Can I Sue After a Car Accident If I Was Not Hurt

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If you recently experienced a car crash and suffered minor or no injuries, count yourself among the lucky ones. While your life and health are the most important factors to account for, you may have suffered other losses as a result of the accident. So, what does this mean for liability purposes? Can you sue after a minor car accident, even if you’re not hurt? The short answer is sometimes; the long answer requires closer investigation.

How Badly Damaged Is the Vehicle?

Over the past few decades, cars have remarkably improved their ability to ensure the safety of occupants during a crash. However, this often comes at significant damage to the vehicle. For example, since the 1950s, manufacturers have made vehicles with crumple zones that soften impact and limit the deadly force transferred to the body.

Did your car crumple to save your life? Did airbags deploy? Is it drivable? You may bring a suit against the negligent party to receive compensation for damages to your vehicle. The more expensive or unique your vehicle may be, the more likely it is that you might need an experienced Michigan attorney to make a strong case regarding its value.

Have You Lost Any Wages Because of the Crash?

When most people think of lost wages after a crash, physical injuries come to mind. However, what if you can’t work because your vehicle is in the shop and you need it to get around? How far away from work do you live? Is public transportation available?

Even in cases where the vehicle only costs you your side gig, you might become eligible for compensation. These are some of the many ways Americans earn an income through their vehicles:

  • Providing rideshare services, such as Lyft or Uber
  • Delivering packages as contractors for companies, such as Amazon Flex
  • Delivering takeout to hungry neighbors via apps, such as Grubhub
  • Renting the car out to other people via apps, such as Turo

Did Your Loved One Die in the Crash?

Car crashes and the end results are incredibly inconsistent. You might walk away with no injuries but lose a child, spouse or another family member. The point of impact, the seating of each person and the type of car might all impact who gets hurt and to what degree. 

If you lost a loved one during the crash, you might become eligible for compensation as a survivor. Michigan law determines who is eligible to make a claim as a survivor and under what conditions. An experienced Michigan attorney can help you determine whether you meet the criteria.

Have You Suffered Psychological or Emotional Distress?

As full disclosure, this remains one of the hardest claims to prove for personal injury cases. An experienced attorney can review your case to determine whether you have sufficient evidence to make a claim on this basis. However, most attorneys prefer to make this claim in conjunction with other factors, such as wrongful death or severe property damage.

Even so, there is no denying that a terrible accident could make it difficult for you to even get behind the wheel again. There are some car crash victims who refuse to drive on the highway or refuse to make left turns, even after years have passed since the accident. 

Sometimes, there is no shaking that moment when headlights appear in your lane. Even if your vehicle protects you from any serious harm, those thoughts could follow you for a lifetime. If you build a very strong case, you might secure compensation.

Did the Car Manufacturer Create a Dangerous Product?

Safety recalls are a fairly common practice in the car industry. Manufacturers recognize they made a mistake during the design or manufacturing of a vehicle. They own up to this and recall the specific vehicles to complete repairs that make the vehicles safe to drive again.

This certainly sounds admirable, but car manufacturers do not always make this decision for philanthropic reasons. Sometimes, back-to-back products liability lawsuits regarding issues with their vehicles force their hands. These issues might have resulted in injuries, death or severe damage to the vehicle.

An experienced Michigan personal injury attorney can complete research that spans nationwide to identify a pattern. If other people filed similar lawsuits against the company, you might become eligible for compensation. In some cases, you might find that an existing class action lawsuit is already in effect.

Did Your Mechanic Do Poor Work?

Recently, a lady who traveled for work shared a frightening experience with her vehicle. After moving to a new part of town, she chose a mechanic shop and routinely went in for maintenance. One day, the shop had no availability, so she scheduled an oil change at another location.

The mechanic on duty called her into the work area to show that she was low on almost every replaceable fluid in her vehicle. He suspected that the shop deliberately completed shoddy workmanship in hopes that something would break, so she could pay large sums to fix it.

Vehicle breakdowns do not always happen by rolling to a stop on the side of the street. Sometimes cars stop dead in the middle of busy highways or brakes fail around a curve. If you believe your accident resulted from poor workmanship, even if the police or insurance company determines you are at fault, you might be able to make a strong case.

Are You Partially at Fault for the Accident?

Even if you have a small role to play in the accident, you might have the opportunity to pursue damages. Note that the state of Michigan uses a comparative negligence approach to handling personal injury cases. This means that the court may reduce your compensation by the percentage of blame it attributes to you.

Say, for instance, that you were towing your RV to a campsite. You plugged the trailer connection into the truck, but it didn’t go in all the way. At the final turn off to the campground, you slow and indicate to turn, but the trailer doesn’t reflect this. The person behind you was speeding, texting and following too closely. He slams into the back of the trailer.

During the trial, the court attributes 20% of the blame to you and awards you $300,000 for the damage to your RV. You receive $240,000 because of that 20% blame. 

Has Your Insurance Company Refused To Pay?

When you purchase insurance, you do so with the expectation that the insurance company will cover the cost of any resulting liabilities. You may need to file a claim through your insurance policy if you live in a no-fault insurance state or the at-fault driver had no or inadequate insurance. Yet, insurance companies often deny claims.

If this happens, you might need to work with an experienced Michigan attorney to file a bad faith claim and secure compensation or policy coverage. This generally requires disputing whatever factor the insurance company used as an excuse to deny the claim, such as a late payment or an error in the VIN for your vehicle.

Have You Hired an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?

At the Mike Morse Law Firm, we have recovered more than $1 billion for our clients. We have handled a wide range of cases and have the knowledge and experience to tackle even the most complex lawsuits. Start your free consultation. We charge nothing until we win your case.

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