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How Do Michigan’s Lifetime Medical Benefits Work?

Michigan is one of nineteen states that use a full or modified no-fault insurance system. In simple terms,  that means all insured drivers receive benefits for any injuries they cause or receive in a car accident, as well as property damage they cause (coverage for damage caused by a driver to his or her own vehicle can be added).

Under this system, drivers aren’t forced to sue each other to recover damages, as they would be in other states.

Michigan drivers know that they’re covered, but in return, they give up their right to sue (in most cases). Driving without insurance, which undermines the system, is also a criminal offense in the state, punishable by up to a $500 fine, an ongoing fee, license suspension, and even jail time.

This system affords injured Michigan drivers some helpful perks, such as lifetime medical benefits.

Personal Injury Protection

No-fault car insurance has supporters and critics, but one thing everyone recognizes is that car insurance is handled differently in Michigan from everywhere else. All no-fault systems include some form of personal injury protection (PIP), but only our state includes unlimited PIP benefits with no dollar amount cap to any person catastrophically injured in a crash.

The initial and ongoing medical costs from a car crash injury will be paid by the victim’s insurer. But if the cost of a single claim exceeds $555,000, responsibility for payment falls to a special agency, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA).

Providing for the Seriously Injured

Since it was created, the MCCA has provided benefits to more than 36,000 claimants, with more than 16,000 currently active in the system. Past and projected claims total more than $77 billion.

This generous PIP benefit is only given to those few who really need it, and that money has to come from somewhere. To fund the benefit, the MCCA adds about $170 to the cost of insurance on every vehicle in the state.

While this assessment has been on an upward trend in recent years and is a factor in giving Michigan the highest insurance rates in the nation, the rate is adjusted each year to reflect actual costs. Twelve times since 1979, the MCCA has run an annual surplus, and as recently as the year 2000, drivers were billed less than $10 per vehicle.

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

When you’ve been in any kind of car crash, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced   car accident attorney. Your no-fault insurance may handle many of the costs, but even when you are fully covered, it’s vital to have someone working with you to make sure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to.

Other drivers and insurance companies (even your own) will try to minimize the actual value of an injury, and without an advocate in your corner, you may be forced to accept their assessment of the damage and injury.

David Christensen Law has helped hundreds of clients recover the compensation they need to put their families’ lives back on track, and we offer a free consultation to every new client. Give us a call today at 248-213-4900 or fill out the form at the bottom of the page to discuss what we can do for you.