Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of serious personal injury and death in children and young adults, and a leading cause of personal injury and death in other age groups. While I handle all kinds of personal injury claims, the majority of my practice for the last 25 years has involved various aspects of motor vehicle accidents.

Odds are that if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have already contacted your own insurance company, and may have been contacted by adjustors or investigators for the at fault driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies refer to this process as “controlling the claimant”; that is, trying to keep you from consulting a lawyer while they attempt to settle your claim for as little as possible. The following is intended to assist you in understanding the insurance claims process, and why I strongly suggest that you should consult an experienced professional who represents only your interests before dealing with an insurance adjustor.

In Michigan, your rights as an injured party are largely controlled by the Michigan No Fault Act, which provides accident victims with lifetime “first party” no fault benefits from their own insurance carrier regardless of fault, but limits their ability to sue an at fault driver for their injuries in a “third party” action to situations involving death or serious injury, and limits the ability to collect for vehicle damage to $500.00 not covered by collision coverage.

Speeding

This is the greatest risk you can take with your safety as you move around in your car. Speeding is dangerous for two reasons. First, losing control of the vehicle is easier if the driver is speeding. Secondly, at high speeds the amount of time you have to react to an emergency situation on the road is greatly reduced, hence increasing the likelihood of an accident. Unfortunately, despite this being common knowledge, speeding is quite common in our society where everyone seems to be in a rush. Law enforcers try their best to tame this behavior, but they do not have the capacity to effectively monitor all the roads. If the motorist ahead happens to make an emergency break, chances of you avoiding an accident are much higher if you were within the speed limit. The reverse is also true. Another reason why you should limit your speed is that you stand to get more seriously injured in the event of an accident if you were driving at a high speed. A basic understanding of physics reveals that there is greater momentum hence greater force when two vehicles collide at a higher speed. Next time you get the urge to speed, remember that speed that thrills kills.

What To Do In The Following Moments of a Car Accident

The moments immediately following a car accident are crucial when it comes to receiving compensation for your injuries.  Obviously, not all accidents require lawsuits for medical expenses and other benefits, but if there is any indication of injured parties you can assume there will be.  In Michigan where I currently practice law, you actually sue your own insurance company for medical expenses and you can only sue for third party benefits if you can prove substantial injury that passes the “injury threshold”.  Anyways, most drivers have no clue how to change their tire if it goes flat let alone what to do following a car accident.  If there’s one reoccurring theme I hear from clients, it’s that they feel that they were unprepared for a serious car accident and in some cases this cost them dearly.

 

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