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Michigan Auto Accidents
Michigan auto accident victims often ask attorneys if they have suffered what is classified as a “serious impairment of body function” or a “serious and permanent disfigurement” under state law? The answer lies with your physician because the severity an auto accident injury needs to be validated by a medical doctor through diagnostic tests.
The underlying question under Michigan auto accident law is whether the injury significantly impacts the injured party’s quality of life. Michigan courts examine how long the victim was out of work and what types of activities and functions are limited on a long-term basis. If an injured victim is able to continuously work after a collision, and life activities are not restricted in a significant manner, it is not likely that Michigan law will consider that the victim suffered a serious impairment of body function. In terms of serious and permanent disfigurement, scarring related to the victim’s injuries is examined to evaluate its effect on the victim's quality of life.
Like 11 other states, Michigan is considered a “no-fault” state for purposes of auto accident law and auto insurance regulations. “No-fault” states require the pay out of “no-fault,” first-party insurance benefits when a car accident occurs. These states also put limits on the right to file lawsuits stemming from collisions. Because of the payment of “no-fault,” first-party benefits, each person injured in a collision files a claim with her own insurer, regardless of which driver is at fault.
This type of auto insurance coverage is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It is mandatory in “no-fault” states, and each state has its own requirements for the type and minimal threshold of coverage all drivers are required to maintain for PIP benefits. PIP benefits offer coverage for drivers and passengers and include payments for medical bills, rehabilitation, lost earnings, funeral expenses, and survivor’s benefits paid to spouses or dependents.
“No-fault” states limit the right to file lawsuits for personal injury damages. In general, suits are prohibited unless a serious personal injury has occurred. Thresholds are put into place, and only if an injured victim exceeds the applicable threshold, can a suit be filed against the at-fault driver. Michigan has adopted a descriptive qualitative threshold, allowing lawsuits to be filed with a car accident attorney if the injuries suffered are of a specific nature, as defined by state law.
Michigan’s “no-fault” system is applicable to only bodily injuries. The system does not govern property damage claims, so an at-fault driver remains legally responsible for damages caused to another’s car or property. Other parties involved in the accident may also sue the at-fault driver for property damages.
Where Would You File a Michigan Injury Lawsuit?
For Michigan car crash injury claims worth more than $3,000, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate Michigan Circuit Court (for cases worth more than $25,000) or the Michigan District Court (for claims up to $25,000).
If your Michigan automobile accident claim is for less than $3,000, you would file your personal injury lawsuit in theMichigan Small Claims Court that has jurisdiction.
Your Michigan auto accident lawyer can tell you which specific court is the appropriate court to resolve your dispute.
Locate a Michigan Car Collision Lawyer Today
A Michigan car accident attorney can represent you in court. He will examine and evaluate your case to assess possible bases for recovery and probable damages stemming from the car collision. Your attorney can highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your case and outline a likely timeline for negotiating or litigating your claim. A Michigan-based car accident lawyer can help you navigate the state court system and best position your claim for maximum recovery. Call now to speak with an auto accident attorney in Michigan at 877-913-7222.