After a car accident, you may be wondering whether you SHOULD hire an auto accident attorney, particularly if the crash wasn’t your fault. While you are not required to hire an attorney after an accident like this, the answer to whether or not you should hire a car accident lawyer is a resounding “yes.”
In fact, while you should consult an accident lawyer after any accident, it’s particularly important when another driver caused the crash.Do You Have a Case?
Michigan’s No-Fault law has long been considered one of the most complicated auto insurance systems in the country. And, the major reforms that took effect after July 1, 2020 have made the law even more confusing. To ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to, it’s especially important to hire a car accident lawyer, regardless of who is at fault.
If you are hurt in a car crash that was caused by another driver and you were not at fault, you may be eligible for non-economic damages. This restitution is intended to compensate victims like yourself for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, and loss of companionship or consortium. Non-economic damages are also known as third-party benefits, because they are typically paid by the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
Additionally, an injured person will usually be entitled to first-party benefits, which cover direct expenses such as medical bills, lost wages and attendant care. These expenses are usually covered by the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of the injured person’s own No-Fault policy. However, under the new No-Fault law, reimbursement of medical expenses is limited to the amount of PIP medical coverage the policy holder has selected. Under the new No-Fault law, if you have elected limited PIP, the medical expenses that exceed your limited coverage, can be pursued in a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Furthermore, victims must prove they have sustained serious harm, or “threshold injury,” to receive pain and suffering damages. Excess economic damages are compensable regardless of whether your injuries meet the threshold. It is common for insurance companies to claim the victim’s condition does not meet the legal standard. An experienced car accident lawyer will gather the necessary medical documentation, including expert witness testimony, to prove and win your case.
Insurance companies, even your own, may pressure you to settle your claim quickly. When this happens, the settlement offer might be far less than you would receive if an attorney handles your case.
A reputable car accident lawyer will serve as your advocate, protecting your rights and making sure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
To receive non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, you must prove the other party was at least 50% at fault. However, this is not a simple process. Accidents happen in seconds, and the exact circumstances are not always clear. If there are no witnesses, it may come down to the other driver’s word against yours.
Non-economic damages can be substantial, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in serious injury cases. Therefore, it is common for the other party to deny causing the accident and try to place the blame on you. When this happens, having an experienced accident lawyer on your side will help you achieve a successful result.
Michigan uses the concept of modified comparative negligence. This means a victim must be less than 50% at fault for an accident to receive non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. Further, these damages are determined in part by the degree each party is at fault.
For example, suppose your damages for pain and suffering amount to $100,000. If the other driver is completely responsible for the accident, you will receive the entire amount (minus attorney fees). However, if the other party can prove you were 40% at fault, your compensation would be reduced accordingly. Therefore, you would receive $60,000 (minus attorney fees).
If you believe you have a case, find out how we can best support you and your family by reaching out to our team, today. While car accident injuries, insurance companies, and Michigan’s legal system can be painful and complicated, finding the most experienced auto accident attorneys near you is simple. Select the button below to get started!Do You Have a Case?
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