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No-Fault Insurance

Michigan Increases No-Fault “Minitort” Limits

By Lipton Law on June 11, 2012 - No comments

Michigan governor Rick Snyder recently signed a bill that would increase the state’s no-fault insurance “minitort” limits from $500 to $1,000, according to a recent article in Michigan Lawyers’ Weekly.

No Fault Insurance SouthfieldUnder Michigan no-fault insurance law, most people injured in car accidents must settle their claims with insurers and not in court, unless they are killed or suffer certain severe injuries. However, the law has long contained a “minitort” provision that allowed drivers to recover up to $500 in damages for property damage in an accident.

The new law doubles the previous minitort limit, allowing motorists to collect up to $1,000 for property damage in a Michigan no-fault car accident case. The law also prohibits drivers from collecting minitort damages, however, if they were driving without the required minimum no-fault insurance at the time.

Michigan’s comparative fault rule applies to minitort claims just like other personal injury claims. If a driver seeking minitort damages is found to be 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, that driver will not be allowed to collect damages from any other party.

Michigan’s no-fault insurance procedures can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re also trying to deal with all the problems an accident causes. At Lipton Law, our experienced southeast Michigan no-fault benefit claim lawyers are dedicated to helping people with every step of the no-fault insurance process, including seeking “minitort” damages or even going to court if needed. To learn more, call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free case evaluation.

 

Michigan Crash Course Led by Attorney Jody Lipton Will Help Drivers Get the Auto Coverage They Need

By Lipton Law on April 30, 2012 - No comments

Having Michigan no-fault auto insurance coverage that pays the bills when you need it is a key part of recovering from a serious car accident. Unfortunately, not all Michigan drivers have the coverage they need – and once an accident happens, it’s too late to change the coverage for it.

To help Michigan drivers get the coverage they need, attorney Jody Lipton offers a “Crash Course” on May 1, from 12:10 to 12:55, in the basement conference room at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) at 216 Mack Avenue in Detroit.

Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of the Declarations Page from their own policies. Ms. Lipton will walk participants through the information on the Declarations Page step by step, helping those who attend to understand each item listed on the sheet and what it will do for them after an accident. Ms. Lipton will also help attendees determine where there may be gaps in auto insurance coverage and how they can address them in a cost-effective way that provides the protection an individual and a family needs.

The presentation includes plenty of time for specific questions about your own auto insurance policy, as well as general questions about auto accidents and insurance coverage.

At Lipton Law, a dedicated and skilled Michigan car accident attorney has been helping families with their auto accident needs for over twenty years. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, we can provide the experienced guidance you need at every step of the process, from filing a no-fault insurance claim to holding negligent parties liable in court. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.

 

Understanding Basic Michigan No-Fault Insurance Requirements

By Lipton Law on March 22, 2012 - No comments

Michigan is one of several states that requires auto drivers to carry basic no-fault insurance, and also requires motorcyclists to carry insurance. No-fault auto insurance covers medical bills, property damage, and other costs for those who are injured in Michigan car accidents. Some basic types and amounts of insurance are required, although drivers may purchase additional coverage – both in the form of higher limits and different types of coverage – in addition to the required insurance if they prefer.

At a minimum, Michigan drivers must carry coverage for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury protection, and property protection insurance. Bodily injury covers the costs for others who are injured in the accident, while personal injury protection pays the bills of the insured person and any dependents. Property damage and property protection insurance coverage both cover damage to non-vehicle property. For instance, if your car crashes into a fence during an accident, this coverage will pay to replace the fence.

Michigan drivers must carry proof of no-fault auto insurance coverage with them at all times. Most drivers place their proof of insurance in their vehicle, so that it is always available when they drive. If you cannot show proof of insurance, your driver’s license may be suspended until you provide proof of insurance to the Secretary of State.

The experienced Michigan no-fault insurance attorneys at Lipton Law are dedicated to helping those injured in car accidents through every step of the process, from filing an insurance claim to holding any negligent parties accountable in court. For a free and confidential consultation, call our office today at (248) 557-1688.

 

Debate Continues on Reducing Michigan No-Fault Benefits

By Lipton Law on February 21, 2012 - No comments

A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature in October 2011 would end Michigan’s lifetime no-fault insurance benefits and allow drivers to choose up to $5 million in lifetime coverage instead. Although the bill is approaching the six-month anniversary of its introduction, it’s no closer to being passed, and instead is facing strong opposition and even a lawsuit, according to a recent article in the Livingston Daily.

The bill’s sponsor has argued that the bill would lower no-fault insurance premiums in Michigan by forcing injured drivers to take more responsibility for their own coverage. Currently, he says that Michigan’s lifetime benefits arrangement for seriously injured drivers is raising auto insurance premiums.

