Negligence in Michigan Personal Injury Cases
According to Cornell University Law School , negligence is defined as a “failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act “
Many personal injury and wrongful death claims may arise from intentional acts of others, such as violent assaults or homicides. However, many personal injuries are caused by a party that did not specifically intend to cause injury. Under Michigan law, causes of action arise from "negligence" when the person who causes the harm does not intend the injury, but is careless with the safety of other people. In order to present a claim based on negligence, there are specific elements that must be demonstrated to the jury and the court:
Michigan Duty of Care
The law imposes various duties of care on different individuals in different situations. Some duties of care apply in many situations including:
- Drivers have the duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to avoid injury to others.
- Doctors and other professionals must act as a similar reasonable professional would in that particular situation.
- Common carriers have the highest duty of care when it comes to passengers or other cargo and should attempt to avoid injury or damage at all costs.
Breach of Duty in Michigan
After establishing a duty of care, it is necessary to show that the individual breached that duty. Example of breach of duty include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to obey traffic laws and signals
- Medical malpractice
- Selling a defective or dangerous product without warning
Causation and Michigan Damages
It is also necessary to prove that the individual’s breach of duty was a direct or proximate cause of the injury. This means that their careless actions must have contributed in some way to the accident. Additionally, it is necessary to show that the victim suffered actual losses due to the accident and their injuries. Losses can include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income or benefits
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical suffering and pain
- Emotional trauma
Damages in personal injury cases can range from a couple of hundred dollars for an emergency room visit to millions of dollars to compensate a victim for catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Calculating losses is a complicated and intricate process making it important to speak to a Michigan personal injury attorney.
Personal Injury Claims and Theories of Liability in Michigan:
- Auto Accident: Automobile drivers can be held liable to other drivers and passengers for any negligent actions that result in personal injury to others. They may also be responsible for property damage.
- Product Liability: When a product that has been made available to the public for use and consumption ultimately injures another, manufacturers, designers and distributors can be held strictly liable for the injuries.
- Medical Malpractice: If medical doctors and other medical professionals do not perform according to the standards of professional practice, they can be held liable for any damages that result. In these cases, it must be shown that the doctor or other health professional deviated from reasonable care practices. When the doctor or medical professional is an employee of a hospital, the institution may also be liable for damages.
- Wrongful Death: If an individual dies due to the negligence of another, the liable party or parties will be responsible to the victim's estate for any and all personal injury settlements that arise.
- Slip and Fall: When a property owner fails to make their property safe, make reasonable inspections or notify others of any known dangers, they can be liable for personal injury or property damage that arise.
If you were injured as a result of the negligent acts of an individual or a business entity, it is important to speak to a Michigan personal injury attorney about the possibility of receiving compensation for damages. Call the Michigan Injury Lawyers to discuss your case and determine if anyone is liable for your damages. Please feel free to call our office today at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation with no obligation.