When Michigan's No-Fault Rule Doesn't Apply

In the state of Michigan, all drivers are required to carry what is commonly referred to as "no-fault" insurance coverage. One of the benefits of no-fault insurance is that your medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages are all paid by your insurance company; you do not have to fight another driver's insurance company for reimbursement and in general are not allowed to sue the other party for these costs as well. However, there are a few instances where Michigan's no-fault rules don't apply. 

Someone Was Killed As A Result Of The Accident

If someone lost their life as the result of an auto accident, no-fault insurance and the limits it places on lawsuits no longer apply. When someone is killed due to an auto accident, the family of the deceased is able to file a lawsuit on behalf of their lost loved one. 

In this instance, the family file a lawsuit against the other drivers who they believe were at fault and caused their loved one's death. They can sue for funeral expenses as well as the loss of future wages. In addition, they can also sue for non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship as well as pain and suffering. 

Someone Suffered Serious Impairment As A Result Of The Accident

Another instance where the limit on personal lawsuits is set aside is when someone suffers serious impairment of a bodily function as a result of an auto accident. 

What qualifies as a serious impairment can vary, but the basic guidelines are that a part of their body was permanently changed as a result of the accident, and cannot be used in the same way anymore.

For example, if someone lost one of their limbs due to an accident, that would be a serious impairment. Or if someone suffered nerve damage to their hand due to an accident, that would be a serious impairment. 

Basically, any impairment that prevents them from living their life as they had before and will affect them for the long-term. 

Someone Suffers Serious Disfigurement As A Result Of The Accident

Finally, the third instance where one can disregard the no-fault limit on personal lawsuits is when someone was seriously disfigured due to an accident. 

Some instances of disfigurement could fall into the above category of serious impairment as well. For example, if someone lost their limb, that could be an impairment as well as a disfigurement. Many conditions may fall under both categories. 

If you believe that your situation falls under any of the three categories listed above, you need to speak to a Michigan car accident attorney and see what your legal options are to pursue compensation beyond the coverage provided through your no-fault insurance. Contact a business, such as the Knochel Law Offices, P.C., for more information.