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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    2

    Default Personal Injury Damages Under Michigan No Fault Law

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Michigan.

    I was involved in an auto accident in which the other driver was 100% found at fault for the accident. It's been 41 days since the accident and I've had 3 trips to the emergency room, 3 weeks of physical therapy, 2 doctor visits and I've now been placed on a medical leave of absence from work due to my back pain and injuries. I will also be receiving injections next month and surgery has not been ruled out. With all that being said, I was hoping to have a few questions answered.

    1. Lost Wages - Does my insurance company only cover my weekly salary? I'm also losing profit sharing and quarterly bonus contributions. If they don't, I'm assuming this is something I would have to litigate with the other driver's insurance company?

    2. Michigan Law requires there be that the injured person has suffered death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement to seek "pain and suffering" damages. What does "serious impairment of body function" exactly mean? Ex: I am unable to perform my job duties. I can't perform many of outside work activities (running, playing with my kids, bending over, lifting anything heavy, exercising, walking my dog etc.) Is there a certain amount of time that must elapse before I should consider consulting with an attorney? What kind of realistic expectations should I have for a settlement?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,998

    Default Re: Michigan No Fault

    The lost wages is capped fairly low (currently $5,398/mo and no more than 85%). You won't be litigating anything with the other driver's insurance copany, they have no duty to you. You sue the driver for your excess wage loss and their insurance represents them.

    The P&S threshold is rather high. Not being able to work is not itself qualifying. You should document all your impairment and talk to an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,859

    Default Re: Michigan No Fault

    Quote Quoting kyfto007
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    What does "serious impairment of body function" exactly mean?
    That's defined in the statute:

    (5) As used in this section, "serious impairment of body function" means an objectively manifested impairment of an important body function that affects the person's general ability to lead his or her normal life.
    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/mileg....e=mcl-500-3135

    If I'm reading the statute correctly it says you must first go to court to determine if your injury penetrates the threshold and then go to court again to determine the amount of the damages. If the first court appearance says no, your injury claim against the other driver is over, unless you want to file an appeal

    Quote Quoting kyfto007
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    I am unable to perform my job duties. I can't perform many of outside work activities (running, playing with my kids, bending over, lifting anything heavy, exercising, walking my dog etc.)
    In 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court wrote a very comprehensive decision addressing that issue.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=337897588801963220

    It's very long. If you don't want to read the whole thing here is a summary:

    http://www.shrr.com/michigan-supreme...ment-threshold

    You can consult an attorney any time you want to. There is no way anybody, not even an attorney, can estimate the value of your claim.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,201

    Default Re: Michigan No Fault

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    If I'm reading the statute correctly it says you must first go to court to determine if your injury penetrates the threshold and then go to court again to determine the amount of the damages. If the first court appearance says no, your injury claim against the other driver is over, unless you want to file an appeal.
    If what you mean by “go to court again” is that there is a second lawsuit filed that is not what the statute says. It says that when there is no dispute over the nature and extent of the injury or there is a dispute but that dispute is not material to the issue of serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement then the judge decides the issue of serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement. That may not even require a hearing. The information on the nature of the extent of the injury would be submitted to the court and the court would review it and determine based on the legal standard whether there was serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement as that is defined Michigan law. Essentially, it amounts to partial summary judgment on the matter. The court would make that determination and based on the outcome decide whether a trial on damages is needed.


    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    You can consult an attorney any time you want to. There is no way anybody, not even an attorney, can estimate the value of your claim.
    No one here can estimate the value of the claim. A personal injury lawyer with all the relevant facts, however, likely could give an idea of what the claim is worth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Personal Injury Damages Under Michigan No Fault Law

    Quote Quoting kyfto007
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    Lost Wages - Does my insurance company only cover my weekly salary?
    Your first three years of lost wages fall under your first party coverage. The 15% reduction is based upon the fact that your wage loss benefit is not taxed. If you will be unable to return to work within three years, then the excess wage loss -- wage loss past the three year mark -- can be included in a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You will document the loss of income from work that you would have received but for the injury, and make a claim for that amount. If you will miss so much work that you'll be losing income beyond your basic wages, you should discuss your full losses with your adjuster to see if they're going to try to deny reimbursement and, if so, on what basis.
    Quote Quoting kyfto007
    Michigan Law requires there be that the injured person has suffered death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement to seek "pain and suffering" damages. What does "serious impairment of body function" exactly mean? Ex: I am unable to perform my job duties. I can't perform many of outside work activities (running, playing with my kids, bending over, lifting anything heavy, exercising, walking my dog etc.) Is there a certain amount of time that must elapse before I should consider consulting with an attorney? What kind of realistic expectations should I have for a settlement?
    Serious impairment is determined on a case-by-case basis. Inability to work and inability to perform activities of daily life are factors that weigh in favor of finding serious impairment, as does surgery. Objective findings on imaging studies (MRI, CT, X-ray), or undergoing surgery, also help support a finding of serious impairment. Your best bet is to have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who handles auto accident cases, for a review of the facts and your medical records. Don't rush into a settlement before you have a clear picture of your diagnosis, prognosis, and course of treatment.

    If a personal injury lawyer believes that a person injured in an auto accident has a threshold injury, the lawyer can file a lawsuit for pain and suffering. If the defense argues that the injury doesn't meet the no fault threshold, the defense will bring a motion for summary disposition on the issue, based upon information gathered during discovery and in most cases the outcome of at least one "IME" (independent medical examination -- basically, an examination by a doctor who is paid by the insurance company).

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