Every First Party auto accident lawsuit starts with a notice of claim. But depending on the language in your policy, you may need to send that notice to your auto insurance company before you ever think to meet with a lawyer. Don’t get caught off guard. Meet with a lawyer as soon as your able to make sure the notice of claim is filed on time, and with the right company.
Michigan no-fault law lets your auto insurance company require a that written notice be filed “as soon as practicable” after an auto accident. Most auto insurance policies will require written notice within a set period of times – sometimes just a few days. In a serious auto accident, these time limits could even run out before you are out of the hospital. In those cases, your family members will need to meet with a car accident lawyer right away to meet the deadlines. Then the attorneys will take you or your family through a 3 step process:
1. Find the Right Auto Insurance Company
First, your lawyer will help you find which auto insurance policy will have “priority” to cover your case. For drivers, this is usually your own auto insurance policy. But with passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians, this can be a tougher question. That is the company that needs to receive a written notice of claim. If there is a question, you may have to file your notice of claim with more than one company, to make sure you meet the deadline.
2. Complete the Application
Next, your auto insurance attorney will prepare the right application for the top priority insurance company. Each company has its own application, so finding the right one is crucial. However, Michigan courts have also held that a letter can be enough notice of claim if it includes:
- Your name and address;
- The time, date, and place of the injury;
- A description of the injuries sustained; and
- Notice that you intend to seek First Party no-fault benefits.
3. Deliver Your Notice of Claim On Time
The most important part of the Notice of Claim is when it is received. Each company’s policy will have different deadlines. It is up to you and your auto accident attorney to make sure your applications are completed and turned in on time. If you don’t, it could put your entire claim to First Party no-fault benefits at risk.
The short deadlines to filing your Notice of Claim make it crucial that you or your loved ones get the attorneys at Christensen Law involved right away. If you have been in a serious auto accident, contact Christensen Law today to schedule a free consultation.