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Three Important Reasons You Should Speak With a Car Accident Attorney

Ratton Law Group PC May 16, 2024

Lawyer, judge's gavel and miniature car on office tableIf you or a loved one have recently found yourself reeling from the impact of a car accident, the countless legal, insurance, and medical hurdles can feel overwhelming. Who is at fault? How will medical expenses be covered? What about the damage to the vehicle? 

It's during these times that having a fierce and compassionate ally can make all the difference. At Ratton Law Group PC, we know how challenging this time can be. Our commitment to each person who walks through our doors is unwavering support and dedicated legal assistance throughout this process. 

Whether you are seeking clarity on Michigan’s no-fault laws, struggling to sort through the red tape maze of insurance claims, or concerned about getting a fair settlement, here are three important reasons you should speak with a car accident attorney:  

Understanding Michigan's No-Fault Insurance Law    

Michigan operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means that after an accident, you'll first turn to your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for compensation concerning medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs, regardless of who caused the accident.  

This system aims to speed up the process of compensation without the need to establish fault. However, it also means you cannot sue the other driver for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages unless your injuries meet certain thresholds, such as serious impairment of a bodily function, permanent disfigurement, or death. 

If you’ve suffered a significant impairment of a bodily function, an experienced car accident attorney can guide you through the process of filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver, something that might not be immediately apparent to those unfamiliar with Michigan law.

Our team has a deep understanding of these laws and is here to guide you through every step, working to protect your rights and help you understand your legal standing. 

Navigating Complex Insurance Claims   

Dealing with insurance companies can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the aftermath of a car accident. The process is often confusing, with piles of paperwork and fine print that can be easy to get lost in.

Filing an insurance claim in Michigan involves meeting a series of strict deadlines and procedural requirements. Failure to adhere to these can result in the forfeiture of your rights to compensation. An attorney with experience in Michigan's specific legal processes can alleviate some of this stress by confirming that all the necessary documentation is filed promptly and accurately and by advocating on your behalf to challenge any denial of benefits.  

Consider a scenario where your insurance company disputes the extent of your injuries or the necessity of certain medical treatments. An attorney can provide essential support by compiling evidence to substantiate your claim, negotiating with insurers, and if necessary, pursuing litigation to protect your interests.  

Our attorneys have years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies. We’re committed to advocating on your behalf, aiming for the best possible outcome in insurance negotiations. 

Maximizing Your Settlement   

Determining the full extent of your damages and obtaining a fair settlement is a critical step following a car accident. This includes current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. An attorney can help accurately calculate these damages and negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to ensure you receive the fullest compensation possible.  

A poignant example is the case of a car accident victim who initially accepted a quick settlement from an insurance company, only to later discover their injuries required expensive long-term care. An attorney could have foreseen these needs and negotiated a settlement that accounted for both immediate and future considerations.  

The impact of a severe injury can be life-changing, not just for the injured party but for their family as well. Beyond immediate medical costs, considerations such as long-term care, loss of earnings, and compensation for pain and suffering come into play. Our attorneys understand the profoundness of these situations and work tirelessly to secure the compensation needed to aid your recovery and safeguard your future.   

Maneuvering the legal, medical, and financial roadblocks after a car accident in Michigan demands a comprehensive understanding of local laws and regulations, savvy negotiation skills, and the ability to anticipate future needs. Consulting with an experienced attorney provides peace of mind and significantly enhances your chances of securing the compensation you rightfully deserve. 

Answers to Common Client Questions 

At Ratton Law Group PC, we want you to be equipped with all of the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions after a car accident. We have addressed a few common questions below to help provide clarity to relevant issues you may be facing.

For more detailed guidance tailored to your specific case, our team is happy to talk to you. For those in the Detroit, Michigan area, please reach out to schedule a consultation.  

What should I do immediately after a car accident in Michigan? 

Immediately following a car accident in Michigan, prioritize safety first by moving to a safe location if possible and checking on the well-being of all parties involved. Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if there are any injuries. Collect as much information as you can at the scene, including photos of the vehicles, the accident site, and contact and insurance details from all drivers involved.

Under Michigan law, due to the no-fault insurance system, you'll primarily deal with your own insurance for personal injury protection benefits. However, documenting the scene thoroughly can be beneficial, especially if the accident meets the criteria for stepping outside the no-fault system or if there's significant property damage. 

When am I eligible to file a lawsuit for a car accident in Michigan? 

You may file a lawsuit outside of the no-fault system in Michigan if your situation fits one of the following criteria: you've suffered severe and permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of a bodily function, or if a loved one has lost their life due to the accident.

Additionally, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or from out of state, or if the accident occurred in another state, you might have grounds to pursue a lawsuit for damages not covered by PIP, including pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. 

What is Michigan’s statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit? 

In Michigan, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injuries. For property damage claims, the timeframe is also generally three years. It's critical to initiate legal action within this period, as failing to do so could permanently bar you from seeking compensation for your injuries or damages later on.

Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney soon after your accident can help ensure that all deadlines are met. 

The Importance of Legal Guidance  

At Ratton Law Group PC, located in the heart of Detroit, Michigan, we believe in providing compassionate and aggressive legal strategies for our clients. Our dedicated attorneys are here to guide you through Michigan's complex no-fault insurance claims process, help you understand your rights, and evaluate if you're eligible to pursue additional compensation through a lawsuit. 

We understand the physical, financial, and emotional toll a car accident can take on victims and their families, and we will fiercely protect your interests by investigating your case, gathering evidence, establishing liability, and negotiating with insurance companies to aim for a fair settlement.

If necessary, we're prepared to represent you in court to fight for the compensation you deserve, covering medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our comprehensive legal services are designed to support you at every stage of your claim, providing personalized and empathetic legal representation. 

Contact Ratton Law PC Today 

Our dedicated team is deeply rooted in our community, understanding both the local laws and the unique challenges our clients face. If you're seeking legal guidance post-accident, Ratton Law Group PC embodies the diligence, care, and knowledge needed to help you move forward. 

For a free consultation to discuss your specific situation and how we can assist, please contact our office today. We're committed to helping car accident victims in Detroit, Michigan, secure the compensation and justice they deserve.