Although there have been recent reforms, Michigan is still well-known as what commonly gets called a strong no-fault state.
The idea behind no-fault insurance is that Michigan residents pay for coverage that will compensate them for injuries or the death of a loved one caused by a motor vehicle accident.
The unique features of no-fault insurance are that people buy it through the own insurance companies, and it is the injured victim’s own company that will pay compensation for out-of-pocket losses like medical bills, lost wages and the like.
In a no-fault system, compensation gets paid without regard to who is responsible for an accident. The idea behind no-fault is to save the time and expense of having to go through a court case to determine who is responsible for an accident and how much they owe their victims.
However, no-fault benefits do not pay for non-economic damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Furthermore, particularly after recent and significant changes in the law, there may be limits on how much no-fault insurance carriers will pay even for out-of-pocket losses after an accident. Grand Rapids residents should familiarize themselves both with these changes and their most recent insurance policies.
Those who suffer catastrophic injuries in Michigan may have the option to sue
The tradeoff of a no-fault system is that victims of injuries may not be allowed to sue negligent driver since, after all, no-fault benefits are there to compensate losses.
What these means is that victims of serious injuries may go away without the compensation they truly deserve.
Fortunately, Michigan’s law does allow victims to sue negligent drivers in certain cases. Whether a person has this option will depend on the circumstances, and so this option is best discussed with an experienced attorney.
However, many if not most spinal cord injuries and moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries would allow a motor vehicle accident victim to sue if the injuries were caused by a negligent driver.