Michigan no-fault insurance benefits are designed to reimburse accident victims for costs resulting from injuries sustained in an accident. When another party is at fault, you are entitled to file a claim with their insurance company for no-fault insurance benefits. Michigan car accident lawyer Marc J. Shefman talks gives the basic facts about 3rd party no-fault insurance benefits and claims.
No-Fault Insurance Benefits in Michigan
Michigan is a “no-fault” state, meaning that no-fault insurance benefits are available to victims who suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, no-fault insurance pays for the following:
- Medical expenses for you and others in your family involved in the accident
- Benefits for your loss of wages due to injuries sustained in the accident
- Replacement services for routine household chores such as yard work and housekeeping
- Damage to other people’s property resulting from the accident
- IMPORTANT: basic no-fault insurance does NOT pay for repairs to your car
3rd Party Claims for No-Fault Insurance Benefits
An insurance claim is how you lay “claim” to the benefits provided under the provisions of the insurance policy. The type of claim you should file depends on who was at fault in your accident. A 1st party insurance claim is filed with your own insurance company. A 3rd party insurance claim is filed with the insurance company of another person or entity.
Negligence Claims for Pain and Suffering
The 3rd party claim is also called a negligence claim. Under Michigan law, you can sue the driver that caused the accident for pain and suffering compensation as well as other non-economic damages. Not only does your 3rd party claim seek no-fault insurance benefits from the faulty party’s insurance company, but you are seeking additional compensation for pain and suffering damages. These are considered compensatory damages that have no connection with any economic losses.
Pain and suffering damages are divided into two components: Physical and Emotional. Some examples of physical pain and suffering damages include:
- Bodily aches and pains caused by the accident
- Grief as a result of the death of a loved one
- Limitations on activities/enjoyments, both temporary and permanently
- Emotional trauma or depression
Some examples of emotional pain and suffering damages include:
- Symptoms of emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Strain on relationships
Guidelines for Pain and Suffering Claims
To qualify for pain and suffering compensation under Michigan law, you must have sustained a certain type of serious injury, called “threshold injuries.” The three categories for threshold injury in Michigan are:
- Permanent serious disfigurement
- Serious impairment of body function
Most motor vehicle accident cases involve the second and third category. While the exact definitions have changed over the years, basically a Michigan accident victim must show “an objectively manifested impairment of an important bodily function that affects his or her ability to lead a normal life.”
Marc J. Shefman – Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
If you file a 3rd party claim for no-fault insurance benefits and an additional personal injury claim, you need an experienced attorney who knows the laws regarding no-fault insurance and personal injury lawsuits in Michigan.
Marc J. Shefman is an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer and personal injury lawyer serving Metro Detroit, including Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair, Macomb, and Wayne, Genesee, and Washtenaw Counties. Call (248) 298-3003 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation to learn more about how we can handle your claim for 3rd party no-fault insurance benefits and compensation for pain and suffering.