Passengers who are injured as the result of another’s negligence have the same ability to seek a no-fault claim and other compensation as needed. However, especially after the shock of being involved in a crash, it may be confusing to know where to begin and how to file your claim.
At Jay Trucks, we are always prepared to help victims injured in a Michigan car crash. In the blog below, we talk about the no-fault benefits and other damages that may apply to an injured passenger.
If another driver’s careless or reckless actions caused you to suffer harm in a car crash, we offer a free, no-obligation case review with one of our Grand Rapids car accident lawyers. We have recovered more than $500 million in compensation for our injured victims. This proven track record includes a $2 million settlement for a 43-year-old man who was catastrophically injured in a car crash.
Injured in a car crash? Call: (800) 762-8623 24/7.
What No-Fault Benefits Apply if I Am Injured as a Passenger?
Passengers, just like drivers, have legal rights for seeking no-fault benefits and other compensation if they are injured in a car crash. However, there is a lot of conflicting information about PIP benefits for passengers, especially since the changes brought about by the auto insurance reforms of 2019. Some passengers may mistakenly think they have no options for seeking compensation for their injuries and other losses, especially if they do not have any car insurance of their own.
Under the state’s no-fault law, all passengers injured in a Michigan car crash have access to PIP benefits. It is, however, important to note that these benefits may not exceed the limits of the relevant auto insurance policy you file your claim through.
PIP Benefits include:
- All reasonable and necessary medical costs related to injuries sustained in the crash
- Lost wages if you are unable to work while recovering
- Replacement services
What Policy Do I File My No-Fault Benefits Claim Under?
You are correct if you think there is a priority filing order that applies when you pursue a no-fault benefits claim in Michigan. The order that applies is as follows:
- Your auto insurance policy: Passengers who carry an auto insurance policy in Michigan will first file for no-fault PIP benefits under that policy. This rule applies whether you are driving your own vehicle or riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.
- A spouse or resident relative's policy: If you do not have an auto insurance policy of your own – one that is in your name – then you would seek PIP benefits under the auto insurance policy of either your spouse or a relative – if you are legally residing together in the same home.
- Policy of the vehicle’s owner or registered driver: If you do not own a car and do not have access to an auto insurance policy through a resident relative, then you will need to file your claim for PIP benefits through the policy of the car’s registered driver or vehicle owner.
- Michigan Assigned Claims Facility (MACP): If there is no PIP coverage available through any of the above-mentioned options, then the injured passenger will have to seek a claim for PIP benefits under the MACP. Once you file for benefits, plan administrators randomly assign an auto insurance company to handle your claim. These insurance companies are authorized to do business in the state. PIP benefits under the MACP are limited to $250,000 per claimant, per accident, as defined under Michigan’s 2019 No-Fault Auto Insurance reform.
If My Injuries Are Serious, Can I Seek Additional Damages?
If you suffered serious harm and meet the eligibility requirements under the state’s injury threshold, you may be eligible to seek a claim for additional damages through a liability claim.
Our qualified attorneys are prepared to review the details of your situation and help you understand all possible sources for seeking compensation for the injuries and other losses you sustained in a crash as a passenger. There is no cost or obligation for this consultation, and we can answer any questions you may have about the legal process.
What No-Fault Benefits Apply to Injured Child Passengers?
If a child passenger was injured while riding in your car, or in the vehicle of another driver, he or she is also eligible to seek no-fault benefits under Michigan state law.
Car crash claims for minor children are handled a bit differently, although the priority order of seeking no-fault benefits is much the same as for an adult passenger.
What Should Passengers Do After a Car Crash?
After being injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you get police or other first responders to the scene as soon as possible. Even though you are not the driver, it can be helpful to have access to the details provided in a police report when filing a no-fault benefits or injury claim.
Here are some recommended first steps for passengers involved in a crash:
- Call 9-1-1 to get help to the crash scene
- Even as a passenger, it is a good idea to get the contact and insurance details of drivers involved in the crash
- Photograph damages to both vehicles – if your injuries and the location of the crash allow you to do so safely
- Seek medical care immediately following the crash – neglecting to get examined by a medical professional could put both a claim and your health at risk
- Seek legal help for your claim and to ensure your best interests and rights are protected
Injured as a Passenger? Our Trusted Law Firm is Ready to Help
Many passengers may falsely believe they do not have access to benefits or other legal claims after a car crash that causes them harm. However, whether you are an injured passenger or driver, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages under the law.
Contact our team of legal professionals at Jay Trucks to learn more about the types of compensation you may be able to seek and how we may be able to help.
Initial consultations are completely free, and if we represent you, there is nothing to pay – upfront or while we work on your case. We only get paid if you do.
Millions Recovered. Call: (800) 762-8623 today.