Michigan Car Accident Laws

You’re required by Michigan law to file a police report if you’re in a car accident that causes injury, death, or damages over $1,000.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Edited by Sarah Gray
If you’re in a car accident in
, state law requires you to file a report with the police if it resulted in injury, death, or damages exceeding $1,000. You can claim damages through your insurance provider or a personal injury lawsuit. 
  • In Michigan, drivers are required to carry a minimum of 50/100/10 liability coverage and no-fault insurance. 
  • Document the accident following a crash and report it to a police department and your insurance company.
  • Michigan is one of 23 states that follow a modified comparative negligence rule.

What to do after a crash: Michigan car accident reporting laws

The first thing you should
do after a car accident
is to make sure that everyone involved is safe. From there,
Section 618
of Michigan law requires that drivers stop their vehicle and, if necessary, move it to a safer location. 
According to
Section 619
of Michigan law, drivers involved in a car accident have a duty to:
  • Provide their name, address, license, and vehicle registration number to a police officer and the other party involved
  • Give reasonable assistance in securing medical aid to any injured person
It’s also good to document the car crash, preferably with photos of the scene and damage. You are also legally required to exchange insurance policy information with the other party before leaving the scene. Get their insurance company and policy number.
Finally, you will need to file an accident report with the nearest or “most convenient” police station if the accident resulted in:
  • Injury or wrongful death
  • Property damage costing $1,000 or more 

Financial responsibility and coverage minimums: Michigan’s insurance laws

It’s good to be aware of
Michigan’s minimum insurance coverage
before disaster strikes. The state wants a demonstration of financial responsibility before drivers hit the road. In Michigan, drivers are required to carry:
Driving without the minimum required coverage could result in a misdemeanor with penalties that include:
  • A fine of $200 to $500
  • Up to one year in prison
  • Having your driver’s license suspended with a
    fee of $125
  • Restriction of your car registration privileges
  • Financial liability in the event of an accident
Even though driving uninsured opens you up to a host of penalties, 25.5% of drivers in Michigan are uninsured. If you’re one of the 74.5% of drivers who are insured, you may want to consider adding
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
to protect you in the case of an accident with an uninsured driver. 

Claiming damages after an accident: Michigan’s personal injury laws

Depending on the details of the accident, you may want to do more than just file an insurance claim. Talk with a personal injury lawyer if you’d like to claim economic or non-economic damages as a result of the accident. Many law firms and car accident attorneys offer free consultation and legal advice. Consider filing a lawsuit if you experienced:
  • Economic damages: Loss of property use, medical expenses, lost employment or business opportunities, lost wages, burial expenses, etc
  • Non-economic damages: Mental suffering, pain and suffering, humiliation, inconvenience, emotional distress
Like most states, Michigan holds a statute of limitations for how long you can wait to file your personal injury claim. The deadline is three years after the injury or death in question. 

Exceptions to Michigan’s personal injury laws

There are a few cases where the statute of limitations can be extended to allow a longer claim window. If any of these criteria apply to the accident victims at the time of the car accident, they will be given extra considerations: 
  • They are considered insane: The victim has one year after a sane diagnosis to file their claim
  • They are under the age of 18: The victim has until they turn 18 to file their claim
On the other hand, if you are trying to file a claim against someone and they leave the state, your statute of limitations may be extended until you can find the person in question. 
MORE: Michigan hit-and-run

Who’s to blame: Michigan’s modified comparative negligence law

One of the biggest questions following any car accident is: who is at fault? The answer isn’t always clear-cut, often with different levels of fault falling on different parties. 
Because Michigan is a modified comparative negligence state, both parties can claim damages in an accident. Comparative negligence allows anyone involved in a car accident to get compensation if they are 50% or less responsible for the accident. 
comparative fault statute
states that if you are more than 50% at fault, your share of economic damages will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. You will also be barred from claiming any non-economic damages. 
Because there is no set way of determining fault in accident cases, you’ll need to be prepared to negotiate
Bear in mind that the rules and fault benefits may change if you’re involved in an accident across state borders. It might be helpful to hire a Michigan car accident lawyer to advise you on your car accident claim.
was spot on. I’m young with one rear end on my record. Still, they dropped my monthly insurance rate from $468 to $250. This really saved me money.” —Jason M.


Yes, in Michigan, drivers have to use their own auto insurance policy to get payment for covered medical expenses regardless of who caused the accident.
Even though Michigan is a no-fault state, the at-fault driver has to pay for property damage and medical bills that aren’t covered by the driver’s own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
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