Motor Vehicle Negligence

Car Accident Attorneys Serving Muskegon and Other Michigan Communities

Driving in Michigan is often scenic, but it involves numerous potential hazards, including winding roads, ice, snow, and traffic. Motor vehicle accidents occur on a daily basis. Many of these crashes involve a few bumps and bruises or a scraped bumper, but others may result in catastrophic injuries. If you are a victim of motor vehicle negligence, you should consult the experienced Muskegon car accident lawyers at McCroskey Law. An injury attorney may be vital in asserting your right to compensation. Our offices are located in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek, from which we can represent people in many areas of Michigan.

Pursuing Compensation from a Negligent Driver

Michigan uses a no-fault system. This means that drivers in this state must buy no-fault insurance that covers economic losses arising out of their own injuries in the case of a motor vehicle accident. A typical no-fault policy will cover all your replacement services up to a certain amount per day, necessary medical costs, property damage to someone else’s property, and lost wages for up to three years and to a maximum amount. This means your own insurer will pay your covered economic losses.

However, you generally cannot sue for noneconomic damages for personal injuries in court except in the case of a serious impairment of a bodily function. A serious impairment is an objectively manifested impairment of a bodily function that undermines your ability to lead a normal life.

There are also two exceptions to the general rule that you can only sue in the case of a serious impairment. First, if you have a closed head injury, you can sue. Second, if you suffer serious scarring or disfigurement, you can also file a lawsuit. If you meet either of these exceptions, the court cannot dismiss your case, even if your injury does not count as a serious impairment under the statutory definition. You will not be able to sue, however, if you were uninsured at the time of a car or truck accident.

When suing for noneconomic damages in a motor vehicle negligence case, a plaintiff will need to establish four elements by a preponderance of the evidence. These are the defendant's duty of care, the defendant's breach of duty, actual or proximate causation, and actual damages.

In some cases, a plaintiff may be partially to blame for an accident. Michigan is a comparative fault state. This means your economic and noneconomic damages may be reduced by an amount equal to your proportionate fault for the accident, as determined by the jury. However, you still may recover economic damages in proportion to the defendant’s degree of fault, no matter how slight. If you are not more than 50 percent at fault, moreover, you also may recover noneconomic damages in proportion to the defendant’s degree of fault. For example, if the jury finds you were 20% at fault, your economic damages are $100,000, and your noneconomic damages are $100,000, you may be able to recover $80,000 in economic damages and $80,000 in noneconomic damages.

Consult an Experienced Muskegon Lawyer after a Car Accident

After another driver's negligence, you may be saddled with substantial hospital bills, lost income, the need for replacement services, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. While some of these benefits should be covered by your own insurance, in the case of a devastating accident, you should consult an experienced motor vehicle collision lawyer. Our Muskegon car accident attorneys have represented victims for over 60 years. We have additional offices in Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, and we also assist people in Kalamazoo, Niles, Jackson, Ludington, and Holland, among other areas of Michigan. Contact us at 800-442-0237 or via our online form to set up a free consultation.