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Personal Injury 101: An Essential Guide for Michiganders

Personal Injury 101: An Essential Guide for Michiganders


As personal injury lawyers, we feel privileged to help everyday people – folks who are often exploited, misunderstood, victimized, or are generally underserved. Specifically, we’ve made it our life’s work to help victims – people who’ve been injured in car accidents, at unsafe workplaces, through medical malpractice, or who’ve been harmed by negligent property owners in such incidents as slip-and-fall accidents. As such, we’ve assembled numerous, informative articles that thoroughly define, describe, and explain a plethora of the essential elements of personal injury law — all with the intention of shedding light on the many aspects of the practice. We hope having all this information in one convenient place might be helpful to anyone in need of knowledge about the ins and outs of personal injury litigation in Michigan. So read on and be sure to bookmark this page – it could come in quite useful if you or someone you care about need our help down the road.


What Qualifies as a Personal Injury… and Why Can I Sue for One?

Here in Michigan (as in most states) personal injury law is also known as “tort law” – which stems from the Latin definition of tort, essentially meaning harm. That Latin root gives us, among other English terms, the word torture – which certainly describes the physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering experienced by many of our clients – people who have been harmed by others through no fault of their own. See this article (click here) for more information on how personal injuries are defined under Michigan law, which states that permanent serious disfigurement, serious impairment of bodily function, or death, all qualify as types of personal injury for which victims are permitted to sue perpetrators.


Why Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or a member of your family have suffered permanent serious disfigurement or serious impairment of bodily function, been harmed by improper care from someone in the medical professionslipped and fallen due to the negligence of a property owner, or if someone related to you has experienced wrongful death due to the negligent or malicious actions of another person, company, or organization, you may have a legitimate cause for legal action against the guilty party. But you won’t be entirely certain that’s true unless you first have the particulars of your case examined by an attorney specializing in Michigan personal injury law. That’s because, for one thing, our state’s “No Fault” auto insurance is highly unusual compared to policies in many other states, so having lawyers familiar with Michigan’s peculiar No-Fault system is essential. For another, recent changes to how slip-and-fall cases are adjudicated here mean that attorneys who are unfamiliar with the latest Michigan Supreme Court decisions could be less well informed than a specialized personal injury lawyer whose practice is dedicated to the Great Lakes State. See this article for more details on why using Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm is in your best interest.


What Happens at the Initial Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney?

We can’t speak to how other firms deal with new clients, but at Mike Morse Law Firm the very first thing we do is assure all our prospective clients that they will never have to pay a penny out-of-pocket since we work on what’s called a contingency fee basis. Subsequent steps that will take place during our first meeting with you are outlined in this article, which describes how you can easily and quickly make us your attorneys of record so you can be sure your interests are legally protected and that whatever you tell us is fully secured by the confidentiality rules of attorney-client privilege.


How Can You Be Sure You’ve Chosen the Right Attorney?

Hiring an attorney is like any other major life decision. Buying a car? Moving to a new neighborhood? Choosing a school for your kids? You’ll want to check with other people to hear about their insights, which can help you make the best possible choice. This article covers many highly informative ways you can look into personal injury law firms to be sure you’re choosing wisely. Of course, just by visiting our website you probably already know a lot about us, but it can help to see what other people have to say about their experiences with Mike Morse Law Firm attorneys.


When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?

The simple answer is, of course, to call us right away whenever you or someone you love has been hurt. But there are a few other considerations that can come into play when you’re thinking about making that call. This article describes several steps you can take to be sure you have everything you might need on hand when you pick up the phone to dial 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946), so you can accomplish everything you hope for with minimal anxiety or confusion. It also covers common insurance company delaying tactics that might be used to discourage you from calling us until after the statute of limitations has expired and they can escape scot-free. Don’t fall for those kinds of tricks! This article will help you avoid such pitfalls, so your legal interests are protected.


What Are the Benefits of Attorney-Client Privilege?

As you probably know if you’ve watched just one legal drama on TV, anything said between a client and attorney is considered confidential. But what are the benefits of that arrangement, and why is it important in personal injury law cases? This article defines attorney-client privilege for you… and it also discusses some notable exceptions to the rule (such as, if you tell your lawyer you’re planning to commit a crime, that discussion is not legally protected). It also describes what happens if a lawyer breaks confidentiality with clients. (You’ll be happy to know that is not a risk with Mike Morse Law Firm attorneys).


How Do Contingency Fees Work for Clients?

We’ve said it countless times on our TV ads and here on our website: You pay nothing unless we win. And that’s 100 percent true. To see all the details of this arrangement in black-and-white, read this informative article. It outlines the benefits of contingency fees to our clients in no uncertain terms. It also explains the philosophy behind our decision to operate this way. Specifically, contingency fees allow anyone who’s been wrongfully injured to have the opportunity to seek compensation from the defendant who caused their pain and suffering. We believe working on a contingency basis is the best way to ensure that the rights of all citizens are treated respectfully, and that no one is unfairly penalized just because they can’t afford to pay an attorney’s fees out of pocket. And we put our money where our mouth is every day for every single client who chooses us as their attorneys of record!


What’s Michigan’s Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Cases?

