No-fault laws have brought significant changes to the legal system of those states where they have been implemented. These laws directly impact personal injury cases arising from vehicle accidents, and understanding the implications of these laws is crucial to ensure that potential victims of these accidents receive the support they need.
In this article, we will explore Michigan’s no-fault laws and how they impact personal injury cases.
No-Fault Insurance In Michigan
While no-fault laws are restrictive, they do serve a purpose. If you sustain minor injuries or simply total your vehicle with no injury at all, you are covered by your own insurance no matter who is at fault. An insurance claim is usually far less adversarial than a lawsuit. And the turnaround time for payment of your claim is much faster than it would be with the court system involved.
However, this process requires you to provide proof that the other driver caused the accident leading to your injuries. Proving fault can be a complicated and time-consuming procedure. This process primarily entails gathering crucial pieces of evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and photographs of the accident scene.
Even after obtaining all the required evidence, the other driver’s insurance firm may refuse to grant you compensation. This denial can force you to take legal action against the other driver, as you may opt to file a car accident lawsuit to claim damages.
Ultimately, filing a third-party car insurance claim demands patience and seeking legal counsel to guarantee maximum compensation if the case proceeds to court. You can find a personal injury lawyer in Michigan at Christensen Law.
What Damages Are Covered By No-Fault Insurance?
Typically, medical bills are covered, as are any lost wages resulting from the accident. In cases where the injured party is unable to perform tasks such as housework or driving, the cost of replacement services may also be covered. In the unfortunate event that the accident results in a fatality, funeral costs may also be included.
It’s important to note that no-fault insurance claims do not cover damages such as pain and suffering. This is one of the tradeoffs for this kind of streamlined process.
How Do I Make A Personal Injury Claim With No-Fault Insurance?
In general, no-fault insurance only covers your medical expenses and lost earnings up to a certain limit. If your medical bills or lost earnings exceed this limit, you may have to file a lawsuit or third-party insurance claim to recover those damages.
Additionally, no-fault insurance doesn’t cover property damages. If your car is damaged in an accident, you will need to have collision coverage to pay for its repair or replacement. It’s also important to note that not all states have the same no-fault insurance laws.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Affect Personal Injury Claims?
No-fault states have established different types of thresholds for bringing suit in an auto negligence action. While some states like Michigan require a serious impairment of bodily function to pursue a lawsuit, others have instituted an economic threshold that limits the amount of money their insurance company is obligated to pay.
The likelihood of success in either scenario is contingent on the severity of the injuries sustained in an auto accident. In the case of Michigan’s threshold, the victim needs to meet the legal definition of “serious impairment,” which means that their injuries must significantly affect their normal daily activities. On the other hand, economic threshold states require the injured person to exceed the damage cap to file a lawsuit.
These caps vary by state and cover economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. As compared to physical injury thresholds, economic thresholds are simpler to evaluate, as they’re based on monetary expenses.
In a no-fault system, minor or even no injuries that result from car accidents are covered by the insurance of the person who incurred the damages. This means that the injured party need not engage in an adversarial courtroom battle with another driver’s insurance company to receive compensation.
The claim’s processing time is also significantly reduced, as the insurance company quickly steps in to pay for the damages. However, no-fault claims can still receive disputes from insurance companies, despite the system’s efficient design. This outcome sometimes leads to injured parties suing their insurance companies for no-fault compensation.
Dont Let No-Fault Laws Hold You Back
All in all, the concept of no-fault laws are designed to protect drivers and reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits within the legal system. While these laws may seem restrictive at first glance, they can actually provide a solid foundation for insurance coverage and compensation for injuries sustained in an accident, no matter its cause.
With no-fault insurance, drivers can receive medical coverage and lost wage benefits without having to prove fault or negligence. This, in turn, can save time, money, and the hassle of going through the court system. Ultimately, no-fault laws can ensure that drivers have access to crucial medical care and financial support in the aftermath of a car accident.