Getting into a car accident, especially a serious one that causes personal injury or damage to your vehicle, can be extremely nerve-wracking. You might need extensive medical care and rehabilitation that prevent you from going to work and interfere with your daily life activities. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but recovering that compensation is not always easy.
Insurance companies look for a reason not to pay you the full amount that you deserve. The good news is that help is available. The car accident attorneys at Matz Injury Law have many years of experience helping auto accident victims in Battle Creek recover fair compensation from their insurance company. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Battle Creek, MI car accident lawyer, contact the firm today online or by telephone at 866-226-6833.
Matz Injury Law has helped accident victims in Michigan recover compensation for their injuries and damages for years. Steven Matz, the firm’s founding shareholder, has over forty years of experience practicing law in Michigan. He and his team have obtained countless settlements and awards in the six- and seven-figure range for people all over Michigan, including Battle Creek. They have recovered damages of $1 million or more for clients in nine personal injury practice areas.
Mr. Matz and his law office have established a reputation for professionalism, integrity, and vigorous advocacy among clients, colleagues, and the Michigan court system. He has received numerous accolades from his peers, including recognition as one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys and the Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Crain’s Detroit has named him one of Michigan’s Top Attorneys.
Battle Creek is no stranger to serious car accidents. The city’s population, as of the 2020 Census, is over 52,000, and it continues to grow. Thousands of motor vehicle accidents occur in Calhoun County every year, resulting in hundreds of injuries.
Multiple highways run through Battle Creek, including I-94, I-194, and state highways like M-37 and M-96. These highways create risks for major accidents. City streets can also present risks for car crashes, such as Capital and Washington Avenues.
Having a lawyer serving Battle Creek, MI offers the best opportunity at getting the most compensation possible. According to a study by Martindale-Nolo Research, lawyers were able to obtain compensation for their clients in ninety-one percent of personal injury cases, while people without attorneys only recovered damages just over half of the time.
Having a lawyer also tends to result in significantly larger settlements or awards. Martindale-Nolo Research found that personal injury claims with legal representation recover, on average, four times more than those without a lawyer.
Michigan is a “no-fault” state, meaning that you have a right to recover compensation for your injuries from your insurance company no matter who was at fault for the accident. The no-fault law only applies to car accidents, not motorcycle accidents or accidents involving other types of vehicles.
The purpose of Michigan’s no-fault law is to make it easier for accident victims to recover damages. In many states, motorists must fight over who was at fault for the accident, with insurance companies looking for ways to deny responsibility.
Despite the protections offered by the no-fault law, insurance companies in Michigan still try to find ways to deny any responsibility to pay damages or to minimize or limit the amount that they pay. All Michigan drivers must carry auto insurance with personal injury protection (PIP). This type of insurance should cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, long-term care, and other costs that arise from someone’s injuries. Policies range from unlimited coverage to a limit of $250,000 per person, per accident.
You can sue an at-fault driver in Michigan, despite the state’s no-fault law. The purpose of a lawsuit would be to recover damages that PIP insurance does not provide.
When determining how to award damages in a car accident lawsuit, Michigan uses a “modified comparative negligence” rule. If a court were to find that you, as the plaintiff in a lawsuit, were partially responsible for the accident, it would reduce your damage award by the percentage of fault apportioned to you. Your share of the fault must be no more than fifty percent. For example:
If you have been injured in a car accident in Michigan, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that you can easily measure through bills and other documents, such as:
Non-economic damages are more subjective and not as easy to quantify, but no less real. They might include:
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you and other family members may be able to recover damages for wrongful death. These may include compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and funeral costs. In some cases, they may also include non-economic damages. Loss of consortium, for example, compensates someone for the loss of a partner’s companionship, support, and intimacy.
Pain and suffering is a type of damage in Michigan personal injury cases that compensates you for subjective harms that have arisen from an accident. It can include physical pain resulting from your injuries, emotional pain caused by the impact of those injuries on your life, and psychological distress in the form of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is a type of non-economic damage since you cannot produce a bill to show the amount. Pain and suffering damages are therefore often difficult to calculate. A Matz Injury Law attorney can assist you in figuring out an amount.
You have a time limit for filing most types of lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. The purpose of this time limit is to encourage people to file lawsuits as soon as possible after an accident. Otherwise, the passage of time makes it more difficult to locate evidence, especially witnesses, on both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s sides.
The statute of limitations under Michigan law for an auto accident is three years from the date of the crash. That is the deadline to file a lawsuit against another driver for your injuries. The three-year statute of limitations applies to bodily injury and wrongful death claims.
There is no set fee for a car accident claim. Most personal injury attorneys, including Matz Injury Law, do not charge a fee unless they recover a settlement or judgment. If they do not recover anything, you do not have to pay them anything. This is known as a “contingency fee” arrangement.
Personal injury law firms that charge a contingency fee will take a percentage of the settlement or judgment as the fee for their legal services. One-third, or 33 percent of the total amount recovered, is a common contingency fee.
Matz Injury Law takes a 22 percent fee rather than the traditional 33 percent fee. If, for example, Matz Injury Law recovered $250,000 in your motor vehicle accident claim, the firm’s fee would be $55,000, and you would receive $195,000. A firm charging the traditional one-third contingency fee would take $83,333, leaving you with $166,667.
Time is of the essence after an auto accident. Calling a lawyer as soon as possible can prevent you from accidentally giving incriminating statements to insurance adjusters. Legal advice from an experienced car accident lawyer is indispensable in preparing a claim for damages.
While you are still at the scene of a car accident, the first thing you should do is call 911 to make sure that anyone who needs medical attention receives it. Next, you should collect evidence at the scene, if possible:
Once you have addressed any medical needs, you should call a lawyer right away.
Steven and Jared Matz are dedicated, compassionate auto accident attorneys with years of experience. They have helped accident victims and their loved ones in Battle Creek and throughout Michigan recover damages for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Recent settlements include $3.45 million for wrongful death claims in a commercial vehicle accident, $1 million for a rear-end truck accident, and $800,000 for a traumatic brain injury caused by a car crash.
The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.
We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.
We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.
All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.
At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.