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Third Party Claims in Michigan

If you are not at fault for your car accident and have been seriously hurt, you may have a claim against the one responsible for the crash. This is called a “third party” claim.

Who Pays For Your Injuries?

When an accident happens, one or more of the drivers is considered “at fault.” The negligent driver and the owner of that vehicle are financially responsible for your losses from the pain and suffering associated with your injuries.  They may also be liable to pay any other damages not covered by your First Party Claim. If the driver was working at the time of the crash, you may be able to collect from his or her employer too.

Do You Qualify for a Third Party Claim?

Not every accident results in a third party claim. To get compensation for your pain and suffering, Michigan law requires you to have suffered a “serious impairment of body function.” That means an “objectively manifested impairment to an important body function that has affected your general ability to lead your normal life.” In other words, your day-to-day living must have been significantly affected by your injuries.

To decide whether you qualify, courts look at

  • the nature of the injury,
  • the extent that it affects your life,
  • how much treatment you have required, and
  • many other variables.

What Third Party Benefits Are Available?

Your third party lawsuit will include claims for “non-monetary damages” like pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement. The claim will also include lost wages beyond the three year limit on First Party Benefits. If you are unlucky enough to be permanently disabled, your losses could equal what you would have earned for the rest of your working life. These claims are complicated and can be very valuable

If you decide to file a third party lawsuit, be sure to hire a lawyer who is a specialist in auto accidents and handles these matters 100% of the time. Your future and security are too important to entrust to a well-meaning generalist. Get the best.