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How Michigan’s No-Fault System Works in an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver

drunk driving crashWhile the number of drunk driving accidents is less than in previous years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) latest statistics show they are still too high. Drivers who get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher are considered impaired in every state (except Utah, which imposes a lower level). According to NHTSA’s 2018 report, a fatal accident caused by drunk driving happens across the U.S. once every 50 minutes. In Michigan, one in four fatal crashes in the state are alcohol related.

After getting injured in a collision caused by a drunk driver, you may wonder how you will be able to pay your medical costs and living expenses, especially if your injuries are serious and require a lengthy recovery.

At Jay Trucks & Associates, we are committed to helping victims who have been injured in accidents caused by people driving with a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit.

Not sure if you have a claim? Our firm offers a stress-free, zero-cost consultation to find out. You can have this confidential meeting by video conference or in person, and there is no obligation to hire our services. If we represent you, there are also no upfront costs to pay. We collect no fees until the end of your claim and only if we recover compensation for you.

What Benefits Can You Expect in an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver?

If you get injured in a car crashed caused by a drunk driver, here are some important steps you should know about to help you get the compensation you need for your damages:

File a No Fault Claim

Your no-fault benefits claim will cover the cost of your medical expenses, no matter who was to blame for the crash. Expenses that are covered include related emergency care, surgical interventions, physical and rehabilitative therapy and more.

Review your policy, especially the small print, to make sure you understand your coverage limits under Michigan’s new auto reform insurance law. Additionally, it is critical that you verify your filing deadline and when you have to notify your insurance company about the accident.

Additional no-fault benefits include:

  • Loss of income (monthly caps apply) for up to three years
  • Financial assistance to help with daily tasks and domestic services
  • Survivor benefits in the event the accident is fatal

Factors That Could Impact Your Ability to Obtain Compensation

There are other considerations that may impact how your claim is handled, as well as what type of compensation may be available, including:

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

Despite Michigan’s insurance laws, many drivers may choose to let their policy lapse or not purchase one at all due to the cost. In this situation, such as in an uninsured motorist or hit-and-run accident, you may be able to pursue a claim under the UM/UIM portion of your policy. If you did not purchase this optional coverage, this will not be an option for you.

Insurance Carriers Require Reporting Your Accident Within 24 Hours

It is important to note that, in certain circumstances, many insurance carriers require you to contact them within 24 hours of an accident. This is especially true in accidents where the at-fault driver flees the scene and you are unable to provide his or her identity. If you fail to notify them in that timeframe, you may lose your ability to collect your insurance benefits. This strict policy applies even if the insured was killed in the accident.

When Does Michigan’s Dram Shop Law Apply?

In Michigan, the state’s dram shop law may apply if a retailer, bar or restaurant served alcohol to a driver who was visibly intoxicated at the time of the sale. In a case where this law may be applied, the statute of limitations may be significantly shorter.

This is something you should discuss with one of our Clare car accident lawyers in your initial consultation. This meeting is completely FREE and carries no obligation to hire our services. It is an opportunity for us to help you learn whether you may have a case and to answer your legal questions.

How You May Benefit from an Experienced Attorney

Accidents involving a drunk driver may be especially complicated, especially if the driver left the scene of the accident. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side to protect your legal rights and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries can provide peace of mind while you recover.

Our firm has over 30 years of experience and a proven track record. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, and we are prepared to help you obtain the compensation you need.

FREE consultation. Call or text at (800) 762-8623 24/7.