How Our Michigan Car Accident Lawyers Can Protect Your Rights

Michigan auto accident attorneyDriving a car is dangerous. Most people don’t really understand the risk we take by getting on the road and going off to work or to the everyday places we must visit to lead our busy lives. At the Clark Law Office, we live these risks with our clients as we see the injury, pain, and struggle that results from car accidents. The difficulties with medical bills, doctors, the absence from work, and the loss of joy from activities that can no longer be pursued weigh heavily on those injured in auto accidents. We know how hard it is to deal with these problems and fight alongside our clients for the compensation that they deserve.

At the Clark Law Office, we don’t treat our clients like a number like many of the “TV Firms.” We offer every client personalized service where they can talk to their car accident lawyer whenever they need to. We work hard to keep you informed of all the different aspects and phases of your case. We know that when our injured clients come to our firm they only have one case and they will only go through the legal process once and the case will end with just one settlement or one trial. Making sure our clients obtain success with a lawyer that understands their problems and is there to inform them and answer their questions is paramount to us.

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We offer free confidential case reviews and charge absolutely no fees unless you receive your settlement or verdict. We pay for all the upfront costs and case expenses. Call us today to talk with an experienced car accident lawyer about your case.

 

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Obtaining The Lawyer You Need To Get the Compensation You Deserve

After suffering injuries from a car accident in Michigan, finding the right lawyer can be hard. Many individuals have never hired a lawyer before and don’t know where to start. To make matters worse, car accident victims will often receive visits in the hospital, brochures in the mail, or “recommendations” from doctors that they only ever met once. Injury victims need to be weary of these solicitations. These underhanded tactics in obtaining clients is a good preview of how these other Michigan car accident lawyers will treat their clients and their client’s cases.

At the Clark Law Office, we rely on our experience, dedication, hard work, and results. We have received millions of dollars for our car accident clients. Whether you are suffering from a broken leg, a head injury, a spine injury, or even the loss of life, we have secured large settlements and won multi-million dollar verdicts at trial. We have the dedication and knowledge to make sure you receive the highest possible compensation with a lawyer that cares and treats you and your car accident case with the attention and care it deserves.

Do I Need a Michigan Auto Accident Attorney To Represent Me in My Case?

An Insurance company’s favorite target is a Michigan car accident victim without an attorney. Injury victims need help and the insurance companies throw every obstacle at you to keep you from obtaining the compensation you deserve. After an auto accident, many people face serious issues:

  • They can’t make it to work
  • They are in constant pain
  • They face large medical bills
  • They need home care to make it through the day

Sadly, Michigan car insurance companies will drown you in paperwork and then delay and deny you these benefits and the proper compensation until you take whatever paltry settlement they offer or until you simply give up. They know lawyer-less clients often don’t know their rights and have no leverage to negotiate. To make matters more difficult, Michigan is a no-fault state. This means you have different claims against multiple parties when you are injured in an auto accident in Michigan. Obtaining these benefits requires a detailed knowledge of the law and how it applies to the facts of your car accident and your injury. Without this knowledge, injury victims don’t even know what kind of compensation they can receive.

The Clark Law Office has 30 years of successful experience navigating the no-fault insurance system and collecting millions for our car accident clients. We make sure that we get you all the benefits you are entitled to and the compensation for your pain and suffering that you deserve. No fault insurance can be complicated and the steps that need to be completed are not easy. Car insurance companies do their best to keep you ignorant and jumping through hoops. There is a strict 1 year statute of limitations on important no-fault insurance benefits making it crucial to get legal help fast. Call us for a free consultation so that we can help you get the benefits and compensation that you are entitled to after a Michigan auto accident.

How Does Michigan’s No-Fault Auto System Work?

Recovering Your First Party Benefits

The No-Fault System is a system based on the principle in its own name “no fault.” This means that the car insurance that you have on your own vehicle will pay for most of your benefits regardless of whether the accident was your fault or the fault of someone else. We call this company the first party. These benefits include all future medical treatment that is related to the injury, 85% of your lost wages for the first three years, a small daily reimbursement for replacement services or chores you can no longer perform, attendant care if you cannot take care of yourself, and mileage to and from medical appointments related to your car accident injury.

However, because the benefits you receive from your first party are supposed to be paid regardless of fault through your no fault insurance, and are relatively robust, you only get to sue the party at fault under a specific set of circumstances. Additionally, you do not get to sue negligent party for the damages already covered by your own car insurance company, or just any old damages that you can think up. You can only sue the party at fault for your suffering and pain along with your wage loss beyond the first three years. We call this type of a lawsuit a third party lawsuit.

