Michigan’s Serious Injury Threshold

Michigan’s Serious Injury Threshold

Michigan has laws in place to reduce the number of motor vehicle lawsuits filed each year for injuries and damages. Part of the law includes a requirement that all drivers are covered by basic no-fault insurance. This type of coverage pays unlimited benefits for required medical treatments and procedures for your injuries whether you caused the accident or not.

When Can I File a Claim

This law means you can turn to your own insurance company to pay for your medical expenses and even your vehicle damage. This Personal Injury Protection will pay for your economic losses, but will not pay for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. To be able to sue for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages, your injuries must meet the serious injury threshold.

According to M.C.L. 500.3135, the victim of a car accident can only file a liability lawsuit if their injuries meet the serious injury threshold which is defined as an injury that affects the injured person’s general ability to live his or her normal life.

There are basically three types of injuries that meet the serious injury threshold –

  • Death
  • Permanent and serious scarring or disfigurement
  • Serious impairment of normal bodily function

Though these cases deal with subjective issues such as pain and suffering, understand that claiming you are suffering debilitating pain is not enough to bring a case. You must have objective evidence to bring a claim, such as a physician’s ordered restrictions because of severe pain. Simply having medical documents that note you are experiencing pain won’t hold up in court.

Claims for Economic Damages

In some cases, the victim can file for economic losses that go beyond what is normally paid through no-fault insurance. Generally, these cases involve wage loss beyond the standard PIP three-year limitation or replacement service costs. There is no injury threshold for these types of economic damage cases.

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