There are several steps you should take if you are injured in an auto accident in Oakland County. After attending to your safety and medical needs and ensuring you have collected all relevant information, you will need to contact the relevant insurance providers.
This step differs slightly, depending on what sort of insurance you have (or do not have). If you have your own insurance policy with your own auto carrier, or if you are covered by the insurance policy of a spouse or a resident relative in your home, you should contact that provider.
If you were injured (either as a passenger or driver) in a vehicle that you do not own, and you do not have your own coverage through either your own policy or someone in your household, you then need to file a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Once you make a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claim Plan, they will determine whether or not you are eligible and assign a servicing insurer to handle your claim. If you are going that route, you should note that those types of claims typically take 90 to 180 days to get into processing and to where a potential servicing insurer can start making payments on any Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims that you may be entitled to after an accident.
I Was Partially At Fault For A Car Accident Near Macomb County. How Will That Impact My Michigan Personal Injury Claim?
The impact of fault on your claim will depend on the degree of fault.
In Michigan, if you’re over 50% at fault for an accident in which you were injured, you will not be able to pursue a claim for bodily injury or non-economic injuries (the sort of damages that are commonly called “pain and suffering”).
However, being over 50% at fault will not affect your ability to pursue a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim. PIP claims cover medical bills, lost wages, household services, medical mileage, attendant care services, and other types of benefits.
Because Michigan is a no-fault state, the degree of fault you have in a given accident does not affect your ability to receive PIP benefits. You could be partially at fault, mostly at fault, or fully at fault—regardless, you will still be eligible for PIP benefits, as your degree of fault does not matter when it comes to PIP claims.
As mentioned above, if it is determined that you were more than 50% at fault for an accident, you will not be able to recover payment for non-economic damages (including “pain and suffering” damages related to grievous bodily injury). It should be noted, though, that fault is difficult to determine. Just because one police officer makes a claim on a police report that an individual was at fault for an accident doesn’t mean that they will be found to have full fault or even over 50% of fault for the accident. There are many more factors that go into the ultimate determination of fault, and an experienced attorney can help you reduce your culpability as much as possible.
As such, in accident cases where there is any dispute as to who is at fault, it is especially important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as soon as possible. A good personal injury attorney with auto accident case experience can help you assess whether or not you can challenge a determination of fault, by a police officer on a police report or otherwise.
Is Michigan A No-Fault State? What Does This Mean For My Auto Wreck Injury Claim?
Michigan is a no-fault state. This means that regardless of whether you have fault in an accident, you will be able to pursue Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits from your personal auto carrier, or from the auto carrier of your spouse or the auto carrier of a resident relative that lives with you in your home.
If you are not covered by a policy of your own and you were involved in an accident in which you were a passenger or the driver of the vehicle that you did not own, you may potentially be able to receive benefits through the state by filing a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility. If you are eligible, the MACF will assign you a servicing insurer to handle your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims.
When it comes to any sort of non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering claim or bodily injury claims), your eligibility to claim those damages would be determined by degree of fault. That is, whether or not you were at fault or partially at fault. As mentioned above, if you are determined to be over 50% at fault, you will be precluded from making a claim for pain and suffering/bodily injury. Again, you will not be precluded from making claims for Personal Injury Protection benefits (which include but are not limited to medical benefits, lost wages, household services, attendant care, and medical mileage), no matter what degree of fault you have in an accident.
How Long After A Car Accident Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In Wayne County?
The deadline for filing a car accident personal injury claim depends on the type of claim you are making.
There are two types of personal injury auto accident claims that you can make in Michigan:
- Personal Injury Protection Claims (which cover economic damages, and which everyone is eligible for regardless of fault).
For PIP claims, there are actually several individual deadlines.
- General Accident Notification Deadline: When it comes to notifying your provider about the accident (and your intention to pursue coverage), there is a notification time limit of one year from the date of the accident. This is the amount of time you have to notify the relevant auto carrier that you were injured in an accident and that you plan on making a claim for Personal Injury Benefit Protection generally.
- Individual Personal Injury Protection Claims: When it comes to claiming reimbursement/coverage for specific personal injury protection claims, you have one year from the date that you incurred each benefit to pursue a claim for those individual benefits.
As an example, let’s say you were injured in an accident on January 1st of 2022, and then went to a medical provider to treat your injuries on January 3rd, 2022. You have until January 1st, 2023 to notify your insurance provider about your accident/decision to pursue PIP coverage generally. You have until January 3rd, 2023 to make a claim for the cost of the treatment you received during your medical visit on January 3rd, 2022, in order to make sure it gets covered by your auto carrier.
- Pain and Suffering and Bodily Injury Claims (for non-economic damages): If you are eligible for pain and suffering/bodily injury claims and other non-economic damages (that is, if you are considered less than 50% at-fault for the accident), you have a time period of three years from the date of the accident to pursue those claims.
For more information on Steps To Take After A Car Wreck in Michigan, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 266-7600 today.