Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident in Michigan?

Avatar for Seva Law Firm

Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident in Michigan?Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that after a car accident, each driver would bring a claim against their own insurance policy no matter who caused the crash. There are two types of no-fault insurance that motor-vehicle owners and registrants must carry in Michigan: personal injury protection (PIP) and property protection insurance (PPI).

Note: Under Michigan’s new no-fault law, drivers with Medicare can choose not to maintain no-fault PIP medical benefits in car insurance policies renewed or issued after July 1, 2020.

Personal injury protection covers reasonably necessary medical expenses. It may also pay up to 85 percent of the income you lose while recovering, for up to three years with certain limitations. PIP also pays up to $20 per day in replacement services.

Property protection insurance pays up to $1 million for damage that your vehicle causes to other people’s property in Michigan. This includes damage that your vehicle causes to someone else’s properly parked vehicle.

As you may have inferred, PIP and PPI do not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. After a car accident, it may be possible to obtain compensation for pain and suffering if the crash has resulted in:

  • Permanent serious disfigurement,
  • Serious impairment of a body function, or
  • Death.

What Does “Serious Impairment of Body Function” Mean?

Under Michigan’s new no-fault law, a serious impairment of body function refers to an impairment that:

  • Is perceivable and observable from actual conditions or symptoms by someone other than the injured party;
  • Impairs a body function of “great value, significance, or consequence;” and
  • Affects the injured party’s ability to lead a normal life.

The amount of time you suffered the impairment may be relevant, but there is no specific temporal requirement for an injury to qualify for serious impairment of body function.

Comparative Fault and Pain and Suffering Damages

It is important to note that pain and suffering damages will not be assessed in favor of someone who was more than 50 percent liable for the accident, or someone who was operating a vehicle while uninsured. If you were partially liable for the crash but not more than 50 percent, you may still recover pain and suffering damages, but your recovery would be reduced by your own percentage of fault.

Call (248) 385-5704 to Discuss Your Case with a Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

If you intend to pursue pain and suffering damages, the importance of hiring a seasoned car accident attorney cannot be overstated. At Seva Law Firm, we can review your case in a free consultation and perform a thorough investigation to determine whether pain and suffering damages might be recoverable. We can also assist with your no-fault insurance claim and make sure you don’t undervalue or exclude any damages to which you may be entitled.

We have won more than $100,000,000 for clients in successful settlements and verdicts. To discuss your situation with a member of our team, call (248) 385-5704 or send us a message.