Car Accident Lawyer in Grand Rapids, MI

Being involved in a car accident in Grand Rapids is a harrowing experience. In just a moment, your life can be turned upside down. The shock of the crash, the pain of any injuries, and the overwhelming confusion about what to do next can be incredibly distressing. You might be wondering where to start, who to call, and how to ensure you take the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

In this moment of uncertainty, you need a trusted ally to guide you through the chaos. Giroux Pappas is a dedicated auto accident firm serving the Grand Rapids and Kent County area. Our team is here to help you navigate this difficult time with compassion and expertise. We understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re committed to providing personalized, accessible support. We offer free consultations, will come to you at your convenience, and will help you navigate the complex insurance and legal processes. Let us take on the burden of legal worries so you can focus on your recovery and well-being.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Grand Rapids, MI Car Accident When I’m Not at Fault?

In a word, yes! It’s essential. Why? Because only an experienced lawyer will be able to get the compensation you deserve. Most especially in cases where you are seriously injured. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, ensuring that you are fully informed about the potential outcomes of your case. Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Insurance adjusters may try to minimize the compensation you receive. A lawyer can negotiate to ensure you get a fair settlement.

Proving it can be complex even if you believe you are not at fault. A lawyer can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work with experts to establish liability. Also, a lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. They can advise on long-term costs, such as ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation.

Navigating the legal system can be complicated. A lawyer can handle the paperwork, meet deadlines, and represent you in court if necessary. And perhaps most of all… having a lawyer can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal aspects of your case.

Understanding Types of Car Accidents in Grand Rapids

Auto accidents can be a traumatic experience, leaving victims with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the legal landscape. This guide covers everything you need to know about auto accidents in Grand Rapids, from local accident statistics to the steps you should take after an accident, common injuries, and the importance of choosing a local attorney.

Grand Rapids Auto Accident Statistics

Grand Rapids, in Kent County, is one of Michigan’s major cities, and the area sees a significant number of auto accidents each year. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the 2022 crash data report for Kent County found the following:

  • 20,150 Auto Accidents
  • 55 had fatalities
  • 941 had suspected serious injuries
  • 2416 suspected minor injuries
  • 6222 possible injuries

Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Grand Rapids

One of the most common causes of accidents nationwide is distracted driving. Shocking, right? To many people, eating while driving or even texting seems harmless. Does knowing it’s one of the leading causes of accidents change your opinion on it? Even things like putting on makeup, using in-car technology, and assisting children can be forms of distracted driving.

Another common reason for accidents is speeding. This is for several reasons. When you think about it, speeding makes everything faster, making your and other drivers’ reaction time slower. It also disrupts the flow of traffic. Someone speeding may pass you quickly, and drivers may swerve to get out of the way. Speeding may be considered reckless driving, which also includes tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, running red lights, and road rage.

Perhaps the most notorious causes of accidents are those that are a result of impaired driving. Impaired driving can be anything that changes how your body functions, especially alcohol or drugs. This significantly increases the number of accidents, and it is highly illegal.

Finally, we have to acknowledge Michigan’s harsh winters! Sometimes, accidents happen without anyone’s fault because of external factors like snow, ice, and hail. These weather conditions can make roads hazardous, not to mention dangerous for those on the road.

Understanding the Auto Accident Laws in Grand Rapids, MI

It’s essential to understand the auto accident laws in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area to properly understand your accident and case. Michigan operates a no-fault insurance system. This contrasts with an at-fault system. But what does this mean? Regardless of who is at fault, your own insurance company will cover your damages up to your policy limit. This is called personal injury protection – or PIP. This includes things like medical expenses, lost wages, rehab, and more. It also includes property damage or vehicle damage.

What if your expenses for your injury extend past the amount available in your insurance policy?  The state calls this the “Serious Injury Threshold,” which must be met before a lawsuit can be filed. What qualifies as a serious injury? It can vary from case to case, but it’s essentially something that will change your life, whether that be permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of body function, broken bones, or more. An experienced attorney will advise you if your injuries are severe enough to start a lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File a Grand Rapids Auto Accident Injury Claim?

