It may seem a little hard to believe, but your no-fault insurance won’t cover intentional harm done to you with a vehicle. But you should file a claim anyway, because issues of intentional harm aren’t as clear as they first appear.

No-Fault Benefits and Intentional Harm

Recovering from Intentional HarmIf you cause intentional harm to yourself or others while driving your car, you won’t be able to turn to your no-fault auto insurance provider to cover your medical bills. Your no-fault insurance will still apply unless you intended the action and the injury. For example, if a person attempts suicide by running her car off the road, the insurance company isn’t required to pay no-fault benefits to her or her family.

But, if the intentional act was done to protect yourself, others, or property, you can still be covered. If instead of attempting suicide, a driver runs his car off the road after he swerves to miss a child, then the Michigan No-Fault Act does not consider that “intentional harm.” The driver’s no-fault insurance policy will cover any injuries he suffered from his defensive maneuver.

Intentional Harm Done By Others

Things get a bit more difficult if the harm you suffer was caused by someone else. Michigan law requires insurance companies to “pay benefits for accidental bodily injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle.” Where someone is trying to do you harm, that harm is not accidental.

Often whether the other person’s behavior was intentional is not clear when the accident happens. In those cases, it’s a good idea to file a claim with your no-fault insurance provider and start a Third Party lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You may also be entitled to restitution payments if the driver is convicted of criminal charges related to your injury. While you may be able to recover no-fault benefits if another person hurts you using a car, you will have to pay back those benefits from any award you receive from the Third Party lawsuit or criminal case.

The Third Party lawsuit is still worth your time, though, because Michigan law lets you sue for more kinds of damage in intentional “tort” lawsuits than you can receive as no-fault benefits from your insurance company. Depending on your case, you may be able to recover money awards for pain, suffering, distress, permanent disability, and long-term wage loss that would otherwise go unpaid.

Understanding the difference between intentional harm and negligence can be difficult, especially for a family going through loss. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a vehicle, contact the auto accident attorneys at Christensen Law for a free consultation. They will take a look at your case and help you understand your options.

Testimonials

Everyone at Christensen Law was extremely friendly and very easy to work with. Whenever I had a question, they took the time to talk with me and explained everything thoroughly. They were also very quick to return phone calls. I would definitely recommend Christensen Law to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.

I suffered Traumatic Brain Injury when struck by a vehicle while walking. My recovery was a long uphill battle; I had little energy to expend on daily routines and even LESS on caring for my home and life. I wondered how I could continue into the future with the difficulties I faced.

I handed the baton off to David and Sarah of Christensen Law. They resolved the unique challenges of my case while buffering me from the opposing side’s onslaught. The case concluded successfully and to my satisfaction with minimal effort on my part.

To ease the burden of the load you carry, make the decision on your legal team today. You’re in the right place – all you have to do now is make the call.

Overall a professional, great team. Everyone knew me and my case. When I left a message, I got a quick reply. Sarah made me feel comfortable going into a courtroom, where I never had been before. Both David and Sarah are very knowledgeable with legal issues. I trusted everyone and am a satisfied client.

V. Watkins

I never knew attorneys could be so accessible and kind. They fought for me all the way to the end. They had to take my case to trial and they won me a great settlement. Now I have a secure future.

 

HH, Davison

I was treated very nicely and professionally with a lot of consideration and compassion for my disabilities suffered in a horrible car accident. Mr. Christensen and Sarah Stempky made sure I understood what was happening with my case and that everything was pulled together.

LG, Stockbridge

As an accident victim I had to have my leg amputated and I was in bad shape overall. David Christensen was a light in that experience. I ended up with an entire home modification to accommodate my disabilities. It was a very stubborn insurance company but David wouldn’t take no for an answer.

CB, Milford

If I had questions or worries Dave would address them with me because he knows what he is doing. I think the world of him. I felt he went above and beyond to turn a really bad situation around. I have hope now where before I felt powerless and miniscule and that these big insurance companies were just going to railroad me.

DT, Jackson

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