If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to demand financial compensation for the losses you’ve endured. However, pursuing a personal injury claim is no easy task. Defendants and their insurance companies are backed by armies of attorneys prepared to protect their clients. Who’s looking out for you?
At Marko Law, we defend personal injury victims. Where possible, we resolve cases out of court so our clients can get back to their lives. If needed, however, we put together a litigation strategy and take the case to trial. Either way, we stand by our clients from start to finish so they can focus on recovering.
What Is Personal Injury?
The essence of a personal injury case is negligence. When another person, company, or even a governmental agency acts irresponsibly, others can get hurt. The injury is typically physical, but it can also be psychological or emotional too.
“Negligence” is a legal term that means failure to exercise a proper degree of care under the circumstances. Another way of putting it is failure to act as a reasonably sensible individual would. Negligence can be displayed through someone’s actions (like speeding or driving drunk) or through an exclusion (such as failing to remove a known hazard from one’s company property).
To win a personal injury case, the victim has to show that the defendant was negligent. There are four specific components that are required under Michigan legislation:
- Duty of care– The offender must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Sometimes a duty arises out of a personal relationship between the individuals, such as physician and patient. But this isn’t always required. For instance, when you drive on a highway, you owe a duty to other drivers not to be reckless.
- Breach– Next, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the defendant breached the duty of care. This is where the offender’s negligent acts and/or omissions are exposed. It also covers circumstances where the at-fault party breaks a law or engages in intentional wrongdoing. The breach is typically the most disputed part of a personal injury case.
- Causation– The offender’s breach needs to really result in injury to the plaintiff. If the offender acted negligently but didn’t hurt the plaintiff, this aspect fails.
- Damages– These are the losses for which the plaintiff will pursue financial compensation. A few of the most common damages are medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering. The nature and quantity of damages are hotly disputed in most personal injury cases.
Possible Damages In a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The goal of a personal injury claim is to make the plaintiff whole via a financial compensation. This compensation is referred to as damages, and some examples are:
- Medical costs– This broad category can consist of everything from hospital bills and prescription medications to physical therapy and special adaptive equipment to assist with a victim’s day-to-day tasks.
- Lost wages– While you recuperate or are hospitalized for your injuries, you will lose time from work and, with it, potentially considerable amounts of money. You can ask a court to award you damages to cover this lost income.
- Lost earning capacity– Your occupational prospects might be cut short or significantly restricted after a personal injury. An expert witness can help approximate the future income you will miss out on as a result.
- Pain and suffering– These damages account for the pain and psychological stress you will likely experience for some time to come. Although difficult to measure, they are essential to catastrophic injury cases.
- Loss of enjoyment of day-to-day life– It might not be possible to enjoy your regular everyday activities, hobbies, and other passions after a bad injury. These damages help compensate you for the loss.
- Loss of consortium– This category refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship. It includes the loss of assistance, society, companionship, and sexual relationship between spouses caused by the injury.
- Punitive (exemplary) damages– In rare cases, an at-fault party can be subject to punitive damages. These are meant to punish the wrongful party and discourage others from participating in similar conduct.
Are There Time Limits to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Your right to take legal action against a negligent party will not last forever. In Michigan, personal injury cases are subject to what’s called a statute of limitations. This sets a deadline for plaintiffs to submit their lawsuits before they lose the right to do so. For a personal injury, the statute of limitations is two years. In most cases, the clock begins to run when the injury occurs.
However, it’s best not to delay taking action on your claim. Witnesses’ memories can fade over time, proof will be more difficult to obtain, and you could forget critical information if you wait too long. If you or a loved one have been hurt, reach out to a committed Westland personal injury lawyer.
How Can the Personal Injury Attorneys of Marko Law Help Me?
Suing a defendant almost always means using an insurance company, like a motor vehicle insurer. Regardless, you can count on the defendant’s attorneys pushing back on your claims or making settlement offers that come nowhere close to covering your losses. You want a lawyer who not only understands Michigan personal injury law but knows how to determine a fair value for your claim.
At Marko Law, we’ve helped numerous personal injury clients obtain the compensation they need to recover. We won’t accept unfair deals and will stand by you from beginning to end. Give us a call or complete the contact form today to get started on your case.