No Fault Explained: Accidental Bodily Injury

It may seem obvious when an accidental bodily injury has occurred. In most cases it will be clear to attorneys and judges alike. But sometimes the question will come up: Was this really an accidental bodily injury?

Wrongful Death as Accidental Bodily Injury

Death is the ultimate injury. When a person is killed in a car crash, his death is treated as an accidental bodily injury. His family can seek no fault benefits for all the expenses related to that injury including funeral and burial expenses and three years of lost wages.

Injury to a Prosthetic

You might not think of it, but when a person wearing a prosthetic is in a car accident that device will often be damaged or destroyed. A Michigan no fault auto insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing that device.

Single Identifiable Event

A lot can be covered as an accidental bodily injury. But if you can’t pinpoint when the accident occurred, you are probably out of luck. Courts have ruled that injured motorists can’t collect benefits for injuries that develop over time because of too much driving, like back pain or arthritis.

Intentional Acts

Sometimes, a person will try to use a vehicle to cause herself injury. In those unfortunate cases, the injury won’t be considered accidental. Most of these cases involve attempted suicide. If the person both intended the action and the injury, she won’t be able to recover benefits for the harm done.

In severe mental health cases, though, a person may still be able to recover for an attempted suicide. If the person was legally insane – meaning he lacked the legal capacity (ability) to make decisions – he might still be able to recover. These cases depend on psychological experts’ testimony about the person’s diagnosis and condition at the time of the accident.

If a person intended the act (like driving fast) but not the accident (like rolling her car) or the injury (like a fractured spine), she can still recover for the injury. This keeps insurance companies from putting the fault back in no fault. For the injury to be intentional, the person had to be trying to hurt herself.

Intentional Acts of Others

The Michigan No Fault Act won’t stand between the victims of vehicular assault and their insurance benefits. If a person is the victim of an intentional act, she can still recover for her injuries. For example, if she gets run off the road in the midst of a road rage incident, she can still collect from her auto insurance for the harm done. On top of that, she may be able to recover directly from the driver who caused the assault.

The auto accident attorneys at Christensen Law have seen it all – including questions over whether an accidental bodily injury occurred. If you have a strange car accident case, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.