Driving a car is part of our daily lives. However, accidents can and do happen. When they do, it can be a life changing event. The costs are more than just financial, as the injuries take a toll on us emotionally and affect our families and friends. Navigating the legal process following a Lansing car accident can be stressful and occurs at the worst of times. It is important consult with a dedicated and knowledgeable group of injury lawyers who have battled insurance companies for decades.
The dedicated team of Lansing auto accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. have an extensive track record of settlements and victories. Our legal team specializes in representing car accident injury victims, helping them obtain the benefits they deserve and putting the pieces back together. Our office is ready to handle your Lansing car accident case.
What Compensation Can I Get From a Lansing Car Accident?
Michigan is a no-fault state. This means you can get compensation from both the driver and owner of the at-fault motor vehicle, as well as the car insurance company responsible for paying PIP benefits, or personal injury protection benefits.
Michigan no-fault benefits following a Lansing auto accident are paid for by the applicable car insurance coverage carrier. The Lansing car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. can help you determine which company is responsible for these payments.
- Medical Expenses – this includes hospital bills, doctor’s bills, rehabilitation expenses, surgical bills, prescriptions, out-of-pocket costs as well as other medical expenses that health insurance is not responsible for paying.
- Lost Wages – 85% of lost wages for up to 3 years from the date of the crash. This includes self-employed individuals or those who are paid under the table.
- Replacement Services – Family members or friends who are completed household chores, such as laundry, cooking, and other household chores
Michigan no-fault benefits are available up to the PIP coverage purchased and available for that particular accident. PIP coverage can range from $50,000 to unlimited, so it is important to consult with a lawyer to ensure you are getting the most benefits available under the policy.
In addition to no-fault benefits, an injured person can also claim pain and suffering from the person who caused the crash. This is a standard negligence claim. In insurance parlance, it is also known as a bodily injury, or BI claim. Under the law, the victim of a crash can obtain pain and suffering so long as the other driver was at least 50% at-fault for causing the accident. The at-fault driver must pay for what the injured person was placed through. This includes what is known as “non-economic damages,” such as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of society and loss of companionship;
- Depression and anxiety;
- Loss of quality of life; and
- Mental suffering.
With the change in the Michigan no-fault law, which now has caps on PIP (personal injury protection) coverage, at-fault drivers and owners are also responsible for medical bills, lost wages and other benefits not covered by the PIP no-fault carrier.
How Can I Sue for a Lansing Car Accident Injury Case?
When a person is injured in a car or truck accident in Ingham County, they can file a lawsuit again the defendants for compensation. The proper way to do this is to file a Complaint in Ingham County Circuit Court.
In a negligence case, the at-fault driver must be at least 50% at-fault for causing the accident in order to get compensation for pain and suffering. However, this 50% rule is not required to get economic damages, such as unpaid medical expenses. The proper defendant to sue can include the driver, as well as the owner of the vehicle. Under the Owners’ Liability statute in Michigan, the owner of a vehicle is liable for the negligence of the driver. This is true even if the owner was not in the car or truck at the time of the accident.
Besides the owner and driver, if a commercial vehicle is involved, the company that employed the negligent driver can also be a defendant. These types of claims include negligent entrustment, negligent hiring and other liability theories that allow the injured person to get the justice he or she deserves following a Lansing car wreck.
What Are Common Causes of Lansing Car Accidents?
Car accidents and truck accidents in Lansing can occur for any number of reasons. Ingham County and surrounding areas have a number of busy freeways, highways, country roads and city roads that creates an opportunity for serious crashes. The most common causes for these accidents include:
- Drunk driving;
- Rear-end accidents;
- Head-on collisions;
- Failure to yield;
- Running a red light;
- Hit-and-run accidents;
- T-bone collisions;
- Wrong-way collisions;
What Should I Do After My Crash?
The moments following a crash can be scary and extremely stressful. Car accidents in Lansing and East Lansing can be chaotic. Traffic can be busy and a lot is going on. However, it is very important to be proactive following a car accident and seek legal advice.
