Personal injury cases involve a situation where an individual has been physically injured by the negligent acts of someone else. Usually in these cases, a client has had to seek extensive medial treatment as a result of the injuries they have suffered, and often times, have lost time off work due to these injuries.
These types of cases can usually be grouped into the following areas:
1) Automobile negligence case. In these cases a client has been hurt as a result of an automobile accident. These types of cases typically involve either a first-party case or a third party case.
A first party case is a case that is filed against the injured party’s own insurance company for failure to pay certain benefits that are defined by statute. Under Michigan’s no-fault law, an injured person’s own insurance company pays no-fault benefits for injuries that arose out of the ownership, operation, use or maintenance of a motor vehicle.
If a plaintiff does not have first-party insurance, the plaintiff may still receive benefits if he or she is the spouse of or related to the named insured or an occupant of a vehicle involved in an accident.
Under a first-party case, an injured party is entitled to receive payment for all reasonable charges incurred for reasonably necessary products, services and accommodations for the injured party’s care, recovery and rehabilitation; up to three years of lost wages and replacement services benefits; and certain death benefits.
If an insurance company wrongfully refuses to make these payments, a first-party case can be filed against the insured to seek payment of these benefits that are due.
The second type of lawsuit allowable under Michigan’s no-fault law is what most individuals think of as a traditional negligence claim for pain and suffering against the negligent operator of the other vehicle and/or the owner of the other vehicle. In order to prevail on this type of third-party claim, the injured party must meet the threshold requirement of a serious and permanent disfigurement, a serious impairment of a body function or death.
It is important when anyone who is injured in an automobile accident case to seek competent legal counsel to evaluate if the injured party has been dealt with properly by their own insurance company and if the injured party has met the threshold for a third-party claim. At the Law Offices of Brandt & Dehncke, PLLC, we will work with you to evaluate the nature and extent of your injuries and to explore every avenue of recovery for you.
2) Premises liability case. In premises liability cases, like all negligent cases, there is a duty to act with reasonable care.
Most often times, premises liability cases involve cases in which the general public is going to a business either to make a purchase or engage that business in services. The premises owner must maintain his or her property in a reasonably safe condition and has a duty to exercise due care to protect those who are coming on their premises.
It is important that, if you suffer an injury on the premises of a business, you contact competent legal counsel to assess whether or not the business owner owed you a duty of care and if that duty is established what, if any, injuries you suffered as a result of that breach.
3) Malpractice case. Typically, the malpractice case involves medical malpractice although the term malpractice refers to the negligent performance of duty in any professional capacity.
Typically, however, these types of cases involve an individual who has had a medical procedure done to them in a negligent manner.
Since April 1, 1994, an individual who believes they have suffered from medical malpractice must first give written notice to the health care professional or health care facility at least 182 days before an action for medical malpractice may be started. This notice must state the factual basis for the claim, the applicable standard of practice or care, how that standard was allegedly breached, the action that could have been taken to achieve compliance with the standard, how it has alleged that the breach was the proximate cause of the injury and the names of all health professionals and facilities the claimant has notified.
Typically, the malpractice complaint, or lawsuit, is filed after the initial 182 days has run. It is further required that all medical malpractice complaints must be accompanied by an affidavit of merit signed by a health professional. This health professional must be a person that is an expert witness who indicates that the malpractice claim does have merit.
Any person seeking recovery for what they believe to be a medical malpractice case should be prepared for extensive litigation before their claim is resolved. It is usually imperative that the injured party immediately contact competent counsel to evaluate their claim, and if such a claim is appropriate, put the health care professional on notice as soon as possible.