Here at TorkLaw, our Detroit car accident lawyers specialize in helping victims of car crashes. If you have been involved in such a crash, our qualified attorneys can help you seek a fair compensation for your losses. This means you may receive damages covering the medical costs of your injuries, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
However, when filing a car accident claim in Detroit, it is important to understand how such claims work and what laws govern these claims. Here is a look at these.
Detroit Car Accident Statistics
According to the statistics shared by the Michigan State Police, a total of 312,798 traffic accidents occurred across the state from January 2018 to December 2018. 905 of these crashes proved fatal whereas another 55,340 involved injuries. In all, 256,553 accidents involved property damage.
The bulk of these accidents occurred on the local streets, which makes them a real hazard for urban settings like Detroit. Of the total tally mentioned above, 179,438 crashes occurred on local streets, 63,876 took place on the state routes and 40,209 were reported on the interstate highways. Another 28,958 happened on U.S. routes.
These figures show that a huge number of traffic accidents result in injuries to one or more of the parties involved. Such injuries can result in steep medical expenses, damage to the car and various other forms of losses. The good news is that you can recover these losses through a car accident claim. Qualified Detroit car accident lawyers can help you file such a claim and receive a fair compensation.
What to Do After a Car Crash?
In order to successfully receive compensatory damages in a car crash claim, you must meet certain requirements. Some of these are legally binding, others are simply good practices. Here’s a quick overview of these:
- Stay on the scene. Whether a car accident is major or minor, it is always a good idea to stay on the scene of the crash. If it involves injuries and you drive away, it can be criminally charged against you as a hit-and-run. If the crash causes only property damage and you decide to leave the scene, your insurer may use this as an excuse not to pay you for the loss.
- Inform the authorities. Again, this is always a recommended step. Unless you are too injured, unconscious or otherwise physically incapacitated, you should notify the authorities about the crash. Simply call 911 and let them know the basic details such as the location, timing and vehicles involved.
- Blame no one. Once law enforcement personnel arrive on the crash scene, you will be asked to provide a statement. At this time, stick to the facts only and narrate your version of events. Try not to blame a specific party at this point. You must consult a good lawyer before you do that.
- Gather evidence. Evidence can include photos of the vehicles involved, the damage, skid marks on the road, surrounding landscape, and the resting position of the vehicles after crash. You should also get identification and insurance details of the other drivers. If there are any witnesses, you must gather their contact details so that they can later confirm the facts of the crash.
- Consult a good lawyer. After a crash, you need to file a claim with your insurer, or launch a lawsuit against the other driver, depending on the circumstances. At this point, you need expert legal help. Here at TorkLaw, our Detroit car accident lawyers are available at all time to provide free consultation on car crash cases.
Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements in Michigan
Michigan has a number of auto insurance laws which mandate what kind of insurance and how much coverage do drivers need. In general, Michigan is a no-fault state. This means that your own insurer is typically required to cover you for the losses incurred in a crash. In this regard, you are required to carry the following types of coverage as a driver in Detroit:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): You are required to have PIP coverage as part of your auto insurance in Michigan. Previously, Michigan laws mandated PIP as a must-have but new changes now allow drivers to completely opt out of it or otherwise choose various levels of PIP protection. If you have Medicate Part A or B, for instance, you can completely opt out of PIP. Alternatively, you can choose among coverage options of $50,000, $250,000, $500,000 and unlimited.
Residential Bodily Injury Liability (BI): If you cause injuries to another person in a crash, BI coverage protects you. You are required to purchase a minimum BI coverage of $500,000 per accident and $250,000 per person. However, you can purchase a lower coverage depending on various factors.
Property Protection Insurance (PPI): If you have a Michigan auto policy, it includes minimum $1 million PPI coverage. PPI covers damage caused to trees, fences, buildings, cars and other forms of tangible property.
Property Damage: This type of coverage applies when you cause a crash resulting in damage to another vehicle outside of Michigan.
Significant changes to some of these laws were made recently and came into effect on July 1, 2020. Here’s a brief overview of these:
- The insurance companies are prohibited from using non-driving factors when determining the auto insurance rates for Michigan drivers.
- Drivers who are previously uninsured can now purchase coverage without any penalties for the next 18 months.
- Drivers now have multiple PIP options to choose from.
- The new laws ensure mandatory statewide average savings for PIP for at least the next 8 years.
Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Claim
If you are injured in a car accident in Detroit, you can seek the following damages in the crash claim you file with the insurance company:
- Medical costs. These cover hospital bills, costs of doctor’s visits, prescription medicine expenses, therapy costs and long-term rehabilitation costs as well.
- Lost wages. You can seek the wages you have already lost due to a car crash injury as well as the wages you are likely to lose in the future until you are fully recovered.
- Loss of earning capacity. A permanent disability or limitation caused by an injury may leave you unable to earn through your previous vocation or otherwise limit your earning abilities. You can seek a compensation for this loss.
- Non-economic damages. These typically refer to damages recoverable in lieu of intangible losses such as pain and suffering, shock and fear, humiliation and embarrassment caused by the crash.
Why Hire Detroit Car Accident Lawyers?
When you file a car accident claim, your insurer may come up with many reasons and excuses not to pay you. In the best of cases, the insurance company is likely to trim down your demanded amount and pay you only a small sum for your accident-related losses. This is why it is vitally important to have good legal help on your side.
Similarly, when you want to sue an at-fault driver in the case of exceptionally serious injuries, you need to meet various stringent requirements. A good lawyer will help you prepare the lawsuit and file it with the right evidence to significantly improve your odds of success.
Here at TorkLaw, our attorneys specialize in Detroit car accident cases. We can help you file a car accident claim and recover a fair amount of compensation at the earliest. Contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our attorneys before you decide to hire us.