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The Rights of An Injured Passenger Following An Auto Accident

As a passenger in a car, you are putting your life into the hands of your driver. It is easy to assume that an accident will not happen. However, when an accident does happen, the injured passenger in an automobile accident has certain rights.

Basic First Party Rights

A passenger in an automobile has the same rights to recover no-fault benefits that a driver of an automobile does. These rights are as follows:

  1. The right to recover up to three years of wages lost if you are disabled from working as a result of injuries from the automobile accident. This is paid at a rate of 85% of your pay.
  2. Up to three years of assistance around the house from friends or family members who are assisting you doing tasks that you normally did for yourself before the accident but no longer are able to do as a result of your automobile accident related injuries. These benefits are paid at up to $20 per day, again, for up to three years following the automobile accident.
  3. Medical bills related to the automobile accident up to the amount of the medical limit purchased from your automobile insurance company.

Who Pays The No-Fault Benefits?

If you are the passenger in an automobile, your first order of priority for payment of your no-fault benefits would be through your own auto insurance carrier. Your auto insurance policy follows you anywhere you go if you are involved in an automobile accident as a driver, passenger or even as a pedestrian or bicyclist. If you do not own an automobile that has insurance, the next order of priority would be to obtain your no-fault benefits through the insurance company for any “resident relative”.

Who Is a Resident Relative?

A resident relative is someone who is related to by blood or marriage who resides in your household. So, if you do not own an automobile that has insurance, but you live with your brother (as an example) and your brother owns an automobile that has insurance, believe it or not, your no-fault insurance benefits would come from his insurance company.

If you do not own an automobile that has insurance, and you do not live with any resident relative that owns an automobile that has insurance, your next order of priority would be through the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility. You would apply through the MACF and an insurance company would be assigned to you. That insurance company would then be obligated to pay your no-fault benefits.

The Third-Party Rights of a Passenger Injured In An Automobile Accident

Since your are a passenger in an automobile accident, you did not cause the automobile accident. Therefore, you are free of comparative negligence. As a passenger, you are able to sue whomever you believe caused the accident that caused your injuries. This can include, but is not limited to:

  1. Your own driver
  2. The other driver or drivers involved in the accident
  3. Any other potentially liable party including the employer of any commercial truck driver
  4. The employer of any person driving a vehicle in the course and scope of their employment

In order to recover against the driver who caused your accident for the injuries that you sustained in the accident, you must meet a certain minimum standard in Michigan. The standard is known as the “serious impairment” standard. That is, you must have sustained a serious impairment of a body function that affects your general ability to lead your normal life. There is no need for your life to have been destroyed by the automobile accident. Instead, your life must have been affected by the automobile accident in a significant way for some period of time.

Hire the experts. Hire Femminineo law. The attorneys at Femminineo Law have handled automobile accident cases for passengers for over 30 years. We can help you. Give us a call anytime at 855.65.CRASH or go to our website

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Femminineo Law, PLLC is Michigan’s finest personal injury firm. He has succeeded in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of highway accidents, medical malpractice, slips and falls, and for wrongful death matters throughout the State of Michigan.

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