What Is Auto Negligence: Here’s What To Know
Auto negligence is the term used when a driver fails to use ordinary care, also known as negligence, and this failure to use ordinary care results in a car accident causing vehicle damage, personal injury, or wrongful death. People injured due negligent driving may be able to sue for pain and suffering compensation, the cost of medical care and treatment, wage loss and economic loss.
To see how much your car accident case may be worth, please check out our Car Accident Settlement Calculator.
What is auto negligence?
Auto negligence occurs when a car crash is caused by a negligent driver. A driver’s negligent driving may be demonstrated by showing that he or she: (1) failed to use the ordinary care that a reasonably careful driver would use; or (2) violated a traffic safety law or ordinance
How do I prove auto negligence in Michigan?
In Michigan, to prove auto negligence, a car crash victim must first show: (1) the at-fault driver was negligent; and (2) the at-fault driver’s negligent driving caused the victim’s injuries, death, and/or damage to his or her vehicle.
Negligent driving generally committed by an at-fault driver who: (1) fails to use the ordinary care that a reasonably careful driver would use; (2) violates a traffic statute, ordinance or regulation. The most common example of negligent driving is when a driver rear-ends another vehicle because he or she is not paying attention and does not brake in time to prevent a car accident from occurring.
Under Michigan law:
- Auto negligence “is the failure to use ordinary care” which is the “care a reasonably careful” driver would use.
- When a driver violates a traffic statute at the time of a crash, it may be inferred that he or she was negligent.
- When a driver violates a traffic ordinance at the time of a crash, the violation “is evidence of negligence” that should be considered “together with all the other evidence.”
- When a driver violates a state agency’s traffic regulation at the time of a crash, the violation is “evidence of negligence” that should be considered “together with all the other evidence.”
- A driver is “deemed prima facie guilty of negligence” if he or she rear-ends another vehicle. (MCL 257.402(a))
Can I sue for auto negligence in Michigan?
In Michigan, you can sue for auto negligence if you have been injured, or if a loved one and family member has been killed in a car accident due to a negligent driver. Remedies for a lawsuit in Michigan will include suing for pain and suffering compensation, wrongful death damages (if a family member or loved one was killed in a car accident). A separate mini tort claim can also be brought to cover your vehicle damage repair costs.
Can I recover pain and suffering compensation if i was injured by a negligent driver?
To prove a driver was driving in a negligently in a case for pain and suffering compensation, a crash victim must show: (1) the at-fault driver was negligent; (2) the at-fault driver’s negliget driving caused the victim’s injuries; and (3) the victim’s injuries caused him or her to suffer what Michigan’s auto accident threshold law calls “a serious impairment of body function.”
A serious impairment of body function is the legal term that a car crash victim in Michigan must first meet in order to be able to sue for pain and suffering compensation.
Michigan law defines “serious impairment of body function” to mean that an auto accident victim’s injuries have caused an impairment of an important body function that affects the victim’s general ability to lead his or her normal life.
Can I sue for wrongful death if a loved one was killed by a negligent driver?
In Michigan, When you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful death damages if you can prove auto negligence on the part of the at-fault driver. To do so, you must show: (1) the at-fault driver was negligent; and (2) his or her negligence caused the death of your loved one.
Do I have to prove auto negligence to recover excess medical benefits and lost wages in Michigan?
In order to recover excess No-Fault medical benefits and lost wages that are not covered by the auto No-Fault PIP policy through which you filed your claim (usually your own insurance company), you must prove that the at-fault driver who caused the crash was driving negligently. Importantly, you are not required to prove a serious impairment of body function. The reason that you are limited to excess wage loss or medical bills is that Michigan is a No-Fault state, which means your own insurance company or the insurance company that is highest in priority will pay medical bills and wage loss up to the PIP cap amount that was selected, and the wrongdoer driver who is being sued for negligent driving is then responsible for all medical bills and wage loss that are in excess of the auto No-Fault insurance limits.
In order to recover money damages under Michigan’s mini tort law to pay your vehicle damage repair costs, you must prove that the at-fault driver who caused your accident committed auto negligence. If the other driver was not negligent and responsible for the car accident, then he or she will not be responsible to pay anything under Michigan’s mini tort law.
Does auto insurance cover a car accident due to negligent driving in Michigan?
The liability coverage in the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy will help pay for the pain and suffering compensation you are owed as a result of the at-fault driver’s negligent driving. Michigan law requires all drivers to carry liability coverage limits of no less than $250,000/$500,000.
However, the law does permit drivers to purchase lower coverage limits of $50,000/$100,000.
This liability coverage that applies to a negligent driving case is often referred to as third party car insurance.
How do I know if I have a case against a negligent driver in Michigan?
The best way to know if you have a case against a negligent driver in Michigan is to talk with an experienced auto accident attorney who specializes in this area of law. A lawyer will help you understand the process and how to get the best outcome.
Were you injured as a result of negligent driver in Michigan? Michigan Auto Law can help
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of auto negligence in Michigan and you would like to talk with a lawyer about whether you and your family can take legal action, you can call us toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. We will answer your questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages, auto No-Fault insurance benefits, and settlements in cases like yours. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced injury attorney by visiting our contact page or chat feature on our website.
(Sources: M Civ JI 10.02 Negligence of Adult – Definition; M Civ JI 12.01 Violation of Statute – Negligence; M Civ JI 12.03 Violation of Ordinance by Defendant; M Civ JI 12.05 Violation by Defendant of Rules or Regulations Promulgated Pursuant to Statutory Authority; M Civ JI 36.06 No-Fault Auto Negligence: Burden of Proof—Economic and/or Noneconomic Loss for Michigan Resident Plaintiff)