Whether you were in a fender-bender in a parking lot or involved in a high-speed collision on an interstate highway, getting into a car accident is a frightening experience. The aftermath of such an incident can be even more overwhelming if you suffered a serious injury as a result of the crash.
If another person caused your accident, you may have a few options for pursuing compensation. A qualified personal injury attorney could advise you on the best course of action in your situation. Once retained, a Saline car accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies or help you fight for appropriate compensation in court.
Seeking Compensation Through PIP Coverage in Saline
Unlike most other states, Michigan adheres to a no-fault car insurance system, which means you must pursue compensation through your car insurance policy first before you can file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against another at-fault party.
Under this system, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should cover all medical costs, up to 85 percent of work income lost during recovery, and up to $20 per day for assistance with household services. PIP benefits are available not only to policyholders but also to family members of the policyholder who live in the same residence.
However, PIP benefits do not cover pain and suffering or any other non-economic damages. If you wish to pursue non-economic damages, talk to a skilled lawyer familiar with car accident cases.
When Can You File a Car Accident Case?
There are some limited situations in which you can file a lawsuit for an auto accident. You can pursue litigation if one or more of the following circumstances apply to your case:
- The at-fault party is a resident of another state and does not have car insurance in Michigan,
- The accident occurred in a state other than Michigan,
- The accident resulted in a catastrophic injury that will leave you with a permanent disability or disfigurement, or
- The at-fault party is at least 50 percent or more to blame for the wreck, and you are seeking $1,000 or less in compensation for vehicle damage that your insurance policy will not cover.
A car wreck attorney in Saline could offer further clarification about legal options available in your particular situation.
Possible Obstacles to Financial Recovery
Several legal matters could complicate recovery in your case. Two of the most common are comparative negligence and the statute of limitations.
What is Comparative Negligence?
In many car accident cases, the at-fault driver attempts to shift some of the blame onto the injured person. This could negatively impact your ability to obtain compensation.
Under the modified comparative fault system detailed in Michigan Compiled Laws §600.2959, anyone found partially to blame for their injuries is subject to a proportional reduction to their final damage award. Further, anyone more than 50 percent at fault for an accident cannot recover for any non-economic damages.
How Long do You Have to File a Vehicle Collision Claim?
According to M.C.L. §600.5805, you have three years after discovering your injuries to file a car accident lawsuit. The applicable filing deadlines for insurance claims are typically measured in weeks, if not days. For these reasons, it is crucial to retain a lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident.
Consult with a Saline Car Accident Attorney Today
Determining what to do after a severe car crash can be difficult, especially if you are suffering from serious injuries. Insurance companies often make it unreasonably hard to file claims, even under qualifying circumstances. The prospect of pursuing civil litigation can be intimidating even if you have been to court for a civil matter before.
A dedicated Saline car accident lawyer can guide you on your quest for fair compensation. Call our firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your case.