New Standards for Michigan Auto Injury Lawsuits

Due to a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court in August, 2010, victims injured in a Michigan auto accident may get a new opportunity to bring pain and suffering lawsuits.

With the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling in McCormick v. Carrier, the state’s strict auto accident threshold law is going through drastic changes.     If you are a Michigan resident who was injured in an auto accident that wasn't your fault— yet you were told you had “no case” by a Michigan personal injury lawyer — your legal rights are now restored.

Below is a list of answers to common questions regarding this new Michigan law and how it affects victims seriously injured in a Michigan auto accident.

Q. What does McCormick v. Carrier mean for injured Michigan car accident victims?

A. McCormick v. Carrier is a 2010 Michigan Supreme Court case that has overturned Michigan's previous auto accident threshold law, which was based upon the 2004 Michigan Supreme Court auto accident case Kreiner v. Fischer.     McCormick v. Carrier restores important legal rights that had been taken away from victims seriously injured in car accidents but were told they had "no case" under Kreiner.

Under McCormick v. Carrier, people who seek compensation for injuries and pain and suffering have a better chance at a fair recovery. McCormick says a person can qualify for pain and suffering damages if his or her normal life is affected – not completely altered - by a car accident as Kreiner required.   Now, for hundreds of Michigan residents who have suffered very real injuries from car accidents and have been told their case was not viable, there may be a second chance to recover compensation. This includes injuries that did not require long periods of time off of work or years of medical treatment.

Q.Who are these Michigan car accident victims that were told (before August 1, 2010) that they had no case?

A. Prior to the release of McCormick v. Carrier in August 1, 2010 , it was very difficult for car accident victims with serious injuries to bring auto injury lawsuits and therefore, many were told they did not have "good" auto accident cases by Michigan attorney. These were people who suffered very real and significant personal injuries such as fractures, bulging and herniated disks, even surgeries to the ankle, knee, and spine surgeries to the back and neck. These people were completely innocent and did not cause their car accidents. These people missed weeks, even months, from work after being injured. Many could only return to work with constant pain and medical restrictions. These people, in short, continued to suffer pain and physical limitations for years after their car crashes.

Q. I think I may have a car accident case, but I'm unsure because of the law change. What should I do?

A. If you’ve been told that you have “no case” by a Michigan auto accident attorney after being injured in any type of motor vehicle accident within the last three years, your important legal rights have now been restored. Keep in mind, there is a three-year statute of limitations for car accident victims to file lawsuits seeking compensation in Michigan. So if a lawyer has told you that under the old law, you did not have a case, you should discuss your legal rights with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.

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