If you were injured in an accident due to another person, business, or another entity’s negligence, you have legal options to pursue compensation. However, the legal elements involved in filing a successful civil lawsuit are nuanced and complex.
Every claim for damages must have a basis in the law. Furthermore, there is an established process for demanding compensation that begins long before a case ever gets to court. Only by following this process can you maximize your chances for success. As a result, you might wish to reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer to discuss the Michigan personal injury case process. A well-versed attorney could help to guide you through each step of establishing a claim, gathering evidence, and requesting full and fair compensation.
Starting a Claim
An injured person can initiate a claim as soon as they suffer an injury. In fact, it may be beneficial to do this promptly, as evidence might disappear or fade over time. Therefore, the sooner a person begins the process, the better chance they have of retaining a clear and accurate picture of what happened.
The first step in starting the personal injury case process is to identify the proper defendant in Michigan. This may be another driver in a car crash, a property owner in a trip and fall incident, or even a hospital in a medical malpractice case. In many instances, a co-defendant will be an insurance company.
If so, much of the pre-trial case will run through that insurance company. In fact, it is often enough to start a claim by merely sending an insurance company a letter stating that an incident has occurred and that they should accept liability.
The line chart below shows the number of accidental deaths in Michigan from 2014-2017. There is a clear increasing trend in accident deaths each year during this time period, with an annual average increase in accidental deaths of 6.1%.
Pressing for Payments Outside of Court
In Michigan, some personal injury cases end with a settlement before the case gets to court.
To accomplish this, it is necessary to prove all the elements of the case to the defendant or their insurance company. For example, a plaintiff in a car accident case should provide information about how the defendant driver was responsible for the accident, as well as how that accident affected the plaintiff’s life.
If the evidence is persuasive, an insurance company might feel as though they will lose in court and will, therefore, offer a settlement to manage their payments.
An attorney could work tirelessly to prove the validity of a case before it gets to court. They can help to gather essential evidence, to measure a person’s losses, and to push for fair compensation in settlement talks.
Taking the Case to Court
In some case, there will be a dispute over whether a defendant is liable for an incident. There may also be disagreements over the extent of a plaintiff’s losses. When this happens, it may be necessary for a plaintiff to file a complaint in court in order to request the payments they want.
Even if a plaintiff does file a complaint in civil court, this does not mean that a settlement is out of the question, however. Still, it is essential for them to be able to prove their personal injury case, should it go to trial.
This is because Michigan courts use a concept known as comparative negligence to assign blame for injury claims stemming from accidents. Under Michigan Compiled Law §600.2959, a jury must reduce a plaintiff’s award if they believe that a plaintiff shares some of the blame. Because of this, hiring a seasoned attorney to provide guidance with each step might be beneficial.
Retain a Lawyer for Help with the Michigan Personal Injury Case Process
The days and weeks following an injury can be traumatizing, chaotic, and overwhelming. When an injury is severe, it is likely that you will need extensive medical treatment and have to miss time at work, despite a pile of medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
While liability in many of these cases might be clear, defendants and their insurance companies will likely fight to protect themselves. A dedicated and skillful lawyer who is familiar with each step of the Michigan personal injury case process could help. By working to gather evidence, calculate your losses, and pursue a thorough claim on your behalf, an attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could prove to be an invaluable legal ally. To get started on a case, call a legal professional today.
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