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Just because you are entitled to no-fault benefits under the Michigan No Fault Act doesn’t mean you will necessarily receive the check yourself. MCL 500.3112 directs who receives benefit payments once they come due.
Auto accident injuries are expensive. While you are focused on getting better, your medical providers’ bills are adding up. Most medical providers will agree to postpone any collections proceedings while your insurance claim and and First Party lawsuits are pending. But once the judgment is entered, your insurance company needs to know who gets the check.
The law allows personal injury protection benefit payments to go to the injured person or someone who has provided a benefit to the injured person. That includes medical providers. As a medical provider has given written notice of its insurance claims, it can collect benefit payments directly from the insurance provider.
Personal injury protection insurance benefits are available even after fatal car accidents. Since injured motorists aren’t around to receive benefit payments, their benefits are paid to or for the benefit of their dependents. When those dependents are children, the benefits will often be paid to their legal custodian to be used for their care and support.
If you and your doctors each file a lawsuit, MCL 500.3112 creates a race to get paid. Once an insurance provider pays a person it believes is entitled to a particular benefit, its obligation is met. The second claimant won’t get paid directly. If your case resolves before the medical provider files its claim, you or your attorney will have to pay the medical bills out of your settlement. But if the insurance company already has notice of the doctors’ bills, it may have to pay the difference between your settlement and their expenses.
If you agree to a settlement that is less than all your expenses combined, your insurance provider may ask the court to “apportion” the settlement between all the potential people to receive benefit payments. The court will reduce what each claimant receives according to their interests in the case.
Once the judgment is entered, the insurance provider turns back to the Michigan No-Fault Act and the courts to find out who to write benefit payment checks to. Your auto accident attorneys can help direct the flow by working with your medical providers and insurance company to make sure all the right people get paid, including you and your family.