If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, do not deal with the insurance adjuster on your own who will ensure you are compensated as little as possible. Our talented legal team led by Ron Applebaum and Erik Stone will handle everything on your behalf. We will fight for justice on your behalf and ensure you get the best settlement possible. Our attorneys will help you collect full compensation for your injuries or for the loss of a loved one. We will even communicate with physicians on your behalf and evaluate all of the damages you are entitled to as a result of your auto accident, motorcycle accident or truck accident. We will seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why should you hire an attorney after being in a car, truck or motorcycle accident?
After any serious auto accident, proper medical attention is the first priority. However, insurance companies will act fast to protect themselves or to make you a so-called “fair” settlement offer. If this has already happened, talk to our attorneys before signing anything regarding an auto insurance claim. In any event, hiring an attorney to begin investigating the auto accident and preserving evidence is the first step toward protecting your own rights.
What’s the first thing I should do after being in an accident?
Contact Applebaum & Stone PLC and we will assign an attorney to your case. The lawyer will meet with you and provide you all of the information you need. There are time-sensitive matters to take care of regarding your auto accident claims and vehicle damage so do not delay.
What benefits could I receive in my settlement?
You could be entitled to medical benefits, wage loss, replacement services (nursing services), mileage for medical appointments, and attendant care benefits.
Am I entitled to money for time I missed at my job?
You can receive money for the time you missed work from wage loss. Wage loss compensates you for your lost income, due to being unable to work because of personal injuries from a car accident. Wage loss is paid by your own No-Fault insurance company for up to the first three years after an auto accident. Based on the No-Fault wage loss formula, which is 85 percent of one’s gross income tax-free, the maximum amount for wage loss equates to an estimated annual income of $70,000. So another way of looking at wage loss is if you earn less than $70,000 per year, your income should be fully covered by No-Fault insurance wage loss benefits in the event of an auto accident. Wage loss is capped, however, and any wage loss above the maximum amount becomes the responsibility of the wrongdoer driver who may have caused the motor vehicle accident.
Will my hospital and doctor bills get paid for in my settlement?
The medical expense provision of the No-Fault act provides reimbursement for all medical expenses you incur from your car accident. Dependent upon the type of insurance coverage involved, these may be coordinated benefits or full benefits. Coordinated benefits pay all expenses not covered by your basic health insurance. Full benefits pay all medical expenses incurred, even if those are paid by a health insurance provider. The medical expense provision is a lifetime benefit.
If the other driver in my auto accident didn’t have insurance can I still win a settlement?
If you have No-Fault insurance and the other driver involved does not have insurance, you are still entitled to No-Fault benefits. It doesn’t matter who was at fault.
What do I need to understand about the Michigan No-Fault law?
The Michigan no-fault system was adopted in 1978 to increase the level of beneﬁts paid to injured persons, make sure such payments are made promptly, and reduce the proportion of premium dollars paid out for legal and administrative costs. A Michigan no-fault policy provides unlimited medical and rehabilitation benefits. It provides wage loss benefits for up to three years, and $20 per day for replacement services if you are injured in an auto accident, regardless of fault. In exchange for these benefits, Michigan motorists gave up the right to sue in auto accidents except when someone is killed or very seriously injured. Because of this, disputes over who was at-fault in an accident will not hold up payment of medical bills. Michigan is unique in that damage to vehicles also falls under the no-fault system. This, too, saves time and money in claims payment. Michigan drivers must buy collision and/or comprehensive insurance to cover damage to their own car. The Michigan Catastrophic Claim Association (MCCA) was established in 1978. The MCCA pays for claims paid by an insurer that exceed a
certain amount. All insurers that sell auto insurance in Michigan must pay the MCCA an annual fee for each vehicle insured. That fee is known as the MCCA assessment, and is passed on in whole or in part to the policyholders.
What does Michigan law require regarding No-Fault Auto Insurance?