When filing a claim after an auto accident in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there are certain important steps you must follow. This is why many people hire an attorney! You have a timeline, and when we say that, we mean literally! The statute of limitations in Michigan states that you must file within one year of the crash for no-fault benefits and three years after the crash for pain and suffering compensation.

The initial stages and moments after an accident are critical. If you don’t do anything else, KEEP GOOD RECORDS! Thorough documentation of the accident and injuries is crucial to your case. These records include things like your police report, medical records, photos of your car after the accident, personal notes of your pain and suffering, and more.

Steps to Take After an Accident in Grand Rapids, MI

Were you recently in an accident? Knowing what to do immediately after an accident can protect your rights and health. First of all, your three immediate actions should be checking for injuries, moving to safety, and calling the police. Your safety is the most important thing to consider after an accident. If you assess yourself and are able to move around and function, you should try to move the cars out of traffic to prevent further accidents. And even if you don’t see visible injuries, it’s essential to call the police. You never know what injuries may appear later, and a police report is crucial for insurance and legal claims.

Then, after you’ve taken those three very important steps, you should collect names, contact info, insurance details, and vehicle information from the other people involved in the accident. If you’re able, there’s no harm in taking photos of the accident scene! They may come in handy later! Videos, too, of the cars, witnesses, and yourself and your injuries. Speaking about witnesses, get their contact information as well. If it comes down to it, they may be able to testify for you in court.

In most serious accidents, though, you won’t be able to move freely after the accident due to injuries. In those cases, the first step is obvious. In cases where your injuries are less immediately visible, you will need to make the effort to seek medical attention EVEN if you feel okay. Commonly, injuries are not immediately apparent and become issues later. Do not wait – allow the medical professionals to take you to the hospital and check you out. Then, keep up with your follow-up appointments and recommended treatments.

Interacting With Your Insurance Company in a Grand Rapids Car Accident

One critical point that any attorney will tell you after an accident: Be careful of what you say to your insurer. You certainly want to report that the accident occurred to your insurance company promptly, but even though they are your insurance, they still run a business. If you say anything that could mean admitting fault, or downplaying your injuries, they may unfortunately use that against you. Keep records of all communications with insurance adjusters.

Common Injuries and Their Impact for Grand Rapids, MI Car Accidents

Auto accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, each with unique impacts on victims’ lives. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) can result in cognitive impairments, memory loss, and emotional disturbances. Treatment often requires extensive medical care and rehabilitation. Compensation may be pursued for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Spinal Cord Trauma may lead to paralysis or other permanent disabilities, requiring ongoing medical care, assistive devices, and home modifications. Compensation claims can include long-term care costs, lost income, and quality-of-life adjustments.

Concussions can cause cognitive impairments, headaches, and memory problems. Treatment involves medical monitoring and potential therapy. It is essential to ensure that victims receive the necessary medical treatment and compensation. Whiplash typically results in neck pain, stiffness, and headaches, often requiring physical therapy and pain management. Compensation claims may cover medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Open Head or Facial Wounds can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, necessitating extensive medical treatment, including potential surgery. Compensation claims should address physical and emotional pain and suffering. Severe Lacerations or Puncture Wounds carry risks of infections, nerve damage, and other complications, often requiring surgical intervention and long-term care. Compensation may recover expenses for medical treatment and related losses.

Soft Tissue Injuries, such as sprains, strains, and bruising, cause significant pain and typically require ongoing medical treatment and physical therapy. Negotiating fair settlements of continuing treatment is crucial. Internal Organ Damage or Bleeding is life-threatening and may require emergency intervention, intensive medical care, and potential surgery. Documenting and proving the extent of injuries is necessary to maximize compensation.

Working With Giroux Pappas – Grand Rapids, MI Car Accident Attorneys that Make a Difference

Selecting an attorney based in Michigan can provide significant benefits in handling your Grand Rapids auto accident claim. They provide local knowledge and familiarity with Grand Rapids’ roads, traffic patterns, and common accident sites. Never underestimate the power of knowing local courts, judges, and procedures for handling the case in the best way.

