Car accidents are always stressful events. They can become life-changing events due to the cost of fixing the vehicle, the medical bills, lost wages, and the injuries that result. Our team of Cadillac car accident lawyers has been helping Wexford County and Northern Michigan victims for almost 50 years. We know what it takes to get results quickly so you can live your life in the best way possible.
Can You Sue Someone for a Car Accident in Michigan?
Yes, under Michigan law a negligent driver is responsible for the injuries they caused by a car crash. To obtain pain and suffering compensation, the plaintiff must prove the other driver was at least 50% at-fault for causing the crash. The plaintiff must also prove the injuries are from the crash, or an aggravation of a pre-existing injury that got worse due to the car accident. Last, the plaintiff must also demonstrate he or she has a threshold injury.
A person can sue several different defendants following a car accident in Cadillac. This includes the owner of the vehicle. Under the Owners’ Liability law, all car owners who gave permission to a driver to operate their vehicle are liable for the negligence and injuries the driver causes.
If the at-fault driver was on the job at the time of the crash, their employer can also be held responsible for the injuries.
Sometimes in commercial trucking cases, the common carrier or the companies that put the shipment together can be held responsible for the negligent driver.
Each defendant has their own insurance and will have their attorneys defending them. That is why it is essential to contact the best Cadillac car accident lawyer to ensure you get the outcome you expect and deserve.
Is Michigan a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Michigan is a no-fault state. This means when a person is injured in a car crash, typically two different insurance companies are responsible for paying certain benefits.
Your auto insurance is responsible for paying for economic damages, such as lost wages and medical bills. This is called a or personal injury protection (PIP) claim. Your auto insurance pays these benefits even if your car had nothing to do with the accident. If you do not have auto insurance, then the auto insurance for a resident relative – like a parent, child, or brother or sister – must pay the PIP benefits. If there is no auto insurance in the household, then a claim must be made through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP). In this situation, the MACP will assign a car insurance company to pay up to $250,000 in no-fault benefits.
There is one caveat. If you are in a motor vehicle accident involving your uninsured car, then you cannot claim first-party benefits. This is strictly prohibited by MCL 500.3113(b).
The other claim an injured person can make is a case for non-economic damages. This is your standard negligence case against the at-fault driver breaking a safety rule, such as running a red light or making an illegal turn. These cases are sometimes called third-party claims. They include payment for pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, scarring, depression, PTSD, and other similar items. If an injured person’s no-fault benefits get used up, then the at-fault driver is also responsible for outstanding medical bills and lost wages not covered in the first-party claim.
Michigan car accident law is complicated. Our Cadillac car accident injury lawyers are experts in Michigan auto accident law and the various rules that apply. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Is There a Limit to Pain and Suffering?
There is no limit to what a person can claim for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is the amount of money your Cadillac car accident lawyer can obtain from a jury or the insurance company. In reality, the amount of pain and suffering a person will receive is correlated to the injuries the person and his or her family sustained from the car wreck. The worse the injuries are the higher the pain and suffering amount should be.
However, several factors dictate how much an auto accident case will settle for. First, the severity of the injuries is crucial. A person who had multiple surgeries and will require ongoing care will suffer more harm and have more things taken from them than a person who has a few weeks of physical therapy.
Another important thing to consider is the insurance policies in play. Many cases resolve for the full insurance policy. This is because this is all the insurance carrier is legally obligated to pay. Obtaining money above the insurance policy is extremely difficult because it involves getting a judgment against the defendant and most people are not collectible.
This is why it is very important to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This is additional money your car insurance carrier can pay you for pain and suffering if the at-fault driver or owner was uninsured or failed to have enough insurance to cover the injuries.
So some cases are worth a few thousand while others are worth millions of dollars or more. Again, it all depends on the severity of the injuries, the length of future care, lost wages
What is the Most Common Car Accident in Cadillac?
Car accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Typically, the most common car accident is a rear-end car crash. This occurs for a variety of reasons, including texting and driving, playing with a cell phone, or failing to pay attention to the road. In 2021, distracted driving was the cause of 91 car accidents resulting in 36 injuries.
Another common reason for car accidents is drinking and driving. Under Michigan law, any person with a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or over is considered legally intoxicated or impaired and cannot be operating a car. For commercial drivers, no alcohol is permitted in a driver’s system. In 2021, there were 31 car accidents involving alcohol in Wexford County resulting in 23 injuries and one fatality.
Other reasons for car crashes in Cadillac include making an illegal left-hand turn, running a red light, and crashes involving drugs.
What are the Most Dangerous Areas for Car Accidents in Wexford?
According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, the most dangerous city in Wexford County for car accidents is Cadillac. This is no surprise. Some of the more dangerous roads include Division St. and Mitchell St. Naturally, US 131 has the most crashes in the county with traffic moving north towards Kalkaska and Traverse City and south towards Osceola and Lake counties.
In the most recently analyzed data, the second-highest number of reported crashes occurred in Haring Township with over 200 accidents resulting in 44 injuries. The third most dangerous municipality was Clam Lake. In all, there are usually over 1,200 crashes every year in Wexford County. Friday is usually the most dangerous day to drive and November is the most dangerous month.
Contact a Winning Cadillac Car Accident Lawyer
Call the Lee Steinberg Law Firm toll-free at 1-800-533-3733. We are here to help you. We can provide concrete legal guidance and help you get out of what can be a terrible situation. Our team of winning Cadillac auto accident lawyers has helped folks in northern Michigan collect tens of millions for their injuries. We are standing by, waiting to serve you.