If you have suffered personal injuries in a Michigan motor vehicle accident, you may file a first or third-party claim to recover damages following your accident.
What types of damages can you recover?
Accident victims can recover various damages following an accident including:
- Economic damages – Damages for medical expenses exceeding the victim’s non-fault PIP medical benefits coverage, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage
- Non-economic damages – Pain and suffering, if the tort threshold is met.
First-party vs. third-party claims
According to Michigan law, all drivers must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you are involved in an accident, your PIP insurance will cover your medical expenses and part of your lost wages. Accident victims can file a first-party claim against their own insurer to recover benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. You have up to one year after your accident to file your claim.
Damages for pain and suffering
Accident victims will not be able to recover damages for pain and suffering from their PIP insurer. In order to recover damages for pain and suffering and additional medical damages, the victim may file a claim against the at-fault driver. Under Michigan’s No-Fault insurance laws, you may only file a personal injury claim following an accident if you meet the tort threshold or have suffered ‘serious impairment of body function.’ Additionally, the accident victim may only file damages if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. You have up to three years after your accident to file a third-party complaint.
If you have been in an accident, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney in your area.