How to Sue After a Car Accident In Michigan

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How to Sue After a Car Accident In Michigan

To sue after a car accident in Michigan, you must have evidence to prove fault and documentation to substantiate your damages. The process involves filing a legal complaint, sharing evidence, negotiating a settlement, and attending trial.

Learn how to sue after a car accident in Michigan and what other steps you should take to secure fair compensation for your losses.

Submit Your Car Accident Claim to the Appropriate Insurance Company

Michigan is a No-Fault state, which means that every motorist must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This allows motorists to get money for their medical expenses in the event of an accident. PIP pays medical expenses for the policyholder regardless of who was responsible for the accident.

PIP medical coverage in Michigan has tier limits, and it only covers medical expenses. To recover the full scope of your injuries, you may need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. To seek financial compensation through another driver’s liability insurance, you do have to prove they were mostly or completely at fault.

You may also consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover damages that exceed the policy terms, such as pain and suffering.

Gather Evidence to Prove Fault for Your Michigan Car Accident

Whether you are filing an insurance claim with the responsible party’s liability insurance or filing a personal injury lawsuit, you must provide evidence to prove fault. Most car accident lawsuits require you to show:

  • The responsible party was negligent.
  • Their negligence caused your car accident.
  • You experienced losses due to the car accident caused by their negligence.

Evidence to prove a car accident case in Michigan may include videos and photos of the accident, witness statements, expert testimony, and medical records. You will also need to provide proof of the damages you suffered, including lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Negotiate a Fair Settlement for Your Michigan Car Accident Damages

An insurance claim or car accident injury suit usually involves negotiations. Insurance companies rarely offer a full settlement immediately. They are typically motivated to pay as little as possible and may use numerous tactics to deny or reduce your claim. For instance, they may try to claim you were partly at fault for the accident and reduce your settlement accordingly.

Rather than accepting the first settlement offer, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. A Michigan personal injury lawyer who handles car accident claims can help you understand the full value of your losses and represent you during negotiations. While they gather evidence and take on negotiations, you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

File a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party for a Car Accident in Michigan

Although many cases settle through insurance claims, you could benefit from filing a personal injury lawsuit. Suing for a car accident in Michigan may allow you to recover additional damages. By filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations, you also cement your bargaining power and let the insurance company know you’re serious about recovering fair compensation.

Take these steps to file a lawsuit for a car accident in Michigan:

File and Serve the Lawsuit

To file a lawsuit, you must submit a legal complaint to the court in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. For the lawsuit to be official, you must also submit a copy of the complaint and a summons to all parties named in the lawsuit through a process server.

In Michigan, you typically have three years from the date of the crash to file a car accident lawsuit. This time limit, called the statute of limitations, can vary depending on your car accident details. If you miss the statute of limitations, you could lose your chance to recover compensation for your losses.

Complete Discovery

Once the lawsuit is filed, both parties begin gathering and sharing their evidence in a process called discovery. Upon reviewing the evidence, the parties may meet to discuss settlement options before the case goes to trial. The case may settle at any point before the court issues a ruling.

File Motions

During this phase, both parties submit motions to have evidence included, excluded, or altered. For example, one party may file a Motion for Dismissal if they believe the other party’s case does not have sufficient evidence to prove their claim. All court documents must meet specific formatting and filing requirements to be valid. Failure to meet these requirements could result in negative legal consequences, including having your case dismissed.

Attend Trial Proceedings

If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial. The court will review the available evidence and hear all sides of the story. Based on this information, they will determine whether you should receive compensation and how much.

Hire a Michigan Car Accident Attorney to Help You Through the Process

The legal process can be complicated, and failure to follow appropriate legal procedures can cause serious issues with your claim. Avoid common legal pitfalls by partnering with a car accident attorney in Michigan to represent you during your case.

A skilled car accident lawyer in Michigan can:

  • Handle all communication related to your claim
  • Seek testimony from knowledgeable experts
  • Submit a claim to the appropriate insurance company
  • Respond to all document requests and compile evidence
  • File a lawsuit against the at-fault party and their insurance company
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf for a fair settlement
  • Represent you in hearings and at trial

With a personal injury lawyer handling the legal aspects of your case, you can focus on attending your medical appointments and recovering from your injuries.

Learn More About Suing After a Car Accident in Michigan

When you are in a car accident in Michigan, you can recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Many car accident settlements are handled through personal injury protection (PIP) or the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, complex cases and those with higher settlement values may need to go to trial.

Understanding how to sue after a car accident in Michigan can help you decide which legal options are best for you. Speak with a Michigan car accident attorney at Christensen Law before you begin. We can explain the legal process and guide you through your case.