The new No-Fault vehicle insurance law in Michigan, which went into effect on June 11, 2019, has a precise impact on collisions involving pedestrians. In this article, we will discuss pedestrians’ no-fault legal rights, such as their rights to medical care and wage loss. That also includes their legal ability to sue a negligent or at-fault motorist for pain and suffering damages if they are hurt in a car accident.
A pedestrian’s no-fault insurance benefits
In Michigan, if an automobile hits a pedestrian, an “order of priority” must be followed to determine who would pay the pedestrian’s No-Fault PIP compensation first. The No-Fault list of pedestrian priorities is as follows:
- No-Fault auto insurance coverage for the pedestrian’s motor vehicle under which they are designated as the insured.
- The pedestrian’s spouse’s No-Fault auto insurance coverage on their car.
- The resident relative of the pedestrian’s no-fault auto insurance coverage for their car.
Previously, these policies would have allowed for “unlimited” medical benefits for pedestrians. But now, a pedestrian’s No-Fault PIP medical benefits are only as high as the levels of coverage that the pedestrian, their spouse, or resident relatives have chosen for their plans.
The Michigan no-fault law on pedestrian accidents can be complicated, so it’s best to engage a pedestrian accident lawyer. They can help you understand your case and submit the necessary documents to seek benefits.
What happens if there is no source of No-Fault coverage following a pedestrian-car collision?
Even if none of the above sources offer No-Fault coverage, a pedestrian can still receive compensation.
If No-Fault coverage is unavailable, a pedestrian “must” seek benefits via the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. The new No-Fault statute restricts the pedestrian’s PIP medical benefits coverage to $250,000 in terms of the coverage available under the Assigned Claims Plan.
Is it possible to sue for pain and suffering in a pedestrian accident?
Yes, you may file a lawsuit as a pedestrian accident victim for pain and suffering damages. That is if your injuries qualify as a “severe impairment of body function. In that case, you may file a claim for pain and suffering damages (also known as “noneconomic loss” damages).
The insurance provider for the owner and driver of the vehicle pays the compensation. Pain and suffering payouts may include compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, and incapacity. That is in addition to the no-fault insurance benefits for medical bills, missed earnings, and other costs.
Does fault matter in pedestrian accidents?
Regarding receiving first-party No-Fault payments, who was at fault in an automobile accident involving a pedestrian does not matter. However, fault matters when obtaining pain and suffering damages if you are hurt in a tort or negligence action. According to Michigan law, the “comparative fault” principle governs a pedestrian’s claim for pain and suffering damages.
As filing an injury claim is complicated and requires several phases, a Michigan injury lawyer with experience can help you navigate the legal system.