I was in a car accident due to other driver's fault, can I sue the other driver for damages in my car in michigan?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Flint, MI

I was in car accident where my car rolled over 3 times and it was due to other driver's fault and I have basic insurance and I was wondering if I can sue the other driver for damages on my car and medical fees.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven M. Gursten

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . With regard to the medical fees, your own auto insurance company is responsible for your medical expenses related to the accident. You would need to make a No-Fault claim with your car insurance company and complete and submit an Application for Benefits within one (1) year of the accident or your claim will be forever barred.
    You would not normally pursue an action against the at-fault driver or vehicle owner for these types of expenses unless the driver was uninsured. Even if this was the case, your own insurer would pursue reimbursement, not you. If the at-fault vehicle was insured, as most are, the driver/owner would be immune from having to pay/reimburse your medical costs.
    With regard to your property damage case, even if you only have PLPD insurance (no collision coverage), you can still pursue a Mini-Tort case against the owner and driver (if different) of the car that caused the accident. If the at-fault driver is insured, the maximum claim is $500. You will need a copy of your damage estimate (or photos if the damage is significant), the police report, and a copy of the Declaration Page from your auto insurance policy. If you present these documents to the insurance company of the wrongdoer, they should just pay you the $500. If they will not, then you will need to file a lawsuit in Small Claims Division of the District Court where the accident occurred. If the at-fault owner/driver is uninsured, then you can sue them for all of your property damage.

  2. Thomas William James

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . *warning*

    Beware of relying upon advice from from attorneys that are not licensed to practice law in Michigan. Our laws are very different than those of other states.

    I only practice law in Michigan and my entire legal practice is devoted to car accidents and helping people who have suffered damages in those car accidents. So, to answer your question:

    1. You cannot sue the other driver for medical fees.
    Why? The law states that your medical expenses will be paid either through your private health insurance company or your own automobile insurance company. It depends on whether your auto insurance coverage is either primary or excess ("basic" doesn't provide enough information")
    We have provided this exact information in detail at our resource center: http://www.michiganautolaw.com/caraccidents/nof...

    2. The maximum property damage you can recover from the other driver is $500.
    Why? Its the mini-tort law you probably have already heard about. It does not matter if your own auto insurance company pays all of your car damage or they don't pay a nickel. The most you can recover from at fault driver is $500.
    We have provided this exact information in detail in one of our blogs: http://www.michiganautolaw.com/auto-lawyers-blo...

    As always, it is best to speak with an attorney familiar with your area of need regarding your rights and the law.

    I wish you the best.
    Tom James
    tjames@michiganautolaw.com

  3. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Usually the damages to which you are entitled to in an automobile accident include much more than what you have stated. I suggest you may wish to review some of the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com, one of which deals with the elements of damages to which you may be entitled.

    I don't know what you mean by "basic" insurance. I suggest that you arrange a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in your area and see whether or not the attorney is in a position to undertake your representation. Usually personal injury attorneys will provide you with a free consultation, so you should take advantage of that service and get all of your questions answered.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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