Excess Economic Loss Damages
Excess economic loss damages include the past, present and future out-of-pocket expenses that are not recoverable through the injured person’s no-fault PIP benefits. Under the Michigan no-fault law, if an injured person suffers excess economic loss damages, then he or she can recover those damages in a liability claim (also called an “auto negligence claim“) against the driver at-fault for the accident.
For example, excess economic loss damages would be recoverable if the injured person has a high income and the monthly no-fault work-loss benefit does not fully compensate that person for his or her full lost wages. Similarly, if the injured person is disabled permanently or for an extended period of time and, as a result, will sustain a loss of income beyond the three-year no-fault work-loss benefit period, then excess economic loss could be recovered in the liability claim.
Keep in mind that, if you’re pursuing an auto negligence suit for excess economic loss damages against the at-fault driver, it’s crucial that you have an experienced Michigan auto accident lawyer by your side, helping you navigate the legal system.
Excess Replacement Services No Longer Compensable
In 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court limited a person’s ability to collect certain excess economic damages. In Johnson v Recca, 492 Mich 169 (2012), the Court determined that tort damages for excess replacement service expenses are not recoverable under Section 3135(3)(c) of the No-Fault Act because replacement services are not among the specific categories of damages listed in that section.
No “Threshold Injury” Requirement for Excess Economic Loss
The No-Fault Act and Michigan case law make it clear that an injured person does not have to prove a threshold injury (i.e., “serious impairment of body function” or “permanent serious disfigurement”) in order to recover excess economic loss damages.
Excess Economic Loss Not Barred by Comparative Negligence
Under the 1995 amendments to the No-Fault Act, claims for excess economic loss are not prohibited where the injured person was more than 50% comparatively negligent, or where the injured person was the owner and operator of an uninsured motor vehicle involved in the accident.