Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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moneyIf you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to damages for the harms you suffered. At Davis Law Center, our Michigan law firm will scrutinize the facts of your case and seek the compensation you deserve. We strongly believe in providing compassionate and competent legal guidance throughout the process. While we aim to settle every case in a fair and swift manner, we are not afraid to zealously advocate for your rights in the courtroom.

Establishing damages in personal injury cases can be challenging. In the context of personal injury claims, damages are defined as a sum of money awarded to an individual in compensation for a loss or injury.

In most cases, before any damages can be obtained, the person seeking damages must establish that his or her harm was caused by someone else’s negligence. Negligence is a failure of an individual or entity to exercise reasonable care that ends up causing an injury or death to someone else. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible person would act under the same or similar circumstances.  In order to win on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish that he or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant, that the defendant breached this duty of care, and that the plaintiff suffered quantifiable damages as a result.

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car wreckIn Michigan, as in any other state, all drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and drive carefully to minimize the risk of accidents on the road. Unfortunately, drivers do not always adhere to this duty and end up causing accidents that result in serious injuries or even deaths. If your loved one was killed in a car accident due to someone else, you may be able to take legal action against the at-fault party. At Davis Law Center, our experienced car accident and wrongful death attorneys understand how to navigate these complicated and high-stakes claims.

In a recent study, the National Safety Council reported that motor vehicle accident deaths increased by six percent in 2016 as compared to 2015. Specifically, auto accident fatalities topped 40,000 for the first time since 2007. These numbers were similar to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s findings, which stated an eight percent increase in fatal crashes in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the prior year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 893 fatal crashes in Michigan in 2015, resulting in 963 deaths.

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accidentAt Davis Law Center, our seasoned Michigan injury attorneys are committed to helping individuals who have suffered injuries due to accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. Personal injury refers to an area of law in which an injury to the body, mind, or emotions is caused by another person’s negligence. Some examples of personal injury cases include, but are not limited to, car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, products liability, construction accidents, and medical malpractice.

Accident victims have a limited time frame to file their personal injury claims in Michigan, known as the statute of limitations. Put another way, the statute of limitations sets a time limit after an injury or property damage occurs in which a civil claim must be filed. Failure to file within this time frame could mean losing your right to be heard by a Michigan court altogether. The statutes are designed to encourage people to file their lawsuits in a reasonably timely manner so that evidence is not lost and memories do not become stale.

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Michigan injury victims beware and be smart.  Insurance companies act like your best friend in their funny little ads on TV but treat you like a criminal as soon as you make a claim and investigate your background more thoroughly than if you had actually committed a crime.

After an accident occurs or a claim is made, you can bet the insurance company will begin an aggressive investigation that includes researching vast databases where they have access to your criminal history, claim history, employment history, vehicle ownership history as well as the names of acquaintances, friends and fellow employees.  More importantly, the insurance companies will hire a private investigator to follow you and take videos and pictures of all your activities.  They will also exhaustively investigate your social media accounts and download all your public posts and pictures.  They will then attempt to use this information to later persuade a judge to dismiss your case if anything you say or do seems to contradict the videos they have of you or the things you post on social media.   Make no mistake, no matter how seriously you are injured, most insurance companies would rather pay a private investigator and their lawyers bundles of money than compensate you in any degree for the injuries you sustained.

In many recent Michigan injury cases, surveillance and a thorough review of your social media accounts occurs almost immediately after you make a claim.   We recently had a case where a client was run over by a car and by the time our client was released from the hospital, the insurance company had already interviewed all the client’s neighbors, the investigating police officer and our client’s employer in an attempt to somehow discredit the fact that their insured was negligent and ran him over.  The insurance company then conducted surveillance on him 24 hours per day which continues to this day

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Some people work to negotiate a settlement on their own, only to find that the amount did not sufficiently cover their damages. They may wish to re-open negotiations to try to get more for their injuries. Unfortunately, once a case has been settled, that makes a case final. This is why it is vital that a person speak with a personal injury lawyer before signing any settlement documents. An attorney can review any offers to make sure that they are fair for the injured party.

There is nothing more frustrating than speaking with a client only to find that they have already settled their matter. It is heartbreaking to learn that a person needed surgery, physical therapy, or other expensive procedures that they thought could be avoided. Sadly, because they accepted a settlement offer, they now must pay for these treatments out of pocket. These treatments need to be covered by any settlement or verdict.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can review a settlement offer relative to a person’s injuries and ensure that is it a fair amount. A settlement offer needs to cover any future medical treatments that may be needed. For example, a person with a back injury may ultimately need a spinal fusion to correct their injuries. A settlement offer needs to take this into account and properly compensate a person for this potential surgery.

