Survivors' loss is a benefit to family members under the Michigan no-fault insurance act when a Michigan resident dies in an auto accident. This includes fatal car accidents, motorcycle accident, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. Benefits are available in hit and run accidents even if the deceased victim did not have an auto insurance policy.
Who Can Claim Survivors' Loss Death Benefits?
To claim survivors' loss benefits, you must be a dependent of the person who died in the fatal auto accident victim. Dependents include spouses, children under the age of 18, physically or mentally incapacitated children over 18, and anyone else the facts suggest is a dependent. (MCL 500.3110(1) and (2))
What are the Types of No Fault Survivors' Loss Death Benefits?
The types of No-fault insurance death benefits available to surviving family members after a fatal car accident include:
- The after-tax income that the deceased would have earned;
- The value of fringe benefits that the were available to the deceased and his/her family that are subsequently lost or diminished as a result of the deceased’s death, like health insurance and other benefits;
- The value of any other activity of the deceased’s that resulted in the production of “tangible things of economic value”; and
- Replacement services (also called household services) for assistance with chores around the home.
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
How Long do Survivor's Loss Benefit Payments Last?
You are entitled to receive survivor loss benefits for the first three years following the accident. The monthly amount payable for Michigan survivor loss benefits changes every year. You can call us to find out the current amounts and how much you are entitled to receive from the insurance company. The insurance may not tell you the correct dollar amounts.
How do I Submit a Claim for Survivors' Loss Benefit?
Your Michigan survivor's loss benefit claims must be submitted to the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim. To file your survivor's loss claim, you must submit a copy of the death certificate, as well as a copy of the funeral bill. Additionally, you will be required to present written proof of the loss of financial support and household services. Tax returns and income statements can prove loss of financial support and the insurance company will provide you with the other forms to send in.
What is the Time Limit to File a Michigan Survivors' Loss Benefit Claim?
You should submit your claim for survivors' loss benefits as soon as possible following the accident, but claims for survivor loss benefits must be submitted within one year of the date of the accident. A delay will bar your claim. You must provide evidence that the death was directly caused or a consequence of the auto accident. Quite often, the Death Certificate is all you need to prove an accident related death, but other times medical records are necessary to prove the connection between accident and death.
What to do if your Survivor's Loss Benefit Claim is Denied
If your insurance company refuses to pay your survivor loss benefits, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit against your insurance company. You must file a lawsuit within one year of the date on which the last unpaid No-Fault benefit was incurred or a significant part of your claim may be denied. The insurance adjuster may ask you for specific information in order to pay the claim and you should provide whatever documentation is available to justify your claim. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this one year period, you will lose the right to have the benefit or expense paid.
What are Accidental Death Benefits?
Accidental death benefits are actually different than survivors' loss benefits. Many auto insurance policies include coverage that automatically pays a specific amount, like $ 10,000.00, in the event of an auto accident death. Not every policy has this benefit so it is important to have a lawyer review your policy because the insurance company may not tell you about this payment. This benefit is in addition to the survivors' loss benefits and should be automatically paid after a fatal accident.
Contact a Michigan Survivor's Loss Benefit Claim Lawyer
For more information about your rights to Michigan No-Fault survivor's loss benefits call us now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case. You can also submit the Get Help Now form on this page and a lawyer will be in touch with you soon.
We will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This guarantees you will not pay a single cent unless we are able to reach a settlement or jury verdict for you. There is literally nothing to lose. Our attorneys will listen to your story and inform you of your best course of action. If you have a case, we will begin work on it immediately. We take pride in representing each and every client.