If you were recently injured in a motor vehicle collision in Michigan, you are probably wondering about your options for seeking compensation. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may have a couple of different options that can allow you to seek financial compensation for your losses. We want to provide you with more information about Michigan auto insurance claims and car accident lawsuits, and to point out certain considerations that you need to keep in mind in order to avoid having your compensation reduced or, worse, being barred from financial recovery.
File an Auto Insurance Claim
For most people who are injured in a car accident in Michigan, the very first step for seeking compensation involves filing an auto insurance claim. Michigan auto insurance law changed recently, and the state now has a no-fault auto insurance coverage requirement. Accordingly, in order to seek financial compensation for the injuries you sustained in an auto accident, you will most likely file a claim through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Yet you should hire a car accident lawyer in Michigan even for the auto insurance claims process. Our firm can help to ensure that you file your claim with all necessary information, and we can handle any insurance company negotiations that must occur.
Learn More About Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
If you are unable to obtain compensation for your full amount of losses by filing an auto insurance claim, you will likely move onto filing a car accident lawsuit. Given that Michigan is now a no-fault state, you will only be able to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering (non-economic damages) if you have suffered a “serious impairment of body function” and file a lawsuit in order to seek compensation for those losses. It will be critical to work with a Michigan car accident lawyer to determine whether
Make Sure to File Your Lawsuit Within the Statute of Limitations Period
Due to complex timing requirements under the Michigan No-Fault Act, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible following your accident. What does this have to do with seeking compensation? If you need to file a car accident lawsuit to obtain compensation for all of your losses, you can be barred from recovering any compensation if the time window on the statute of limitations has run out.
Be Aware That Michigan’s Modified Comparative Fault Law Could Bar You from Recovery
Michigan follows what is known as a modified comparative fault rule. What this means is that, if the defendant is able to successfully show that you were at fault for a majority of the car accident you can be barred from recovery. If there is only one other at-fault driver named in your car accident lawsuit, then you must be found 50 percent or less at fault in order to recover compensation. If more than one other driver is at fault, you must bear less responsibility than any of the other parties.
Yet even if you are found to be eligible for compensation but partially at fault, you should know that your damages award will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20 percent at fault and the court awards you $100,000, that award will be reduced by 20 percent (or $20,000), and you will recover a total of $80,000 in financial compensation. If you have any concerns at all about the at-fault driver trying to raise the issue of comparative fault, you should be sure to have an experienced Michigan auto accident attorney on your side.
Contact a Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer Today
When you have been injured in an accident and you need assistance seeking financial compensation for your injuries, you should get in touch with one of our experienced and aggressive Michigan auto accident lawyers as soon as possible. Contact Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC for more information about getting started on a claim for compensation.