Car accidents can be the most violent and stressful event of a person’s life. The fear and pain of the collision are something the victim will likely never forget.
But returning to normal life can be challenging. Your injuries need to heal, you have medical bills that need paid, you may have lost wages from missing work, and of course your damaged vehicle needs repaired as well. What about your pain and suffering?
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The top 5 injuries sustained by our car accident clients in Indiana often include one or more of the following:
How to Know if You Need a Michigan Car Accident Attorney
If your crash is minor and you are immediately offered compensation that meets all your present and future financial needs, you probably don’t need an attorney. However, if your claim involves any of the following, you should seriously consider finding a reputable law firm to represent you:
- Catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, amputation, paralysis, or another serious injury as a result of the crash, an attorney will know how to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for a settlement that will ensure that you are taken care of for the rest of your life. This may involve waiting for maximum medical improvement and being patient through long negotiations. Even with less severe injuries, a lawyer is more likely to get you a higher settlement than if you go it alone.
- Fatality. If the crash involved a fatality, a lawyer will help you evaluate the case for a possible wrongful death claim. It is tough to pursue this on your own, especially since you are likely grieving.
- Unacceptable offer. If you are offered an unreasonably low settlement, you probably don’t have the knowledge and skill to counter. An attorney will know when to push back and when to accept an offer so that you get the best possible outcome.
How Michigan's "No-Fault Law" Affects Car Accident Cases
Under Michigan's "no-fault law," your own insurance pays your medical bills and lost wages, regardless of which party was at fault, and even if the other party was completely at fault. This law can make it easier for you to get the payments and compensation that you're owed, whether your accident occurred in Michigan or elsewhere.
So-called “first-party benefits” include thorough medical treatment, wage losses of up to 85 percent, attendant care, replacement services for household tasks, and mileage reimbursements for travel to medical care.
The “order of priority” determines who pays first-party benefits if the vehicle is uninsured or does not belong to the victim. The first alternative is the insurance carrier of a resident relative, such as a spouse, parent, or sibling. Next is the insurer of the owner of the vehicle involved, and then the insurer of the driver of the vehicle involved. The final possibility is the State of Michigan Assigned Claims Facility.
Michigan’s “qualitative threshold” can make it difficult to recover a full and fair amount for your injuries. Under Michigan law, the “qualitative threshold” sometimes allows the victim or family to file suit against the at-fault party in cases of death and dismemberment where a tort is present. In some cases, your pain and suffering may go beyond what's covered under Michigan's no-fault law. Our car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to recognize these situations and can fight for you to get all the compensation you deserve.
Our Michigan Car Accident Attorneys Will Handle Your Claim
Many things can cause a car accident on Michigan roads. Speeding, distracted or impaired driving, reckless behavior, weather, and road conditions can all contribute to your accident, and you need a team of attorneys who can piece together the elements that led to your accident so all parties involved understand exactly what happened and who is at fault.
Most likely, you’ll hear from your insurance company first. The adjuster might attempt to push you toward settling the claim quickly. The decisions you make immediately after the accident will determine the value of your claim, including your decision of whether to contact a Michigan car accident lawyer.
Our Michigan car accident lawyers have a track record of getting results for clients. Our experienced attorneys will handle the insurance company for you, giving you the highest quality of legal representation. Every client receives our Zero Fee Guarantee, which means the consultation is always free and you pay nothing until we make a recovery for you.
Since 1936, Keller & Keller has been defending the rights of injured victims just like you. We strive to make sure our clients get the maximum compensation they’re entitled to, and we passionately and aggressively pursue every case we take.
Getting Medical Care after Your Car Accident Is Critical
Getting prompt medical attention following your car accident is vitally important. Bodily aches and pains can worsen over time, so don’t hesitate to receive treatment for even minor injuries.
Failure to see a doctor can result in a “gap in treatment” which can be harmful to a personal injury claim. Clear and consistent medical records draw a clear line connecting an auto accident to your injuries. Patients should attend all follow-up appointments in order to strengthen their claim.
Even if you don't feel seriously injured, it's still important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Some injuries may take time to manifest, or may be difficult to diagnose on your own. A diagnosis from a qualified medical professional will help your claim by clearly documenting your injuries, and by establishing a treatment program tied directly to the results of the car accident.
Understanding the Michigan Statute of Limitations
WARNING: Michigan law has unforgiving deadlines and time limits associated with car accident cases. The time limits, known as the statute of limitations, can depend on several factors. It's our opinion that you should contact an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer to discuss your statute of limtiations to help ensure your claim does not expire.
In general, you have three years from the time of the car accident to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires. If you attempt to file a claim after this window has closed, it becomes extremely unlikely that you will receive any compensation for the accident and your injuries. Three years may seem like a lot of time, but it can be very time consuming to collect all the neccesary evidence to build a winning claim. That's why it's important to work with your car accident lawyer to file your claim as quickly as possible.
There can be certain exceptions to this three-year statute of limitations. These exceptions include:
- A one-year extension if the person was under the age of 18 at the time of the car accident,
- A one-yar extention of the injured person is deemed "insane" at the time of the car accident,
- Other extensions if the alleged at-fault person leaves the state of Michigan for a period of time.
Regardless of your specific situation, your best chance of securing compensation after your accident will be to work with our attorneys to develop the best possible strategy.
Put Our Michigan Car Accident Lawyers to Work for You
Keller & Keller has been representing injury victims and their families in Michigan since 1936. Hiring our firm brings the power of our experience and reputation to bear on your claim. Learn more about the Keller & Keller Pledge.
The attorneys of Keller & Keller represent clients throughout Michigan, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Flint.
Call us at 1-800-278-4300 for a free consultation or fill out the free contact form to reach one of our Michigan car accident attorneys.