3970 Heritage Ave, Suite B | Okemos, Mi 48864
Phone: (517) 347-6900
Fax: (517) 347-9045
Michigan is one of 12 states in the country that have adopted a no-fault auto insurance system. This means that in most cases you end up suing your own insurance company to cover your medical expenses and other out of pocket costs. Most people assume that you are able to simply sue the negligent driver who caused the auto accident. In most states this is true, but not so in Michigan.
Many people come to us and can’t believe they have to sue their own insurance company, so we realize there is still some confusion out there on what type of cases you can bring following your auto accident. This infographic is meant to inform the reader about the different potential cases types under Michigan No-Fault Law and help residents realize how important purchasing auto insurance really is. If you found this useful please share this infographic with your friends and colleagues! For more information regarding no-fault law in Michigan, please visit our auto accident page.
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Just when you thought the Michigan Marijuana Laws couldn’t get any worse or more confusing, lawmakers gave their approval on 4 different bills which will clearly have a large impact on current card holders as well as new applicants. The bills were aimed to increase regulations surrounding the law and to “clarify” some points which many have been unclear. These bills have been going through the legislation process for months and had input from parties on all sides.
The four bills which were approved include HB 4834, HB 4851, HB 4853, and HB 4856. If you are a cardholder or thinking about becoming a patient or caregiver, I recommend taking a few minutes and looking these bills over individually. There are some major legal impacts which you need to be aware of and it’s important to keep yourself informed. Here is an outline or summary of what the major two bills cover and how they might effect you. I plan on putting up another blog post about the other two bills in the next week or so.
The first Bill which I will discuss is HB 4834. Essentially this bill deals with the logistics of applying and reapplying for a medical marijuana card. The state of Michigan has found that their current process for reviewing applicants is too slow and as a result there is a major backlog of applications which is causing some major headaches. To resolve this issue, the state now will require a driver’s license or some form of identification provided by the state of Michigan. They are also changing the term limits of application. It used to be that you have to apply every year and they are now only requiring it once every two years to reduce the amount of paperwork/labor. The two most controversial points include allowing the state to sub-contract to private firms which will take the load off of processing medical marijuana cards. On top of this, this bill also allows the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory affairs access to the marijuana registry. The instructions include giving out information to police in order to verify whether someone is a cardholder. Seems like the more people with access to this list the less private it really becomes, but that’s probably the goal anyways.
The other major bill (HB 4851) makes changes to the patient-doctor relationship by requiring a “bona-fide” relationship. This language is confusing in itself and once I again I recommend reading the bill closely as this topic requires another blog post in itself. This also makes changes to how medical marijuana should and has to be enclosed. I have no problem with the enclosure portion of the bill as long as the police and authorities stay consistent. It’s not that hard to make sure it’s locked and only authorized people have access. Now here’s the kicker. If you have been convicted of any type in the past decade or been convicted of a drug felony…..ever, you are no longer legally able to become a caregiver. So what happens the currently registered users who now fall under this new category? Unfortunately, you are not grandfathered in and you must stop providing for your patients regardless of the conditions of your patients and situation.
David M. Clark has been practicing law in the State of Michigan for over 30 years. The Clark Law Office has been helping protect the medical marijuana community since it’s inception. If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Michigan, give our medical marijuana attorneys a call today for a free consultation by calling (517) 347-6900 today.
Michigan is a no-fault state, but it also provides what is called limited property damage for all drivers in Michigan. This limited property damage is also referred to as a mini tort claim. The purpose of this loophole is to help drivers pay for damage done to your own vehicle, but unfortunately this protection is extremely limited in nature. As you probably already know, your own insurance company is responsible for paying your first party benefits which include wage loss, medical expenses, attendant care, medical mileage, and replacement services. But what about the damage sustained to your vehicle? Who is going to pay that? The mini tort is a way for drivers to recoup a small amount from a negligent driver’s insurance coverage to pay for damage done to your vehicle, up to a maximum of $1000.00.
If you are less than fifty percent at fault for the accident, you are able to file a mini tort claim against the driver is more than 50% at fault. This claim can be made by a driver who is not at fault for the vehicle accident in Michigan. There are a few restrictions and conditions which you must meet in order to bring this claim successfully. These conditions include
Many drivers are confused by all the requirements and conditions, so here is an example to make this easier to understand. For example, imagine that you were involved in a semi-serious auto collision which damages your vehicle substantially. It is determined that the other driver is 80% at fault for the accident, this is just a simple example; proving the other driver is at-fault can sometimes be difficult. The first thing you would be required to do is prove how much actual damage was done. This can be done by an adjuster or of course a car mechanic. Let’s say you take your car to a repair facility and they determine the total amount of damage is $2500.00. Finding the amount you can recover is now pretty straightforward. Simply take the amount of damage and multiply it by the percentage the other driver is at fault. In this case you take the $2500 and multiply that by 80%. That amount comes to $2000 which you are entitled to. Unfortunately, the maximum allowable amount that you can recover is $1000. Even though you should be given $2000, you will only collect $1000 in these set of circumstances. Many drivers feel this is unfair, but it’s just the reality of the no-fault law which has been established. For more information about auto accidents in Michigan, check out this page. If you need help with your mini-tort claim, contact us today for a completely free consultation.
