Welcome to Michigan Out Of State Car Accident. Are you an out-of-state resident, but involved in an automobile accident in Michigan with a Michigan resident? And in your accident, did you or someone you care about sustain injuries? If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then you are probably considering your legal options, and rightfully so. So, the question you might be asking yourself is: Will my situation be impacted by Michigan’s no-fault laws? Or, you may be hoping that those laws apply to you and whether you can force your out-of-state insurer to pay you. Let’s address some of those issues.
Does Michigan’s No-Fault Law Apply to Me?
Out-of-state drivers are excluded from Michigan’s no-fault laws if their out-of-state vehicle is not insured by a company that has filed a certificate of compliance in Michigan. So, an out-of-state driver could sue a Michigan resident for economic (lost wages, medical, replacement services) and non-economic (pain and suffering) damages under these circumstances. If an out-of-state resident’s insurer has filed that certificate with the state of Michigan, the out-of-state resident is entitled to no-fault benefits for accidents which occur in Michigan. In these situations, an out-of-state driver would have to make a first-party personal injury claim to their own insurer to collect economic damages. They do not have the ability to sue other drivers involved in the accident for non-economic damages unless they can show that they have sustained a threshold injury.
Out of State no-fault
Michigan’s auto no-fault law is arguably one of the most complex and confusing in the county, especially for people from other states that do not have a no-fault law. Essentially, the no-fault laws in Michigan function as a shield against being sued for injuries in auto accidents, except when those injuries are particularly severe (for example, death or loss of limb). The flip side of this is that everyone is required to carry insurance on vehicles registered in the state and claim against their own insurance, so with the desired end result of everyone being covered and minimizing the burden on the court system that would result from having to handle suits arising from every single auto accident in the state. However, if you are from another state and are injured in an auto accident in Michigan, there is a chance you may not qualify for personal injury protection (or PIP) benefits under Michigan law. Fortunately, if you are excluded from receiving PIP benefits under Michigan’s no-fault law, then there is a good chance that you will have the traditional court remedy of suing in tort for your injuries. In the event that you are from out of state and injured in an auto accident in Michigan, you will want to speak with an experienced attorney who is familiar with Michigan’s no-fault laws, who will be able to help you determine the best way to handle your situation, and ensure your rights are protected.
MI Personal Injury
Michigan’s no-fault law requires injured motorists and their occupants to collect economic damages from their own insurer. What are economic damages? The best way to describe them is as damages that are calculable—a number can be put on them. So, a doctor’s bill or lost wages fall under this economic category of damages. Collecting on anything other than economic damages requires that one sustains a threshold injury: death, permanent serious disfigurement or serious impairment of a body function.
If Michigan’s No-Fault Law Applies to Me, What Non-Economic Damages Are Available In Auto Accidents?
If economic damages are damages upon which a number may be placed, non-economic damages are those upon which a hard number does not apply—these damages are impossible to calculate. Instead, attorneys create arguments to justify what they are asking for from a judge or jury. Examples of non-economic damages are pain and suffering (suffered by the injured claimant) and loss of consortium (suffered by an injured claimant’s family). What is the value placed on the death of a family member? Or, what about a passenger who will never walk again? It’s hard to say. Every accident is different.
Contact a Michigan Attorney
If you are an out-of-state resident who has been injured in Michigan, it is important to contact a Michigan no-fault attorney. Depending on where you are from, or who your insurer is, the rules applied to your neighbor may not apply to you. Contact our office today for a free initial telephone consultation (586-268-2400). If you require additional information, please visit Michigan Out Of State Car Accident Attorney.