Personal Injury Lawyer
An unexpected personal injury can quickly derail your life. Depending on the circumstances and severity of your injuries, your condition can impact your ability to work, move, and enjoy life as before. What’s more, personal injuries often come with a large amount of medical expenses to pay.
While there are laws and procedures in place to help personal injury victims, the reality is that receiving fair compensation is not always as easy as it should be. This can leave the victim and his or her family with additional stress and confusion. The good news is, though, you do not need to go through this alone.
The team at Mike Morse Law Firm is here 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about your potential personal injury case. We can walk you through your legal rights and options to make sure we can maximize your financial compensation.
Call 855-MIKE-WINS to schedule your free consultation with our lawyers. You have nothing to lose since we charge no fees until we win your case!
Types of Personal Injury Cases
As Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm, our lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience built up over years of handling a wide variety of personal injury cases.
Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries across the United States, so it is no surprise that they make up a large portion of personal injury cases as well. Despite being relatively common, though, car accident cases are not necessarily simple and straightforward.
Each individual case is unique, often with many factors involved. Some collisions, such as those involving large trucks or motorcycles, can result in serious injuries with large medical expenses and a lengthy recovery time.
A case becomes more complex if an accident involves a commercial vehicle, such as a large truck. There may be multiple parties at play, including the individual driver, the owner of the truck, the transportation company, and the owner of the materials being transported.
Car insurance policies vary, and there were significant changes to Michigan auto insurance policies in 2020. The legal team at Mike Morse Law Firm continues to monitor these changes and the effect it has on personal injury cases.
Another type of personal injury case handled by the team at Mike Morse Law Firm is: dog bites. Dog bite cases fall under premises liability law, which defines the responsibility homeowners have to keep visitors to their property safe from any hazards – including a pet animal.
In Michigan, dog owners can be held liable for injuries caused by their dogs – whether the dog was known to be vicious or not.
Though dog bites are minor in many cases, they can still do severe damage. For example, Mike Morse Law Firm once represented a client attacked by a pit bull. She suffered injuries on his leg that required stitches and left scarring. Our team was able to secure her a settlement of $225,000.
Some injured parties may qualify for Social Security benefits, such as Social Security Insurance (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or both. Both of these benefits are available to those with disabilities, with SSI providing assistance to those with a limited income, and SSDI supporting those with a qualifying work history.
While these benefits are available to help those in need, the sad reality is that approximately 65 percent of initial disability claims are denied by the Michigan Social Security office. The average timeline is from 12 to 24 months for a disability hearing to be scheduled, and another 1 to 3 months to receive official notice of the decision.
The majority of claimants must go through the appeals process before receiving needed coverage. However, there is a tight turnaround time – an appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the denial letter.
Working with a lawyer who is experienced in handling Social Security Disability benefits is essential in making sure your family gets the help needed as quickly as possible.
Other types of personal injury cases
Of course, the reality is that a personal injury can happen anywhere. Over the last 26 years, the Mike Morse Law Firm team has gained valuable experience helping personal injury victims in a variety of cases, including:
- Boat accidents
- Brain injury
- Bus accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Big rig accidents
- Birth injury
- Cement truck accidents
- Class action lawsuits
- Construction accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Dump truck accidents
- Electric scooter accidents
- Fire law
- Herniated disc
- Hip replacement failure
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Last mile truck driver accidents
- Mass torts
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home negligence
- Overtime/Wage and Hour
- Pedestrian accidents
- Police misconduct
- Port trucker accidents
- Premises liability
- Rear-end accidents
- Self-driving car accidents
- Slip and fall
- Snowmobile accidents
- Tractor trailer accidents
- Truck driver negligence accidents
- Trucking company negligence accidents
- Truck underride accidents
- Uber and taxi collisions
- Unsafe lane changes accidents
- Workers’ compensation
- Wrongful death
- 18-Wheeler accidents
No matter how you have been injured, we want to help. You can be sure that we will fight hard to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. Contact our team today to schedule your free consultation.
What Are Your Options After a Personal Injury?
It is important to understand the difference between a personal injury claim and a personal injury lawsuit. While these expressions may sometimes be used interchangeably, they are two different processes – each with its own legal conditions.