Choosing Giroux Pappas for your auto accident case offers:

  • Compassionate Service: Understanding the emotional and physical toll of auto accidents.
  • Experienced Team: Extensive experience handling auto accident cases in Grand Rapids.
  • Trial-Ready Lawyers: Prepared to take your case to trial if necessary.
  • Comprehensive Support: From the initial consultation to case resolution, we provide full support.

Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

The personal injury claims process with an insurance adjuster and the court system can be confusing and complex, and you are likely to have many questions along the way. Our team is prepared to address your concerns at every stage, and we have answered some of the more frequently asked questions below.

How Much is Your Grand Rapids Car Accident Case Worth?

How much your case is worth depends on the sum of many parts. The cost of medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and future medical needs, will be a significant factor. If the accident caused you to miss work, you could be compensated for lost income. This also includes potential future earnings if you are unable to return to work or if your earning capacity is reduced.

The cost to repair or replace your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident will be included, as well as compensation for physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident.

Michigan follows a modified comparative negligence rule. If you are found to be partially at fault, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. To get a precise estimate of your case worth, it is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the specifics of your case.

What Information Should I Collected From the Other Driver?

When you interact with the other party involved in the accident, you should acquire all of the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance information
  • Registration information
  • Make, model, and identifying details of the other car

Do not simply write down the other car’s license plate number–insurance companies cannot look up the other car on this information alone. 

Whether you’re talking to the police or to the other party, it’s important not to admit fault under any circumstances. Keep in mind that even innocuous statements may later be construed as an admission of fault, including apologies. While you may want to apologize if only out of shock, an apology could be used against you. Instead, keep your interactions brief but polite. Ask if the other needs assistance, collect their information, and communicate details of the accident to responding officers.

Do I Need to Report the Accident to My Insurance Company?

Yes. Every auto accident policy requires policyholders to immediately report accidents, regardless of how minor they may seem. Many policyholders do not report minor accidents because they do not want their insurance rates to go up.

However, failing to report an accident can have serious penalties in the future. From an attorney’s perspective, failing to report an accident only to later file a personal injury lawsuit significantly weakens your case since the other side can easily argue that you did not think the accident was important enough to report. Worse, your refusal to immediately report the accident makes you look untrustworthy.

How Do I Find an Experienced Car Accident Attorney?

After your accident, it’s important that you find an experienced Grand Rapids Auto Accident attorney who listens to you and has trial experience. During your search, look for firms that have handled cases similar to yours, have trial experience with auto accidents, and offer free case evaluations. Note how their legal team interacts with you during the case evaluation. Do you feel comfortable with this team? Are they listening to your concerns? Be sure to also look at their memberships, awards, and past case results. Lastly, when searching, also be sure to read reviews and seek referrals from friends and family.

Do I Even Need to Hire a Lawyer in Grand Rapids?

If you hope to recover fair compensation, the answer is yes. When you hire a lawyer, they can educate you on what you need to do immediately following the collision to help your case. They can also inform you of common mistakes to avoid.

 Additionally, your lawyer can help with the investigation process. The strength of your case relies heavily on the evidence you provide, such as photographs, eyewitness accounts, video surveillance from nearby cameras, debris, police reports, and vehicle damages. Without an attorney to advise you, you may unwittingly destroy evidence or fail to gather what you need.

Finally, a lawyer can assist you with every aspect of the claims process, from the initial filing to the acceptance of a settlement. The right attorney will prepare from day one to go to trial so that, if it comes to this, they can present your case in the best possible light in court.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

Most personal injury law firms — including Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys — work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that you do not have to pay anything upfront. In fact, you do not have to pay any fee unless we’re successful.

Contact a Grand Rapids Auto Accident Attorney

Auto accidents in Grand Rapids, Michigan, present unique challenges and complexities. Understanding the local accident statistics, Michigan’s auto accident laws, and the steps to take after an accident can significantly impact your ability to secure fair compensation. Common injuries can have long-term effects, making it essential to seek appropriate medical treatment and legal representation.

Choosing a Michigan-based attorney with experience in the Grand Rapids and Kent County court system, such as the team at Giroux Pappas, ensures you benefit from local expertise, personalized attention, and a strong commitment to securing the best possible outcome for your case. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, contact Giroux Pappas today for a free consultation and take the first step towards recovery and justice.