First, it is vital you call the police and make sure all parties involved, including witnesses, stay until the police arrive. That way, the police will obtain the identities and vehicle information of all individuals, take statements, and perform necessary accident reconstruction efforts so an accurate traffic crash report will be prepared.
Second, as we are taught in driver’s training, you should exchange information with the driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes getting their name, telephone number and writing down the license plate of the vehicle. Note the make and model of the car as well.
Third, take photographs of the accident scene and the other vehicle involved. This may be the only time you’ll ever see the vehicle and person who caused your crash. Take photographic evidence of the damage to the other vehicle. Sometimes, there can be very little damage to your car but a lot of damage to the other vehicle. You’ll want to preserve this to show the other insurance company the severity of the accident.
Sometimes, video can be helpful. A simple smartphone can take fantastic video of the accident scene which can come in handy later. For example, the at-fault driver may try to lie about where their car was located following the crash, or a person may misremember the weather conditions. Video can go a long way in highlighting the truth.
Most importantly, seek medical attention following the crash. If you are not feeling well at the scene, call 911 and request an ambulance. You may appear fine on the outside, but there could be internal bleeding or other severe ailments developing that may require immediate medical attention.
Even if you don’t go directly to the ER, it’s important to see your doctor or go to an urgent care soon after the accident to ensure everything is normal. Ingham County and the Lansing area has the benefit of an incredible health delivery system, including Sparrow Hospital and McLaren Great Lansing Hospital. Take advantage of this and make sure your health is cared for.
When this is all done, it is important to call your auto insurance company and let them know about the crash. Ask the insurance representative to set up a claim and to assign a claim number. The claim number will be used to obtain no-fault benefits, such as the payment of medical bills and lost wages going forward.
An experienced Lansing car accident injury lawyer can assist you in making a claim and ensuring the process moves smoothly and quickly. The lawyer can also help file the necessary paperwork so benefits get paid on time.
Which Insurance Company Pays No-Fault Benefits Following a Lansing Crash?
When a person is injured in a car wreck, the injured person can obtain Michigan no-fault benefits. This is true even if the person was the cause of the crash (hence the name “no-fault”). But which car insurance company pays these benefits?
The answer is it depends on a few different factors. First, whether you are an occupant of a vehicle, or a pedestrian, you always start with your own car insurance first. So if you are injured in a car accident, your own car insurance carrier must pay your no-fault benefits, even if the other guy causes the accident.
If you do not have auto insurance, but a relative who resides with you did – such as a sibling or parent – then the auto insurance carrier for that relative must pay your no-fault benefits. This is true even if you are not listed on the policy.
If there is no insurance at that level, then you must apply for no-fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
The MACP is an organization administered by the state but really controlled by the insurance industry. Under Michigan law, the MACP must assign an insurance carrier, such as Allstate or Farm Bureau, to pay no-fault benefits. However, the most an insurance company through the MACP must pay in no-fault benefits is $250,000.
The rules for who pays a claim differ if you are in an employer owned vehicle. In that situation, the insurance carrier for the employer provided vehicle must pay the injured person’s no-fault benefits. The PIP coverage limits selected by the employer applies to the claim, even if the injured person has higher PIP coverage limits on their own vehicle.
If you are on a transportation vehicle, like a CATA bus, and you do not have car insurance in your household, then the auto insurance for the transportation vehicle will pay your no-fault claim.
Why Do I Need a Lansing Car Accident Injury Lawyer?
Car accidents are not simple events. They involve a lot of stress, both emotionally and financially. Often, they can change your life in a significant and meaningful way. A diligent Lansing car accident lawyer can navigate the process. We will process your no-fault claim to ensure your lost wages are paid on time. We are experts in getting outstanding medical bills paid as well.
Our dedicated team of legal professionals and lawyers also make sure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance company following a crash. Insurance companies want to delay the claim for as long as possible. Then they want you to settle cheap. You only have one shot at compensation. It is important to not fall into their traps early on the process.
Car Accidents in Lansing Resulting in Wrongful Death
When a car accident results in a fatal injury to the driver of a passenger, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver and owner. These cases involve compensation for the pain and suffering preceding the death, loss of companionship, loss of society and another damages. The Michigan wrongful death act covers these cases.
