Each year, the maximum wage loss rate is adjusted. Recently, the Michigan Department of Insurance adjusted the Michigan auto accident work loss benefits rate to a maximum of $5,452 per month for October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.
If an accident left you or a family member unable to work, you are probably wondering – how will we meet expenses during the time it takes to heal? Under Michigan law, car accident victims are usually covered for wage loss under no-fault automobile insurance. This blog should help you understand your rights to wage loss claims after injuries from a collision.
Wage loss benefits provide reimbursement of 85% of lost income for the period of time that a victim is unable to work, up to three years. The injury victim of a no-fault auto accident will get the amount of wages that match the time that he or she missed work, whether that be just a few days or many months. Lost wages can be collected by the surviving family of victims that die in accidents, as well.
Lost wages are only calculated based on actual wages, meaning the pay rate at the time of accident. Unfortunately, the potential value of a raise or promotion cannot be included in the amount the injury victim receives. Wage loss benefits are not taxed, so although victims receive 85% of their lost income, the amount should be comparable to a normal full income – given that it would be taxed at 15% – for a person making $6,414 per month or less.
No-fault insurance is required by law in Michigan. The state requires proof of insurance to issue license plates. All no-fault insurance coverage in the state includes wage loss benefits as part of Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It doesn’t matter who caused the accident. The PIP benefits are payable without regard to fault as long as you had insurance on the motor vehicle that was involved in the collision and written proof to support the claims. PIP includes several other benefits that may apply to your claim, like medical bills and replacement services.
An attorney can help you understand if there are other types of insurance or payments that may change the benefits you receive. Short-term or long-term disability insurance may require coordinated coverage with the wage loss benefits of no-fault auto insurance. Also, wage loss benefits may be decreased if you are collecting social security or worker’s compensation benefits.
Some victims may have economic damages that are more than the cap. If an injury victim is unable to work longer than three years or has a pre-injury income beyond $6,414 per month ($76,969 per year), the cap can have a negative impact. A lawsuit against the driver at fault for excess economic damages might be the answer. Our Michigan automobile accident attorneys can explain how you can recover excess economic damages without meeting the threshold for severe injuries or comparative fault rules that apply to some other lawsuits.
If you or a loved one have severe injuries from an accident that are impacting the ability to work, creating mounting medical bills, or making you fall behind on household tasks, the attorneys at Sachs Waldman can help. We offer aggressive advocates who get the outcome you deserve. We encourage you to contact us for a free case evaluation.