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Pam Hallman to Meet with the U.S. Congressional Brain Injury Task Force13-Oct-2017

On October 25, our own Pam Hallman has been chosen to represent domestic violence and brain injury survivors across the country in front of the U.S. Congressional Brain Injury Task Force at a brie.. Read More...

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BIA HOME : Auto No-Fault

Auto No-Fault

Thanks to the Michigan No-Fault Act, our state has the most comprehensive and generous medical expense and patient care provision of any state in the country. Citizens have more rights under the law, but it's only when they have a full understanding of these rights that they can receive all the benefits available to them in the instance of an auto accident. This page provides a brief overview on how no-fault works in Michigan.

Every accident that happens in Michigan which causes injury or death creates two separate and distinct legal claims. The first is for no-fault personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits. The second is the third party tort liability claim for recovery of non-economic and excess economic damages.

PIP Benefit Claims

These benefits are also referred to as no-fault benefits, first party benefits, and economic loss benefits, but by and large they are simply known as PIP benefits. They are usually paid by the victim's insurance company, regardless of who's fault it was, hence why it is referred to as no-fault insurance.

PIP benefits are available to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and any others that have been involved in a vehicle accident. In our system, there are four types of PIP benefits payable to victims: Allowable Expense Benefits, Work Loss Benefits, Replacement Service Expenses, and Survivor’s Loss Benefits.
Allowable Expense Benefits ↓

Injured people are entitled to recover a certain amount of the costs they incur. Reasonable charges for necessary products, services, and accommodations of care, recovery, or rehabilitation are part of what is known as "allowable expenses." Anything considered an allowable expense is payable for life and there is no monetary cap; a victim is covered for as long as they need, despite the costs. Among the items considered as allowable expenses are:

• Medical and hospital expenses
• in-home nursing and attendant care
• Residential accommodations
• Physical and vocational rehabilitation
• Guardianship expenses
• Room and board expenses
• Medical transportation mileage
• Special motor vehicle transportation

Work Loss Benefits ↓

PIP benefits include covering up to 85% of a victim's lost income, including overtime pay. There is a caveat to this: there is a monthly maximum of $4,948 of work loss benefits which cannot be exceeded. If 85% of your monthly income exceeds the monthly maximum, you will only receive that $4,948. This benefit is payable for a maximum of three years and is extended to people that are considered temporarily unemployed, as well as those that are fully unemployed. This only applies if the lost wages are due to injuries sustained in the accident.

Replacement Service Expenses ↓

If a victim requires domestic services to be taken care of for them because they are no longer able to manage it themselves, PIP benefits will help cover up to $20 per day for three years. These expenses have to be considered necessary and include things like:

• Housekeeping
• Child care
• Yard work
• Home maintenance

Survivor's Loss Benefits ↓

If a person is killed in an accident, PIP benefits are payable to the dependents of the victim. These benefits will cover up to $20 per day for three years. There are several components to these benefits: tax after income, loss of fringe benefits, and a replacement service component. Victims killed in accidents can also have their funeral and burial costs covered. This benefit covers between $1,750 - $5,000, depending on how much coverage the victims had purchased.

Tort Liability Claim

Also known as, the third party claim, the non-economic loss claim, and the residual bodily injury claim, the tort liability claim allows accident victims to pursue a tort liability claim against at fault drivers for two types of damages: non-economic losses and excess economic losses.
Non-Economic Loss Damages ↓

Victims can file a liability claim against the at fault driver for non-economic losses if the victim has a serious impairment of bodily function, permanent serious disfigurement, or if there was a death as a result of the accident. Collectively, these three are known as "threshold injuries." In order to pursue this, victims must prove they have a threshold injury. Non-economic damages are related to diminished quality of life and include:

• Pain and suffering
• Loss of function
• Mental anguish and distress
• Incapacity
• Disability
• Deprivation of social pleasure and enjoyment

Excess Economic Loss Damages ↓

Victims injured in accidents are able to file a liability claim against the at fault driver for some economic losses beyond what is paid in PIP benefits. These losses include replacement services and lost income beyond what PIP pays out. Unlike the non-economic loss damages claim, victims do not have to prove they have a threshold injury. If the at fault driver is uninsured, victims can recover all economic losses against the at fault party, even those that were covered by the victim's PIP benefits.

Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault logo

For more information on Michigan's Auto No-Fault law, you can contact the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) at (517) 8821096 and ask for a copy of "The Michigan No-Fault Automobile Insurance Law: Your Rights and Benefits (7th Edition)." To stay up-to-date on no-fault news, you can visit CPAN's website or the Auto No-Fault Law Blog maintained by the Sinas Dramis Law Firm.

Information for this page provided by George Sinas of Sinas Dramis Law Firm and CPAN.