Car accidents are more than an unexpected inconvenience. Without insurance protection, medical costs alone can cause injured victims to suffer financial devastation. Fortunately, insured Michigan drivers are protected under the state’s no-fault insurance. This coverage provides lost wages and other benefits when you are injured in a car crash, no matter who may have caused the collision.
Jay Trucks and Associates discuss the lost wages benefit, including whether Michigan’s new auto reform insurance impacts this coverage.
Our Flint car accident lawyers are available to help you understand how your no-fault benefits may apply after an accident. Learn more by scheduling your free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney at our firm.
What Your No-Fault Benefit Provides
Michigan’s no-fault insurance provides many benefits, including personal injury protection coverage (PIP). Your no-fault benefits, as discussed in a previous blog, are provided up to the limits of the PIP coverage you chose. However, is there a benefit to cover your loss of income?
Yes. You are eligible for 85 percent of the gross wages you would have earned if the accident had not caused you to suffer injuries. This benefit is available to all insured drivers in Michigan for up to three years while recovering from car crash-related injuries. The benefit is not taxable income, which accounts for the 15 percent reduction.
How Do I Obtain Lost Wages Benefits?
If you were injured in a car accident, you must first file your no-fault benefits application with your insurance company. While you have up to a year to do this, we do not recommend delaying this application. You will receive no benefits until you file a claim. Additionally, you will not be able to pursue a claim for lost wages if you did not suffer injuries in the accident.
When you file your claim, you must provide your insurer with documentation showing reasonable proof of the injuries and lost wages, such as:
- Proof of lost income for the time you were unable to work (paystubs, etc.)
- A work disability certificate from your physician
- Verification of your wages from your employer
Will My PIP Coverage Impact My Lost Wages Benefit?
No. You are eligible for lost wages under your no-fault benefits regardless of the amount of PIP coverage you choose. However, the state has a maximum-allowed monthly limit that may impact the total monthly benefit that higher wage earners may receive. This cap changes every year, but through September 30, 2020, the lost wages benefit is capped at $5,718 per month.
What are My Options if I am Self-Employed or Recently Unemployed?
If you are self-employed, you are eligible to pursue a claim for lost wages. However, establishing the correct amount of gross wages can be challenging. Working with a knowledgeable attorney can help to ensure that your total gross wages are calculated correctly.
If you are temporarily unemployed or recently unemployed, there are many factors that determine whether you may be eligible to pursue a claim for lost wages. These situations vary from one person to another, so it is best to discuss your specific circumstances with an attorney.
What Compensation Can I Pursue After Exhausting My Lost Wages Benefit?
If you are not able to return to work by the time your lost wages benefit is exhausted, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against the at-fault driver. There are certain requirements you must meet, such as the state’s injury threshold, in order to pursue this type of auto negligence claim.
Additionally, unless the other driver is at least 50 percent at fault for the crash, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation for damages. Michigan car accident claims are complicated, so these are details we recommend that you discuss with your attorney.
Learn More About Your Legal Options After a Car Crash
Overwhelmed by injuries and financial burdens after a car crash? Trying to understand all the deadlines, documents and evidence you need to access your no-fault benefits?
Our team of legal professionals at Jay Trucks & Associates is prepared to help. We welcome the opportunity to provide legal assistance and guidance throughout your legal process so you can focus on your recovery.
Learn more about obtaining your lost wages and other benefits after a Michigan car crash, and whether you may have options for pursuing additional compensation. We are available to take your call or text 24/7, so schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today. We have a proven track record of recovering millions for our clients, and we are prepared to fight for maximum compensation for you.
Serving the Injured in Michigan. Call our firm today: (800) 762-8623