Personal injury claim
A claim is your initial option to recover compensation after an injury. Under Michigan’s no-fault law, a claim should be filed with your own insurance company to request coverage for the damages caused by the accident. This compensation would most likely come from your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
Depending on the situation that caused the injury, the claim can be made based on an auto insurance policy, homeowners insurance policy, or business insurance policy. Generally, insurance companies have strict regulations for how long a person has to file a first-party no-fault claim after an injury. In Michigan, the limit is usually 1 year after the date of the accident.
Personal injury lawsuit
Although compensation would be provided by each party’s personal insurance policy in most cases, there are times when a lawsuit becomes necessary. Many insurance companies look for ways to devalue or deny claims in an effort to protect their bottom line. If an insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.
Depending on the level of PIP coverage that a person carries, there may be medical expenses that go beyond the policy limits in cases of serious injury or disfigurement. Certain compensation, such as for pain and suffering, is also not available under PIP coverage.
In a case of severe injury or disfigurement, the person might be able to sue the liable party for these excess damages under the other driver’s liability coverage. In Michigan, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is 3 years.
Potential Compensation Available to Personal Injury Victims
After an accident, with bills coming in, personal injury victims need fair compensation to cover their losses. We feel strongly about this and when we take on your case, the personal injury lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm will fight on your behalf to recover maximum compensation available after the collision.
Medical treatment is expensive, and it is all too easy for medical bills to pile up in the weeks and months following an injury. All expenses for “reasonably necessary” medical treatment should be part of your compensation.
These may include expenses such as:
- Ambulatory costs
- Surgical fees
- Prescription medication
- Medical equipment
- Rehabilitation expenses
In addition, up to 56 hours per week of in-home attendant care can be covered. This includes the cost of someone providing personal hygiene and daily assistance, etc. At times, due to the extent of the injuries, certain necessary modifications to the victim’s home and vehicle may be covered as well.
It is not uncommon for personal injuries, especially serious ones, to affect a person’s ability to work. When this happens, the wages lost as a result of the accident can be included as part of the settlement. These wage loss benefits are available for 3 years at 85 percent of the wage, up to a maximum monthly amount that is adjusted to inflation.
After a serious injury, certain daily tasks may become difficult or impossible to accomplish. The injured person or the survivor of one who died in an auto collision may recover compensation for replacement services.
This can include housecleaning, yard work and maintenance, child care, transportation, and other typical household tasks that the injured person can no longer perform. These services can be hired out to non-family or family members for up to $20 per day.
If another person’s negligence results in death, a wrongful death claim may be able to provide additional compensation to the surviving family members. Dependent survivors can receive monthly benefits similar to wage loss benefits and replacement service benefits.
In addition to all the medical expenses related to the injuries, the surviving family members can be compensated for funeral and burial expenses.
While financial damages are somewhat easier to quantify, personal injuries often result in significant emotional damages as well. Depending on the circumstances, emotional damages such as pain and suffering can be pursued in addition to compensation for monetary losses.
The Difference a Personal Injury Lawyer Makes
Time and again, the results speak for themselves. Personal injury victims represented by experienced attorneys consistently recover significantly more compensation than those who went up against the insurance company themselves.
For example, a Detroit resident struck by a bus while riding his motorcycle was initially offered a settlement of $1.5 million. Our team was able to secure a settlement of $9.6 million for him.
Another client who was injured in a car accident was initially offered only $300,000, but our team was able to secure a settlement of $8.3 billion. That’s quite the difference!
In addition to a higher success rate, working with a knowledgeable lawyer also makes it possible for the entire process to go more smoothly, removing a large portion of stress and responsibility from the victim’s worries.
Taking over the communication
The last thing you need after an accident is to be going back and forth with an insurance company while your energy and time should be focused on recovery. Often, insurance companies will try to pressure the victim into accepting a settlement as soon as possible, even before the full scope of his or her injuries is understood.
Our team knows all the tactics insurance companies try to use, and we aren’t easily intimidated. That’s the good news. When an insurance company realizes that they are up against an experienced personal injury lawyer, they are more likely to provide a more serious settlement offer.
What’s more, when you work with a lawyer, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all communication with the insurance company is off your plate. You will be more free to focus on your recovery and your family.
Knowledgeable about timelines
When dealing with personal injury claims and lawsuits, time is of the essence. There are many deadlines that must be followed, and filing important documents incorrectly could undermine your entire case.
