Reasons For Wanting Not To Sue
There are many reasons not to file a personal injury lawsuit in Michigan. When it comes to those who describe themselves as being against suing, I think in most instances that position comes down to one basic feeling. That is, people don’t want to be a mercenary pursing their own self-enrichment at the expense of others. Filing a lawsuit can be seen as a personal attack on the at fault party and most don’t want to send someone into bankruptcy or saddle them down with judgement they are unable to pay. Related to this basic notion is the idea that we don’t want to be a victim or an accuser. In this line of thinking asking for compensation for painful and life altering injuries is somehow creating more, not less, injustice. Rather than fostering justice in the community by holding the negligent responsible for their unsafe behavior, many may see a personal injury action as some type of windfall pursued solely for personal benefit at the expense of others.
While I can empathize with people who take this view, I think it is misguided. Years of insurance company advertising and the mantra repeated by tort reform has skewed the original aspects of not only personal justice that is achieved through a lawsuit, but the broader community justice that is served by holding the negligent accountable for the damage they caused. Damage, that is, that could have easily been prevented by being and acting marginally safer. By holding others accountable, a safer community can be achieved through deterrence and justice is promoted by compensating the injured party for the damages that were suffered.
The Necessity of Filing a Lawsuit
However, if you have been the victim of a very serious injury, you know the effects that it has had on your life. You know the pain that you live with every day. You know constant struggle to simply get through to the next day, week, or month. On top of pain and loss of the previous activities that you can no longer do, you must worry about not being able to pay your bills. This is a real hardship and one that can financially weigh on you, your friends and your family.
All our clients face this scenario to some degree. It makes pursing justice necessary so that they can remove, to some extent, the burden that has been wrongfully placed on them. Here, Personal justice, community justice, or any other theory or attitude gets sidelined for the expedient and practical need to make sure they can live in a manner that resembles their previous life.
Reasons Not To Worry About Suing in Court
It is also important to remember that in Michigan there are many benefits that you should receive from your auto accident simply because you were in an accident. We call these no-fault benefits. It includes lost wages for the first three years, medial bills, attendant care and replacement services. No one should feel bad about demanding the benefits that they paid for through their own insurance premiums. Insurance companies don’t lose sleep over padding their bottom line by denying the deserving and injured their proper compensation. Likewise, you should not feel guilty for pursing your contractual insurance rights.
Even when you are suing a “person” or at-fault party after an accident for your pain and suffering, an insurance company is going to be the entity that pays you. The at-fault party is covered by their liability insurance for the damages that they caused you, and consequently, they are not going to be paying a settlement or verdict. you won’t send someone into bankruptcy or even disrupt their financial position in any way by filing a lawsuit
Civil Justice is Worth Pursing
Wrongs don’t right themselves. A car accident is actually a wrong that needs to be righted. The word “accident” is really a horrible way to describe a car wreck. While the car crash might be considered an “accident” in the sense that no one was literally intending for you to receive injuries, the word passes over the active wrongdoing that unsafe people commit. Not looking for traffic before you turn is unsafe and a terrible idea. By choosing not to look that person knowingly put themselves and others at risk of serious injury or death. Not looking is a choice. Really car wrecks are not accidents in the strict sense. There is an injustice that was caused by the person who actively made an unsafe decision that impacts you for the rest of your life. You are entitled to receive some type of compensation for the wrongs that others perpetrate against you in a just and fair society. Holding others accountable helps you and helps make the community safer by making sure unsafe behavior is punished and hopefully avoided in the future.