Do you need the services of a car accident lawyer? Most people think that car accident attorneys charge excessive fees, and they have to shell out a large sum of money before winning a car accident case.

But the truth is, an affordable legal representation is not impossible. When it comes to personal injury cases, you don’t have to pay unless you win your car accident case. Some law firms make legal representation easy on the pocket by providing free consultation and charging reasonable contingency fees based on the recovered amount.

Ways To Save On Your Car Accident Insurance

Under the Michigan Insurance Code, you have income benefits from your car insurance coverage. Here are ways to maximize savings or avoid spending too much on a car insurance policy:

Ask the insurance company for the latest PIP coverage options.

You may choose the new PIP coverage option that allows less coverage at great discounts. However, this also means paying medical fees from your pocket. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you recover medical expenses from the settlement money.

Ask for higher deductibles.

Higher deductibles can decrease your car insurance premiums. Don’t worry, because you can get these deductibles from your compensation.

Get low mileage discounts.

You can get low mileage discounts from an insurance company if you drive your car less.

Maintain your credit score.

Drivers with good credit scores often get lower insurance rates from an insurance company than those with poor credit scores.

Shop around and compare rates.

Get insurance quotes from different insurance companies. Compare the rates and insurance benefits.

Add family members to your policy.

Ask the insurance company to add your wife and kids to your policy. You could get lower rates as a family.

Who Is Liable For The Car Accident Injury In a No-Fault State?

Michigan is a no-fault car insurance state. That means people injured in car accidents get personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from their car insurance coverage first to pay for medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, regardless of who is at fault.

The benefits provided by PIP coverage include the following:

  • All medical costs brought about by the car accident.
  • A maximum of 85% of wages earned. The exact amount varies annually for three years.
  • Up to $20 per day for replacement services. For example, you hired a housekeeper because you cannot do household chores.

Be aware that with a PIP/no-fault car accident claim, you cannot get compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. Ask a competent car accident lawyer about legal options in non-monetary accident claims.

How about if you are legally at fault in a car accident? Your no-fault insurance provides residual liability protection to pay for your personal injury lawyers and the accident claims of the no-fault party. The minimum amounts of coverage are:

  • $10,000 per accident for property damage if the accident occurred in another state
  • $20,000 per person hurt or killed in a car accident
  • $40,000 per accident wherein more than one person gets killed

Should a Car Accident Lawyer Handle My Auto Accident Claim?

Absolutely yes! Handling a car accident claim without an auto accident attorney can be a nightmare, especially when dealing with an insurance company. Imagine a scenario wherein insurance adjusters dangle a check in front of you. You get overwhelmed with the settlement amount and accept the offer immediately. You are angry and disappointed when you realize it covers only a tiny fraction of medical bills.

A study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) revealed a higher car accident settlement for car accident cases handled by competent car accident lawyers compared with accident cases with no legal representation.

The All-industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC) likewise revealed the same conclusion: Having a personal injury lawyer by your side makes substantial recovery money in car accident claims.

How Much Are The Average Car Accident Lawyer Fees?

Car accident lawyer fees are usually one-third, or 33%, of the settlement amount. Anything in excess is exorbitant.

A one-third contingency fee arrangement means the car accident victim will pay car accident lawyer fees after the verdict. The car accident lawyer will receive one-third of the recovered amount.

The Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits car accident lawyers from charging more than one-third of the verdict or settlement amount. Personal injury lawyers will face disciplinary action if they charge excessive fees.

Who Must Shoulder The Attorney Fees?

Typically, insurance claims pay attorney fees. But they sometimes get denied, and the victim has to fend for himself. Your car accident attorney can ask for interest and attorney fees as part of the award.

What Are The Fees Involved When Hiring An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer?

Reputable law firms in a no-fault state like Michigan charge lawyer contingency fees in car accident cases. They charge an average of 33% on settlement claims. Experienced car accident lawyers may charge 25% if the case gets resolved quickly. Thus, clients only have to pay once they get a verdict for the settlement money.