Thankfully, the lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm know the ins and outs of personal injury cases. When you work with us, you don’t need to worry whether all the paperwork is in order for your case – you can be sure all legal deadlines will be followed.
Resources to investigate
A thorough investigation is a very important step in a personal injury claim. As the largest personal injury firm in Michigan, our team has the expertise and resources available to properly investigate all the details of your case.
This can include locating and examining any available footage or eyewitnesses to the incident, interviewing experts, and collecting relevant evidence. Not only is this essential to strengthen your case, but it will also help your lawyer accurately identify all potential liable parties.
Personal Injury, Defined
There are many types of personal injury cases, not all of which involve physical injuries. Personal injury refers to all types of harm that could befall a person, whether physical, psychological or emotional.
In order to file a personal injury claim, it is necessary to prove that another party was responsible for the injury either through negligence or deliberate action.
Personal Injury Law
The area of law covering personal injury is known as torts. This system allows people to seek compensation or damages from the party who caused the injury (the legal tFor liability”). In order for an injury victim to bring legal action, they must offer evidence that the defendant (the party allegedly causing the injury) owed a duty of care. In other words, it is necessary to prove that the plaintiff was in a position to prevent the accident and failed to take action to avoid it.
There are also intentional torts, such as assault, which can incur criminal liability on part of the person responsible.
Types of Personal Injury
The majority of personal injury lawsuits arise from motor vehicle accidents. Since Michigan is a no-fault state, you would not sue the other driver for medical bills as these are covered by your Personal Injury Protection policy. You may recover non-economic damages for things such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and lost wages, however.
Other common personal injuries may involve:
One more type of personal injury bears mentioning, which is loss of consortium. In most cases, this refers to a situation in which a spouse is no longer able to engage in intimacy, whether due to death or injury. However, it can also apply when a parent is no longer able to care for her children because of injuries.
Why Do You Need To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
After an accident, you could face serious, long-term injuries that have devastating consequences for your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Many accident victims need significant healing time and cannot work or enjoy everyday activities. Some individuals face the possibility of permanent disability.
At Mike Morse Law Firm, we have witnessed the effects pain and suffering have on our clients. If you are injured due to the negligent actions of another person, you need a legal professional who understands what you’re going through and protects your rights. Insurance companies want you to settle a claim before you realize the full extent of your injuries. An attorney is your advocate to get the compensation you deserve while concentrating on getting your life back.
Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer To Handle Your Case?
You may wonder if you need an attorney after an accident or whether you can manage on your own. In almost all situations, handling a personal injury claim by yourself is not a reasonable solution. The amount of time, resources, and legal competence necessary to have a successful outcome make winning your case, without the benefit of counsel, a near-impossible endeavor. If your case reaches court, you will want an attorney to manage these areas related to your case:
- Preparing all the paperwork and reviewing documents
- Gathering evidence to support your claim
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident events
- Assessing how the Michigan Modified Comparative Fault Rule applies
- Determining the value of your case based on your injuries and quality of life
What Is The Difference Between Bodily Injury And Personal Injury?
The term “bodily injury” refers to physical injuries sustained in an accident—i.e., broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injury, etc. “Personal injury” is a much broader term; while it can include bodily injury, it also refers to all the ways a person can be harmed. These include psychological and emotional distress, harm to one’s reputation and loss of a companion or family member.
It should be noted that while bodily injury can fall under the category of personal injury, not every bodily injury is a cause of action for a lawsuit. In order to have a case , the plaintiff must demonstrate that the accident causing the injury was due to another person’s carelessness or neglect.
Examples of a Bodily Injury Claim
The most common cause of bodily injury is a motor vehicle collision, usually involving two or more drivers. The driver determined to be at fault may have been intoxicated, reckless, or failed to obey traffic laws or keep their vehicle in good repair (for example, they had bald tires). A single-car accident might be a cause of action if it can be proven that a second party was somehow responsible—for example, a warning sign was not placed or a brake repair was improperly carried out.
A bodily injury claim may also arise from slip and fall accidents, animal attacks, workplace accidents or medical malpractice.
Personal Injury Claims
A common personal injury claim is the wrongful death of a family member. Another common cause of action these days is workplace harassment. The plaintiff may not have been physically harmed, but was subject to wrongdoing by a second party.
