What do you do when the driver who causes a car accident only has $20,000 in coverage?

This sadly happens all the time. Remember, most people who are insured (and in some cities like Detroit approximately 50% of drivers have no auto insurance at all) only have the minimum bodily injury policy limits of $20,000 if they cause a motor vehicle accident. That means that if these people have no collectible assets, that’s usually all that an attorney can recover for an auto accident victim.

Sure, a lawyer can still file a lawsuit and get a big judgment for someone. But the costs to prove this then come out of the accident victim’s total recovery.

Our auto accident attorneys always receive important questions regarding Michigan’s child car seat law. The latest involves when it’s legal and safe to move your child from the back seat to the front:

Q. My son is 7 years old and almost 4′ 9″. Is it permissible (and safe) for him to sit in the front seat with a booster seat?

A. Great question. Under Michigan’s child car seat law, the only children who must be positioned in a car’s “rear seat” are those who are “less than 4 years of age” and they must be “properly secure[d]” in “a child restraint system.” (MCL 257.710d(1) and (2))

Here’s the new maximum work loss rate a car accident victim can recover this year under Michigan’s No Fault Law

The Michigan No Fault wage loss rates for car accident victims have been updated for 2015-16:

The monthly max for No Fault wage loss will be $5,398, starting October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.

This past week I was interviewed by a reporter from the Al Jazeera cable news network about the insurance crisis in Detroit, where more than 50% of drivers are uninsured because they cannot afford to pay for their premiums, which are among the highest in the nation.

Then I received this question from a woman who was in a car accident with an insured driver, but did not have Michigan No Fault insurance for herself. I hope my answer helps explain just how dangerous it is to drive without auto insurance, as well as the extreme risks involved.

Q. Someone ran a red light and hit my car as I was driving on a green light. She has insurance but I don’t. My car is in my name.

Learn what umbrella insurance covers, and why uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage must be included

Shopping for car insurance in Michigan can be tricky. It’s an area that trips up many attorneys as well, who maybe had a question on No Fault on the bar exam, and nothing since.

First, there’s the auto insurance that’s required under our No Fault Law, commonly referred to as “PIP” or personal injury protection, and which generally refers to your No Fault coverage. Then there is “BI” or bodily injury coverage, that’s meant to pay compensation to someone you injure in an automobile accident.

I was recently interviewed by The Associated Press for a story on Detroit’s car insurance crisis. Specifically, why the rates are among the highest in the nation.

One of the questions the reporter asked me was, “What’s the penalty for driving with no proof of auto insurance in Michigan?” I also get this question often from my loved ones and the people I help as an auto accident attorney, so I thought I would share the answer today.

To start, according to the 36th District Court’s website, the fine for driving with “No Proof of Insurance” is $186 within 21 days and $226 after 21 days. That goes for Detroit residents.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is trying to make car insurance less expensive for Detroiters with his “D-Insurance” plan. This is an admirable and worthy goal, in a city where an estimated 50% of Detroiters are uninsured.

The problem is, Duggan’s plan is awful. What he’s proposing to do would also make Detroit residents extremely vulnerable if a car accident does occur. Detroiters would lack critical medical care – and they would still be paying more than drivers in the rest of the state of Michigan.

That’s the definition of a bad deal for Detroit. And it’s an unfortunate example of a politician who wants to say he did something about a problem, rather than actually fixing it.

As an auto accident attorney, I’ve been getting more and more questions about the right age, weight and height children must be to abide by Michigan’s car seat law. The latest has to do with children sitting in the front seat:

Q. My daughter will be 8 years old in 6 months. She is tiny, only about 4 feet tall and 44 pounds. Even being this small, she won’t have to use a booster and she can sit in the front seat, correct?

A. Thank you for the great question. Unfortunately, Michigan’s child car seat law does not specifically address the use of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats or the use of booster seats. Instead, the law talks in terms of using a “child restraint system.” But the Motor Vehicle Code does not specifically define what constitutes a “child restraint system.”

I recently wrote a blog post about PLPD insurance and I received an interesting question from a motorcycle owner in response:

Q. How does Michigan motorcycle insurance come into play with PLPD? I have a car with “standard cheapest insurance” and am going to buy a bike [motorcycle], how does this play into my insurance?

A. It’s important to remember that insurance for motorcycles is very different from the insurance that’s required under the Michigan No Fault law for cars. This is because motorcycles are not considered “motor vehicles” under the No Fault law in Michigan.

Our auto accident attorneys frequently receive questions from concerned parents about how to keep their children safe in their car seats. We want to help. So much so, that we have our own certified car seat safety technician on hand to inspect and install car seats at our Farmington Hills law office location.

Today I’d like to share the latest question, regarding what’s the right thing to do under Michigan’s car seat law – when the vehicle doesn’t have a back seat.

Q. My truck doesn’t have a back seat. Where do I place my child’s car seat?

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