In Michigan, it’s easy to be confused about whether you can sue when you are injured in an automobile accident. We have a no-fault system which makes it hard to sue the driver who caused your injuries. With the no-fault system accidents and injuries that are deemed not serious are typically paid by your insurance company which is known as “first party”. Unfortunately, first party doesn’t reimburse you for medical expenses and lost wages.
That doesn’t mean that suing the other driver isn’t a possible. You can sue as long as your injuries meet the threshold. The threshold injury has undergone a change with the Supreme Court’s McCormick v. Carrier ruling.
The injuries meet the threshold when the auto accident when there was:
- A body function is seriously impaired
- Permanent severe disfigurement
- The last two categories (serious, permanent disfigurement or death) are pretty clear. However, the serious impairment of a body function seems like a whole lot of words. Of course, every situation and accident is different. So, there’s no clear neon line test to show us whether an injury meets the threshold or not.
However, there are factors Michigan courts use to determine when a severe impairment of body function meets the threshold.
- Did the automobile accent result in an injury of an important body function?
- “Important” refers to the body function having significance, value or consequence. You loss the use of you right arm, for instance, and you could no longer work as a truck driver.
- Is the injury objectively established?
- The words “objectively” and “manifested” or “established” means the courts want to know if the injury is observable from any other conditions or symptoms you have. An example of this would be if you had a medical condition such as seizures. The court wants to ensure that your current medical condition or symptoms have nothing to do with your auto accident injury.
- Does the auto accident injury affect your overall ability to pursue a normal life?
Leading a normal life is pretty simple. It refers to your capacity to live a normal manner. Included with these three questions are also other factors which help determine if your injuries meet the threshold.
You can see that sometimes it’s difficult to determine if an auto injury meets the threshold which allows you to sue the driver at fault. Each case and each injury is different. The driver who caused your injury could have caused your back problems or broken bones. A driver who caused different accident could have left his or her victim with ligament tears in the shoulders or knees or debilitating burning sensations. Thus, it’s important to determine whether your injury and your rights meet the threshold test.
To find out if your auto injury meets the threshold to sue the other driver, call an experience attorney at the Clark Law Office today. We’ve been helping clients for over 30 years receive benefits from negligent drivers and we know you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.