Residents of the Detroit metro area and other Michigan residents who drive are probably already well aware that Michigan is a strong “no fault” state.
To review, under Michigan’s No-Fault Act, a driver generally is not permitted to sue the other motorist after an accident, even if the other motorist was negligent or broke a traffic law. In exchange, a driver’s own insurance company will afford generous medical and income loss benefits to the driver in the event of a serious injury, and these benefits are usually enough to cover a person’s out-of-pocket losses.
While the idea of this system was to make sure injured motorists get paid the compensation they needed quickly and without much of a legal hassle. The down side of living in what is arguably the strongest of the no-fault states, however, is that people cannot get compensation for things like emotional pain and suffering which, although often belittled by some, is in fact a real loss that deserves some acknowledgement after an accident.
There is an exception to Michigan’s broad no-fault rules against filing negligence lawsuits after an accident, however. Unlike other states, which allow suits once a person’s medical bills exceed a certain dollar amount, Michigan allows a driver to sue an at-fault motorist for damages, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering, if the injury affects the victim’s “general ability to lead his or her normal life.’
While this exception may sound simple enough, it actually is hotly argued in many cases, as victims naturally want compensation for their pain and suffering, and insurance companies are often unwilling to pay that compensation since the law does not ordinarily require it. If a Michigan resident believes he or she is entitled to the no-fault exception, it would be advisable to speak with an experienced Wayne County personal injury attorney like those who work in our law office.