In Michigan, a third party case is against the driver that was negligent in causing the accident and the injuries that were sustained during the accident. 3rd party benefits are referred to as a non-economic loss. However, because we have a no-fault law in our state, not every driver is entitled to sue the person who caused the accident. There are additional jumps and hurdles which must be met in order to even bring a case for your non-economic losses. Most other states without no-fault law don’t have such strict standards and thresholds.
In order to sue the person that was at fault for the accident and receive pain and suffering compensation and other 3rd party benefits, Michigan law states that your injuries have to meet a certain threshold. The threshold that your injuries have to meet is what is called a serious impairment of an important body function. Additionally, a serious permanent disfigurement meets the threshold along with the uncommon result of death.
While serious permanent disfigurement and death are easy to define, serious impairment of an important bodily function is much more difficult to prove. Proving this concept is usually the most important argument made on your behalf. There are several factors that courts use to determine whether an injury is a serious impairment of bodily function.
As you can see, sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether an injury meets this threshold. Every case and every injury is different. Whether your injury resulted in a broken bone, a back problem, ligament tear, knee or shoulder injury, or a more serious condition, it is important to figure out what your rights are and whether your injury meets this threshold for Michigan third party benefits. To determine whether your injury meets this threshold, contact one of our Lansing accident lawyers at The Clark Law Office and arrange a completely free initial consultation by calling (517) 347-6900. We charge no fees unless you win!
As mentioned in our No-Fault page, first party benefits are paid for by your respective insurance provider and cover the personal protection or no fault insurance. The best way to think of first and third party benefits is economic and non-economic loss. 1st party benefits are an economic loss and 3rd party benefits are a non-economic loss. Most if not all auto accident cases that occur in Michigan include first party benefits. The state of Michigan has certain medical expenses and services that they allow injured victims if they qualify for first party benefits.
Attendant Care Under No-Fault
Under Michigan No-Fault Law, a person injured in a Michigan auto accident can receive benefits for attendant care. What is attendant care? It is essentially what can be referred to as nursing care. Many times, after a serious car accident, the injured person requires medical attention throughout the day that would require nursing services to make sure they are properly treated for and taken care of. Generally, there must be a prescription or some medical reason and authorization for these types of services. Some of these medical services include giving medication daily, dressing the patient’s wounds, bathing the injured victim, assistance when walking, grooming the injured person, and driving the patient, etc.
Medical Expenses Also Fall Under The Category of First Party Benefits
Michigan has one of the broadest and most comprehensive no-fault laws in the country. An injured person is entitled to recover allowable medical expenses when they are injured as a result of a Michigan auto accident. In order to qualify, one must purchase no-fault insurance from their insurance company before the accident occurs. Allowable expenses include all reasonable medical costs for things that were required to care for the injured person properly throughout the entire process of treatment and rehab. This can include various medical procedures, other medical expenses, and products. These expenses are payable for life and without a limit on the amount that can be paid. Do You Need Help Paying Your Michigan Medical Expenses? If you have received injuries as a result of an accident and need treatment, rehabilitation, or surgeries, then your no-fault provider should pay for all of these expenses!
What About Everyday Tasks I Can No Longer Perform?
In Michigan, when you have sustained injuries as a result of an accident, you may be entitled to certain household and domestic services such as things you did for yourself before the injury took place, but can no longer perform and require somebody else’s assistance. It can be very frustrating not being able to perform menial everyday tasks, and somebody must help in order for you to retain your quality of life. Some of these services include making meals for yourself, child care, housekeeping, lawn maintenance, etc. Usually you need to hire someone to help you perform these replacement services. What Is The Maximum Amount For Replacement Services? Under the Michigan No-Fault law, these replacement cost services cannot exceed $20 per day and are only payable for three years from the date of the accident
Do First Party Benefits Help Reimburse Me For Lost Wages?