Suing The Negligent Driver

What are the specific set of circumstances that allow you to sue the at fault party after a Michigan car accident? Essentially, you must be able to prove that other party caused the accident and that your injury is sufficiently bad. What does this mean? It means your injury must meet a threshold defined as a serious impairment of a body function, permanent disfigurement, or death. The last two qualifications are easy to understand but a serious impairment of body function is vague and a little ambiguous. The courts have defined to this mean an injury that can be objectively identified by your doctor and has lasting effects that prevent you from living your normal everyday life for a significant period of time. A broken bone, a torn ligament, a herniated disk, injured organs, or a brain injury all would be examples of injuries that typically meet this threshold. This is because those injuries tend to take a long time to heal and usually prevent people from engaging in activities that they use to perform. Of course, there are many other types of injuries that meet this threshold but they must be proven to be a serious impairment of a body function.

The Goal of The No-Fault System

What this system is set up to do is to make your own auto insurance company the exclusive source of compensation as most injuries do not rise to the level of serious impairment. This is supposed to make it quick and easy to get the treatment and benefits you paid premiums for without having the hassle of a lawsuit. While in theory this system should work, the insurance industry often takes a good system and makes it horrible. First, they usually will not tell you what all your no fault insurance benefits are or how to receive them, leaving you high and dry. Next, they will investigate car accidents to try to shift the blame to a different insurance company causing endless delays. If that cannot be accomplished, they will deny medical bills, wage loss, and other reimbursements for no reason or will delay payments causing you financial hardship or ruin. Finally, if they get tired of paying or they do not want to pay at all, they will send you to one of their own doctors to write a bogus opinion about how you are not injured or the accident was not the cause of your injury. Inevitably this leaves you without the first party benefits you were supposed to receive while also making it harder to sue the person who actually caused all your injuries in the first place.

This is why hiring a Michigan car accident attorney that knows the law and has experience dealing with insurance companies is important. Whether you have a small injury or a life-threatening injury, the insurance industry make money by denying you payment or by paying you less then you deserve. At The Clark Law Office, we have been helping clients navigate the no-fault system who have had permanent life threatening injuries and those who have needed compensation when their insurance company kicked them to curb after minor claims. Call us today to help protect your no-fault rights.

Types of Claims After a Michigan Car Accident

  • No-Fault (1st Party) Lawsuit

    This lawsuit is to recover what are referred to as first party or no-fault benefits. These benefits are paid for by your own insurance company and include medical expenses, medical mileage, attendant care, replacement services, and wage loss. The statute of limitations or time limit for this lawsuit is 1 year.

  • Pain and Suffering (3rd Party) Lawsuit

    This particular lawsuit is to recover pain and suffering from the at fault vehicle and that party’s insurance company. Only injuries that are considered to be a serious impairment of a body function will give you the ability to file and win a 3rd party lawsuit. The statute of limitations or time limit for a third party lawsuit is 3 years.

  • Mini Tort Claim

    A claim for physical damage to your own vehicle. The amount of recovery is based upon the percentage of negligence of the driver and the amount of damage sustained to the vehicle. The maximum reward for a mini-tort claim is $1000.

What Should I Do After a Michigan Car Accident?

  • The most important thing to do after an accident is to get medical treatment for your injuries. Many people have so much adrenaline in their system after being in a wreck that they believe that they have not been hurt. This is especially true with back and neck injuries. Minor changes in the back and neck can result in serious injury to disks that can cause permanent damage if not quickly and properly addressed. Not only will prompt medical treatment help save your health, it is also important to document your injury. Insurance companies will do everything they can to get out of payment. Making sure your injury is documented with a doctor or hospital will help make sure that insurance companies can’t blame something else for your problem. It is best to seek the treatment the same day as your accident or as soon as you can.
  • Next, make a claim and fill out an application for Michigan no-fault benefits immediately. This should be filed with your own auto insurance company or the company that will be responsible for your no-fault benefits. Sometimes the hospital will have done this for you, but you should figure out whether an application has been filled out and make sure that you have started a claim for benefits.
  • It’s also important to document your injuries and the damage to your vehicle as best you can. Police very rarely take pictures of an accident scene and doctors almost never have pictures of their patients in their reports. In case there is any dispute with regard to the severity of the accident or your injury, it’s best to have documentation of them both.
  • After documenting your injuries, filing a claim for no-fault benefits with your own Michigan car insurance company, and getting the medical treatment you need, you should contact an attorney experienced with car accident litigation to help you. Insurance companies are notorious for delaying payment, attempting to avoid responsibility, and generally trying to take advantage of car accident victims. An attorney can help you determine all your possible rights, deal with insurance company, and build a claim against the at fault party. We have been doing this for over 30 years. Please contact us today for a free consultation on how to get the most out of your claim.