Other personal injury claims include loss of consortium (companionship), or harm to one’s reputation due to libel or slander, false arrest, and even restraint of trade if someone is being prevented from carrying out their usual line of work.
What Does Personal Injury Mean in Insurance?
In the legal world, personal injury is a broad term that refers to bodily injuries as well as mental or emotional harms and reputational damage. However, when you see the term listed under your insurance policy coverages, the definition is more limited.
Furthermore, personal injury in auto insurance means something different than personal injury in home or business insurance. Understanding these differences can help you know what damages insurance policies cover.
Personal Injury in Auto Insurance
Personal injury protection is one type of coverage many auto insurers offer. In no-fault accident states like Michigan, the coverage is mandatory. In at-fault states, insurance companies may provide it as an optional add-on to the state’s required coverages.
The term personal injury in auto insurance refers only to bodily injuries sustained in traffic accidents. PIP insurance covers drivers and their passengers, regardless of who caused the accident. Personal injury protection is also limited in what it pays for, covering only:
- Medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Associated expenses such as the cost of transportation to medical appointments
- Lost wages
It does not pay for any emotional or psychological damages from the accident or your injuries.
Personal Injury in Home and Business Insurance
A personal injury in home and business insurance policies is not the same as in auto insurance. These policies exclude bodily injuries from their definitions of personal injury. They cover legal costs and damages if someone sues the homeowner or business owner for:
- Wrongful eviction or wrongful entry
- Privacy invasion
- False arrest, detention or imprisonment
- Malicious prosecution
Business general liability insurance typically includes bodily injury and personal injury coverage. Homeowners’ insurance does not usually provide personal injury protection, except as an optional endorsement.
If you think you may have a personal injury insurance claim, contact us at Mike Morse Law Firm. We can assess your case to determine if you have a personal injury claim and help you deal with the insurance company. We offer a free consultation and don’t collect fees unless you recover damages.
What Happens If Someone Makes a Personal Injury Claim Against Me?
Receiving notification of a personal injury claim against you is stressful. However, if you take action immediately, you could find ways to lessen liability or even prove you are not liable. The first step is to respond to the allegations and demands.
Common Defenses to Personal Injury Claims
Your defense strategy depends on the details of the incident and the particular claims against you. However, there are a few standard tactics attorneys typically employ to respond. For example:
- You can claim the plaintiff contributed to the accident. For example, if the plaintiff slipped and fell on your property and sustained an injury, you may argue they were in an area restricted to visitors or wearing inappropriate shoes for the location. The court has special rules for shared culpability that can diminish your responsibility to pay for damages or eliminate it altogether.
- Take advantage of the statute of limitations. All personal injury claims have a statute of limitations prohibiting someone from waiting too long to file a claim. The court will typically throw out the case if the plaintiff attempts to file a lawsuit after the statute runs out.
- Poke holes in the injury claim. If the plaintiff waited months to see a doctor and document the injuries, that leaves room for doubt. For example, you could argue they sustained the injuries elsewhere, or their inaction increased the severity of the injury.
Finding the proper defense means combing through the allegations and demands to find areas where you can create doubt. With the help of an attorney, you can build a strong case to decrease your financial losses.
How an Attorney Can Help
The personal injury defense attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm know how to read a demand letter and find potential defenses. If you need help, contact our office today for a consultation to discuss the details of your case.
What Happens If I Lose My Personal Injury Claim
In most cases, your personal injury claim is settled before it goes to trial. If you do lose your claim in court, here is what to know.
Most personal injury attorneys work for contingency fees. A contingency fee is a payment your attorney receives when you receive monetary compensation. In this example, if your personal injury claim was either settled out of court or went to trial and you won the case, you owe the attorney a contingency fee.
The contingency fee amount is something you agree upon in writing with your attorney up front. This step protects you and the attorney by informing both parties of the expected fee. Usually, it is about 33% of your compensation. If your case is complex or involves some risk, the fee can be more. Likewise, the cost for a more straightforward case may be less.
The attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm work for contingency fees. In other words, if you lose your personal injury claim, you do not owe us payment.
Other costs are associated with taking a case to court, and you may owe court fees.
Appealing Your Case
If you lose your personal injury case, you may be able to appeal it. However, in Michigan, any civil case’s appeal must occur within 21 days.