First party benefits also account for wage loss as a result of an injury sustained in an automobile accident. Many victims are unable to work because of their injuries, these workers are entitled to compensation for their inability to work and earn a living. These wage loss benefits are payable up to a maximum of the first three years following the date of the injury. There are some limitations on the amount of income you can receive and this amount is adjusted annually to reflect and keep pace with the rising cost of living. If you are injured between October 1st, 2010 and September 30th, 2011, the maximum wage loss you are entitled to is $4,929 per month for the first three years. If you have sustained injuries resulting in work-loss, you should contact your insurance company. Often, the insurance company refuses to pay for your wage loss.
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
If you need helping collecting your first party benefits following an auto accident, call us free at (517) 347-6900 or contact us through the website. We charge you no fees unless you win your case.
People often are afraid to call an attorney following an accident because they think they don’t have enough money for skilled representation. This is understandable because lawyers have a reputation for not being affordable and charging exorbitant prices. With our law firm, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The phrases free evaluation and no fee are used frequently, so it’s hard to determine which lawyers are telling the truth. At The Clark Law Office, you get exactly what it sounds like. We will give you a free legal evaluation in person or by phone, it’s completely your choice. While we prefer to meet face-to-face, we understand many accident victims have a hard time getting around or would just rather talk by phone. We can help you no matter your situation. We will even come to you if that’s what you prefer. You call us and give us the details about your situation and we will use our experience to determine if you have a case. If we feel that you don’t have a case or that you can handle it by yourself, we will give you our honest opinion. No tricks or gimmicks here, we want whatever is best for you! There is no obligation and you will owe us absolutely nothing for your free legal evaluation.
In all injury cases, we work strictly on a contingent fee basis. There is no charge for hourly work or other miscellaneous fees like phone calls that many other attorneys will charge for. In fact, we will personally pay the upfront costs necessary to win your case. Usually, we will immediately start an investigation into your claim. We will also find relevant records, find relevant witnesses, and higher an interview relevant experts. This list are just a few of the expenses we cover for you, we will conduct depositions and other services as well. As you can imagine, these expenses are quite substantial but usually necessary to win your case. We will cover these costs to give you the best chance for compensation. If for some reason you do not win your case, you not have to pay for any of these fees. All the time and money spent will cost us, but won’t cost you a single penny.
What do you have to lose? David M. Clark and The Clark Law Office have won multiple million dollar verdicts on behalf of our clients and we want to help you! Give us a call today and talk to David personally or let us know how you would like to be contacted. We are located at 3970 Heritage Avenue in Okemos, MI and you can call us free at (517) 347-6900.
Wondering The Value of Your Case? Here’s a Few Things to Consider……..At The Clark Law Office, we realize that there are a multitude of factors that will influence the value of your accident case. If you’ve been hurt or seriously injured from an accident I’m sure this is the first question that you want answered. Every single detail can make a significant difference and therefore there is no clear way to give you a projected number without looking into your case in detail. If an attorney gives you a dollar amount then you know you should find someone else. It is not right and downright unethical to give you a particular dollar amount without gathering all the information about your case including police reports, medical exams, and other facts related to your accident claim.
Don’t Take The First Offer That’s Given Just Because It’s Convenient!
Your insurance company will also be eager to offer you a settlement, DON’T rely on your insurance company to give you a fair offer, they are most likely lowballing you to get a huge liability off the books. This is a common way insurance companies quickly and cheaply settle cases. They are relying on the fact that you are desperate for money now and will take whatever they throw your way. It takes time and hard work to gather the relevant facts and come up with an estimate of your case’s value. Here is a list of questions which should be considered when determining the value of your case. This is just a starting point, but it gives you an idea of what to look for!
As you can see, there are many different conditions that can alter the value of your case. Regardless of the situation surrounding the accident, we can help. Our lawyers will help you pay your medical expenses, file all necessary and tedious paperwork, work with your insurance company so you don’t have to, and gather all the facts and relevant evidence to strengthen your claim. Call us today for a free legal evaluation at (517) 347-6900. We will pay for all the upfront costs and you won’t be charged a dime unless you win. For more information on car accident in Michigan, click here!
If you are unsure that you have a legitimate case, get the legal advice you deserve. Often times, car insurance companies will offer quick settlements that sound too good to be true. Most of the time they are too good to be true and there simply trying to mitigate their own damages instead of giving you the compensation that you need. This is a common tactic used by insurance companies around the country. By offering you a quick settlement, they are actually reducing the amount of your award but are relying on the fact that you need money right away. Regardless of the seriousness of your injuries, there is usually a ground for some sort of legal action. As an attorney practicing car accident law in Michigan for 30 years, I can help determine if you have a case against the auto insurance company.
