You likely already understand the importance of reporting a Michigan car accident to the police and seeking emergency medical care. However, if you sustained severe injuries and the other vehicle also damaged your car, it can be challenging to navigate the Michigan car accident claims process while you’re still recovering.
The process of filing a claim for car insurance in Michigan differs depending on the type of claim and compensation you seek. Read on to discover how the car accident claims process works and how the experienced Fieger Law car accident attorneys in Michigan can help you receive maximum compensation.
Process for Car Insurance Claims
Every type of car insurance claim follows a unique process that requires several steps to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. The crash victim has three legal options they can pursue to get compensated for their damages.
- No-Fault Insurance Benefits
Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning the first claim you file after an accident is with your no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) insurer. You can file a claim for no-fault benefits that include the following:
- Coverage for your medical expenses
- Travel reimbursement to and from medical appointments (based on mileage)
- 85% of your gross lost income for up to 3 years
- Household assistance for up to $20 per day
- Attendant care from a family member, business associate, or friend for up to 56 hours per week
Insurance companies are not obligated to pay your no-fault benefits unless they receive reasonable proof of your injuries. They may require you to submit photographs, medical records, witness statements, police reports, and a completed application.
You may also need a physician’s report and a wage loss verification letter from your employer, which you can gather to submit with your claim.
Mini Tort Recovery for Vehicle Damages
Michigan’s auto insurance law, also known as mini tort, allows drivers to sue for a small amount of property damage. It will enable you to sue a driver who is 50% or more at fault for an accident for up to $3,000 in damages.
A mini tort claim requires you to prove the other driver is at fault, your car’s damage doesn’t exceed $3,000, and your own insurance policy does not include collision coverage. You may need to take your case to a small claims court against the other driver.
Small claims courts in Michigan do not allow legal representation. Instead, you must represent yourself in court and present evidence before the judge. However, you can demand to move your case to the district court by submitting a written affidavit or notifying the court at the small claims trial. At a regular district court, you can have a car accident lawyer represent you on your behalf.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering in a Lawsuit
You can sue the other driver for excess benefits, including medical costs and lost wages if your damages exceed the limits of your insurance policy. However, your injuries must meet the threshold for serious bodily impairment before suing for pain and suffering.
This threshold requires you to prove the impairment resulting from your injury affected a critical body function and that your injuries have disrupted your normal activities.
An experienced lawyer at Fieger Law can guide you through the legal process of suing after the wreck. We can use your medical records, pictures of your injuries, and time missed from work to prove the existence of your pain and suffering. We may also gather statements from friends and family members detailing your mental and emotional state since the accident.
Does Medical Insurance Cover Car Accidents?
Most auto insurance companies include coordinated medical benefits if you have health insurance. Coordination allows your healthcare insurer to pay for your medical expenses immediately, especially if you need emergency care for your accident-related injuries.
Your car insurance carrier may be listed as a secondary insurer to cover the rest of your medical costs.
However, some auto insurers don’t have coordinated benefits and will pay for all your medical expenses even when you have health insurance. The medical bills from your no-fault insurance company should show coordination of your benefits under your policy.
Review your policy language with a car accident lawyer from Fieger Law to determine if your auto insurance carrier is responsible for your medical expenses after a crash.
Why is My Car Accident Claim Going to Arbitration?
One side may recommend arbitration when you, your attorney, and the insurance company cannot settle your claim. Arbitration refers to a legally binding negotiation process outside of court, meaning no judge or jury is involved.
If both sides agree, arbitration may resolve your dispute. The arbitration process can be as detailed as a trial, with an auto accident lawyer preparing briefs, presenting exhibits, and even calling witnesses to testify. Instead of a judge, a private arbitrator decides your case, and their decision is binding.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help
A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the complicated Michigan car accident claim process and pursue compensation from your insurance company. The experienced vehicle accident attorneys at Fieger Law can protect your rights when you get into a car accident.
We can investigate your case and prove you’re not at fault in the accident to the insurance company and the court if you need to file a lawsuit. Fieger Law has decades of experience dealing with insurance companies and helping accident victims across the United States get the compensation they deserve.
Call us today to schedule a consultation for your car accident case.