When clients ask our accident attorneys about the current auto law in Michigan, there is no cut-and-dry answer. The auto law in Michigan is now defined by a 2010 Michigan Supreme Court case called McCormick v. Carrier. McCormick says a person can qualify for pain and suffering damages if his or her normal life is affected – not completely altered – by injuries from a car accident.
McCormick v. Carrier overturned Michigan’s previous (and the nation’s harshest) injury threshold law, which was based upon the 2004 Michigan Supreme Court auto case Kreiner v. Fischer. McCormick restored important legal rights that had been stripped away from Michigan residents who had been seriously injured in car accidents, but were told they had “no case” under Kreiner.
Our accident attorneys expect McCormick to change in the future. How the law will change remains to be seen. It will depend largely on who is occupying the governor’s office, who is serving in the legislature and, especially, who is sitting as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. To be sure, there is a very real concern that our auto accident law will revert back to Kreiner, or close to it.
Kreiner v. Fischer is a Michigan Supreme Court decision that interpreted the No-Fault act’s “serious impairment of body function” statute. It established the precondition plaintiffs must meet before they can sue for non-economic (pain and suffering) damages; stipulating that a person can only qualify if his or her normal life is completely altered by car accident injuries.
When Kreiner was in effect, countless innocent auto accident victims in Michigan with very serious injuries were unable to file lawsuits because their injuries were not “serious enough.”
Even though our current law of McCormick v. Carrier is more fair than Kreiner was, it is still a strict auto law. And when McCormick changes, it most likely will be even harder on auto accident victims.
But don’t let this scare you. If you have an experienced accident lawyer who only handles automobile and truck cases, you will have a much better chance at recovering for your personal injuries. An experienced auto accident lawyer can prove your injuries and impairments, and keep you from making innocent mistakes that can sometimes ruin a car accident lawsuit.
Call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028 for a free case evaluation. We are here to answer all of your questions, and we’ll take all of the time you need. You can also use our consultation form.