The No-Fault Law
The no-fault law is designed so that it is simple to determine who pays the medical bills, wage losses, medically-necessary travel expenses, reimbursement for help with chores and nursing-type services that may be required by someone injured in a motor vehicle collision.
The system is called a “priority” list that works something like a ladder, starting at the top rung and moving downward. Here is the priority system if you were in a motor vehicle (not including a motorcycle) when you were injured in a collision–even a one-car incident, or one where you were driving but were at fault:
1) highest priority: your own car insurance, even if you were a passenger; if you didn’t have car insurance, and were in your car when a crash occurred, you are disqualified from the no-fault system and can’t get any of the benefits discussed above;
2) second priority: the auto insurance in force on the date of the accident that applies to any relative you live with; it doesn’t matter whether you are listed on the policy–the no-fault coverage applies to any relative in your household who doesn’t have their own auto insurance;
3) third priority: the auto insurance covering the owner of the vehicle you were in (if that’s not you, or a resident relative);
4) fourth priority: the auto insurance covering the driver of the vehicle you were in (if that’s not the person in one of the first three priorities);
5) fifth priority: Michigan Assigned Claims Plan–the State of Michigan will appoint an insurance company to provide your no-fault benefits if none of the first four priorities have insurance, so long as you were not occupying an uninsured vehicle that you owned.
The good news is that you will qualify for no-fault coverage for medical, wage reimbursement, medical mileage, household chore assistance and attendant care (family member providing assistance to seriously injured person) if you were in a motor vehicle and got hurt by a collision, whether you were a passenger or the driver, without regard to who caused the collision.
The bad news is that you cannot get no-fault coverage if you were in your own uninsured vehicle when the collision happened.
Please keep in mind that “qualifying” for benefits is just the first step. There are procedures that you must follow to satisfy the insurance company that you are entitled to the benefits. These procedures must be followed, and kept current, in order for you to receive the benefits that may be due to you.
Also remember that the rules for motorcyclists are different from those of other drivers.