If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, you know there are many intricate details to keep organized throughout every step of the process. When it’s time to file your claim, you have a couple options. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, your personal injury lawyer will pursue one of two types of auto accident claims, and maybe both.
In the state of Michigan, you’re required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as an extension of your auto insurance. PIP covers medical bills and, in many cases, lost wages as a result of not being able to work following your accident. These benefits are also commonly referred to as “no-fault” coverage because you receive maximum benefits regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not. On top of medical bills and lost wages, PIP insurance can also cover expenses like transportation to medical appointments, lawn care, and other tasks you may no longer be able to complete on your own.
While many states have limits on how much an injured person can receive, from $1,500 to over $100,000, Michigan is the only state without any monetary limits on PIP benefits. Our state is also unique in that vehicle damage is also covered by no-fault insurance; however, you must buy collision or comprehensive insurance to cover damage to your car under this law.
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You and your lawyer may also decide to pursue damages for pain and suffering. This claim is more abstract and therefore more difficult to prove. To insurance companies, your pain and suffering is nothing more than your word until you take action and get medical attention. In order to yield a successful result, there must be a definable threshold of the level of injury you suffered. What that means is that you must have objective evidence of your pain: X-ray, MRI, or other medical test results, for example. The evidence must be measurable and testable.
In addition to medical testing information, insurance companies often assume that injuries that result in a greater amount of medical treatment or require a lengthier recovery period include more pain and suffering. If you’re not sure about your pain and suffering claim, your personal injury lawyer can walk you through whether your claim is viable and, if so, what next steps to take.
No matter what situation you’re in, contacting a personal injury lawyer following an accident is very important if you wish to get the most out of your case. For more information on Michigan’s no fault insurance laws, read this informational brochure from michigan.gov.
Kenneth Hoopes is an attorney with Ladas and Hoopes Law Offices. He has been practicing in Muskegon for over 20 years, specializing in personal injury, Social Security disability, and other areas of law. His commitment to justice has led to several positive outcomes for his clients throughout West Michigan. When he’s not in the office or in court, Ken enjoys spending time with his wife and their two daughters.
You can get in touch with Ken by calling (231) 744-6218.