Out of State Residents Involved in a Michigan Accident
A lot of time has been spent discussing what happens when Michigan residents are involved in motor vehicle accidents, but what if an out of state resident is involved in a Michigan accident. In this case, much of what occurs will be based upon whose fault it is. Under the old no-fault statute that applied for accidents occurring prior to June 11, 2019, insurance companies that were certified in Michigan generally still had to cover out of state residents who were involved in accidents that occurred in Michigan. Now, after June 11, 2019, insurers, even those who do business in Michigan, do not have to cover out of state residents for Personal Injury Protection Benefits unless the out of state resident owns a vehicle registered in Michigan.
“Sec. 3163. An insurer authorized to transact automobile liability insurance and personal and property protection insurance in this state is not required to provide personal protection insurance or property protection insurance benefits under this chapter for accidental bodily injury or property damage occurring in this state arising from the ownership, operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle by an out-of-state resident who is insured under the insurer's automobile liability insurance policies, unless the out-of-state resident is the owner of a motor vehicle that is registered and insured in this state.”
The odd thing about this statute is that it doesn’t technically require the owner of the Michigan vehicle to actually insure the Michigan vehicle, only have it registered. Therefore, it is theoretically possible that a person could purchase a vehicle, register the vehicle, and then have it sit in Michigan and allow the insurance to lapse and yet would still be eligible for PIP benefits under Michigan law, something this author thinks is a bit of an oddity within the act.
However, the new statute does allow a new remedy to out of state residents if they are not at fault. Previously, out of state residents were generally not entitled to economic damages. Now, however, under MCL 500.3135(3)(d), economic damages are collectible in a bodily injury claim. What does this mean? This means that out of state residents who are at fault in their accidents as probably completely out of luck. However, those out of state residents who are not at fault could recover their medical bills, lost wages, household or replacement services along with any claims for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver -assuming they have insurance. This means that in many cases, the at fault driver will be dependent upon the value of the insurance purchased by the person that hit them.
John T. Schroder
Attorney at Law
Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz, PLLC