAL CARE, including medical bills, attendant care services, hospital and doctor co-pays, and prescription costs

  • LOST WAGES up to three years after the collision

  • HOUSEHOLD REPLACEMENT SERVICES up to three years after the collision

  • REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE to and from medical and rehabilitation facilities

With respect to medical care, the automobile insurance company is obligated to pay medical bills for the life of the insured as long as the medical care is reasonably related to the injuries sustained in the automobile accident and the type and cost of the care is reasonable. The medical care benefit also includes payment for -attendant care.- Attendant care is where the injury was so severe that another person, typically a nurse or a family member, is required to provide some level of medical care for the injured person. The attendant care provider is usually paid an hourly fee. The medical care benefit also provides reimbursement for mileage to and from the doctor's office and can include the cost of remodeling a home to accommodate the special needs of the injured individual.

If the injured individual also has private health insurance, that medical coverage and the automobile insurance company is usually -coordinated.- When the coverages are coordinated, the private health insurance company is primarily responsible for paying the medical bills and, to the extent the private insurance carrier does not cover certain medical care or covers only a portion of certain procedures, the automobile insurance carrier must pay the balance. Automobile insurance is never coordinated with Medicaid or Medicare health plans and, therefore, the automobile insurance would be primary for individuals covered under those health plans. A complete review of one's automobile insurance policy is necessary to determine the specific coverage for that individual.

Lost Wages
If the accident-related injury causes the individual to miss work, the automobile insurance company must pay 85% of the gross wages lost for a period of up to three years after the collision.

Household Replacement Services
If the injured individual is unable to provide help in the upkeep of the home which he or she used to provide prior to the injury, the automobile insurance company must pay another individual, including family members, up to $20.00 per day for up to three years to provide these services.

Whose Automobile Insurance Company Has To Pay The No-Fault Benefits?
In Michigan, determining which car insurance company is responsible to pay your no-fault benefits is complicated. Regardless of whether you are injured in your own automobile or while driving or a passenger in someone else's vehicle, you must make your claim for No-Fault Benefits to the automobile insurance company which insures the vehicle you own. If you do not own a vehicle, you must make the claim for No-Fault Benefits to the insurance company which insures your spouse's vehicle or insures any vehicle owned by a relative living in your home. If other relatives living in your home do not own a vehicle, then you must make the claim for No-Fault Benefits to the insurance company of the owner of vehicle you were in and if the owner of that vehicle was uninsured, you must make the claim for No-Fault Benefits to the insurer of the driver of the vehicle you were in at the time of the injury.

It is important to note that if you are injured while occupying a vehicle you own which is uninsured, you are precluded from obtaining any No-Fault Benefits from any insurance company. It is also imperative that you make a claim for No-Fault Benefits to the appropriate insurance company, in writing, within one year of the date of the injury or you will forever lose your right to obtain these benefits.

As with any set of complicated statutory laws, the above outline is intended simply to provide general information. There are always exceptions to the general rule and there can be shorter time limits involved in pursuing your specific claim. We recommend that you consult with an experienced No-Fault attorney at Powers Chapman before you make the initial claim so that your claim is appropriately and timely made and you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled under the law.


Super Lawyer Profile

Attorneys at the Troy, Michigan law firm of POWERS CHAPMAN represent clients across the State of Michigan and throughout the Tri-County Area of Wayne County, Macomb County and Oakland County. Whether you are local - Detroit, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Warren, Pontiac, Livonia, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Dearborn, Rochester, Novi, West Bloomfield, Romeo, Berkley, Ferndale, Oak Park, Clawson, Mt. Clemens, Farmington Hills - or far away - Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Kalkaska, Saginaw, Alpena, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo - POWERS CHAPMAN is ready to represent you.

Practice Areas:
Auto Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Dog Bite Liability, Personal Injury,
Probate, Estate Planning & Administration, Corporate, Business & Tax Law, Family Law
Criminal & Traffic Law, Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy Law, Labor & Employment Law, Appellate Law

Powers Chapman

3001 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 210
Troy, MI 48084

Fax: 248-643-0280
LegalShield Fax: 248-643-2476