Know Your Rights
Under the Michigan “no fault” law, drivers of most motor vehicles are required to obtain “first party” insurance, to cover the medical treatment and rehabilitation for persons injured as drivers or passengers in their own vehicles. When someone is injured in a car accident, they will ordinarily file a claim for first party benefits with their own no fault insurance company. If they are not covered by their own policy, then they would file a claim with the insurance company that insures the vehicle in which they were traveling. The rationale is that, under Michigan’s No Fault Act, people (as opposed to motor vehicles) are insured against loss. Ordinarily your insurance will cover your spouse, as well as any relatives living in your household. If you are injured in an automobile accident within Michigan, and the vehicle in which you were driving was required to be registered in Michigan, you are probably entitled to the following first party “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP) benefits:
- Medical costs and expenses for treatment necessitated by injuries, including rehabilitation expenses.
- Reimbursement for lost income resulting from the injuries, for a period of time up to three years.
- Reimbursement for ordinary and necessary services you would have performed for personal or household benefit (for instance, if you are disabled, and require assistance with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or lawn care.)
- In the event of death, the first party benefits include limited coverage for funeral and burial expenses.
- In the event that disability results from your injuries, you may be eligible for vehicle or home modification to accommodate your resulting disability.
- Accident victims who are confined to wheelchair will typically require extensive home modifications and vehicles which can accommodate their wheelchairs and which have modified controls.