There are two types of claims that a Canadian can pursue for auto accident related injuries in Michigan. First, the injured Canadian can make a claim for personal injury damages against the negligent driver that caused the accident. This is a “typical” claim filed against the negligent American driver and that person’s auto insurance company for pain and suffering, disability and other similar types of damages.
Second, a Canadian can also file a claim for Michigan No-Fault Insurance benefits under certain circumstances. Generally under Michigan’s No Fault law, a non-Michigan-resident driver who is injured in a car accident is not entitled to collect Michigan No-Fault benefits for his or her accident-related injuries. However, there are exceptions to that rule. Under the following two scenarios, a Canadian driver who was injured in a Michigan car accident is entitled to collect Michigan No-Fault benefits:
• The driver’s Canadian auto insurance company is “certified” on the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation’s “No-Fault Certification List.” All Canadian drivers who regularly enter Michigan would be well advised to make sure their coverage is through an insurance company that is certified under Michigan’s No-Fault Law.
• The driver is covered by an Ontario auto insurance policy which allows him or her to “elect” to collect Michigan No-Fault benefits.
Michigan no fault benefits include medical coverage for current and future bills related to the victim’s care, recovery and rehabilitation; reimbursement for lost wages; household services support; attendant care expenses and home or vehicle modifications. These benefits can be significant. A claim for these benefits must be filed within one year after the accident.
If possible, it often makes sense for a Canadian driver who has been injured in Michigan in a car accident to opt to collect Michigan No-Fault benefits. Under Ontario’s accident benefits regulation, when a driver who is covered by an Ontario auto insurance policy is injured in a Michigan car accident, “the person may elect” to collect Michigan No-Fault benefits rather than the benefits provided under her Ontario auto insurance policy. Specifically, the Ontario regulation provides:
“If, as a result of an [auto] accident in … the United States of America, a person … incurs an expense …, the insurer shall pay, as the person may elect … benefits in the same amounts and subject to the same conditions as if the person was a resident of the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred and was entitled to payments under the law of that jurisdiction.”
If there is a very serious automobile accident, the advantages of recovering attendant care alone (one of the medical benefits under the No Fault act) makes it worthwhile for an injured Canadian to opt to collect Michigan No-Fault.
Choosing the Michigan system may also help us in helping Canadian accident victims recover a better legal settlement, because of differences between the Canadian and American health systems. Referrals to medical specialists are easier in Michigan and these referrals, along with objective proof of injury, are required to bring a case for a Canadian injured in Michigan under Michigan’s auto accident threshold law.
However, benefits in Ontario may also provide payment of medical expenses and lost wages. There are differences between Ontario accident benefits and Michigan No-Fault Insurance benefits, so the Canadian needs to carefully select which benefit program will be best for them. We will assist you in determining which program benefits you with the best and most comprehensive compensation..
Still have questions? If so, contact us, to schedule a free consultation. 1(844)299-0808