Numerous auto accidents in the state involve business travelers, vacationers, or those just traveling through the state to another destination. Many of these accidents occur in cities, subdivisions, and even parking lots. However, a substantial number of serious collisions occur on the major highways and freeways that run through the state, including interstate 70 and 80, as well as US Highway 33 and 35.
Fortunately, however, when an out-of-state resident is injured in a Michigan car accident, they often have the benefit of many state laws that they might not otherwise receive in their residence state. Therefore, if you were injured in Michigan as an out-of-state driver, consider reaching out to a knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to discuss your legal options.
Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to receive compensation for your losses by filing a claim. This may be able to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related costs.
The Rights of Out of State Motorists
A non-Michigan resident who is injured in a crash while in the state may be able to make a claim for no-fault insurance benefits. This is true even if the injured motorist lives in a state that does not carry no-fault benefits and their own insurance policy does not provide these benefits.
This is a tremendous benefit for an out-of-state resident, because no-fault insurance benefits might help pay for wages lost from work, medical expenses, attendant care, and other services. For a non-resident to qualify for no-fault benefits, there are several factors to consider, including:
- Whether the person was driving their own car—if so, whether the person’s auto insurance company was certified in the state
- Whether the person was a pedestrian
- Whether the person was a passenger in a Michigan-registered vehicle or was a passenger in a vehicle which had auto insurance that was certified in the state
In addition to receiving no-fault benefits, a non-Michigan resident injured in a car accident may be entitled to make a claim against the at-fault driver for other monetary damages, including for pain and suffering damages and disfigurement. A seasoned lawyer could help out of state residents to understand their legal options after a car accident and help them to seek compensation.
Canadian Residents Injured in a Michigan Crash
Due to our proximity to Canada, Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. is frequently contacted by Canadian citizens who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents in Michigan. Like other out-of-state drivers, Canadians who are injured in an auto accident within Michigan have legal rights and are afforded several options to recover damages and be compensated.
Specifically, there are two types of claims that an injured visitor from Canada can pursue for accident-related losses. First, they might be able to make a claim for personal injury damages against a negligent driver, as well as that person’s auto insurance company. Within a claim, an injured plaintiff may request compensation for pain and suffering, disability, scars and disfigurements, and other similar types of damages.
Furthermore, the visitor might also be able to file a claim for benefits through Michigan’s no-fault insurance policy, if their own insurance company is certified in Michigan. If successful, an injured plaintiff might receive compensation for numerous damages, including household service expenses, lost wages, medical costs, and other accident-related damages. These claims must be filed within one year of the date of a crash.
Lastly, an injured Canadian resident could also elect to have their benefits paid by the Ontario accident benefits regulation program—not unlike no-fault insurance, these benefits might provide payment for medical expenses and lost wages. However, there are differences and nuances to each type of claim an injured Canadian resident can pursue. Because of this, consulting with a qualified Michigan lawyer might prove beneficial.
Out-of-State College Students and Car Insurance
An out of state college student injured in a car crashwithin Michigan may be able to make a claim for no-fault insurance benefits. This is a tremendous help for many students, because this form of insurance may pay for unlimited medical expenses and household chores. If a student is working even part-time to pay for college at the time of the accident, the student may also be able to receive payments for lost wages.
However, many college students and their parents mistakenly believe that they can simply maintain their auto insurance policy from their home state and that this will provide them with the same protection as an insurance policy issued in the state. Unfortunately, if the college student drives their car for more than 30 cumulative days in Michigan without a no-fault insurance policy, the student may be not be entitled to receive any benefits at all.
Further, if the student is the title holder of the vehicle and is not insured under a no-fault insurance policy, that student may be considered an uninsured driver. Under these circumstances, the student may be precluded from suing a negligent driver who causes an accident and injures the student—this is true even if the college student is injured by a drunk driver.
College students attending school in Michigan from other states and their parents should contact their insurance company to add an addendum to the auto insurance policy to add the no-fault coverage. Or, in the alternative, have the automobile insured through an agent in the state that provides a certified no-fault insurance policy. Once this is done, the college student will be properly insured to drive in the state and receive all protections and benefits under the no-fault insurance laws.
Michigan Residents Injured in Another State
Similar to a visitor’s rights, a Michigan resident who is injured in a crash while out-of-state may be able to make a claim for no-fault benefits within the state. To do so, the injured motorist must have their own auto insurance policy or reside with a family member who carries eligible coverage. Like any crash situation, a Michigan resident injured in an out-of-state crash might also be able to pursue compensation against an at-fault driver through a civil claim.
Call a Lawyer to Discuss the Legal Options For Out of State Residents in Michigan Car Crashes
If you were injured in a motor vehicle wreck in Michigan as an out of state motorist, you may feel as though you have no legal options. However, by consulting with a knowledgeable accident lawyer, you could work to understand your legal rights and pursue compensation for your losses.
However, because of important deadlines and legal nuances, building a claim as soon as possible may prove beneficial. Call a legal professional today to begin working on a claim.
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