Working With an Attorney
Unfortunately, no attorney can guarantee you will win your personal injury case. However, a common reason people lose these cases is that they do not hire a lawyer. Your personal injury attorney is familiar with insurance companies’ tactics to fight for their side. Your attorney also knows the statutes of limitations and other deadlines you face in court.
What Percentage of Injury Claims Go To Court?
Dramatic courtroom scenes involving litigation are the staple of films based on John Grisham novels as well as television shows such as LA Law, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal. However, in real life, most civil litigation happens outside of the courtroom. In fact, only about five percent of injury lawsuits ever make it to trial. The remainder are settled out of court, and most of those are settled relatively quickly. This is considered an ideal resolution.
How quickly a lawsuit is settled depends on a number of factors, including the strength of the evidence of the defendant’s liability, the number of defendants, and the complexity of the case. For example, an injury case involving a dog bite or slip and fall accident is pretty straightforward. Medical malpractice or multi-vehicle accidents can take substantially longer.
Do I Have a Case?
In order to have a valid claim, a number of elements must be present:
- Duty of care: you must prove that the defendant (the person allegedly responsible) had a duty to prevent the accident.
- Breach of duty: There must be evidence that the defendant failed in their duty
- Cause of action: simply because you were injured does not mean the other party is liable. You must demonstrate that the defendant was either negligent or acted willfully.
- Loss: you must demonstrate that the accident has caused you to incur medical expenses and prevented you from engaging in your usual employment.
- Timing: all states have a time limit, or statute of limitations, within which you must file your complaint or forever lose your right to do so. In Michigan, the statute of limitations on most personal injury cases is three years.
What Happens if My Case Settles?
Usually, the defendant or his insurer will make an offer. If the plaintiff accepts, he is usually required to sign an agreement that he will not take further action against the defendant. Because personal injury lawyers typically work on contingency, they are motivated to secure the best possible settlement for their clients.
Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?
If you are in an accident and file a personal injury claim, the decision to settle or consider a personal injury lawsuit arises at some point. Before you agree to a settlement, you need to know if you are receiving the necessary compensation for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can advise you on a fair settlement amount or recommend pursuing a formal case for damages.
What Are the Reasons To Settle a Claim?
There are situations when you might want to accept a settlement. If an offer more than covers your economic and non-economic damages and there are no concerns about future medical costs, it may be wise to settle. These are reasons why settling a claim can be beneficial under the right circumstances:
- You receive a quicker payout for damages.
- You are assured of getting some amount of compensation.
- You can limit legal costs.
- You can avoid the stress of a trial.
It is important to note that the majority of personal injury cases never reach trial. A skilled attorney is frequently able to negotiate a settlement ahead of time.
How Does an Attorney Help To Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
If you decide to settle, you shouldn’t do so without the assistance of an attorney. After a settlement is final, you cannot seek legal remedy, even in the event you have additional medical complications. This situation could lead to tragic financial consequences for you and your loved ones. Don’t get caught in this situation when experienced legal help is available.
Talk to Mike Morse Law Firm After Your Personal Injury
At Mike Morse Law Firm, we want to make sure personal injury victims have the information and resources they need to make informed decisions about their legal options. Our team is here to answer any questions you might have about your potential case.
Our attorneys have won over $250 million dollars in settlements within the last 3 years alone – we want to get you what you and your family need, too. In addition to browsing through our site to find more information, we invite you to contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Call us 24/7 at 855-MIKE-WINS and start your free case review today. Our team is ready to put our expertise at work for you.
Client Success stories
“This firm’s professionalism far exceeds the normal verbal and written communications expected from a law office. They could not have done a better job with the matters concerning my case and I would highly recommend them.”
– Melvin Johnson Highland Park, Michigan
Our clients Say it the best
“This firm’s professionalism far exceeds the normal verbal and written communications expected from a law office. They could not have done a better job with the matters concerning my case and I would highly recommend them.”
“When the attorneys at the Mike Morse Law Firm represented me, we were not just a number, we were family. They really cared about what I was going through. I could not have asked for better people to work on my case.”
“I think very highly of Mr. Morse’s office and would recommend them to anyone. It starts with the great feeling you get when you come to the office for the very first time and it has continued with the excellent customer service they always provided. I don’t even need to ask questions because the attorneys and paralegals are so on top of their jobs. They have always been there for me. I have a warm and friendly feeling anytime I stop in. It feels like home.”