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One of the tricks the insurance company tries to play with an injured person is to convince the person that the insurance company isn’t liable. They try to convince the injured person that they were actually at fault for injuries and they won’t get anything from a jury. The may try to use this argument to bully the injured person into accepting a low-ball settlement offer, telling the person to “take it or leave it.” Ultimately, the jury has the final say in who is at fault and just how much the other party should get (if anything). A personal injury lawyer can fight to get you the money you need and work to convince a jury that the other party was negligent.

This right to a jury trial is actually included in the Bill of Rights. This is how important our Founding Fathers saw this right. Were it not for the right to a trial by jury, injured parties and those of limited means would get steamrolled by the rich and by big corporations. The civil justice system provides an equal playing field for all parties involved, allowing a jury of our peers to ultimately decide the merits of a particular case.

If the insurance company has denied responsibilities for your injuries or is trying to bully you into accepting a low settlement, a personal injury lawyer can fight to get you the money you deserve. Before allowing yourself to be bullied after your car crash, slip and fall, or other negligent injury, work with an attorney who will fight for the money you deserve.

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A common question we get asked from clients is, “How long will my case take?” This is an understandable question that unfortunately doesn’t have an easy answer. In general, an injury claim takes between 4 months and two years. Some cases can take even longer, depending on the specific circumstances of the case, but many cases will fall within that time period.  This broad time frame is frustrating for clients, but sadly it is the best estimate there is.

The insurance company generally doesn’t want to settle a case quickly. It knows that if it can delay a person’s claim, it is possible that they will become desperate and take a settlement that is far less than what they are owed. This is understandably frustrating for an injured person, but a Detroit personal injury attorney can help a person focus on getting what is fair even if takes a little bit longer.

The longest cases are the ones that actually go trial. Trials are unavoidably lengthy ordeals that include motions, depositions, and more before it ever makes it in front of a jury. Fortunately, the majority of cases settle before going to trial, with most settled before a lawsuit is even filed. Whether your claim is one that will need to be litigated can’t be predicted, unfortunately, and won’t be known until the claim begins moving forward.

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During their initial free consultation, many clients want to know how much money they can expect for their injuries. They hope that a personal injury lawyer can give them an estimate of what to expect from a settlement or a verdict. While this is an understandable question, there is unfortunately no way to provide an estimate for what a case may be worth. Ultimately, the settlement or verdict you potentially receive will be based on the specific facts of your case and your specific injuries.

It is important for clients to understand exactly what a personal injury case is – it is an attempt to make someone as whole as possible after the have suffered injuries due to another person’s negligence. In other words, the goal is to return you to the state you were in before the injuries. Obviously, turning back the clock is impossible and with certain life-changing injuries, such a wrongful death, money is wholly inadequate for replacing what you have lost. But this is the only way we have to help those who have suffered an injury.

This means that it is important for a client to understand the injuries they have suffered and what they can expect to recover for them. Economic damages are relatively easy to value. These include medical bills, lost wages, future medical, etc. Since they are quantifiable, it is relatively straightforward to add them up when seeking recompense. Non-economic damages, while no less important, are somewhat more difficult to value. These include things such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, etc. An experienced injury attorney can help you identify these damages and give you some ideas on how to value them. While it may be difficult to put an exact number of these injuries, it is possible to evaluate claims based on the totality of your injuries.

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An option available on most auto insurance policies is known as Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). This coverage exists for people who have been seriously injured in a car accident and who find that the at-fault party’s insurance coverage does not make them whole. As a Detroit Personal Injury Lawyer, it is a good idea to speak with your insurance agent about adding this coverage. It is often relatively inexpensive and can be a major help for an injured person.

In Michigan, a person is required to carry at least $20,000/$40,000 worth of coverage. This provides $20,000 worth of coverage for a single person, $40,000 worth of coverage for a single accident. As anyone who has spent a night in the hospital can tell you, $20,000 will barely cover that hospital stay. This leaves almost nothing left for future medical and other costs associated with an injury.

UIM coverage can supplement this coverage, giving an injured person an opportunity to be made whole by their own insurance company. A Detroit Personal Injury Lawyer can help with this first-party claim. Before settling with the at-fault party’s insurance company, speak with an attorney who can make sure you are taking the steps necessary in order to preserve your right to make this claim.

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Slip and fall accidents can occur in many situations and under many types of conditions. Usually a slip and fall accident refers to a situation where a person is injured by slipping, falling or tripping because of a dangerous condition on the grounds. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, you may need a Michigan person injury attorney who can fight on your behalf.

Slip and fall accidents, also known as premises liability cases, can be cause by so many different conditions. A Michigan personal injury attorney can help you determine if it is worth it for you to pursue your case.

These falls can happen inside or outside a building. They can be caused by bad floors, wet floors, poorly lit steps, cracks in the pavement or ice or snow, among other causes. These cases are covered by negligence laws. Anyone who owns a property has the responsibility to make sure their property is safe, including problem areas caused by weather like icy patches and standing water or structural defects like loose tiles, wet floors, poorly lit areas.

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