Opponents believe that, given the option, young drivers, those with previous DUI convictions, and other high-risk drivers will opt for lower coverage, which might leave them unable to pay their medical bills if they are hurt in a serious MI auto accident. The bill also appropriates $50,000 for a publicity campaign for the new law, if it passes. Because bills with appropriations in them cannot be re-considered by Michigan voters on a referendum, opponents of the bill are particularly concerned with defeating it in the legislature, before it can reach the governor’s desk for a signature.

At Lipton Law, our experienced Southfield no-fault insurance attorneys are ready to help those injured in car accidents. We can guide you through every step of the way, from filing your Michigan no-fault insurance claim to seeking compensation from any other parties who may be at fault for your injuries. Call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.

 

The Three Parts of a Michigan No-Fault Policy

By Lipton Law on February 14, 2012 - No comments

Michigan no-fault auto insurance law is one of the most comprehensive laws in the nation. Although Michigan no-fault coverage is often assumed to cost drivers more up front, it also provides coverage in nearly all auto accidents, even if you are severely injured or lose a loved one.

A basic Michigan no-fault policy has three parts:

  • Personal Injury Protection. Known as “PIP” benefits, personal injury protection pays for your medical bills and related costs, as well as those of the passengers in your car if they are children or don’t have an auto insurance policy of their own. As of 2010, the maximum PIP benefit was $4,929 per month.
  • Property Damage. Property damage benefits pay for damage your car does to someone else’s property during a Michigan auto accident. For instance, if your car is hit by another driver and pushed into someone’s front yard, your property damage benefits pay to fix any damage to that person’s front yard. These benefits do not, however, pay for damage to your own vehicle.
  • Residual Liability. Residual liability has two parts: bodily injury and property damage. The bodily injury portion goes toward paying the medical expenses of others involved in a crash if they do not have a policy that offers PIP benefits; for instance, if they are from out of state. The property damage portion protects you if you are sued under Michigan’s “mini-tort” provision, which can add up to $500 for damages not covered by insurance.

At Lipton Law, our experienced Michigan no-fault auto insurance attorneys can help you with every step of the post-accident process, from filing your no-fault insurance claim to seeking compensation from any negligent parties in court. We’ll guide you through the complex no-fault process so you and your family can focus on recovery. For a free consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.

 

Does Your Car Insurance Policy Give You the Right Coverage?

By Lipton Law on October 12, 2011 - No comments

Most Michigan car accident costs are covered by the no-fault insurance policies of those involved in the crash. Since no-fault insurance plays such a big role in these all-too-common accidents, it’s important to know whether or not you have sufficient coverage for your needs.

Michigan no-fault insurance law requires drivers to carry at least $20,000 in insurance benefits. These benefits cover the costs of an accident, including medical bills. Michigan law also limits the kind of car accident cases that may be filed in court to the most serious cases of permanent disfigurement, disability, or death.

No-fault insurance benefits typically cover three major categories: personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, property damage protection, and residual liability protection, a “catch-all” that protects drivers against being sued by others involved in the accident. Although coverage in case of an accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver isn’t always included in an automobile insurance policy, it’s wise to consider adding such coverage, especially if you plan to drive in states other than Michigan where auto insurance may not be required.

To help Michigan drivers understand their auto insurance policies and get the coverage they need, experienced Southfield no-fault insurance attorney Jody Lipton is offering a free class at the Community House in Birmingham. The class, called “Crash Course,” will be held on October 18 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, or for a free consultation after a Michigan car accident, contact Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688.

 

Michigan No-Fault Insurance Series, Part 5: No-Fault Benefit Claim Limits

By Lipton Law on September 27, 2011 - No comments

This post is part five in a series on Michigan no-fault insurance benefits, presented by Lipton Law. This series is intended to help Michigan insureds understand no-fault benefits claims.

After a Michigan auto accident, drivers or passengers who are covered by Michigan no-fault insurance have a limited amount of time to file a claim with their insurer. In most cases, that time period is one year from the date of the accident. By this date, the insured must file an Application for No-Fault Benefits with the insurer, or risk losing the chance to use benefits he or she has paid for.

Claims for specific medical bills, lost wages, household services, and other no-fault benefits must be made within one year of the date the insured incurred the expense, or he or she may lose the opportunity to receive reimbursement or benefits to cover those expenses. Similarly, if a no-fault insurance company refuses to pay benefits that the insured believes are covered by the policy, the insured has one year from the date of the refusal to file a claim in court for the benefits. The insurer has thirty days to pay benefits for most claims, or to explain why it is refusing to pay.

One year may sound like plenty of time, but it can go by very quickly, especially when your time and energy is consumed by your need to heal after a serious injury. The experienced Southfield no-fault insurance claim attorneys at Lipton Law can help you ensure your claims are filed and responded to on time, so that you don’t lose the chance to access the benefits you need to recover after a crash. To learn more, call Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.