It’s short. You have just three years from the day you were injured to take legal action against the person, company, or other organization that caused you to be wrongfully injured. The medical malpractice statute of limitations is even shorter – just two years. However, the one-year-back rule, which functions similarly to a statute of limitations, can limit your PIP recovery after only one year from the date of your crash. Additionally, Michigan has several different notice requirements that can limit or complete eliminate your claims against government agencies, liquor store owners in dram shop cases, etc., and these notice periods are often incredibly short. Wait too long, and you’ll be out of luck. This article explains why that can happen and offers advice on steps you can take to be sure your rights are protected in a timely fashion. It also lists the statutes of limitations for a variety of other legal filings, including some serious crimes for which there are no limits on when they can be prosecuted.


How Does a Defendant’s Negligence Play into Personal Injury Cases?

You might be surprised that the word “negligence” has several different legal interpretations. Poor maintenance of a restaurant’s floor leading to slip-and-fall accidents caused by negligence in failing to clean up spills is very different from professional negligence where a doctor, a nurse, or some other trained healthcare provider is derelict in his or her duties leading to a malpractice lawsuit. This article describes and defines numerous elements that can contribute to legal claims made for gross negligence, comparative negligence, vicarious liability, and product liability among several other harmful forms of negligence.


What Happens when a Defendant Refuses to Settle?

The basic answer is that we take them to trial. The litigation process begins when negotiation, mediation, or arbitration have failed to result in a settlement favorable to our client. It’s a complicated and challenging undertaking, but as you’ll learn from this article, it’s something with which we’re intimately familiar at Mike Morse Law Firm. Whenever we must take a case to court, we pull out all the stops to win the fight for our deserving clients. And we don’t get paid until you do win, with our payment coming only out of court-approved settlement funds – never from our client’s pockets.


What’s the “Burden of Proof” in a Personal Injury Case?

Unlike criminal cases, where the prosecutor must prove the defendant is guilty to the jury “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the burden of proof in a personal injury case is much less difficult to achieve. As this article explains, that’s good news for our clients because their civil personal injury cases are decided by juries based upon a concept called “preponderance of evidence.” To win your case, we need only to prove that the defendant is more than 50 percent responsible for your injuries and the pain and suffering you’ve experienced resulting from them. So don’t let worries about proving a bad actor’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” hold you back from asking for our insights into your personal injury case and then putting us to work for you.


What’s the Best Way to Deal with Insurance Company Employees?

We should start by saying this: You should be very careful whenever you discuss your injuries with anyone other than your Mike Morse Law Firm attorney. Even talking with friends and family members – or posting on social media to vent your emotions – can be unwise, since you can be almost entirely certain that insurance companies will be watching your every move once you’ve filed a lawsuit. This article gives you more details on how to deal with these kinds of situations, and especially what not to say to insurance adjusters who are likely to be nice people… but who probably don’t have your best interests at heart. After all, they work for the insurance company – not you!


What Tactics Do Insurance Companies Use to Combat Personal Injury Cases?

Let’s face it – insurance companies are in business to make money. And in addition to collecting premiums from policyholders, another way they remain profitable is by denying claims and fighting cases brought against them and their customers who’ve caused people to suffer sometimes horrendous injuries. This article spells out a number of sneaky techniques insurers use to fend off lawsuits from innocent people who have been harmed by their policyholders… or even folks who have diligently paid their insurance premiums for years and then have to make an unplanned claim against their policy benefits. It also offers some very helpful advice to let you know how to effectively stand up to these devious tactics.


What’s the Best Way to Deal with Insurance Companies Following an Accident?

After you’ve had an auto accident, you’ll probably be in shock, in pain, and confused about what you should do to get your insurance company to live up to the generous promises it made to you when you purchased your no-fault policy. And you’ll also perhaps be dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, which has its own agenda when dealing with injured parties. That’s a lot for someone who’s hurt to handle, so you’ll want to refer to this article that describes best practices whether you’re working with your own insurance company, or the company that insures the driver (or the company) that caused your pain and suffering. It also offers valuable tips on how to best relate to the other driver, your health insurance company, and others who might be involved in your care after an accident.


What are Some Common Myths About Personal Injury Lawsuits?

There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding what happens if you find it necessary to file a lawsuit when you’ve been injured through no fault of your own. For instance, some folks are concerned that hiring a personal injury attorney will bankrupt their family finances. Others believe that they’ll be able to successfully handle their cases entirely on their own without the help of a legal professional (while not actually a myth, we strong advise against). This article debunks those myths and several more, including the mistaken belief that your own insurance company is always on your side, or that you’re assured of winning your case if the other party was at fault. Without a personal injury attorney working on your behalf, you’re taking your chances!


More Questions? Contact Us!

If you haven’t found the answers to your questions about personal injury law in this article or elsewhere in our blog or on our website, there is one more place you can go for a quick response to all your inquiries: 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946). We’re here to take your calls 24/7/365. Don’t want to talk on the phone right now? Jot your questions down and send them to us via our convenient online contact form. Either way, you’ll be sure to get the answers you need to know – whether you’re asking howwhenwhy or where to file your personal injury lawsuit!

Personal Injury 101: An Essential Guide for Michiganders

Content checked by Mike Morse, personal injury attorney with Mike Morse Injury Law Firm. Mike Morse is the founder of Mike Morse Law Firm, the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan. Since being founded in 1995, Mike Morse Law Firm has grown to 150 employees, served 25,000 clients, and collected more than $1 billion for victims of auto, truck and motorcycle accidents. The main office is in Southfield, MI but you can also find us in Detroit, Sterling Heights and many other locations.