Personal Injury Blog
Kalamazoo - Personal Injury and Tort Law Blog

Third Party Claim:

Posted December 4, 2018

In a third-party claim, a plaintiff sues the driver of a vehicle, alleging the breach of a duty that resulted in a serious injury. Basically, the injured person may sue the at-fault driver for noneconomic damages, provided the claimant’s injuries meet the threshold requirement of death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of a body function. MCL 500.3135(1). The plaintiff may also sue for any economic losses that exceed the maximum statutory no-fault first-party benefits, without having to meet the no-fault threshold. Thus, the third-party claim compensates the injured person for noneconomic losses, such as past, present, and future pain and suffering, and for economic losses in excess of the statutory first-party maximums. See form 4.1 for a sample no-fault third-party complaint. However, not all negligence cases involving motor vehicles are subject to the limitations imposed by the no-fault act.

MCL 500.3135


Michigan Auto Accidents: Some Issues to Consider

Posted November 14, 2018

Michigan law provides for a comprehensive no-fault auto insurance system. It is one of the most comprehensive auto insurance systems in the nation. If you maintain an insured vehicle in Michigan, you and your family are entitled to unlimited medical and rehabilitation benefits, wage loss benefits and $20 per day for replacement services for up to three years if you are injured in an auto accident. These benefits are yours regardless of who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident.

Michigan law requires no-fault insurance. Every registered vehicle must be insured by an insurance company approved to sell automobile insurance in Michigan. Driving a motor vehicle in Michigan without basic no-fault insurance makes a person liable for damages. It is a misdemeanor and the driver may be fined from $200 to $500, or put in jail for up to one year, or both. Additionally, driving a vehicle without insurance may cost you the right to sue an at-fault driver for personal injury damages.


No-Fault Threshold for Tort Claim:

Posted October 6, 2018

A major distinction between third-party motor vehicle negligence litigation and other negligence suits is that the plaintiff in a motor vehicle negligence suit must show that his or her injury is serious enough to warrant filing a suit to recover noneconomic damages. No-fault immunity bars the plaintiff from recovering any noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering or mental anguish unless he or she demonstrates one of the three classes of injury stated in MCL 500.3135 or, in no-fault parlance, unless the injured party crosses the no-fault threshold. A motor vehicle accident victim has met the statutory threshold if he or she has suffered death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of a body function.

Once the threshold has been crossed, a plaintiff does not have to maintain a continuing level of threshold injury to recover noneconomic damages. Byer v Smith, 419 Mich 541, 357 NW2d 644 (1984). In other words, if a serious impairment subsides over time to a point where it is no longer a serious impairment but still causes pain and suffering, noneconomic damages remain available. The no-fault tort immunity provision in MCL 500.3135 does not bar a loss of consortium claim as long as the principal claimant meets the threshold.

MCL 500.3135







Understanding your rights is essential when you suffer a personal injury. The Southwest Michigan Personal Injury Attorneys at Hettinger & Hettinger, P.C. have experience in nearly every facet of civil litigation and personal injury law.