No one likes to be involved in an accident. Besides the physical damages, such as bruises, broken bones, and other forms of body injuries, there is also the discomfort it creates.
Having an accident can leave one with trauma so that they may not be able to drive a car again or sit in the front or back of the car. Also, there is the money spent on medical bills and fixing property coupled with the fact that a person may have to miss work, thereby missing getting paid. In short, an accident makes one very vulnerable and one may not fully recover from the effect. But there is a slight hope if the accident was caused by the other party, such as if they were drunk or going beyond the speed limit. In that case, you are entitled to some form of compensation from them. This is due to the existence of personal injury laws.
Personal injury refers to physical, mental or psychological discomfort caused by the actions of another person that has a far-reaching effect. Like the name states, the personal injury involves our person or our property and entitles us to some compensation from the other party at fault, as long as you can prove that they were indeed the cause.
In Michigan, personal injury cases cover a wide range of incidents, including
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall
- Job accidents
- Breach of contract
- Animal bites
- Wrongful death
- Defective product
- Libel/Slander, and so forth.
The point to note is that in a personal injury case, someone’s actions hurt you. Before you can get your compensation, you have to present a claim, and there are certain laws regarding it.
The most important one to note is the statute of limitations law. A statute of limitations law places a limit to the time in which a court can entertain that particular case. As stipulated in Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5805, you have three years from the injury to pursue your claim. This means that from the day the incident occurred, you have a limit of three years to bring it up before the court if you seek to gain compensation from it. If you bring it up after three years and it manages to get the court, the other party would bring up the time limit as a matter, and the court would readily strike it out. It does not matter if you have enough evidence or a strong claim, as long as it is past the limit of three years, then you lose all entitlement.
However, there are still exceptions as regards the statute of limitations. First, not every personal injury case has a three-year time frame. Cases like fraud, medical malpractice, and breach of contract have a six-year time frame.
Also, if the person seeking compensation was insane after the incident happened, then such a person can be allowed to file their claim once their period of insanity is passed, even if it is after three years.
There is also the age barrier, that allows a person to file a claim only after turning 18. So even if the injury happened years before they turned 18, they can always file a claim once they turn 18, but they should do so within a year.
Another important aspect of the personal injury law in Michigan is the Comparative Negligence Rule. What this rule means is that if you are found to have any part in the accident, then the compensation you may be entitled to may be reduced. In other words, if you are partly at fault for the accident, then your compensation would be reduced as you would have to pay the part that is calculated to be your fault.
What the court needs to do is calculate how much you are at fault based on percentage and subtract it from the money you were originally entitled to. So if you are found to be 20 percent at fault and the total compensation was to come to $10,000, then the court would award $8,000 to you while you take care of the remaining $2,000, which is 20 percent, your share of the fault. If you are found to be 50 percent or more at fault, then you will not be entitled to any compensation.
Michigan also has in place the No-Fault Law and this is unique to auto accidents. This means that in an auto accident, no one can be said to be at fault and that the insurance companies of both parties should take care of the necessary bills. This means that one party cannot take the other to court in the hope of suing to get some compensation. Although there are exceptions, which include death or serious bodily damage that has far-reaching consequences, such as not being able to use your legs again.
To find out more about Michigan’s personal injury law or to hire a lawyer for your claims, you can view website for more information.