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What Are Michigan’s Comparative Negligence Laws?


If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by another individual in the state of Michigan, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, what happens if you were partially at fault for the incident? Here, we want to examine Michigan’s comparative negligence laws to gain an understanding of how this can affect the total amount of compensation you receive.

How Comparative Negligence Rules Apply in Michigan

Every state in the US has laws on the books that deal with how to handle situations where more than one party is at fault for an injury. In some states, there is a contributory negligence rule in place that prohibits individuals from recovering compensation if they are even the least bit responsible for causing their own injury.

However, most states operate under a comparative negligence system. Michigan is one of these states. In this state, individuals can recover compensation even if they are partially at fault, so long as their percentage of fault does not exceed 51%. Any person 51% or more responsible for causing their own injuries will be unable to recover compensation for their losses.

Individuals less than 51% responsible for causing their injuries are able to receive compensation, though this compensation will be reduced. For example, if an individual sustains $100,000 worth of medical bills as a result of a slip and fall brain injury, but they are found to have been 20% responsible for causing their injury, then they would receive $80,000 instead of the full $100,000.

Michigan’s comparative negligence laws apply to just about every type of injury claim that occurs in this state. However, Michigan does apply a no-fault insurance system to vehicle accident claims. This means that comparative negligence for vehicle accidents is handled differently.

How do No-Fault Insurance Laws Affect Comparative Negligence?

Because Michigan operates under a no-fault auto insurance system, drivers turn to their own insurance carrier to recover compensation for their losses, regardless of which driver caused the accident. Typically, determining percentages of thought is not necessary. 

However, there are situations where drivers and passengers in Michigan can step outside of the no-fault system if their injury expenses reach a certain monetary threshold. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to examine whether or not there was any shared fault and determine how much compensation a person will receive based on comparative negligence.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity in Michigan, you need to reach out to a Southfield personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. One of the main tactics that at-fault parties and their insurance carriers will use is to try and place some or all the blame on another party involved.

When you work with an attorney for help with your injury claim, you have an advocate that can use their resources to handle every aspect of the process for you. This will include investigating the incident, gathering the evidence needed to prove liability, and handling all negotiations with other parties. An attorney will vigorously push back against any allegations of fault to help you recover maximum compensation for your losses.