When another driver’s carelessness causes an accident that changes your life forever, you need a Michigan auto accident attorney who is prepared to go the distance for you to help you receive compensation. At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, we have been putting the legal system to work for victims and their families for over 30 years. We routinely recover seven-figure verdicts on behalf of clients. Through litigation or negotiations, we are prepared to do the same for you.
The personal injury claims process with insurance carriers 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.
If you sustain any type of injuries and subsequent damages in an auto accident, you may wonder if it is necessary to hire a Michigan personal injury attorney. If you hope to recover fair compensation, the answer is yes. When you hire a lawyer from the get-go, 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.
Most personal injury law firms — including ours — work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that you do not have to pay anything upfront for our services. In fact, you do not have to pay any fee unless we’re successful.
Every case is different, so it is impossible to know just how much your claim is worth until a member of our team has reviewed all the evidence. That said, certain factors affect the amount of potential compensation including: the severity of your pain and suffering, whether you sustained psychological injuries, whether you sustained scars or permanent disfigurement, whether your injuries resulted in a disability, your ability to work during and after recovery, and the amount of fault assigned to you.
Car accidents can happen for any number of reasons. However, some accident types are more common than others:
Crashes due to drugged, drunk, or distracted driving also frequently occur, as do accidents involving pedestrians, including hit-and-runs. Regardless of how a wreck occurs, it has the potential to result in severe injury and costly damages. No accident is “too minor” to not take seriously or to forego the need for professional guidance.
In Michigan, there are two types of auto accident claims you can file:
As a no-fault state, Michigan requires every driver to carry no-fault coverage, which almost guarantees that accident victims will receive compensation for the injuries and damages they sustain in wrecks. When you file a no-fault claim with your insurer, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and replacement services.
Michigan only allows third-party claims when you sustain death, an impairment of body function affecting your general ability to lead a normal life, or permanent serious disfigurement. Third-party claims are typically the claims that go to trial.
Ideally, you should hire a Michigan auto accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. When you work with a lawyer early in the process, you can avoid mistakes that may cost you part or all of your claim.
For instance, you cannot recover benefits twice for the same accident. If you plan to file a third-party claim instead of a claim for no-fault benefits, your insurer may try to get you to sign a release form. This release relieves your insurer of its responsibility to pay out your no-fault benefits. This could have devastating consequences for you. Likewise, if you use your health insurance benefits to pay for medical expenses while your case is pending and you end up recovering compensation, your health insurance company may place a lien on your award.
Also, insurance studies reveal that car accident victim who hire attorneys right away recover substantially larger settlements than those who do not. This is the case even after paying the contingent fee.
Immediately after an accident, get off to the side of the road and assess yourself and others for injuries. Next, call the police and, if necessary, the local hospital. While you wait for help to arrive, do the following:
Once you get home, schedule a medical assessment immediately. Even if you do not have visible injuries, you may develop delayed injuries and complications. Your medical records will serve as crucial evidence for your claim. Report the crash to your insurer and request an application for no-fault insurance benefits. Finally, contact an experienced Michigan auto accident attorney.
An auto accident can have devastating consequences on your health, finances and quality of life. Our team at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys understands this, and we know that the coming months or years maybe some of the toughest you and your family will face.
When you entrust us with such an important matter, we dedicate our full time and attention to pursuing the outcome you desire. We work diligently and with compassion at every stage of the case, and we show the same dedication to success that we would give to our own loved ones. If you put your trust in us, you can have peace of mind that we will pursue every possible avenue of recourse and investigate every angle to ensure you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, everything we do, we do with our guiding principles in mind: respect, trust, and honesty. We do not take on a case unless we believe in its success. Once we accept a case, we commit to it 100%. We take the time to understand clients’ needs, investigate and assess the facts, and build an unshakeable argument. We go the extra mile to meet clients where they are and we do not back down until we obtain the results injured persons and their families deserve.
We have been representing accident victims throughout Michigan since 1988. In our 30+ years of experience, we have tried over 120 cases and won multi-million-dollar verdicts on behalf of many. We attribute our success to our passion for justice, commitment to excellence and desire to do right by our clients. We have built our careers around helping accident victims right the wrongs done to them, and we look forward to doing the same for you. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation
Your health insurance company covers your medical expenses if you don’t have auto insurance.
Michigan is a no fault state. In no fault states, you must look to your own insurance company for no fault benefits, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. No fault benefits include wage loss, payment of medical bills, and replacement services. Your insurance company may subrogate the claim by filing a claim against the other driver to recover the money paid out to you.
If you believe the accident was your fault, you should still consult an attorney, as there can be many causes for an accident. You should not admit fault for an accident until a full investigation has been conducted. Generally, your health insurance company will cover the cost of treatment for injuries sustained in the accident. Sometimes, you can then seek reimbursement from your car insurance company as part of the settlement.
If you are involved in an accident with an individual who doesn’t have insurance, you will likely have to collect from your own insurance company. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may also help to supplement damages caused by a driver with no or low insurance coverage.
Car accidents are frightening, and it’s natural to be in a state of shock. However, the steps you take in the immediate aftermath of your car accident can dramatically impact how your case unfolds.
First and foremost, stop. Stay. Remain at the scene. This is required by law.
Second, check yourself for injuries, as well as your passengers if it’s safe to do so. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to administer medical care yourself, and do not refuse medical care on the scene, even if you do not think that you need it. You should also see your doctor right away, even if you think you feel fine.