Michigan law requires no-fault insurance. Every registered car must be insured. Every car owner must buy basic coverage in order to get license plates. It is a misdemeanor to drive or let your car be driven without basic no-fault coverage. If you are convicted of driving without basic nofault insurance coverage, you may be fined up to $500, put in jail for up to one year, or both. You may also incur additional fines and costs pursuant to the 2003 Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Law. For details please go to www.mi.gov/driverresponsibility If you are unable to produce proof of insurance when requested to do so by a law enforcement official, you may be found guilty of a civil infraction. The court may order your license suspended for at least 30 days or until you are able to provide such proof. You may have to prove you purchased a pre-paid non-cancelable insurance policy before you may renew your vehicle’s registration.
What are the basics of Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Policy?
There are 3 basic parts to Michigan’s No-Fault Auto Insurance:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) This part of your no-fault policy pays all necessary medical costs if you are hurt in an auto accident. It also pays, up to a maximum amount, wages you would have earned if you had not been hurt, for up to three years. This amount is adjusted each year on October 1st, and you may wish to contact our agency to determine the current maximum monthly amount or check our website for the current maximum. If you are killed in an accident, your policy will pay your family up to the monthly amount for three years, based on your earnings and fringe benefits. You may also be entitled to up to $20 per day in replacement services. This is to pay for services you are no longer able to provide for yourself or your family because you are injured, such as housekeeping and yard work. You may coordinate PIP coverage with other health or disability coverage you have to reduce your PIP premium. Medicaid, Medicare, and some self-funded health plans, however, do not allow coordination with PIP coverage. If you do coordinate your health coverage, and you are injured in an auto accident, your no-fault policy will pay your medical expenses or lost wages after you have used all the benefits under your health or disability plan. When you coordinate, these auto insurance coverage may be called excess medical/wage loss. Check with your health insurer to 6 verify they will cover benefits related to a car accident before you agree to coordinate.
Property Protection (PPI) This no-fault coverage pays up to $1 million for damage your car does in Michigan to other people’s property, such as buildings and fences. It will also pay for damage your car does to another vehicle but ONLY IF THE VEHICLE WAS PROPERLY PARKED. Other vehicle damage is covered only if the vehicle has collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
Residual Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Insurance (BI/PD) This coverage pays your defense costs and any damages you are found liable for as the result of an auto accident, up to the limits of the policy. Although the no-fault law protects insured persons from being sued in most situations, there are certain exceptions. In general, these are the circumstances under which you could be sued: If you cause an accident in Michigan in which someone is killed or seriously injured. If you are involved in an accident in a state other than Michigan. For damages to another person’s car which are not covered by insurance, if you are 50% or more at-fault in the accident. This part of the law is known as “mini-tort.” To be covered, you must purchase additional coverage called limited property damage liability insurance. Your agent can help you determine the amount of coverage you should purchase. If you are involved in an accident in Michigan with a non-resident who is an occupant of a motor vehicle not registered in Michigan. A basic no-fault policy pays up to certain amounts for which you are found to be legally responsible. Up to $20,000 for a person who is hurt or killed in an accident. Up to $40,000 for each accident if several people are hurt or killed. Up to $10,000 for property damage in another state. This coverage is often described as 20/40/10. These are the minimum amounts of coverage you must have. Sometimes courts award more than these amounts. If this happens, you would be responsible for paying the amount not covered by your policy. To protect themselves, people often buy extra liability insurance.
What does Michigan’s Basic No-Fault Auto Insurance not pay for?
Repairs to your vehicle after an accident, no matter whose fault it was. Repairs to another person’s vehicle after an accident, no matter whose fault it was, unless the vehicle was properly parked. Costs for replacement of your vehicle if it is stolen. “Mini-tort” protection. You can purchase coverage against these losses.
All of this information about Michigan’s No-Fault Auto Insurance sounds confusing so what should I do to understand it better?
As soon as possible after being in an accident in which you sustained injuries you should contact Applebaum & Stone. We agree that for the average person all of this information is very confusing. Let our legally trained experts make sense of it for you. We have the ability to make this all make sense for you and win your case so you are compensated fairly and appropriately for your injuries and losses.
Do I have to review my insurance policy before calling you?
Let one of our auto accident attorneys review your auto insurance policy on your behalf. We’ll be able to see if there are any restrictions that could jeopardize your settlement. Oftentimes the language of your auto insurance policy is very confusing and trained experts like our lawyers are best equipped to handle this.