Michigan has one of the country’s highest numbers of uninsured drivers, with 25.5% of its drivers uninsured in 2021. Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic and costly experience, especially if you’re injured, or your vehicle sustains significant damage. The situation can become even more complicated and frustrating when the driver responsible for the accident doesn’t have any insurance or carries insufficient coverage to contribute to your repair costs and medical bills.
If you find yourself in this situation in Michigan, it’s essential to understand the state’s insurance requirements, your compensation options, and the process for filing a claim.
If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you likely will only be able to rely on filing a claim with your own insurance company. If your injuries are severe, contact a car accident attorney at Fieger Law for a free case evaluation to learn your options for compensation.
Michigan Insurance Requirements
Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means your insurance policy will cover certain expenses related to an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is a mandatory part of every auto insurance policy in Michigan. PIP insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related costs for you and your passengers up to the limits of your policy.
A car accident attorney at Fieger Law can review your auto policy and help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Compensation Options for Crashes with Under or Uninsured Drivers
You can still receive compensation if you’re injured in an accident with an under or uninsured driver. First, you will file with your PIP insurance to receive benefits under your policy.
If your injuries exceed these benefits or have led to a serious impairment of bodily function or permanent disability, you next file with the negligent driver’s insurer. If the other party doesn’t carry insurance, or their policy limit isn’t enough to cover your damages, you can receive compensation from your own underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance.
If you don’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it may be possible to seek compensation from the at-fault driver directly. However, this is not always a reliable source of compensation as uninsured drivers often do not have enough personal wealth or assets to cover the cost of your damages.
- Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance is an optional coverage you can add to your auto insurance policy. UIM insurance compensates for damages and injuries exceeding the at-fault driver’s liability insurance limits. If the driver who caused the accident has insurance but not enough to cover the full extent of your losses, your UIM coverage will make up the difference.
- Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance is another optional coverage you can add to your auto insurance policy. UM insurance provides compensation for damages and injuries caused by a driver who doesn’t have any liability insurance. Your UM coverage will cover your losses if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, excluding property damage.
Why is it Important to Have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance on Your Auto Policy?
Injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a serious accident, and few people have the financial resources to satisfy that claim. UM and UIM motorist coverage is available with most policies in Michigan but must be purchased separately as it is not included automatically.
Adding UM and UIM coverage to your auto insurance policy for a few extra dollars per month will ensure you and your family are compensated if an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes a severe injury-causing accident. Your attorney at Fieger Law can help you review your policy after a crash to determine your coverage and get you the full benefits you’re entitled to under your insurance and that of the at-fault driver.
Protecting Your Rights and Seeking Compensation
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident involving an underinsured or uninsured driver can be overwhelming. Knowing your rights and the available compensation options is essential to obtaining the financial support you need to recover.
If you find yourself in this situation, contact Fieger Law. Our experienced attorneys will review the terms of your auto policy, including the UM/UIM provisions, and fight for the compensation you deserve from the car insurer.