Getting into a car accident can be a scary and confusing experience, particularly when it comes to receiving medical care and getting compensation for your losses. This process can be even more confusing when it comes to individuals struck by uninsured drivers. However, Michigan is a no-fault state, which means individuals should be able to turn to their own insurance to recover compensation for their losses.
Understanding Michigan’s Insurance Laws
Most people in Michigan understand that this is a no-fault state when it comes to insurance. This is different from how most other states in the country operate. In most other places, the driver found to be at fault for an accident is responsible for covering injuries and property damage expenses. At least, their insurance carrier will. However, in a no-fault state like Michigan, drivers turn to their own insurance to recover compensation.
Turning to Your Insurance Carrier
If a person is struck by an uninsured driver in the state of Michigan, this is actually better than a person getting struck by an uninsured driver in a state that operates under a fault-based system. In Michigan, drivers will be able to turn to their own insurance carrier for coverage of their emergency medical and ongoing medical expenses through personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
But what about your vehicle damage?
It is important for drivers in Michigan to carry collision and comprehensive coverage on their vehicles. If a driver wishes to have their vehicle damage covered in the event an accident occurs, they need to know that personal injury protection insurance will not cover these expenses. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Michigan, but it is strongly encouraged even though individuals are required to carry personal injury protection insurance.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays off for situations like this. In the event the uninsured driver does not have the assets to cover property damage expenses, or if they are not caught at all, uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for the vehicle damage in these situations.
Working With a Lawyer
We strongly encourage any person who has been injured or sustained property damage as a result of an uninsured driver to reach out to a Southfield car accident attorney immediately. These claims can become complicated, even though the no-fault system is supposed to streamline the accident claims process. There are times when your own insurance carrier will push back against having to pay out compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Unfortunately, no-fault insurance policies in Michigan do not cover all of a person’s losses, especially for serious injuries. For example, no-fault policies will not pay for non-economic damages caused by car accident injuries. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
Individuals in Michigan are only allowed to step outside of the no-fault insurance system with a third-party lawsuit against the other driver in limited circumstances. This includes a certain liability threshold of damages, which means injuries that cause serious impairment or disability.