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Michigan Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline

We rely on our cars to get us just about everywhere we go, without much thought about it. This reliance, however, increases our risks of being involved in car accidents. For those that are harmed in a collision, your first legal issue to figure out is what to do to resolve any property damage or personal injury claims. Personal injury law is the relevant area of law that establishes liability for car accidents and is primarily governed by state law.

Despite basic similarities among the states, the car accident settlement process varies by jurisdiction. If you're involved in a vehicle collision in the Great Lakes State, then you'll need to understand the Michigan car accident settlement process and timeline.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Immediately following the accident, there are some first steps to take at the scene. Many of these actions are intuitive, such as calling for the police and for medical assistance, but these steps can be easy to forget in the stress of the situation. Within a short period of time, you'll also need to report the accident to your insurance company and file your claim.

No-Fault Car Insurance

Michigan is a no-fault insurance state, which means that your own auto insurance coverage pays for your medical expenses and other out-of-pocket losses after a car accident (up to policy limits), regardless of who's to blame for the accident.

Michigan Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline: Overview

Anyone who's involved in a vehicle collision will want to know how long the settlement process will take. However, each case is unique and depends on specific details. The chart below breaks down the relevant statutes with a helpful, plain language overview of the Michigan car settlement process and timeline.


Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter 257. Motor Vehicles:

Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter 500. Insurance Code of 1956:

Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter 500. Revised Judicature Act of 1961:

  • Section 600.5805 (statute of limitations for lawsuits against negligent individuals or entities) 

Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter 600. Insurance Code of 1956:

  • Section 500.3145 (periods of limitation on no-fault personal injury protection benefits)




  • After you have notified your insurance company about the accident, they will assign a claims adjuster to your case.
  • The adjuster will ask follow-up questions about your injuries, or any losses that you suffered resulting from the accident, and the circumstances of the accident.
  • The investigation process can include contacting any witnesses who were at the scene and requesting to review medical records to determine whether your injuries are truly from the accident or from some other event.

Initial Settlement Offer

After the adjuster has finished the investigation and has a handle on what happened, they will make an initial settlement offer to compensate you for the losses that you experienced due to the accident.

Although the offers do vary, they often are on the low side and are not sufficient to cover your losses.


After you've received the initial settlement offer and you don't accept it or your claim is denied, you will enter the negotiations phase.

Here, you will present evidence to show proof of your injuries and losses and you will argue that your case is worth more than the offer presented.

It is wise to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney to help with the negotiations.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources:

Contact an Attorney for Help With the Accident Settlement Process

Resolving a settlement claim may only take a few months or it can last several years. As early as possible, you'll want to have a professional at your side who understands Michigan's car accident settlement process and timeline, and who will protect your interests. Contact a local Michigan personal injury attorney immediately for help with collecting evidence and negotiating a fair settlement for your claim.

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