Our Michigan auto accident attorneys consistently win the highest settlements in Michigan. Unlike other large law firms, it is not our goal to get as many cases as possible and churn them out for a quick easy dollar.
Instead, we purposely limit the amount of cases that we take and we focus on getting the most compensation for the car accident victim. By doing this, we can put more effort and spend more time helping the people that need our skill, our experience litigating cases, and our expertise.
Should I Hire An Auto Accident Attorney To Settle My Case?
It is not mandatory to hire a Michigan car accident lawyer to settle your case after a car accident. However, you should be aware of the many mistakes that you can make trying the case by yourself. These mistakes can end up costing you from receiving a fair settlement or even receiving a car accident settlement at all.
Insurance adjusters do not always disclose all the information regarding your insurance policy or the policy limits that are in your coverage or policy. Because of this, you might never know the total amount of insurance that is available for your claim. Our experienced attorneys will make sure we get the truth regarding the policy limits that you have and to make sure that you get everything that you deserve.
Without an experienced lawyer, you will not know the actual value of your case and this could end up making you settle for a figure less than you could otherwise received. Car accident attorneys deal with these types of cases on a daily basis and they will know a rough value of what your case is actually worth.
Another complication includes any potential liens that you might be responsible for. Many health insurance companies and even Medicare can claim a portion of your settlement and if you did not account for paying this back, you could be left with a monetary figure much less than you anticipated or nothing at all.
Another potential mistake includes signing a release form when you settle your car accident claim. Signing a release can have devastating effects including forfeiting payment for medical treatment, wage loss, and other benefits.
Just about every study shows that victims that try to settle a case on their own will receive less money than if they were to hire a lawyer even after paying the fees for the attorney. Bringing a car accident case alone is possible, but it is not always the smart play.
Average Settlement Car Accident in Michigan
Many other attorneys and law firms advertise that they have a special settlement calculator and that they can tell you exactly what your case is worth. Unfortunately, there is no average price for a car accident settlement.
Every case is completely different. When looking for a home, you wouldn’t ask what is the average price of a house? The price you pay for a house would solely depend on your budget and what you are looking for, there is no average.
Our lawyers will help determine a fair amount of compensation for your case, which really is the only one that you should be concerned about.
Will I Have To Pay Taxes on a Car Accident Settlement?
For the most part, settlements are not taxable by the Internal Revenue Service or state taxing agencies. If your pain and suffering was caused by an actual physical injury, it is not taxable. While most financial compensation is not taxable, we still advise all of our clients to talk to a tax expert just to make sure.
How Long Will It Take To Receive a Settlement After A Crash?
It depends. The amount of time that it takes to receive compensation after a car accident is different in every case. Some cases are simple. They might settle rapidly because the injuries are severe and the policy limits of your coverage are low.
In these types of cases, the insurance adjuster will simply pay the entire policy quickly. In more complicated cases, receiving a settlement can take up to a year or more. If you are severely injured and you are still recovering from the crash, the future expenses of the injuries are unknown. This is why a more complex case will take longer.
Once you and your attorney decide to sign the settlement release, you should receive a settlement check within 30 days. Auto accident cases that involve children or a wrongful death might take slightly longer because the settlement must be approved by a judge.
How Much Is My Case Worth? What’s The Average Car Accident Settlement?
The best and only way to really know what your case is worth is to contact an attorney to discuss the details of your case. They will listen to how the accident happened and explain how they can help you receive the largest settlement possible using the various factors that will determine the amount awarded.
Since there is no accurate settlement calculator, an attorney will use their experience of handling numerous car accident cases over the years. They will know how much a case is worth and how to maximize the amount of your reward.
5 Factors That Will Affect The Typical Car Accident Settlement
There are many different factors that will help determine the amount of compensation you will receive after a crash. In a perfect world, the typical car accident settlement would always account for the damage of the vehicle, the pain and suffering that you have endured, the medical expenses that you have paid, and more.
Unfortunately, all of these factors can be difficult to prove in court and the insurance company will contest everything along the way. The following 5 factors will play a large role in determining the amount of your car accident settlement.
How Much Financial Hardship Have You Endured?
This one is simple. The higher amount of the financial losses that you have suffered due to the auto accident, the more your case is potentially worth. It can include money you have lost based on the damage to your vehicle, medical bills, lost wages that you have endured because of not being able to work, pain and suffering, medical mileage, replacement services, and more.
How Severe Are Your Injuries?