The majority of auto accidents are not life-threatening or extremely severe, but medical costs and other expenses can accumulate quickly regardless of the injuries. As you know, the expense related to the medical field can be cumbersome and hurt your financial position. While some injuries are obvious and easy to prove, many injuries are not quite so obvious. For example, certain types of spinal injuries and whiplash injuries will not show up during routine exams using an x-ray or MRI. Just because they are architect doesn’t mean they can cause you significant pain and require extensive medical treatment.
If you or someone you care about sustains an injury from non-mobile accident, be cautious of any settlements that your insurance company offers. You should also be careful about giving statements by phone, e-mail, or any other type of communication regarding your injuries. Even though you may think the statements are fine, they can easily be used to hurt your chances or lower your payment on a car accident claim.
Michigan car accident law is quite extensive and can be confusing, for this reason the best way to determine if you have a case is to call an experienced personal injury attorney. Nobody enjoys suing somebody, but many times this is the only alternative that you are left with. Most people don’t realize that in Michigan you are usually suing your own insurance company for medical expenses. If you have suffered a catastrophic or serious injury, you may also be entitled to third-party benefits where you will be suing the other driver was negligent in causing the accident.
Call us today to see if you have an auto accident claim at (517) 347-6900. The Clark Law Office has litigated car accident cases in Michigan for 30 years and we can help determine whether you have a case. We offer free consultations to all of our clients and charge no fees unless you win your auto accident case.
Text messaging is the most common form of distracted driving, and a New Jersey lawsuit is testing the notion that the sender of a text message should be held liable. It’s believed to be the first lawsuit of it’s kind in the country. The case is actually quite interesting. It involved two motorcyclists that were involved in a tragic accident with a pickup truck. The motorcyclists, David and Linda, were hit head on by a truck that crossed over the center-line of the road. When I first heard this scenario, I figured there was no way to survive. It turns out they both lived but both lost a leg during the crash.
The driver in the Chevy truck admitted guilt and also admitted that he was text messaging at the time was the underlying reason for the accident. His phone records show text messages seconds before a frantic 911 call. Both David and Linda claim that they saw the truck driver driving with his elbows because he was busy text messaging someone. They also claim that he was not paying attention to the road and this his head was pointed down towards a cellphone. It turns out that someone is the girlfriend of the truck driver.
The interesting part of this case is that David and Linda are suing both the driver and the girlfriend of the driver. It’s obvious as to why they’re suing the driver, but this is the first lawsuit also targeting the text message-er on the other end of the conversation. The argument is that the girlfriend was electronically present and therefore also negligent. Linda insists that the girlfriend knew his boyfriend was driving at the time and should also be held accountable. It seems pretty difficult to prove this fact to me.
The ruling came in just this morning from Judge David Rand. All of the claims against the girlfriend of the driver were dismissed. The truck driver is required to speak to local schools about how dangerous texting and driving really is. Surprisingly, his driver’s license is still valid.
Many gas stations throughout the State have been using a misleading tactic to display their gas prices. You probably already know what I’m talking about by that sentence alone. If you haven’t noticed, many stations also feature a car wash option when filling your tank. There’s nothing wrong with providing a car wash at a gas station, but misleading the public about the actual price is quite unprofessional and downright dirty. Michigan gas is already expensive enough, we don’t need the oil companies misleading us to pad their bank accounts even further.
I will use the example of two gas stations located on the corner of Jolly and Okemos Rd. near the highway ramp. This is a high traffic area for our town and there are 2 gas stations which sit kitty corner to each other and are super competitive with each other. There is a Marathon gas station which offers a car wash and a Sunoco gas station which doesn’t provide any car washes. The marathon thought it would clever by giving drivers a discount if they get a car wash. I have absolutely no problem with them providing a discount, but posting the discounted price as the unleaded price is certainly intended to mislead and create higher profits by using a questionable tactic. The competition (Sunoco station) was getting beat up because all these drivers thought they were getting cheaper gas across the street. I don’t know for sure, but I assume this tactic by Marathon was severely slowing down their business. It turns out it wasn’t cheaper at the Marathon station, actually its almost always more expensive. So what did Sunoco to do? Build a car-wash to compete? Nope! They made a sign displaying how much cheaper their gas is than the Marathon across the street. I find it ridiculous that they are allowed to pull such misleading tactics. This story just shows you how dishonest these gas/oil companies really are, and they would rather mislead the public instead of providing a quality service/product like the rest of the country.
Michigan residents don’t have to worry about this problem any longer! A new law was passed last month which impacts how gas stations display various gas prices. You may wonder why some of these signs are still displaying the discounted price…. The law is already in effect, but stations have up to one year to comply to the new standards. Companies can still post discounted prices on their display, but the conditions must be at least half the size of the actual print displaying the price. While this law won’t impact the actual prices of gasoline, it should definitely give you a fair display to judge different gas prices.