Under the Michigan no-fault law, a person injured in a car accident who
is unable to work as a result of their injuries is entitled to work loss
benefits, or lost wages or earnings. Work loss benefits or lost wages
benefits are paid under the provisions of the Michigan no-fault law by
the auto insurance company responsible for paying benefits.
These benefits are not only available to Michigan car accident victims,
but also those injured in a pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, truck
accident or motorcycle accident. Passengers of buses and other commuter
vehicles may also be eligible to receive such benefits. Even if you were
at fault for the accident, you still may be entitled to collect such compensation.
How Much Can I Collect in Wage Loss Benefits?
Work loss benefits or lost wages covers 85% of the gross of lost wages
tax-free. There is a maximum amount in which a victim is able to collect.
This amount is raised each year.
As of October 1st, 2014 the new maximum work loss rate a Michigan auto accident victim can
collect under the no-fault statute is $5,392 per month. This is an increase
from the previous maximum amount a person could collect which was $5,282
The capped amount is equated to an estimated annual income of $70,000.
Therefore, if you make $70,000 or less per year, your lost wages from
employment should be fully covered under the Michigan no-fault law. For
those individuals who make more than $70,000 per year, due to the work
loss cap you will not be able to collect full reimbursement from the insurance
company. The amount of money in which you are unable to collect outside
the maximum cap is considered "excess wage loss" and must be
sought from the at-fault driver.
How Can I Collect My Michigan No-Fault Wage Loss Benefits?
Depending on your accident, you may not need a lawyer to collect your wage
loss benefits. Victims who are trying to collect wage loss benefits will
need to contact their own auto insurance company and ask for a Michigan
wage loss and income benefit application. This application must be correctly
filled out and submitted to the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim.
You will also need to submit with your application a wage verification
form, a paycheck stub or other proof of how much you make, and typically
a note from your doctor that disables you from working.
What To Do If My Lost Wages Benefit Claim Is Denied
It is not uncommon for victims who submit their claim for no-fault wage
loss benefits to get denied by their insurance company, or for the insurance
company to delay payment or pay for a few months and then cut off payment.
If your insurance company refuses to pay your lost wages, delays payment
or terminates/cuts-off payment, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit
against your auto insurance company. This is called a no-fault lawsuit.
When this happens it is in your best interest to hire a Michigan no-fault
insurance lawyer to represent you. This is because the insurance companies
can be tricky and it is important that whoever is dealing with the insurance
company knows how to and has experience negotiating with them so that
you receive full reimbursement.