When it comes to parked vehicles, the State of Michigan has a rule on No-Fault parked vehicles. We have already discussed a few details about it in the article Legalities in Unreasonably Parked Vehicles in the State of Michigan where we discussed the laws surrounding parked vehicles in Michigan.
In this article, let us look at some facts about liabilities for accidents involving parked vehicles.
Michigan’s No-Fault PIP coverage
The exceptions under Michigan’s No-Fault PIP coverage provide that there are only three instances when an individual can be considered to be entitled to risk protection after being injured in an auto accident involving a parked car. The following are the exceptions:
- The motor vehicle was “parked in such a way as to cause unreasonable risk of the bodily injury that occurred.” (MCL 500.3106(1)(a))
- The victim’s “injury was a direct result of physical contact with equipment permanently mounted on the vehicle, while the equipment was being operated or used,” or during “the loading and unloading process.” (MCL 500.3106(1)(b))
- The victim’s “injury was sustained” he or she was “occupying, entering into, or alighting from the vehicle.” (MCL 500.3106(1)(c))
Should the victim be inside the car at the time of the accident?
Generally, there is no requirement that the owner of the vehicle is inside the car at the time of the accident. The exception already exists as long as the requirements set above are present. For example, the victim does not need to be inside the vehicle, the engine does not need to be on and the automobile does not need to be on when the accident or the injury happens.
Scenario: What if the victim parked at a mall?
If the victim parked at a mall and the exceptions are triggered, he can claim the insurance benefits.
Scenario: What if the victim was merely alighting from the vehicle when the accident occurred?
The Michigan Supreme Court through the Frazier v. Allstate Insurance Company has made a ruling on this matter which provides the following:
MCL 500.3105(1) sets forth the parameters of personal protection insurance coverage. It provides: Under personal protection insurance an insurer is liable to pay benefits for accidental bodily injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle, subject to the provisions of this chapter. [MCL 500.3105(1).]
MCL 500.3106(1) expressly delineates when “accidental bodily injury aris[es] out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle” if the vehicle is parked. Therefore, in the case of a parked motor vehicle, a claimant must demonstrate that his or her injury meets one of the requirements of MCL 500.3106(1) because unless one of those requirements is met, the injury does not arise out of the use of a vehicle as a motor vehicle, under MCL 500.3105(1).
For MCL 500.3106(1)(c), “alight” means “to dismount from a horse, descend from a vehicle, etc.” or “to settle or stay after descending; come to rest.” Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (1997). See also New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (defining “alight” as “to descend and settle; come to earth from the air”).1 Moreover, that the injury must be sustained “while” alighting indicates that “alighting” does not occur in a single moment but occurs as the result of a process. The process begins when a person initiates the descent from a vehicle and is completed when an individual has effectively “descend[ed] from a vehicle” and has “come to rest”—when one has successfully transferred full control of one’s movement from reliance upon the vehicle to one’s body. This is typically accomplished when “both feet are planted firmly on the ground.”
We will get into a scenario-based article in the next part of this series.
Get Proper Coverage
In case of doubt, keep in mind that it is your no-fault insurance provider who would ultimately pay for your medical bills. As long as you get unlimited or no-limit coverage, you should be properly covered at a time when you need the best kind of coverage for your health and safety.
Contact Your Lawyer Today
If you have an insurance claim that you need assistance with, you should contact us today. A lawyer can help you get started with your claim. A lawyer at Haque Legal will see to it that your needs are met from the beginning to the end of the proceedings. You are always in good hands with Haque Legal and what it has to offer.
The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
Let us help you out
If you are having trouble filing an insurance claim, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.