What to Expect Following Your Accident
Jan. 20, 2023
Dealing with the fallout of a car accident can be a confusing and possibly overwhelming experience. With so much to deal with, accident victims may not know where to begin. That is why the following information will help accident victims pursue compensation for material damages and personal injuries.
Our team at Detroit Legal Group PLLC understands how stressful car accidents can be, and we are here to help. We have an abundance of experience handling car accident cases, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We proudly serve clients in Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, and Warren, Michigan.
What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process in Michigan?
Michigan is a no-fault state. A “no-fault” state means that each individual involved in a car accident must file a personal injury claim with their own insurance company, not the liable party’s.
So, what happens after the accident?
Accident victims cannot file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Personal injury claims must go through the victim’s insurance, not the at-fault party.
This situation is key, as filing a personal injury claim must be done as soon as possible. Accident victims have three years to file a personal injury claim. This statute of limitations means that an accident victim has three years to file their claim from the accident date. After that, the claim may become automatically dismissed.
Once the personal injury claim has been filed, the next step is to provide supporting evidence and documentation. This support is crucial to determine whether the victim is not at fault for the incident. Supporting evidence and documentation include:
Dash cam or security camera footage.
Emergency room reports.
Hospital bills and expenses.
Vehicle damages estimates.
Photographs taken at the accident scene.
Any other relevant documentation, photographs, or testimony.
The insurance company then investigates to ensure an instance of fraud. After, the insurance company covers any eligible bills and expenses within policy limits. Please remember that if expenses exceed policy limits, the victim must foot the bill themselves.
In Detroit, Michigan, and neighboring areas (Dearborn, Southfield, and Warren), seeking car repairs following a collision can be a tricky process. Here is what to expect:
First, the insurance company investigates the accident to determine fault. This investigation is important as the insurer may deny coverage if the accident resulted from negligence (i.e., drunk driving).
Next, the insurer conducts a damage assessment. This assessment involves a mechanic or body shop that writes an estimate for repairs.
After, the estimate is sent to the insurance company, which determines if the damages are reasonable to warrant repair.
When repairs exceed the vehicle’s market value, the vehicle becomes a total loss. The insurer pays the policyholder for the vehicle’s fair market value.
Often, the estimate is amended once the shop begins work on the car. These amendments are handled directly between the insurer and the body shop.
Lastly, the insurer issues payments directly to the shop, not the policyholder.
Here are three key considerations when seeking fair compensation for medical expenses in Michigan:
First, seeking medical attention following an accident is crucial. Getting immediate medical attention, even if it does not seem necessary, is important for the sake of one’s health and for the personal injury claim.
Second, keeping a careful record of all relevant documentation is essential. Copies of medical reports, emergency room visits, medical diagnoses, and prescribed medications can prove the extent of a victim’s injuries.
Third, getting payment for medical bills resulting from the accident depends on filing personal injury claims as soon as possible. Insurers will use any delay victims have in filing against them. For example, waiting six months to file a personal injury claim can be used by an insurer to deny coverage. The insurance company may argue that injuries were not serious enough to warrant medical treatment. Therefore, waiting six months to file a claim means the injuries do not represent a serious health concern.
Recovering expenses such as medical bills or getting the car repaired boils down to the following:
Filing a claim against one’s own insurance. The insurer should cover expenses based on the policy limits.
When expenses or injuries exceed policy limits (i.e., when extensive surgeries or long-term is needed), the victim may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Please note that accident victims can also file a personal injury lawsuit against insurers that deny coverage or are reluctant to pay fair compensation for personal injuries. Enlisting the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney can help accident victims negotiate with insurance companies to get the fair compensation they deserve.
Compassionate Legal Guidance
At the Detroit Law Group, PLLC, we work hard to protect our clients’ right to fair compensation.
Don’t go at it alone. Call today to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Get in touch with us before it’s too late. Our team serves clients in Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, and Warren, Michigan.