Car accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. You could be driving to work when someone makes an illegal lane change and crashes into you. Similarly, a quick grocery run could end in a severe injury because a texting driver ignored a stop sign. When such acts of negligence leave you with life-changing injuries, you need a skilled Michigan car accident lawyer on your side to fight for the monetary compensation you deserve.
At Conybeare Law Office, we are dedicated to helping car crash victims in Michigan get justice. Our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources to hold negligent parties accountable and demand a full and fair settlement. Whether you were injured in a rear-end collision, T-bone collision, or any other type of car crash, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Why Hire Conybeare Law Office for Your Car Accident Claim?
Conybeare Law Office is a top-rated car accident law firm due to our extensive experience, dedication to client satisfaction, and track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients. When you trust us with your automobile accident claim, you benefit from the following:
- Experience: Our attorneys have years of experience handling car accident claims in Michigan and have helped many clients recover the financial compensation they need to cover their current and future damages.
- Knowledge: We know Michigan’s car accident laws and will educate you on your rights and legal options at all stages of the legal process. When insurers try to deny client claims, we don’t back down, even if it means going to court.
- Resources: Successful cases are based on solid evidence. We work with accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and other professionals to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Personalized Attention: At Conybeare Law Office, we treat every client with the personalized attention and respect they deserve. We take the time to understand your unique needs and goals and work to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
- No Attorney Fees Unless We Win: We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality legal representation, regardless of their financial situation. That’s why we work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.
Do You Have a Car Accident Case?
After a car accident, one of your first concerns may be whether you have a case. There’s no universal answer to that question, as every car accident is different, but there are some common processes that lawyers use to gauge the likelihood of a successful outcome.
One of the most important is the extent to which your injuries have impaired your life. This aspect is important because Michigan law requires car accident victims to show a “serious impairment of body function” to recover compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver. This means that you must demonstrate the following:
- An injury-induced impairment that can be observed or perceived through symptoms or your overall condition;
- The impairment affects an important body function;
- Due to this impairment, you either can’t live a normal life or your ability to do so is limited.
So what would this look like in reality? Let’s assume you were T-boned at an intersection and broke both your arms. Even after healing, you can’t use your arms without discomfort. The injury would clearly impact your ability to live a normal life, especially if you were employed in a job that required heavy use of your upper body. Therefore, you satisfy the three standards outlined above:
- You have injuries observable through X-rays;
- The injuries to your arms affect an important body function (picking things up, feeding yourself, doing the work you are trained and qualified to do);
- The injuries can be shown to affect your ability to live a normal life.
A Michigan car accident lawyer can make an experience-based assessment of your injuries and determine whether you have a case against the driver who struck you.
Financial Compensation in a Michigan Car Accident Claim
Michigan’s auto insurance system is more complicated than most states because we have a no-fault system. It affects the types of damages that a person can claim from an at fault driver in a car crash case. Depending on the circumstances, a crash victim may be able to claim some or all of the following damages from the at-fault driver and his insurance:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Attendant care if you can no longer function due to disability
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A Michigan car accident lawyer can help you understand what types of compensation you may be eligible for and pursue a fair and just settlement for your injuries and damages.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is check if anyone (yourself included) has been injured. Call 911 for medical help if necessary. Then take the following steps:
- Contact the police to report the collision. They can provide assistance, document the scene, and file an accident report, which can be important evidence in a personal injury claim.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver involved in the accident.
- Take pictures and video of the entire accident scene, including the vehicles involved, the damage sustained, and the surrounding area. If you see anything that may have contributed to the crash, like road debris or an inoperative traffic light, capture it.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and can provide a statement about what occurred.
- Seek medical treatment. Even if you think you weren’t hurt except for a few bruises, get a checkup to make sure, as not all injuries show symptoms right away. Should you turn out to have compensable injuries, your medical records will support your compensation claim.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident and provide them with the information you have collected.
- If you have suffered injuries or damages, consider consulting with a car accident attorney about taking legal action. While no law says that you have to use an attorney, most accident victims who obtain legal assistance obtain better outcomes.
Remember to stay calm and avoid admitting fault or making any statements that could be used against you later. Instead, focus on your safety and well-being first and foremost, and then take the necessary steps to protect yourself legally and financially.
Who Pays My Bills After a Car Accident?
Michigan is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that, usually, each driver’s insurance provider is responsible for covering their policyholder’s medical costs and lost wages (for the first three years) up to the policy limit.
If your insurance policy does not cover the damages incurred in a car accident, you can file a claim against either the other driver involved or your insurer, depending on the type of insurance you have and the nature of the crash. Below are some instances when an accident lawsuit may be appropriate:
- Serious Injury: You can sue for non-economic damages if the accident resulted in serious injury or death. For instance, if the accident caused permanent disability, you can sue the other driver for pain and suffering. However, to sue for pain and suffering, you must meet the serious injury threshold.
- Vehicle Damage Under $3,000: Michigan law allows for mini-tort claims, which are small claims intended to cover your insurance deductible under limited property damage liability. However, under the mini-tort law, claims may only cover up to $3000, and not the actual damage to the car.
- Insufficient Coverage: If you have limited coverage and incur expensive medical bills, you can file a third-party claim against the other driver to cover your medical care costs. However, you must be able to demonstrate that their negligence caused your injuries.
It is important to note that the no-fault system can be challenging to navigate without the help of a Michigan auto accident lawyer. This is why you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
After a car accident, you typically have one year to file an insurance claim. However, for excess medical benefits, pain and suffering, and additional economic damages, you may have up to three years to file. Auto insurance companies may have different time limits for claims involving uninsured or underinsured motorists, so it’s important to review your policy after an accident to understand the specific deadlines for your claims.
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is three years from the date it occurred. If you fail to file a claim within this time frame, you will lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
There are many deadlines that apply to car crash claims. For this reason, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car crash to ensure all of your rights are protected.
Collisions Involving Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
In Michigan, drivers are required to have no-fault auto insurance, which provides coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from a car accident, regardless of who was at fault.
If you were injured in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may also be eligible for other benefits from your insurance company. These are referred to as, “uninsured” or “underinsured” benefits.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage can provide compensation for your damages, such as excess medical expenses, excess lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, it may cover the gap between the other driver’s policy limit and the actual cost of the damages you suffered.
If you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and the other driver is unable to pay for your damages, you may need to file a lawsuit against them to recover your losses. However, if the driver is truly uninsured and has no assets to pay for your damages, it may be difficult to recover fair compensation.
Get a Free Consultation From a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a serious car accident can be overwhelming. Not only are you facing a long and painful recovery, but if you are unable to work, the financial impact can be devastating. To make matters worse, insurers will not simply give you a check to cover everything. To receive fair compensation, you will likely need to negotiate and fight for it.
Don’t leave your well-being to chance – let the Michigan car accident lawyers at Conybeare Law Office help. We have a proven track record of success in securing fair compensation for our clients and will tenaciously fight on your behalf.
To schedule your free initial consultation, call 269-769-BEAR or fill out this contact form. Remember: if it’s not fair, call the Bear!