The severity of your injuries will play a major role in determining how much your car accident settlement will potentially be worth. If you walk away from the crash with only a few bruises, the settlement amount will be much less than if you endured life threatening injuries for example. While physical pain is a large contributing factor, mental anguish and suffering is also at play.
If you have suffered substantial emotional distress or PTSD symptoms that have stopped you from driving or living your normal daily life, that will also increase the potential settlement.
Did The Accident Occur in Michigan?
The location of the accident is also a major factor. If the car accident took place in the state of Michigan, you potentially have two separate lawsuits. A first party claim or a no fault claim will cover the medical expenses, wage loss, medical mileage, and replacement services.
A third party claim will need to be filed to recover pain and suffering expenses. Car accident compensation will be affected greatly if the accident took place in a different state.
Were You At Fault For The Accident?
If you were the at fault driver of the accident, you will not be entitled to recover pain and suffering which will greatly reduce the amount of your claim. In Michigan, you must prove that you weren’t negligent and that you suffered a serious impairment of a bodily function.
If you were not at fault for the accident and you suffered major injuries which pass this threshold, you will be eligible to receive much more financial gain from a car accident settlement.
What Are The Policy Limits of Your Auto Insurance?
The insurance policy you have purchased from you auto insurer-er is probably the most important factor outside of your injuries and often is the main limiting factor.
For example, let’s say that you have racked up $1,000,000 worth of medical expenses for a traumatic brain injury. If your policy limit is only $250,000, than you can not collect more than the $250k.
This is why it is crucial to know the policy limit of the plan you have purchased and to act accordingly. If you have a large family and you are the “breadwinner”, you will want to purchase a larger policy with a larger limit, so you don’t end up in this exact situation if you happen to suffer severe injuries after a car accident.
How Can I Maximize My Michigan Car Accident Settlement?
There are steps that you and your attorney can take to ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement amount for your personal injury claim. Following these steps will not guarantee a fair result, but they will certainly go a long way in helping you maximizing the award.
Gather As Much Evidence As You Can Regarding The Crash
It can be very difficult to obtain all the evidence after a car accident, but the more evidence you can collect the better. You should always make sure that a police report is filed after any accident and this will be available to you and your attorney as a key piece of evidence. It will state who the police think is at fault for the accident and will give a brief explanation of how the accident occurred.
It is also important to find and interview witnesses that saw the accident take place. Your attorney will interrogate them in a deposition which can greatly increase the strength of our case which will in turn help you maximize your settlement.
An attorney can also hire experts that will breakdown what happened which will also help your case and settlement amount substantially.
Seek Medical Treatment and Get a Proper Diagnosis
Going to a doctor immediately and getting a diagnosis is crucial to maximizing your car accident settlement in Michigan. Not only will it help determine the extent of your injuries, it provides documentation. Insurance companies typically will refute your claims and say that your injuries are unrelated to the accident if you delay medical treatment. For example, lets say you have a previous history of spinal cord injuries. If you don’t seek treatment immediately, the insurance company will have an argument that your spinal cord injuries were pre-existing. Having both physical and mental injuries documented by a medical professional is strong evidence that will hold up in court.
Don’t Delay. Start The Process Immediately.
The faster you file a claim, the faster you will receive your settlement. Michigan also has a statute of limitations for injuries related to car accidents and if you miss this deadline, you will not receive anything regardless of what happened. By hiring an attorney right away, you will make sure to follow all the necessary steps in a timely manner and maximize your car accident settlement.
Don’t Take a Lowball Offer. Be Patient.
Auto insurance companies are notorious for offering a low ball offer to make everything simply go away to car accident victims. While this may be tempting, you are selling yourself short.
A car insurance company knows you are desperate. They know that you are getting new medical bills every week and may not have the money to pay for them. When they sense desperation, they will tempt you with a low offer and many people just take it to speed up the process.
Insurance companies can drag cases on for years simply in the hopes of paying out less. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. You should listen to the advice of your attorney and be patient. It might be difficult to do, but you will be rewarded in the end.
Our Attorneys Will Maximize The Amount of Your Car Accident Settlement
Our attorneys and legal team will start working on your case immediately if you decide to hire us. We will listen to your side of the story and conduct a thorough investigation into your case and do everything possible to prove who was at fault for the accident.
We will get the police report, find and interview any possible witnesses, hire investigators that specialize in car crashes, hire car crash reconstruction experts, obtain all your medical records, and build your case.
We offer free consultations to all potential clients and work on a contingency fee basis meaning that you pay nothing up front and only pay a fee unless you win. Call our Lansing auto accident lawyers at 517-347-6900 to get started today!