Car crashes in Michigan can occur anywhere, from busy interstate highways to rural country roads. Moreover, in most situations, car crashes result from other drivers’ carelessness and negligence.
Since Michigan is a no-fault state, you will likely need your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage to obtain the benefits and compensation you need after an accident. You can file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in certain limited circumstances, such as if the cost of your injuries exceed that of your PIP insurance limits.
Navigating the system and recovering the monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries and other losses is often an uphill battle. This is true no matter which insurance company you are dealing with.
Insurance companies frequently have their own interests at heart and will do everything possible to limit payouts to accident victims in personal injury claims and lawsuits.
A knowledgeable car crash attorney in your area can review the circumstances of your accident with you and determine your legal options for recovering fair monetary compensation in your case.
Your car accidnet lawyer can also file a first-party PIP claim with your insurance company or pursue a third-party claim against the at-fault driver if the circumstances warrant it.
Your lawyer can then aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives and work to maximize the total monetary damages you recover.
Finally, if you file a third-party lawsuit that eventually goes to trial, your attorney can represent you in all legal proceedings and advocate for the highest possible monetary award on your behalf.
Types of Michigan Car Crashes
Driving recklessly and carelessly is more likely to cause a car accident and severe injuries to other drivers and their passengers.
Some of the most common car accidents that may result include:
- Head-on collisions, where the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another car that is traveling in an opposing direction, usually because the at-fault driver is not paying attention or is under the influence of alcohol
- Sideswipe accidents, where the sides of two vehicles traveling in the same direction but in different travel lanes strike one another
- Rear-end accidents, where the front of one vehicle strikes the back of another car, usually because the at-fault driver is speeding or not paying attention
- T-bone crashes or broadside collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the side of another car, usually because the at-fault driver fails to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate time at a traffic intersection
If you suffered injuries and other losses in one of these accidents, a personal injury attorney in your area can examine all of your legal options and help you recover the monetary damages you need and deserve.
Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents often result in severe injuries and other losses for affected drivers and passengers. Since every car crash scenario is different, the injuries a particular accident victim suffers will vary from case to case.
Factors that influence an accident victim’s injuries include:
- The total number of vehicles involved in the crash
- The overall force of the collision
- The accident location
- The type of accident that occurs
- How the accident victim’s body moves around the car when the collision happens
The force of some collisions is so strong that an accident victim’s body moves violently around the interior of their vehicle. A part of the accident victim’s body might also strike something in their car, like the window, steering wheel, or door frame, causing additional injuries.
Car crash victims may suffer:
- Bone fractures
- Rib fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Full or partial paralysis
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Soft tissue contusions, including whiplash
Your top priority following a car accident should be getting the medical treatment you need and following through with your healthcare provider’s recommended treatment regimen. For example, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure or attend physical therapy sessions for several weeks.
Undergoing this medical treatment may improve your chances of fully recovering from accident-related injuries. Moreover, once you complete all of your medical treatment or know what treatment you will need in the future, your attorney can help you file a claim with the appropriate insurance company to get you the monetary compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Michigan
In many situations, Michigan car accidents are a direct result of another driver’s reckless or careless behavior. Sometimes, drivers violate traffic laws, such as by failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles, speeding, failing to use their rearview and side view mirrors, tailgating other cars, and failing to use turn signals when appropriate. These traffic law violations may cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle or strike another vehicle.
Road rage, where a driver reacts inappropriately to an adverse situation, also causes traffic accidents. Enraged drivers are more likely to speed, weave in and out of heavy traffic, and tailgate other vehicles, frequently bringing about sideswipe accidents or rear-end collisions.
Traffic accidents may also happen when drivers do not observe the road. Electronic devices, including tablets and cellular phones, often compete for a driver’s attention. At other times, a distracted driver might be roughhousing with a vehicle passenger, programming a GPS navigation system, or adjusting the volume on their stereo system while en route to their destination. In the process, they might fail to notice an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, bringing about a severe crash that leads to multiple injuries.
Finally, some traffic accidents result from intoxicated driving. Drivers are legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is at least 0.08 percent. Commercial vehicle drivers and minors under 21, however, must take care to follow stricter legal standards.
DUI and other alcohol-related offenses can bring about criminal penalties, including fines and jail time, along with various administrative penalties, if the drunk driver ultimately sustains a conviction in court.
