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Personal Injury FAQs
Jan. 13, 2023
Every personal injury case is different. If you’ve recently suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, it can be overwhelming to navigate the legal process of pursuing compensation for your losses. You likely have many questions, which is why we’re here to help. Read on to discover the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about personal injury claims and lawsuits in Michigan.
If you or an injured loved one needs immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Ratton Law Group PC today. Our medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys proudly represent clients throughout Detroit, Michigan, and the neighboring communities.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injuries
What Should I Do After an Accident?
Seek medical attention. If your injuries are severe, this step is a no-brainer. But if you suspect your injuries to be minor, or don't feel hurt at all, you’re probably wondering, “Should I still see a doctor?” The answer is yes. You should still seek medical attention even if you don’t experience pain after your accident because 1) not all injuries are immediately apparent, and 2) a visit to the doctor can provide you with the necessary documentation to include in your injury claim.
Speaking of documentation, you should also compile any written materials that portray the ways your life has changed as a direct result of your accident. In addition to medical records, this could include:
A series of pay statements from before and after your accident that showcase a decrease in hours and pay
Receipts from any purchases made to tend to your injuries
A journal or log of missed family gatherings or other events
Michigan follows a no-fault insurance system, which means that your insurance provides coverage for medical bills and a number of other out-of-pocket losses after an auto accident. If you were injured in a different scenario, like medical malpractice or a slip-and-fall, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover damages. When you go to file a claim or sue a person or entity for negligence, you’re entitled to seek a fair settlement that covers your needs. Keeping a record of the above items can help paint the insurance company/civil court a clear picture of all the damages and losses you’ve suffered.
After an accident, you should also set up a consultation with an attorney. A skilled personal injury attorney will evaluate the details of your situation and help you determine the best course of action for seeking the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in or near Detroit, Michigan, and are wondering about what to do next, don’t hesitate to call us at Ratton Law Group PC and schedule a free consultation. We have ample experience in handling a variety of personal injury cases and are ready to advocate for you.
What If I Was Partially At Fault?
Not all accidents are 100% the fault of one party. Sometimes, the injured victim shares part of the blame. Michigan recognizes this fact in the State’s modified comparative fault rule. Under this rule, if you are found partially at fault for your injuries, the amount you can recover in your settlement will be reduced accordingly.
Your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your level of fault in the accident. Say you were injured in a motorcycle accident — the driver of another vehicle ran you off the road after failing to see you while trying to change lanes — and the case goes to trial. After considering all of the evidence, the jury determines you were 10% at fault for the incident. The maximum compensation you could recover is $100,000, but you get awarded $90,000. Keep in mind that in Michigan, you must be less than 51% at fault to be able to recover any damages at all.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
The personal injury statute of limitations in Michigan is three years, which means that from the date of your accident, you have three years to file a claim or lawsuit.
If you’re filing an injury claim against a state government agency, the deadline is six months. These claims are for those who have sustained injuries in government buildings or in auto accidents caused by state or city vehicles. If your claim is denied or not acted upon, you have two years to file a lawsuit against the state government.
There are a number of exceptions to these statutes which is why it’s always best to consult a knowledgeable attorney in your area who can advise you according to your specific case.
What If I'm Injured and the Other Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?
As briefly mentioned above, Michigan is a no-fault state. In no-fault states, insured individuals receive reimbursement from their provider for auto accident damages, regardless of who was technically at fault for the accident. In Michigan, it’s against the law to drive or let your vehicle be driven if you don’t have the proper insurance.
If you were hurt in a car accident where the at-fault driver isn’t insured, you will still receive personal injury protection (PIP) coverage from your own insurance.
To learn more about Michigan’s personal injury laws, reach out to our team today. We look forward to sharing our legal knowledge with you.
Who Pays For Damages After an Accident?
While your insurance provider’s PIP plan will generally cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket losses after an automobile accident, it will not pay for the necessary repairs to your vehicle. You can sue the at-fault party for these expenses. Or, if you’ve elected collision and comprehensive insurance coverage in addition to your no-fault insurance, that extra insurance may cover the physical damages to your vehicle.
The general rule of thumb in other personal injury cases is that the at-fault party will be held liable for the damages. In cases of medical malpractice, for example, the healthcare professional who breached their duty of providing you with quality care can be sued for their negligent or reckless actions. For dog bites, you can sue the dog’s owner. For slip-and-falls or any premises liability injuries, you can file a lawsuit against the property owner.
Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
It’s always in your best interest to consult a personal injury attorney after an accident. Even if your injuries are minor and you feel confident in your ability to secure compensation on your own, you should — at the very least — schedule a consultation with an attorney in your area. Any small mistake or mishap during the filing process can lower your chances of receiving the settlement you rightfully deserve.
No matter what your situation entails, we will provide the focused care and fierce advocacy you need. Let us be your guide through the process so you can focus on recovery.
Get the Legal Guidance You Need
If you have more questions about the laws surrounding personal injury claims, get the answers you need when you reach out to us at Ratton Law Group PC. Our team is here to provide strength and reliable guidance when you need it most. We offer our legal services to clients throughout Detroit, Michigan, and the surrounding areas. Reach out today to set up a free consultation with one of our trusted attorneys.