Losing a loved one is always difficult to bear, especially if their passing is sudden and the result of another person’s negligence. Under Michigan’s no-fault insurance act, survivors’ loss benefits could be offered to the family member’s of any state resident who dies in an auto accident.
This holds true for car crashes, motorcycle wrecks, truck collisions, cycling incidents, and pedestrian accidents. Furthermore, these benefits might be granted in a hit-and-run scenario, even if the deceased did not have the proper auto insurance policy.
If your loved one was killed in an auto collision, a compassionate lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could help explain how Michigan survivors’ benefits might help you during this difficult time. Furthermore, a dedicated attorney could work to pursue these no-fault benefits on your behalf, so that you could focus on spending time with your family.
To claim survivors’ loss benefits in Michigan, a claimant must be a dependant of the deceased. Dependants include spouses, children under the age of 18, physically or mentally incapacitated children over 18, among others listed under Michigan Compiled Laws §500.3110.
These benefits are offered for the first three years following a loved one’s passing. However, the monthly amount payable under these no-fault benefits changes every year. Because of this, it is important to keep up to date with the extent of offered benefits.
The Types of Survivors’ Benefits
There are multiple types of survivors’ benefits available to surviving family members. These include:
- The after-tax income that the deceased would have earned
- The value of fringe benefits that were available to the deceased and their family that are subsequently lost or diminished as a result of the deceased’s death—such as health insurance
- The value of any other activity of the deceased’s that resulted in economic value
- Replacement services for assistance with chores around the home—also called household services
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
However, it is important to note that Michigan’s no-fault survivors’ benefits are separate from accidental or wrongful death benefits. While many auto insurance policies include coverage that automatically pays a specific amount after a fatal crash, not every policy provides this benefit. Furthermore, consulting with a knowledgeable lawyer might be helpful, as some insurance companies try to avoid telling a claimant about these payments.
Filing a Claim
A claim for survivors’ loss benefits must be submitted to the insurance adjuster assigned to the claim in Michigan. With this claim, copies of both the death certificate and the funeral bill must be included. Additionally, an applicant will be required to present written proof of their loss of financial support and household services. This could be done through tax returns or income statements, for example.
A claim should be submitted as soon as possible following an accident, although there is a one-dead timeframe wherein a claim can be filed. A qualified lawyer could work to help file a timely survivors’ benefits claim in Michigan. If a claimant’s loss benefits are denied, their only legal recourse might be to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. This lawsuit must be pursued within one year from the date of the last unpaid no-fault benefit.
Legal Help Seeking Michigan Survivors’ Benefits
If your loved one was killed in a car collision, you might wish to pursue Michigan survivors’ benefits offered under no-fault insurance. However, understanding how benefits are pursued and filing a thorough claim might be overwhelming, especially during this difficult time.
By working with a compassionate and skilled lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., you could have help with each step of pursuing a claim. To discuss your legal options, reach out to a caring attorney today.
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