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No-fault insurance: 3 things you need to know now

After a collision, it's normal to want to see the negligent driver pay for his or her actions. Michigan adopted a no-fault insurance system in 1973 to make sure you get the medical care and benefits you need without costly legal or administrative costs. That doesn't mean you can't take some drivers to court, though.

No-fault insurance helps you get paid faster

No-fault insurance does help you get paid faster after an accident . However, coverage is usually limited to medical expenses and up to three years of lost wages. Additionally, damage to your vehicle may be covered, but most policy limits are low, so covering the full cost to repair or replace your vehicle will likely still be up to you.

If you want to pursue compensation above and beyond your policy limits, you'll need to file a negligence claim against the at-fault driver, who may contest their degree of fault. Pursuing this type of claim isn't impossible, but it can take time, so you'll want to work with a skilled attorney who can protect your interests throughout the process.

No-fault insurance covers your bases if the other driver is uninsured

Michigan law requires that all drivers carry no-fault insurance, because it guarantees all drivers have access to compensation if they're involved in an accident regardless of fault. So, if you're involved in an accident with someone who is uninsured, you still have the ability to claim compensation for your medical and rehabilitation expenses.

If the person who hit you did not have insurance, then the driver is in violation of the law and could be jailed and fined. You may also be able to seek compensation by directly suing the driver in a third-party negligence lawsuit, if your damages exceed your own policy limits.

Not all no-fault insurance policies are the same

The most basic of no-fault insurance policies won't cover repairs to a vehicle, costs related to replacing a vehicle or provide mini-tort protections. Drivers need to purchase coverage for these concerns separately. If you didn't purchase these additional protections, you may still be able to recover compensation by suing the at-fault driver directly (if he or she was clearly at fault). A lawyer can look into the facts of your case and your policy to determine all available forms of compensation for you.

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