Car accidents are a traumatic and stressful experience. After the initial shock wears off, there is the car damage and the pain that doesn’t seem to go away. The impact on your life, physically, emotionally, and financially can be long lasting. That is why it is important to contact a lawyer following a rear-end car accident in Saginaw. This is true even if the impact was minor and the vehicle damage is not substantial.
How Do I Prove Liability After a Rear-end Crash in Saginaw?
The good thing about rear-end car accidents is that usually liability is not disputed. Unless the defendant claims a sudden emergency or can prove some other excuse, the person who failed to pay attention and rear-ends the person in front of him or her is at-fault for causing the crash.
It is important the police is called to the accident scene. The responding officer can then get the information of everyone involved and make a police report. The police report will assign blame to the at-fault driver.
What Are Typical Rear-End Accident Injuries:
Rear-end impacts can be so destructive because the person does not know they are about to get hit. Therefore, they don’t take any precautions to prepare themselves for the impact. This can result in awful, long-lasting injuries.
Usually, when a person is hit from the behind the impact can cause the body to get flung forward and then the head to snap back. This whiplash effect can cause what is known as a whiplash injury. Whiplash injury causes neck pain and back pain. But a whiplash is not a minor injury. It can result in damage to the discs that protect the vertebrae along the spine.
When a disc moves or is pushed out because of a whiplash, the bulge rubs against the nerve root. This can result in a deep pain that radiates down the legs and arms. This type of disc is known as a herniated disc. It can result in radiculopathy, which is a condition that involves numbness and tingling in the arms or legs.
A disc herniation is a very important diagnosis. It is important a specialist evaluates and treats you if you have this condition. Treatment can include physical therapy, injections and even surgery.
Other injuries resulting from rear-end accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments, like a torn meniscus, MCL tear, and elbow injury
- Fractured hip
- Traumatic brain injury
How Do I Get Compensation for My Injuries?
Under Michigan law, a person can obtain compensation for their injuries. Typically, there are two separate cases. One claim is for personal injury protection or PIP benefits. This is also known as a no-fault case. The other case is a pain and suffering case against the negligent driver who rear-ended you.
What is a No-Fault Case in Michigan?
A Michigan no-fault claim is a case against the car insurance carrier responsible for paying no-fault benefits. This claim refers to the payment of economic damages resulting from the crash. This includes payment for medical expenses, lost wages, prescriptions, household replacement services and other benefits.
Under the law, your own car insurance company pays your own no-fault claim. This is true even if the other driver caused the crash. For example, if you have Allstate Insurance and the person who rear-ended you has State Farm, Allstate Insurance must pay your medical expenses and lost wages. The amount of medical bills Allstate must pay depends on the amount of PIP coverage you purchased.
Under the old Michigan automobile law, all PIP policies were unlimited. This meant Allstate Insurance had to pay all medical expenses. There was no cap. But this has since changed. Many people now have limited PIP coverage. Some folks can opt-out of PIP coverage all together. When this happens, the auto insurance company for the person who rear-ended you must pay the medical bills caused from the crash.
Who Pays My Pain and Suffering After a Rear-end Car Accident in Saginaw?
The person who caused the rear-end crash in Saginaw is responsible for paying pain and suffering. Using the above example, State Farm Insurance would be on the hook for paying the claim. The amount of money that person must pay is usually limited by the amount of insurance they have.
That is why it is important to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance. This coverage is something you purchase from your own insurance company. It is relatively inexpensive. When a crash occurs, your own car insurance will pay for your pain and suffering when the at-fault driver is under-insured or fails to have any car insurance at all.
How Much is Pain and Suffering Worth?
Sometimes, people will ask me right away how much a settlement for a rear-end accident should be. The problem is that this question is impossible to answer, especially early on in a case.
The amount of pain and suffering a person can get following a rear-end collision depends on a lot of factors. These factors include the severity of the injuries, the amount of medical treatment, if the injuries are permanent, the amount of future medical expenses, the amount of lost wages and other things.
Another important factor is the amount of car insurance. When a crash happens, the auto insurance company for the at-fault driver or car owner is the entity that pays the compensation. That insurance company only must pay up to the coverage limit the person purchased. Many people purchase minimal bodily injury insurance. In Michigan, the minimum amount is only $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident.
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement in an Auto Accident?
Every case is different. The amount of time to reach a settlement following a rear-end accident or any car or truck crash in Saginaw or anywhere in Michigan depends on different factors. These factors can include:
- The length of time for medical treatment
- If the at-fault party or their insurance company is contesting liability
- Whether the case can be settled without a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is necessary, then it will take longer to reach a settlement.
- How long the judge gives both sides to conduct discovery.
- How closely the parties act in resolving the case through mediation or facilitation.
It is important to get legal advice following a rear-end collision. A Michigan auto accident lawyer who specializes in rear-end accidents can explain your right and options. The process is not easy and Michigan car accident law is complicated.
If your vehicle is hit from behind, call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). We never change anything until we win your case.