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Not every accident happens while you are on the road. If your accident involves a parked car, you may be wondering whether you can get benefits from your auto insurance company. Are there any parked vehicle accidents that are covered by Michigan’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Act?
The Michigan No-Fault Act has a separate section dedicated to parked vehicle accidents. Here’s how it works. If the only vehicle involved in an accident is a parked vehicle, then the person injured is not entitled to no-fault benefits unless certain circumstances apply.
If a vehicle is parked in a way that it creates an unreasonable risk of injury – like if a car is parked across a roadway – then the no-fault law applies to any injury that results of that risky parking job. It’s not enough that the car be parked illegally. It has to be unsafe.
If you are injured while operating equipment mounted on your vehicle – like a loading arm or tailgate ramp – you are still entitled to recover for your injuries even if the vehicle is parked when you are hurt. Most of the time, these cases involve work trucks or delivery vehicles. This exception only applies to equipment mounted to the vehicle. If you are injured because of something resting in the bed of your pick-up truck, you may not have a claim.
Just because your vehicle doesn’t have a loading ramp doesn’t mean you will be stuck with the bill if you are hurt while loading it. If you are injured in the process of loading or unloading a parked vehicle you are still entitled to benefits. Note that this only applies to the actual loading process, and not carrying items that will eventually be loaded into the vehicle.
Your no-fault insurance doesn’t click off as soon as you turn off your engine. If you are injured when you are sitting in, getting into, or getting out of a parked vehicle, you are still covered. When you start and finish “entering or alighting” depends on whether your body made contact with the vehicle as you fell.
If yours wasn’t the vehicle that was parked, you can rest easy. Courts have repeatedly found that accidents involving one moving vehicle and one parked vehicle are covered because the moving vehicle counts toward the resulting motor vehicle accident.
One time you won’t be covered is if you are using your car or truck as something other than a motor vehicle. For example, motor homes, once parked are intended for sleeping, not driving, and injuries inside them may not be covered.
The attorneys at Christensen Law can help you untangle the facts of your parked vehicle accident to figure out whether you are covered by the Michigan No-Fault Act. Contact Christensen Law today if you were hurt in a parked vehicle accident.