There are other costs incurred in car accident cases. These expenses include the following:

  • Court filing fees
  • Expert witness fees
  • Court reporter fees
  • Cost to get police reports and medical records

Big personal injury firms usually cover these charges and deduct them from settlement claims. Ask your legal counsel for the stipulations in a written contract.

How Do You Prove Fault In Car Accidents?

The tricky part in car accident cases is proving who is at fault. Still, these pieces of evidence can help you get a fair settlement and ensure you recover money:

The official police report

The responding officers will state the date, time, and location. Police impression is the most crucial part of the police report. It will most likely point to who is at fault.

Photographs and video footage of the scene

Pictures do not lie. Take photographs of car damage and your injuries from all angles. You can retrieve video footage from a dash cam or surveillance camera in the area.

Mobile phone records

If you suspect the at-fault driver was texting while driving, you may secure cellphone records from his service carrier. Your car accident lawyer can file a subpoena for these records.

Toxicology reports

If the responding officers believe the other party has legal problems, the chemical test result at the accident scene is evidence in case you pursue punitive damages.

Black box data

Most vehicles have black boxes to record data like speed, brake application, and airbag deployment. Your accident lawyers will secure the black box to boost your car accident claim.

How Can An Auto Accident Lawyer Help You?

An auto accident lawyer will assess your car accident case, research facts, and gather and protect evidence for your car accident claims. They will file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party or third parties. A responsible personal injury lawyer will ensure you get proper medical treatment and assess future medical expenses.

What Compensation Can An Experienced Lawyer Help Me Recover?

A competent car accident lawyer will gather evidence to help you recover compensation for hospital and medical bills, therapy sessions, and vehicle damage. Some examples of quantifiable damages included in the claims are:

Property damages

Vehicle repair or overhaul can cause a dent in your wallet. Your car accident lawyer can help you file a mini-tort claim within three years. You recover up to $3,000 from the at-fault driver if the accident happened after July 1, 2020.

Medical expenses

An accident injury is inevitable in any auto accident, even though it is a minor car crash. You would want to recover medical expenses, including medical prescriptions, doctor fees, ambulance fees, hospital bills, therapy services, diagnostic test results, and nurse care.

An experienced personal injury lawyer may also compute for future medical expenses if your injury requires long-term medical treatment. This is to ensure you get adequate financial support until you are fully recovered.

Lost income

You cannot have an active source of livelihood if you have bodily injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer will ensure you get an income replacement. He will also compute for future lost income if needed.

A large chunk of recovery money in a personal injury lawsuit includes compensation for unquantifiable damages, also known as non-economic losses. You cannot put a price tag on psychological suffering, but a skilled car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Here are a few examples of non-economic losses:

Pain and suffering

Most auto accident victims suffer the debilitating effects of physical and emotional pain for a lifetime. If you experience severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, your car accident attorney will adopt various methods for computing pain and suffering.

Emotional distress

A traumatic car accident causes emotional distress. If you experienced a loss of appetite and sleep, shock, frustration, anger, resentment, and other negative feelings, chances are, the car accident wreaked havoc on your psychological well-being.

The compensation for psychological damage is challenging. Car accident lawyers may hire psychotherapists and other health experts to help assess your situation.

Loss of enjoyment in life

You hardly enjoy your activities before the car accident. Suddenly you are not interested in family events or a date night with your significant other. You are always alone in your room and do not want to talk to anyone. Your car accident lawyer will equate this with a loss of enjoyment in life and charge an amount to your car accident claims.

Can I Get a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Attorney in Michigan?

The answer is a resounding yes! If you get injured in a car wreck or know someone injured in a car accident, The Clark Law Office in Okemos and Lansing, Michigan, offers a free consultation for car accident victims seeking personal injury claims. Our personal injury attorneys took each auto accident case seriously for over thirty years. Their unique trial capabilities and comprehensive knowledge of injury and negligence laws won car accident cases with millions of dollars in car accident claims.

Because we charge contingency fees, our car accident attorneys will not charge car accident victims a single penny until they get a fair car accident settlement. That said, you can focus on a full recovery from serious injuries.

Call (517)575-8131 in Lansing, MI, or (517)347-6900 in Okemos, MI. Our experienced lawyers also handle medical malpractice and wrongful death cases.

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