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What to Know About Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury lawsuits occur when a person suffers harm due to someone else’s negligence. These types of cases fall into several categories, the most common being auto accidents, medical malpractice and accidents that occur on someone else’s premise.

Personal injury cases can take several months, to years from start to finish, can result in multi-million dollar settlements, or can be quickly settled with a small payout. Each type of case is unique and requires the legal expertise of a licensed attorney. Not every injury case will result in a civil suit, but it is important to consult with an attorney if you feel you are not being compensated appropriately for your injury.

Auto Accidents

Michigan's no-fault law when it comes to auto accidents. This means the law in Michigan requires drivers to have no-fault insurance on their automobiles which covers payments for medical expenses and personal injuries. If drivers are then in an accident, insurance companies can be liable to pay for injuries to people, damages to vehicles, other people’s property, and properly parked cars.

All injuries are not eligible for civil lawsuits, however. The injuries or damages sustained must warrant the suit. A driver can only be sued if they cause the accident in which someone is killed, has a serious bodily impairment, or have a significant restriction to their daily living experience, or as otherwise approved by statute.

It is also not necessary to immediately retain counsel if you are in an accident. Time can be taken to assess injuries and damage to the vehicle and/or property. It is necessary to discuss not only if you can be compensated for your injuries, but who you actually may be able to recover from.

car that has been hit on rear driver side

It is also not necessary to immediately retain counsel if you are in an accident. Time can be taken to assess injuries, and damage to the vehicle and/or property.

Premises Liability

Property owners and landlords have the legal obligation to maintain their property so it is safe for visitors and tenants who are lawfully on the property. This type of claim can be challenging in Michigan as slip and falls due to ice, even black ice, are usually considered obvious (as in it should have been noticed or assumed by a reasonable person) and therefore would not warrant a claim. Incidents that could result in a premises liability claim include:

  • Construction site accidents causing personal injury

  • Dog bites

  • Falling merchandise at stores which cause injury

  • Slips, trips or falls at apartments when on property that has not been maintained.

Property owners and landlords have a duty of care to maintain the property in a safe condition.

woman in heals twisting ankle on stairs

Medical Malpractice

Personal injury claims can also come in the form of medical malpractice. When an injury is caused to a patient through neglect or omission from a physician or other licensed healthcare professional it is deemed medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is not confined strictly to medical doctors. It can also occur through the neglect or omission of care from dentists, physical therapists, audiologists, chiropractors - virtually anyone who holds any type of medical license.

Medical malpractice can occur through a misdiagnosis, during treatment, or after the treatment is completed. Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Misreading or neglecting to read lab results

  • Wrong-site surgery

  • Surgery that proved unnecessary

  • Not recognizing symptoms

  • Improper follow-up care

  • Discharging patient too soon

  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage

The process of taking legal action against a medical professional for medical malpractice is long and complicated. It is important to speak with an attorney to discuss your potential case and options as soon as possible as there are very specific time frames in which to make claims. Not all negative outcomes from a medical professional warrant legal action. The claim has to include the following:

  • Breach of the standard of care. Medical professionals are to operate by certain medical standards. Patients expect to receive that level of care by all medical professionals. If that standard has not been met, it can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

  • Injury was caused by negligence. Standard of care is necessary, but it also may need to be necessary to prove that injury was sustained by the patient due to negligence by the medical professional and that the injury would not have occurred if the medical professional had been treating the patient with the proper level of care.

  • The injury was considerable. Even if the medical professional was in breach of standard of care and even if that led to an injury, even then the injury would need to be considerable for a medical malpractice claim to reach a courtroom, or even a negotiating table. The injury must be able to show disability, pain, loss of income and emotional distress (pain and suffering).

doctors operating on a patient

Medical malpractice claims can take years to resolve. The time to pursue a malpractice claim is not long, however. There is a statute of limitations of two years to begin a medical malpractice claim or six months following when the patient discovered or should have discovered that a claim could have been made. Speak with an experienced attorney to see if a claim is valid.

Personal injury law is about knowing what your rights are and getting you proper compensation for injuries. Contact an attorney today with any questions about personal injury law.

Click the link below to check out my short Q&A video on Personal Injury on YouTube!

Kimm Burger, Attorney

I want to hear your side of the story.

KB Law Office P.C.

Tel: 517-797-6021


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