Serious Car Accident Injuries: Know Your Legal Rights
People in Michigan who have been injured in car accidents frequently suffer serious injuries. The most common include: (1) traumatic brain injury; (2) spinal cord injury; (3) injuries to the neck and back; and (4) catastrophic injuries.
What is considered a serious injury in a car accident?
A serious injury in a car accident is one that has a significant impact or effect on an injured person’s life. This can include injuries disabling a person from walking, performing activities of daily living without assistance, communicating, caring for themselves, and driving.
These injuries also puts enormous emotional and financial pressure on a crash’s survivor’s family and is often accompanied by a period of being disabled from work. .
What should people do after suffering a major injury after an automobile crash?
The first and most important thing you need to do after a suffering serious car accident injury in Michigan or any other state is to immediately seek medical attention. This starts at the crash scene. It is critical to report all of your injuries to first responders and then medical personnel at the hospital’s emergency room.
Also, keep your doctors informed of any injuries that present themselves to you in the hours, days and weeks after your crash. It is not uncommon for there to be a delay in a survivor’s becoming aware of injuries whose symptoms may have been masked by or attributed to other injuries suffered.
It is also common for many of the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to develop in the days, weeks, and sometimes even months after an motor vehicle crash. Some people seem to have more of a genetic predisposition to undergoing chemical and inflammatory changes that occur in the brain after trauma. Medical experts have identified several reasons for this, but the result is that for many people symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are not immediately apparent after an automobile crash but can appear over days, weeks or even months.
List of common serious injuries in a car accident
Common serious injuries that car accident survivors frequently suffer include: (1) brain injury; (2) herniated disc; (3) neck injuries; (4) back injuries; (6) miscarriage; (7) shoulder injuries; (8) PTSD; (9) depression; and (10) mental trauma.
Here are more details about the injuries listed above:
- There are several types of brain injury: (1) concussions; (2) hematomas and hemorrhages; (3) brain contusions; (4) edema; (5) skull fracture; (6) diffuse axonal injury; (7) coup-contrecoup injury; and (8) second impact syndrome.
- A herniated disc occurs when the force of an motor vehicle crash pushes one of your spinal discs out, causing pain. An extrusion or very serious herniation can even push disc material into your spinal canal or into the spinal cord itself.
- Neck and back injuries can disable crash survivors from working and resuming their normal lives. Even with proper medical care and treatment, many neck and back injuries can result in a lifetime of chronic pain.
- A shoulder injury could be: (1) a rotator cuff tear; (2) a tear of the superior labrum anterior and posterior; (3) a joint tear; or (4) a fracture.
- More than 30% of crash survivors suffer from PTSD.
Pain and suffering compensation for serious car accident injuries
Car crash survivors in Michigan may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation for their serious car accident injuries if they can prove: (1) that the at-fault driver who caused the automobile crash was negligent; and (2) the survivor’s injuries resulted in a “serious impairment of body function.”
Proving that an at-fault driver was negligent in causing the injuries after a crash usually involves showing that he or she failed to drive with the ordinary care that a reasonably careful driver would use. In some cases, this may be showing that the at-fault driver violated traffic laws, such as by rear-ending your car when you are stopped at a traffic light..
In order for a crash survivor to show his or her injuries caused “a serious impairment of body function,” Michigan law requires the survivor to prove his or her injuries resulting in a serious impairment of an important body function that affected the survivor’s ability to lead his or her normal life.
Under Michigan law, a survivor of an automobile crash can only sue for pain and suffering compensation if he or she has suffered a serious impairment of body function. This is called the legal tort threshold law for people who are bringing a lawsuit for major injuries suffered in an automobile crash.
How do I get No-Fault benefits after a car crash in Michigan?
In Michigan, to get No-Fault PIP benefits to cover your medical bills and lost wages after you have suffered serious car accident injuries, you must file an application for No-Fault PIP benefits with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year of your motor vehicle crash.
This application is also commonly referred to as a “written notice of injury” and the responsible auto insurance will be yours or your spouse’s or the insurance company of a relative who lives with you. Otherwise, you will file for No-Fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
As lawyers who have been helping automobile crash victims for more than 50 years, we know how stressful and difficult it can be for crash survivors and their families to begin putting their lives back together after being serioulsy injured in an automobile crash.
But it is extremely important that time be taken to timely file your No-Fault benefits application. If your application for No-Fault benefits is not filed on time, you and your family will lose out on a vital lifeline of medical care and services and lost wages reimbursements.
Have you or a loved one suffered serious car accident injuries? Call the auto accident attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you or a loved one has suffered serious car accident injuries and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.