Drivers in Michigan have to face some serious risks on the road. During the summer, holidays can inspire drinking and thus, drunk drivers. In the fall, low light and leaf litter combine for dangerous scenarios. Winter brings ice and snow, while the rains of spring can also contribute to collisions and crashes. One risk that doesn't change with the season is the possibility of issues with your insurance company after an accident.
If you end up seriously injured in the wake of a collision caused by another driver, you will likely depend on your no-fault insurance policy to cover the repairs to your vehicle and the medical expenses related to your injuries. You need to inform yourself about common practices and your rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and coverage you've paid for.
Insurance companies may try to make low-ball offers
The complicated no-fault insurance system in Michigan does not include any caps on coverage or claims by drivers hurt in a wreck. There can be massive expenses for insurance companies in the wake of a collision that causes injuries. Spinal cord injuries, compound fractures and closed head or traumatic brain injuries are among some of the more expensive and debilitating injuries.
In order to limit how much they end up paying for your care, your insurance company could try to offer you a low initial settlement. After suffering injuries in a crash, you're likely to have a desperate need for funds. You may be behind in paying certain bills. Your insurance company could take advantage of that desperation. They know that you need money now, so they may try to get you to sign away your rights to future payments in return for a settlement that won't cover all of your expenses.
Carefully consider the long-term costs of your injuries
To determine if an insurance offer is reasonable, you'll need to get copies of your current medical bills. An estimate for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle will also help. You can combine those, along with estimated figures for ongoing care such as future surgeries or physical therapy you may require to recover. When you've added all those figures up with your lost wages from missed work, that final figure is an approximation of how much that crash will cost you.
The important thing to remember is that any settlement should more than cover the amount of medical expenses and lost wages you've incurred. You shouldn't have to pay out of pocket for medical care or vehicle repair, other than any deductibles associated with your policy. If your insurance company didn't offer a reasonable settlement, you may need to consider politely rejecting or countering the offer with one of your own.