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How Do I Know If I Have A Personal Injury Claim In Michigan?

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John H. Bredell - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: John H. Bredell

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Two important factors in a personal injury claim are that you suffered an injury and it was caused by the negligence of another person. This can happen almost anywhere, and the details of cases can vary. Common cases of negligence may include motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle crashes, slip-and-fall injuries, dog bites, injuries at a public pool or park, medical malpractice and even bicycle and pedestrian accidents. However, determining whether you have a case and the details of your claim can be more complicated. In many cases, you may also have to prove that your injury caused you to lose or suffer something such as a loss of income, unexpected medical costs or property damage.

What It Means To Prove Negligence

Proving negligence is often a necessary step to supporting a personal injury claim. There are generally four elements to a negligence claim, including:

  • Duty: It was the defendant's responsibility to act in a reasonably responsible manner, with due care for the safety of the plaintiff. The plaintiff shouldn’t have expected to come to any harm.
  • Breach: The defendant failed to act with reasonable care for the safety of the plaintiff, thereby breaching their legal duties.
  • Causation: The plaintiff’s injury was caused by the actions of the defendant.
  • Damages: The plaintiff should be compensated for their injuries.

In many cases of negligence, you may also need to prove that the negligent party was aware that their actions could cause harm. Every case is different and it’s important to understand the specifics of your situation to determine whether you have a case.

Common Damages In Personal Injury Claims

Damages in a personal injury case may include physical, emotional and psychological damage. Determining the compensation you could recover in a personal injury case depends on several factors that includes:

  • What type of injury you have sustained, if it is a soft tissue injury, a fractured bone, a nerve injury
  • How expensive recovery is
  • How long your injury will affect your life and what it will cost you
  • Other contributing factors

The insurance company will have their own method to determine what you may be able to collect in damages, but you should seek outside assistance to ensure you get the compensation you need to fully recover. Common damages sought in personal injury cases include lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and emotional pain and suffering.

How To Determine If You Have A Claim

Insurance companies try to save money by offering the minimum amount in damages that you need. However, some injuries don’t develop symptoms until days or weeks after an accident has occurred. If you take the insurance company’s first offer without consulting with outside sources, you may not have what you need to cover your basic expenses if your injuries turn out to be worse than you initially perceived. Speak with a knowledgeable legal professional to help you determine whether you have a personal injury case and could be eligible for compensation. They have the experience to help you understand the details of your situation and pursue full damages if necessary.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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