If you are able to safely move yourself and your car out of the way of moving traffic, do so. Many accident victims are badly hurt in secondary accidents (accidents that occur because of another accident) which could have been avoided if they moved to safety.
When the police arrive, make your statements to the officers. Keep your answers polite but to the point.
When you interact with the other party of the accident, you should acquire all of the following information:
● 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. Otherwise, try to limit your interaction with the other party in the accident as much as possible. Be polite, courteous, and helpful, but be careful of what you say.
That’s because the most important thing of all, whether you’re talking to the police or the other party, is not to admit fault under any circumstances. Keep in mind that even innocuous statements may later be construed as an admission of fault, such as apologies. While you may want to apologize if only out of shock, an apology will be used against you.
Instead, keep your interactions brief but polite. Ask if the other party is alright, ask if they need assistance, ask for their information, and communicate details of the accident to responding officers.
Every car accident is different, which means every case is different. Generally, a personal injury lawyer will look at two factors to determine if you have a car accident case:
Legal liability refers to a person or entity’s legal responsibilities under the law. In personal injury law, liability is the concept of fault. Essentially, when someone is held liable for an accident, they are deemed to be at fault for the accident.
Liability usually hinges on the concept of negligence. Establishing negligence in personal injury has four components:
1. Legal duty of care between the two parties
2. Breach of that duty of care due to negligence, careless action, or inaction
3. Damages (physical and emotional injuries, property damage, lost income, etc.)
4. A causal link between negligence and damages
This brings us to the concept of damages. In personal injury law, we litigate to collect compensation for damages. There are two types of damages:
1. Economic (any damages you can put a numeric price on, such as medical expenses)
2. Non-economic (damages not associated with a quantifiable numeric amount, such as pain, suffering and loss of quality of life)
The extent of your damages determines whether you have a case and how much it might be worth.
Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that all drivers are legally obligated to carry basic auto accident coverage. The law states that insurance companies will cover out-of-pocket expenses for auto accidents regardless of who was at fault, on the premise that both sides agree not to sue each other for those specific out of pocket expenses.
However, this does not mean insurance companies always pay out what you are owed. In fact, insurance companies often play down the accident or the injuries so as to pay less for a valid claim. There are also certain exceptions to the no-fault system that would allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash.
An attorney can help you look at your case and understand how to navigate no-fault rules.
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.
A car accident is a deeply traumatic experience, which makes it all the more difficult to navigate the nuances of your accident case while trying to recover. A personal injury attorney can help you take charge of your case–and take your life back.
With a personal injury lawyer experienced in auto accident cases, you have a skilled legal advocate who will fight for your rights. And with the expertise, experience, and resources of a law firm with a strong track record of standing up to insurance companies, you’ll get the results you need to reclaim your life after a car accident.
The auto accident attorneys at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys have fought for accident victims like you since 1988. We’ve won millions for clients like you across the country because we don’t simply try cases–we advocate for our clients, providing the support your family needs to get through this difficult time while bringing the legal expertise and preparation necessary to ensure you get the results you deserve.
Your auto accident attorney is your advocate and your guide through the complex legal process of a car accident case.
On one hand, their job is to educate you so that you can make informed decisions to move your case forward. On the other hand, they’re also your advocate, helping you obtain and document evidence, complete the necessary paperwork, build a case file, and give you an honest assessment of your options.
But most of all? Your attorney uses their legal knowledge to champion your rights, helping to right the wrongs done to you by someone else’s negligence.
The value of your case depends on a number of factors, but is generally calculated with a combination of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like:
● Medical bills
● Lost wages
● Permanent injuries leading to loss of employment
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify but include things like pain and suffering and emotional distress, both past and future. For example, it is difficult to put a precise value on no longer being able to pick up your child due to a permanent injury, but it is clearly a significant loss in your quality of life.
However, every case is unique, which means the calculation behind every case is unique. Our experienced auto accident attorneys will walk you through the details of your case to understand how various details contribute to the relative value of your case, how they will present an argument on your behalf, and what your options are to achieve the best possible outcome.
As soon as you hire an attorney, our team goes to work.
The first step is scheduling a free consultation. This is a no-obligation meeting where we sit down and discuss the details of your case. Based on that discussion, an attorney will give you their initial assessment of the case, talk through your options, and let you know what they can do to advocate for you.
If you then choose to hire an attorney, you’ll have to sign various forms allowing us to obtain information relevant to your case, such as your medical records. We will then contact the other party in your case and your insurance company to let them know you have retained an attorney, as well as reaching out to your medical providers to obtain information and other individuals and organizations with evidence for your case, such as the local police department.
From there, we guide you through every step of the case, acting as your voice and your advocate. We will meet you wherever you need us, whether that’s at home, in the hospital, or anywhere else that’s convenient for you. We will make sure that you always understand what’s going on with your case so that you can decide how to proceed.
We will ask for permission before filing a lawsuit on your behalf. This decision should be made by an attorney with your input, explaining why they think it would be beneficial to file a lawsuit, what the case will look like going forward, and what your options are after filing the lawsuit.
Keep in mind that a settlement is always possible, even after a lawsuit is filed. However, we will not settle for an amount that’s less than you deserve, and we will not accept lowball offers simply because your insurance company offers them. We will work with you so that you can make the best possible decision about whether to settle or go to trial and what level of compensation is a reasonable outcome for your case.
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