It is important to find an experienced and detailed Lansing wrongful death lawyer who can show the insurance company the life-altering and catastrophic damage caused by the crash. This should include powerful witness statements from loved ones, friends, and other family members. Photographs and videos of the deceased demonstrate in real-time the type of person he or she was and is very powerful. Medical experts and medical examiners can also detail the pain and suffering the deceased went through immediately following the accident.
In addition to pain and suffering compensation, if the deceased person had a dependent, such as a spouse or a child under the age of 18 years-old, the surviving family members may file a claim for Survivors’ loss benefits claim. This claim is paid by the no-fault car insurance company responsible for paying PIP benefits. The benefits from these claims include:
- Lost wages for 3 years;
- Replacement services for 3 years;
- Tangible things of economic value.
Wrongful death cases from a car or truck crash in Lansing usually a involve a thorough investigation by local enforcement, such as the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police. The investigating officers will analyze the accident scene, take necessary measurements, conduct field sobriety tests and blood tests, interview witnesses, take photographs and bring in accident reconstruction experts to evaluate why and how the crash occurred.
Ingham County Car Accident Statistics
With Lansing serving as the state capitol, the city attracts government employees, citizens, and tourists from all over the state. Michigan State University is one of the largest universities in the country, with approximately 40,000 undergraduates and thousands of graduate students attending school in East Lansing. The county itself has a population approaching 300,000.
With everything going on, Ingham County has numerous busy streets, highways and freeways that carry motorists throughout the county and onto different areas of state. Some of the busiest roadways include I96, I69, I-496, US-127, M36, M43, M52, the Capital Loop, Cedar St., Michigan Ave., Hagadorn Rd., Jolly Rd., Saginaw St. and many others.
With busy intersections comes car accidents. In 2018, Ingham County had 9,554 vehicular crashes. Out of those accidents, 2,452 resulted in injury with 15 fatalities. Other statistics include:
- 931 collisions with a deer, resulting in 35 injuries.
- 91 bicyclist accidents, resulting in 76 injuries.
- 259 accidents due to alcohol, with 172 injuries and 7 fatalities.
- 55 crashes due to drugs, with 44 injuries and 4 fatalities.
- 37 accidents with a school bus, resulting in 6 injuries.
- 71 motorcycle crashes, with 66 injuries and 3 fatalities.
- 72 pedestrian accidents, with 68 injuries and 2 fatalities.
- 389 truck or bus accidents, resulting in 97 injuries.
Lansing Area Medical Facilities:
1215 E Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912
Sparrow Hospital – St. Lawrence
1210 W Saginaw St.
Lansing, MI 48915
Community Mental Health
812 E Jolly Rd.
Lansing, MI 48910
McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital
401 W Greenlawn Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910
Medilodge of Lansing
1843 Hagadorn Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48823
McLaren Orthopedic Hospital
2727 S Pennsylvania Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910
Important Lansing Car Accident Contacts and Emergency Information:
Lansing Police Department
120 W. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
Ingham County Sheriff’s Department
630 N Cedar St.
Mason, MI 48854
East Lansing Police Department
409 Park Ln.
East Lansing, MI 48823
Ingham County Sheriff’s Dept – Delhi
2045 N Cedar St.
Holt, MI 48842
Lansing Fire Department
120 E Shiawassee St.
Lansing, MI 48933
Michigan State Police
7119 N Canal Rd.
Lansing, MI 48913
Mason Police Department
201 W. Ash St.
Mason, MI 48854
Webberville Police Department
115 S Main St.
Webberville, MI 48892
Ingham Circuit Court
303 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48933
54 A District Court
124 Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
54 B District Court
101 Linden Street
East Lansing, MI 48823
Lansing Car Accident Lawyers You Can Trust
The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. have passionately represented clients involved in car accidents for over 40 years. Our compassionate and skillful team of car accident attorneys and legal professionals work hand-in-hand with our clients to achieve the most favorable results for them.
It is our commitment to our clients that sets us apart. Please call our law firm toll free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free phone consultation. And as part of our Lee Free Guarantee, we never charge a fee until we win your case.