Common Types of Auto Accidents in Michigan

Unfortunately, auto accidents are all too common in Michigan. According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts and The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute, there were 297,023 crashes in Michigan alone during 2015. The fact that driving is inherently dangerous will never change. A driver can lose control of the car due to slippery roads, or take their attention off the road to look at a text or to quiet the kids in the back seat. It takes just a second to send a vehicle into the wrong lane, run a red light, or fail to see stopped and oncoming traffic. As a result of these mistakes, 75,120 people were injured and 963 people died in 2015. Rear-end accidents were the most common in 2015 totaling 78,307, while accidents at an angle or T-bone accident totaled 46,723. Head-on collisions were much less common totalling 3,466 accidents, but they produced a horrifying 103 fatalities or deaths. However, it doesn’t matter what type of accident you were in, because all accidents have the potential to cause severe injury and years of pain and suffering to the victims. The Clark Law Office has been dealing with all types of accidents and injuries for over 30 years. From fender benders to wrongful death, we have been helping our clients get the benefits and compensation that they deserve.

Common Injuries Resulting From a Michigan Car Accident

No two car accidents are the same, so the seriousness of injuries will be different for every case. Many injuries resulting from vehicle accidents require extensive medical treatment and this also means large medical bills. Insurance companies will often deny your claim, reduce or take away your no-fault benefits even though you clearly require medical treatment. Moreover, when filling a lawsuit, insurance companies do their best to minimize your injury and the amount of pain and suffering you endure. It is always best to make sure you have a good treating doctor who has diagnosed you with your injury and documented it in your medical file. Here is a short list of some of the injuries we might try to collect financial recovery for:

What If The Car That Hit Me Didn’t Have No Fault Insurance?

It is the law in Michigan that people who own a vehicle must purchase no fault insurance. However, simply because it’s the law does not mean that everyone does it. Because Michigan is a no-fault state and have a very high cost of insurance, many drivers simply do not get insurance and hope that nothing bad happens. Additionally, the minimum amount of insurance liability coverage that is required by the State of Michigan is $20,000. This leaves many accident victims exposed and without recourse when they are seriously injured by negligent drivers who didn’t carry insurance or by drivers who purchased the absolute minimum. When these accident victims go to file a lawsuit against the at fault driver (a third party lawsuit where there is a serious impairment of a body function) that has no or very little insurance, they likely never will be fully compensated for their pain and suffering after an accident.

Should I Purchase Uninsurance/Underinsurance For My Vehicle?

One way to combat this possibility is by purchasing Michigan un-insurance / underinsurance motor vehicle coverage. This is type of coverage is obtained from your own insurance company, which they will charge extra for. However, if a car hits you and causes a serious impairment of a body function, thus allowing you to sue the at fault driver, even if that driver has no insurance or very little insurance, you could recover the coverage amount of un-insurance / underinsurance that you purchased. Some people do not know that they have this type of coverage, and others do not know what to do after an accident to take advantage of this coverage. It is extremely important to contact a Lansing, Michigan car accident lawyer right away after your injury. There are often very strict notice requirements that must be observed so that you can make an un-insurance / underinsurance claim. If you have been in injured in an accident, call us right away so that we can make sure you receive the benefits and compensation you deserve.

SUCCESSFULLY RECOVERED MILLIONS FOR OUR CLIENTS

After an accident, you need the best attorneys working on your case to maximize the value of your claim. This is not the time to work with an unskilled lawyer or an attorney you’ve never met. When you choose to work with us, you’ll have experienced professional who’ve successfully recovered millions of dollars.

 

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Call Us Today To Get a Free Consultation and Case Evaluation

No two cases are the same. It is important to call a Michigan auto accident attorney to see what benefits you qualify for and to make sure that you get someone who knows the law and cares about your case and your injuries. We know how devastating an injury can be, we see how it impacts our clients. It will often effect you for the rest of your life and that is why it is not just important to find any attorney that advertises on the highway billboards, but any attorney who cares about you and won’t treat you like a number. We have not only collected millions for our clients in settlements, but have won multi-million dollar verdicts at trial. We have done this by paying attention and working one on one with all our clients, while having the skill, knowledge, and tenacity to get our clients what they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your injuries.