 

Michigan No-Fault Insurance Series, Part 4: Types of Benefits

By Lipton Law on September 20, 2011 - No comments

This post is part four in a five-part series published by Lipton Law, a Southfield no-fault insurance law firm that hopes to raise awareness and understanding about no-fault benefits. This post discusses the types of services and other losses that may be covered by a Michigan no-fault insurance policy.

Michigan no-fault insurance benefits are intended to cover personal injury losses when someone is injured in a vehicle-related accident in Michigan. The benefits are available not only for victims of car crashes, but also those who suffer injuries in bicycle or pedestrian accidents and passengers in motor vehicles. And the benefits available pay for much more than the initial medical expenses of the crash itself.

When a car accident causes injury, it’s easy to assume that the “medical bills” paid by no-fault insurance cover acute needs, like ambulances and emergency surgery. No-fault insurance does cover these acute needs. However, no-fault benefits are also available for the long-term medical needs a person may suffer if a car crash injury causes permanent injury. These include payments for:

  • Attendants, such as home health aides;
  • Case management services, so injured persons can focus on recovery and leave the paperwork to a case manager;
  • Hospital, follow-up care, therapy, prescription drug, and equipment benefits;
  • Payments to modify a home or vehicle so a disabled person can move around;
  • Medical mileage payments to cover the cost of traveling to and from medical appointments;
  • Household chores and replacement services, like mowing the lawn or cleaning;
  • Wage and income loss payments; and
  • Survivor’s benefits for those who lose a loved one in a crash.

In order to have the best possible recovery after an accident, it’s important to receive the full amount of no-fault benefits to which you are entitled. At Lipton Law, our experienced no-fault benefits lawyers in Southfield can help you ensure you are receiving all the benefits your premiums have paid for, giving you the chance to focus on moving forward after an accident. To discuss your legal rights and options and find out how we can help, call Lipton Law today at 248-577-1688 for a free consultation.

 

Michigan No-Fault Insurance Series, Part 3: The Who, What, and How of No-Fault

By Lipton Law on September 13, 2011 - No comments

In order to help drivers in Michigan understand their no-fault insurance policies better, Lipton Law is providing blog readers with a five-part series on Michigan no-fault insurance benefits. This post, part three of the series, focuses on who may claim benefits, what benefits are available, and how insureds can make certain they receive all the benefits their premiums have paid for.

Michigan “no-fault” auto insurance has this name because, if a driver is in a vehicle accident, the insurer must pay benefits regardless of who caused the accident. The benefits a Michigan driver or vehicle passenger can receive vary depending on the terms of the no-fault policies that may cover each person involved in a crash. Common benefits paid by no-fault insurance include medical bills, prescription drug, and medical equipment bills, costs for home healthcare, and replacement funds for lost wages or incomes.

A no-fault policy covers every member of the driver’s immediate family, even if they are a passenger in another car or are struck by a vehicle while walking or biking. It also covers injury costs of other drivers or passengers in any other vehicle involved in an accident if their own no-fault insurance does not cover them or they have no insurance.

In order to help ensure you receive all the no-fault policy benefits to which you are entitled after a car accident in Michigan, it’s important to file a claim with your insurance company within one year of the accident or injury. Completing paperwork on time is a crucial part of this process. If you are overwhelmed by this process, need help filing a claim, or suspect you are not getting all the benefits to which you are entitled to from your insurance company, seek help from an experienced Michigan no-fault benefits attorney, such as those at Lipton Law. To discuss your case with us, call 248-577-1688 today for a free consultation.

 

Michigan No-Fault Insurance Series, Part 2: Claim Denial

By Lipton Law on September 6, 2011 - No comments

This is the second part in our 5-part blog series that will discuss no-fault insurance in Michigan in further detail. We will be covering important information regarding the benefits of such insurance, the limits of no-fault insurance, what happens when claims are denied, and more. The topic of today’s blog is no-fault insurance claim denials.

Michigan law requires drivers to carry no-fault auto insurance in order to help pay medical bills and other expenses if someone is injured in a car crash. Even when a driver is covered by no-fault insurance benefits they have paid for, however, it may happen that the insurance company will misstate the amount or types of coverage or will refuse to pay the bills for services already received, like emergency medical care. When this happens, it can add unneeded worry to an already stressful situation. It can also delay or prevent necessary medical care, putting you at risk for ongoing medical problems.

To protect yourself and to receive the no-fault insurance benefits to which you’re entitled, it’s important to get insurance information in writing. Do not sign any agreement with the insurance company until you feel confident that it includes the full amount of benefits to which you’re entitled.

If you’re not sure whether your insurance company is treating you fairly or you feel overwhelmed by the process of getting the no-fault benefits you deserve, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced Michigan no-fault claim denial lawyers at Lipton Law. We will help ensure you receive the benefits you have paid for, giving you the time and space you need to recover after an accident. To learn more, call Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.