I was sitting at a red light the other day and I was rear ended. I was hit pretty hard, there was a lot of damage to my car, and I injured my back and neck. My insurance company is giving me a lot of grief about paying for my damages. I thought this was supposed to be real simple. Do I need a lawyer to help me make my insurance company cover my damages?


Good question. Your insurance company is responsible for paying for the damage to your car. If you have a deductible, you can recover it from the other driver, up to $1,000, in what is known as a mini-tort claim. For your injuries, you may have two types of claims: first party and third party. A first- party claim is a claim against your own insurance company, regardless of fault, for your (1) lifetime medical expenses and other expenses for your care, recovery or rehabilitation, (2) wage loss for up to 3 years following the accident and (3) replacement services up to $20 per day for services that you would have performed but are no longer able to perform during the first 3 years following the accident. In order to recover for your pain and suffering, you have to go after the other driver’s insurance company in what is known as a third-party claim and show that you sustained a serious injury. Please call or email me if you would like some help with your claim.

Daniel W. Mabis is with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice

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