If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a car accident in Muskegon, you might be wondering a million things about your injury and the damage you’ve sustained. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about injury from auto accidents – see if we answered yours!
Q: What Are the Things I Can Sue for, After a Car Accident in Michigan?
A: There are several things you can sue for after a car accident. These include pain and suffering compensation, excess medical and wage loss benefits, and vehicle damages up to $3,000.
You can also file for No-Fault benefits with your own auto insurance company.
So, there are 3 potential cases you can file in Michigan:
- Against your own insurance company for overdue or unpaid benefits
- Against an “at-fault” driver for the injuries caused due to the crash
- A mini-tort for vehicle damage and repair costs (up to $3,000)
Q: What is Considered Pain and Suffering and How Is It Calculated in Michigan?
A: Pain and suffering in a car accident are considered to be the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental distress, pain, or anxiety
- Fright and shock
- Denial of enjoyment or social pleasure
- Humiliation, shame, mortification, or embarrassment
As for how these are calculated in Michigan, the court checks the following:
- Whether the driver that caused the crash was negligent
- If the driver was 50% or more at-fault
- That this negligence caused your injuries
- That you suffered a “serious impairment of body function”
- And finally, that you experienced pain and suffering.
As for what is considered “serious impairment of body function”, the Michigan tort threshold law establishes that it is the following:
- Objectively manifested, meaning that it is observable from actual symptoms by someone other than the injured person.
- Impairs an important body function, which is one of great value, significance or consequence to the injured party.
- This impairment of a body function affects the general ability of the injured part to lead his or her normal life.
Q: Does Auto Insurance Pay for Pain and Suffering?
A: While how much you get and under what terms will largely depend on what type of coverage you have, most auto insurance policies pay for pain and suffering.
The No-Fault insurance coverage has three different parts:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Property Protection (PPI)
- Residual Liability Insurance (BI/PD)
PIP will pay for the necessary medical expenses up to the maximum coverage selected, which goes from $50,000 per person per accident to unlimited coverage. You can also opt to have no medical coverage for your PIP.
PPI pays up to $1 million for damages your car causes to other people’s property in Michigan.
And finally, BI/PD protects the insured party from being sued due to a car accident, with some exceptions.
Q: What Is the Usual Settlement for an Injury from a Car Accident in Michigan?
A: There is no specific entity that collects or reports on the general average settlement payouts for Michigan. However, if you look at the United States in general the average settlement amount is around $15,000.
That’s not to say $15,000 is as much as you’ll get. We’ve collected millions of dollars for automobile negligence suits in Michigan.
Q: How Do I Get the Most Money from a Car Accident?
A: There are simple steps you can follow to maximize the amount of your settlement in the event that you sue for an injury due to a car accident. These are:
- Obtain witness information
- Seek medical treatment and continue going to the doctor
- Report the accident to your insurance carrier
- Keep all bills related to the accident or your injuries
- Keep a record of your injuries and recovery
- Don’t speak to others about the accident nor post about it on social media
- Hire a team of experienced personal injury attorneys
Q: How Do Insurance Companies Determine Settlement Amounts?
A: Michigan is a “no-fault” state. This means that if you were in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault. Here are examples of the compensation you’re entitled to:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Replacement Services
- Attendant Care Services
- Mileage Reimbursement
While the way personal injury settlements are calculated will vary from case to case the basic formula looks something like this:
Special Damages + Medical Expenses + Lost Wages + Replacement Services + Attendant Care Services + Mileage Reimbursement = Settlement amount
Special damages are paid in the event you suffered “serious impairment of body function”.
Q: How Much Is a Neck and Back Injury Worth in Michigan?
A: The average settlement for neck and back injuries in Michigan is $462,900 while the median is $320,000.
Settlements for this particular injury range from $250,000 to $380,000.
Q: How Long Does a Pain and Suffering Settlement Take?
A: The majority of cases take from 9 to 18 months depending on several factors. One of these is how long it takes for your injuries to be properly assessed by doctors and other medical experts.
Q: What Is the Time Limit to Apply for No-Fault Benefits?
A: All victims in Michigan have one year from the date of the crash to send in their application for benefits under the No-Fault insurance coverage policy. These benefits include:
- Medical mileage
- Medical Expenses
- Wage Loss
- Attendant Care
- Household Replacement Services
Q: How Long Do I Have to Sue Due to an Injury in Michigan?
A: Every state has its own time limits when it comes to how long you can wait to pursue legal action against someone because of an injury related to an accident.
The statute of limitations for injuries in Michigan are the following:
- Personal injury: 3 years
- Wrongful death: 6 years
- Medical malpractice: 6 years
However, it is important to note that you may have far less time if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, as they might have provisions that are shorter than the 3 years for personal injury or even the one year for no-fault cases. If you are in an accident, you should check your insurance policy as soon as possible.