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There are some interesting similarities between Michigan and Ontario. Firstly, the Detroit and Windsor corridor was a major passageway for Canadian rye whiskey during the prohibition. Al Capone arranged for truck and boat passage for the famous contraband, even going to great lengths to build an underwater conveyor belt to facilitate bootlegging. They both share Lake Huron and when it comes to winter, Michiganites, and Ontarians flock south as northern snowbirds.
So, what happens if you’re a Canadian injured in a car accident in Michigan? You need to know; Michigan has one of the most complicated car accident insurance schemes in all of North America.
Michigan is a comparative negligence state. In general, if you were partially responsible for the Michigan car accident, you may still recover damages in a lawsuit for your injuries. Your own “comparative negligence” affects damages, however. For example, if the injured person is 20% responsible for the accident and the at-fault driver is 80% responsible, the victim’s damages will be reduced by 20%. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover any compensation.
Time Limit: Importantly, you have three years from the date of the incident to bring a lawsuit. This is your timeframe to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for the injuries sustained.
Michigan law also requires you to prove your injuries are serious enough to bring a claim. “Serious impairment of body function”, “permanent serious disfigurement”, or “death” fall under the Michigan serious injury threshold.
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), is a private non-profit unincorporated association, created by the state legislature in 1978. It was the first attempt to introduce unlimited medical and rehabilitation benefits for those involved in a catastrophic accident. Michigan’s unique auto insurance no-fault law can provide unlimited lifetime coverage for medical expenses which result from auto accidents.
As of June 2019, Michigan moved to a tiered accident benefit system, subject to what personal injury protection a car driver purchases. Drivers can opt out (if they have Medicare), or buy limits of $50,000, $250,000, or the unlimited provision.
A Canadian involved in a catastrophic injury in Michigan can elect the type of PIP or SAB benefits they would like to receive. The election process is complicated, and you should speak to a lawyer familiar with the different considerations before deciding. The leading Canadian case on the subject is McDonald vs. Travellers insurance company.
CALL OUR SNOWBIRD HELPLINE FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
This is where we come in. For over 35 years, Snowbird Accidents has been assisting Canadian Snowbirds and US Snowbirds involved in car accidents and other personal injury accidents across North America. Very few lawyers and attorneys understand the complexities of cross-border accidents. After a serious Michigan car accident, you will probably need a lawyer in the state where the accident occurred, and in your home province.
Snowbird Accidents has been helping seriously injured Canadian Snowbirds and US Snowbirds get the treatment and care they need. This way, you can recover from your injuries and access fair compensation for your losses. We understand it is not only the injured party that may require assistance. Loved ones can face significant challenges also.
Snowbird Accidents arranges for you to speak to some of the best personal injury lawyers in Michigan, or anywhere along your route. All are experienced with cross-border accidents. They work collaboratively with other lawyers and attorneys in various states and provinces to protect you and your family’s legal rights and remedies.