In an ideal world, people who were 0% responsible for a
car accident would receive 100% of their damages through compensation given either
in a settlement or through a jury verdict. However, this is not the case
for many car accident lawsuits, as some damages can only be claimed in
some circumstances but not in others. Liable parties can also only be
expected to pay certain damages based on each state’s liability laws.
In Michigan, the following parties can be sued for the following damages:
First-party: Depending on how a car accident lawsuit develops, a first-party could be
able to sue for compensation that covers medical (PIP) benefits, lost
wages, medical bills, attendant care, special needs treatments, and so
on. In many ways, this category represents only “real” damages,
or those that can be measured in dollars and cents. A first-party car
accident lawsuits involves a driver causing their own accident and seeking
damages from their own insurer.
Third-party: When a third-party is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, the
situation changes slightly. In addition to the aforementioned first-party
damages, a third-party could be sued for pain and suffering caused by
the car accident, which is sometimes interchangeable with nominal damages.
You can sue for “pain and suffering” damages if you meet the
legally defined threshold for “objective” injury to “an
important body part or bodily function” that affects your “general
ability to lead your life” (paraphrased from
Kreiner v Fischer). In other words, you have to prove that your life is more difficult now
that you have suffered an injury, that the injury was clearly severe,
and that the injury is directly linked to your difficulties. There are
some exclusions when considering closed head injuries (CHI) and scarring.
UM/UIM parties: When you are struck by an uninsured motorist or an underinsured motorist
– a person that does not have the requisite coverage to cover all
damages – you will be faced with a different set of circumstances
altogether. Instead of filing a claim or lawsuit against an insurance
company, you may need to file directly against the individual, which is
not ideal and can become all the more complicated.
To learn about what damages you can cite in your car accident lawsuit or
claim, you can work with Goodman Acker P.C. and our Detroit personal injury
attorneys. During a
free case evaluation, we can hear your damages and help you figure out which will be applicable
to your case.
Contact us today and we can begin to discuss all options and begin your claim.