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Why changes to insurance law may lead to more car crash lawsuits

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Michigan has long had a reputation for expensive automotive insurance requirements. For decades, the state mandated unlimited no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. That specialized no-fault coverage helped protect people from the risk of an uninsured or underinsured driver saddling them with a lifetime of medical expenses and lost wages.

Despite the robust protection provided by unlimited no-fault PIP coverage, state lawmakers reformed the law to make insurance coverage more affordable for state residents. For better and for worse, that change in required coverage could very well lead to more car crash lawsuits.

Not everyone has to carry PIP coverage

No-fault reform efforts in Michigan have substantially altered car insurance requirements, particularly for those with limited household income. Drivers do still have the option of unlimited coverage, but many drivers choose to carry less PIP coverage.

People can opt to acquire less no-fault coverage to keep their insurance costs low. Any driver can opt for $500,000 or $250,000 worth of PIP coverage. Those with certain insurance can qualify for even lower requirements. Those with Medicaid, for example, can potentially carry just $50,000 of PIP. Some drivers with Medicare Parts A & B and only insured family members living in their house can potentially forego PIP entirely.

Unfortunately, that makes them more dependent on the coverage carried by other drivers. Many motorists make choices to reduce all types of coverage on their insurance policies as a way of reducing their premium expenses. A motorist who causes a collision in Michigan might only have $50,000 in personal injury liability coverage.

That lower insurance amount might mean that the person not at fault for the crash has to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic losses. A personal injury lawsuit might be the only viable solution for an individual with major medical expenses and significant lost wages related to a car crash. The driver at fault for the collision could be liable for other people’s medical expenses if they were negligent or violated traffic statutes and caused the crash as a result.

While many people do not relish the idea of suing someone else, the alternative might be absorbing those losses and experiencing long-term financial hardship. Reviewing coverage available for all relevant drivers can help people trying to secure compensation for a recent Michigan car crash. Those without unlimited PIP coverage may find themselves in civil court in pursuit of appropriate compensation.