Rights of Victims in Michigan Auto Accident Cases
Learn about compensation when you’ve been injured
If you’ve been hurt in a Michigan car accident, you’re probably facing expensive medical bills and other costs. At Richards & Associates, PLLC in Troy, I partner with reputable personal injury attorneys who are well-versed in handling car accident cases throughout the Detroit area. Whether your medical condition is expected to heal or you’ve suffered permanent harm, my firm is committed to seeing that you receive strong legal counsel.
Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law and Personal Injury Protection
Michigan is a no-fault insurance state, which means that unless your injuries are severe, you do not sue the driver who caused the accident in which you were injured. You must turn to your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This coverage will pay reasonable medical expenses and up to 85 percent of the income you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured, for up to three years. It also pays a nominal daily amount for household services that you may need help with due to your injuries. Drivers are required by law to purchase PIP insurance.
Making third-party injury and wrongful death claims
In some circumstances, drivers or other parties who cause accidents through negligence can be sued in a third-party claim. To be able to file a lawsuit, your injuries must meet the state’s legal threshold. In basic terms, threshold injuries are severe or catastrophic injuries that prevent a person from living a normal life. Examples include traumatic brain injuries, burns, disfigurement, spinal cord injuries and lost limbs. If someone dies in a car crash, the personal representative of the deceased can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of survivors. In third-party and wrongful death claims, fault must be proven, but plaintiffs can ask for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering in addition to compensation for medical costs, lost income and other economic losses that would be addressed through PIP coverage. Motorcyclists, scooter riders and bicyclists, who are not required to carry PIP insurance, can sue at-fault motor vehicle drivers.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks
When passenger cars and large trucks crash, the injuries that result might be especially serious. This is why special regulations are in place to govern commercial vehicles and their drivers. In these cases, injured victims may be able to bring third-party claims not only against the truck driver, but also against the trucking company that employs the driver, depending on the circumstances.
How car accident claims are resolved
Auto accident cases and other personal injury cases are most often resolved through negotiations and settlements with insurance companies. When claims can’t be settled through these discussions, the other option is to go to court and litigate the case before a judge or jury. In instances where the at-fault motorist is uninsured, litigation may be the only way to obtain proper compensation.
Contact a responsive Troy law firm regarding compensation for your auto accident injury
Along with reputable partner firms, Richards & Associates, PLLC helps Detroit-area clients get the compensation they deserve when they’ve been in a crash. To learn about your options for legal relief after a car accident, please call 313-662-9923 or contact me online.