Filing an auto accident lawsuit in Michigan – What does it take?
Lawyers answer frequently asked questions about car accident cases and the process involved
- Does it cost money to file a lawsuit?
- How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
- What are the risks in filing a lawsuit?
- What if I’m not the kind of person who sues?
- What kind of lawsuits are involved with auto accidents?
Does it cost money to file a lawsuit?
No. In Michigan, most personal injury lawsuits are paid for on a contingency basis, meaning that the accident victim will have to pay the auto lawyer a small portion of the monetary damages — only if the attorney wins your case. The auto accident victim does not have to pay any money up front and doesn’t have to worry about loans to pay the attorney. And if the auto lawyer does not win your case, there is absolutely no cost to the accident victim. Take a look at the Michigan Auto Law guarantee.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Michigan, accident victims have one year to file a lawsuit with their own insurance companies for No-Fault insurance benefits. They have three years to file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer driver’s insurance company for pain and suffering damages. If you do not file within this time, it is very difficult to recover from your car accident.
There are other important filing deadlines that if missed, can devastate an auto accident victim’s rights and recovery. This is why it’s beneficial to speak with an auto lawyer about your circumstances. Call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028, and one of our auto lawyers can help you.
What are the risks in filing a lawsuit?
Our auto lawyers would like to reassure you that there’s no legal risk in filing a lawsuit or hiring an attorney. If you have very serious injuries from a car accident that have dramatically impacted your life and your body function, then it’s possible that you will have a viable case and be able to collect No-Fault insurance benefits and pain and suffering damages. That being said, every person, car accident and personal injury is different. There’s no cookie-cutter answer as to how much you will be able to recover.
There is also no financial risk in filing an auto accident lawsuit in Michigan. That’s because with personal injury cases, the client pays absolutely no money to the auto lawyers unless the lawyer wins the case. This is called a contingency fee system, and most personal injury lawyers throughout the state are paid on a contingency fee basis.
What if I’m not the kind of person who sues?
People who file auto accident lawsuits are not bad people. Our clients are very good, hardworking people. But when you’re in a serious car crash at the hands of a negligent driver, and your injuries are so severe that it becomes difficult to keep food on the table and to provide for your family, many people have to file auto accident lawsuits.
One thing many people don’t realize is that Michigan’s No-Fault Law allows accident victims to recover No-Fault insurance benefits, including payment of medical bills and mileage, wage loss, attendant care (nursing services) and replacement services (help around the house). The state of Michigan has instituted this system to protect auto accident victims. But very often, auto insurance companies do not have the auto accident victims’ best interests in mind, and they will cut off these vital No-Fault benefits with no explanation. This is one reason that many people contact our auto lawyers — to simply fight for the insurance benefits they’re entitled to under Michigan law.
It’s also possible to sue the wrongdoer driver’s insurance company for your pain and suffering. But remember, you are not suing an individual person. You are suing that person’s auto insurance company. So by filing an auto accident lawsuit for your personal injuries, you will not be harming or bankrupting the other driver involved in the crash.
What kind of lawsuits are involved with auto accidents?
There are usually three types of auto accident lawsuits in Michigan:
- First-party: A first-party case is between the auto accident victim and his insurance company for No-Fault benefits, also called personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. In a first-party case, No-Fault benefits are usually paid out by your own insurance company.
- Third-party: A third party case is between the auto accident victim and the driver who caused the auto accident. In a third-party case, the auto accident victim sues the at-fault driver for pain and suffering, and excess economic damages. Damages are usually paid out from the wrong-doer’s insurance company.
- Mini tort: A car accident victim can recover a maximum of $1,000 for vehicle damage from the driver who caused the crash, via his auto insurance company. This is called a mini tort claim. Michigan’s mini tort law is not designed to pay for all of your vehicle damage. The purpose is to compensate a person involved in a car accident that was not at-fault, for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the collision.
Our auto lawyers can help you
Feel free to call one of our auto lawyers at anytime at (800) 777-0028 or by filling out our free consultation form. We’re here to answer all of your questions, and we can ease your mind about the process of filing an auto accident lawsuit. There’s no fee or obligation.
For more FAQs, visit our pages on recent car accidents and how the No-Fault insurance law affects auto accident victims.