In previous articles we have discussed auto accidents in Michigan and have started the discussion on serious impairment of body function.
In this article, let us give you a briefer on how we prove fault in auto accidents in Michigan and the law defining serious impairment of body functions in Auto Accidents in Michigan.
MCL 500.3135 defines “serious impairment of body function” as satisfying all of the following requirements:
(a) It is objectively manifested, meaning it is observable or perceivable from actual symptoms or conditions by someone other than the damaged person.
(b) It is an impairment of an important body function, which is a body function of great value, significance, or consequence to the injured person.
(c) It affects the injured person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life, meaning it has had an influence on some of the person’s capacity to live in his or her normal manner of living. Although temporal considerations may be relevant, there is no temporal requirement for how long an impairment must last. This examination is inherently fact and circumstance specific to each injured person, must be conducted on a case-by-case basis, and requires comparison of the injured person’s life before and after the incident.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Liability
The process of determining fault for a car accident begins right after an incident occurs. In some cases, it is completely up to law enforcement officials to conduct an initial investigation and fill out an accident report. Police officers come to the scene, take statements from all parties involved, and note who or what they think caused the accident. For severe accidents that result in major injuries or a fatality, police officers will conduct a more extensive investigation.
Individuals who are involved in a vehicle accident can also gather evidence if it is safe for them to do so and if they have not sustained severe injuries. Any person at the scene of a crash can use their cell phone to take pictures of what they see, including the following:
- Vehicle damage
- Debris or skid marks
- Traffic conditions
- Weather conditions
- Possible causes of the crash
- License plate numbers
Additionally, if there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, it is important for those involved to get their names and contact information so they can give their statements later to insurance carriers or even at a personal injury trial if necessary.
There may be additional evidence that has to be gathered in the days and weeks that follow the car accident. Often, a crash victim will need to work with an attorney to obtain this additional evidence, which can include video surveillance from cameras on nearby homes or businesses, dashcam surveillance footage, mobile device data, vehicle data recording devices, and more.
Working With Accident Reconstruction Experts
In most cases, the fault for a vehicle accident in Michigan can be determined by gathering and analyzing all the evidence we mentioned above. However, there are times when the fault may not be so clear. It may be necessary to work with an accident reconstruction expert who can use computer modeling, science, and mathematics to analyze the evidence gathered and the crash scene to put together a clear picture of what likely happened.
Partial Fault for a Michigan Car Accident
It may be the case that a person is partially responsible for causing a vehicle accident, but that does not mean they will recover no compensation. Michigan operates under a “modified comparative negligence” theory, which means compensation recovery is possible so long as the person is 50% or less responsible for the incident.
Individuals will receive reduced compensation based on their percentage of fault for an incident. For example, if a driver sustains $100,000 worth of injury and property damage expenses in a crash, but a jury determines that they were 10% responsible for the incident, they would receive $90,000 instead of the full $100,000. Any person 51% or more responsible for a car accident will not be able to recover compensation.
Get Proper Coverage
In case of doubt, keep in mind that it is your no-fault insurance provider who would ultimately pay for your medical bills. As long as you get unlimited or no-limit coverage, you should be properly covered at a time when you need the best kind of coverage for your health and safety.
Contact Your Lawyer Today
If you have an insurance claim that you need assistance with, you should contact us today. A lawyer can help you get started with your claim. A lawyer at Haque Legal will see to it that your needs are met from the beginning to the end of the proceedings. You are always in good hands with Haque Legal and what it has to offer.
The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
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