Alcohol significantly impairs a driver’s vision and depth perception. Moreover, many intoxicated drivers experience delayed reflexes and reaction time, preventing them from stopping their car or truck in time to avoid a severe crash.
If you suffered injuries and other losses in one of these types of car accidents, you should seek out the legal help that you need right away. Waiting too long to retain legal counsel in your personal injury case may prevent you from recovering the full and fair monetary damages you deserve.
A car accident attorney in your area can immediately file a car accident claim with the appropriate insurance company on your behalf and assist you with every step of the legal process. Your lawyer can also engage in settlement negotiations and pursue the maximum amount of monetary recovery available to you in your car accident case.
Retaining a Skilled Michigan Car Accident Lawyer for Your Legal Matter
Retaining a skilled Michigan car accident attorney to represent you is one of the most critical steps you can take in your case. Doing so helps increase your chances of recovering the total monetary compensation you deserve for all your accident-related injuries.
Gathering Important Documents for Your Case
First, your lawyer can help you gather necessary documents about your accident, including police reports, witness statements, photographs, medical records, and medical bills. Your lawyer can then use these documents to show that you were involved in an auto accident in which you sustained severe injuries.
Filing a PIP Claim on Your Behalf
Most drivers in the State of Michigan have an obligation to carry PIP insurance. They can opt for an unlimited amount of insurance, or they may select limits of $500,000, $250,000, $250,000 with certain medical exclusions (if the driver qualifies), or $50,000 (if the driver qualifies).
In certain circumstances, they can opt out of PIP coverage entirely. Remember that PIP coverage only compensates accident victims for their out-of-pocket expenses, including their medical costs; when accident victims have health insurance that covers a portion of their medical bills, that can bring additional complications for their case.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
Even when dealing with your own insurance company, it can be challenging to obtain the total amount of monetary recovery you need for your car accident injuries. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they accomplish this by collecting (and retaining) premium payments from their insureds. However, the insurance company may lose a significant amount of money if they have to pay out a large personal injury settlement.
A skilled car accident attorney can make the difference between recovering fair or unfair monetary compensation in your case. Specifically, your attorney can negotiate aggressively with insurance company representatives to pursue the total monetary award you deserve.
Filing a Third-party Claim if You’re Eligible
Sometimes, Michigan car accident victims can file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If that claim does not settle, the accident victim can file a lawsuit against the responsible driver and take them to court.
Third-party claims in Michigan car accident cases are only available in limited circumstances, such as where the accident victim suffered certain types of permanent or disfiguring injuries or where the injury impaired a bodily function.
If the accident victim is successful in their third-party claim, they can recover additional monetary damages. However, to recover those damages, they must prove the legal elements of their claim.
Specifically, the accident victim must show that the other driver violated their legal duty of care, such as by engaging in reckless conduct or violating one or more traffic laws.
Next, the accident victim must show that as a direct result of the other driver’s careless behavior, the accident occurred and led to their injuries. Therefore, the accident victim must establish that a causal connection exists between the subject car crash and the injury or injuries they suffered in the crash.
A skilled car accident attorney in your area can determine if you are eligible to recover third-party damages in your case. If so, your lawyer can file the appropriate claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Pursuing Monetary Compensation for Your Losses
As part of a first-party PIP claim, a car accident victim is only eligible to receive their out-of-pocket costs – including their accident-related medical expenses, up to the limits of their PIP coverage (if any limitations exist). However, as part of a third-party claim or lawsuit, the accident victim may be eligible for additional damages, depending upon the circumstances.
The total damage award that an accident victim may receive is dependent upon various factors, including the accident circumstances, the injuries they suffered, and whether or not they suffered a permanent injury in their accident.
Specifically, accident victims can recover compensation for their past and future pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of spousal companionship, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of the ability to use a body part, such as from a spinal cord or paralysis injury, in their third-party claim or lawsuit.
Your car accident attorney will do everything possible to help you maximize the total monetary award you receive as part of your third-party claim.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Right Away
Insurance companies generate a profit when they collect more in premiums than they pay out in compensation. If the insurance company can find a reason not to pay you the compensation you depend on, they will likely do that. The best way to protect yourself is by employing a car accident lawyer.
Having the right personal injury attorney on your side can make all the difference when it comes to maximizing your total monetary damages following a car accident.
A personal injury law firm in Michigan in your area can file your claim or lawsuit, aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives, highlight the strengths of your case, and pursue the maximum amount of damages you deserve to recover.