When you enter a vehicle as a passenger, you are entrusting your life to the driver of that vehicle and those you encounter along the road. Getting into an accident while being a passenger can be terrifying, but you can reduce your risk by wearing a seat belt and not distracting the driver. However, if you sustained injuries as a passenger in a car accident and want to hold the negligent driver accountable, contact our experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers with Matz Injury Law for legal advice and representation.
Knowing what to do next will be essential if you or a loved one are in an accident as a passenger.
First, seek medical attention. Following any motor vehicle accident, you must consider your health and seek medical attention for any obvious or hidden bodily injury. Some serious injuries may not be discernable initially without a medical evaluation, including concussions and soft tissue injuries. In addition, seeking medical care means the attending medical professionals must include a report in your file, which can help your insurance claim.
Call law enforcement authorities as soon as you can so they can make a report on the damages visible at the accident scene. The police will conduct an on-scene investigation and prepare an accident report, which will be essential to your personal injury claim. You or your car accident lawyer will need to request a copy that includes the names of each driver and any passengers, along with any statements made and details regarding what happened.
Next, to recover damages caused by the accident, you must file a car insurance claim under the Michigan no-fault system. As long as you are covered under a valid auto insurance policy in the state, you automatically qualify for no-fault benefits.
PIP benefits you may request include wage loss, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
If you have been injured in an accident in the vehicle of a family member or friend, you have a valid insurance claim. Matz Injury Law can handle all aspects of your claim. We will seek full and fair compensation from all possible sources without harming your family relations or friendship.
Being unable to return to your job in total capacity due to your injuries can be problematic for you and your family. Therefore, you must include lost wages in your injury claim for those days, weeks, or months you had to be away from work. Your Michigan car accident attorney can calculate these and help you seek the maximum amount you are entitled to in your claim.
Medical bills following an accident can escalate rapidly depending on the seriousness of your injury. In your insurance claim, you will want to list these expenses, including emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, medical treatments, surgeries, and even physical therapy. Keep track of all your medical records and attend every scheduled doctor or therapy appointment, as these will need to be included.
However, it is essential to note that any new policies or renewals on or after July 2020 will be subject to new Michigan laws concerning the amount of accident-related medical expenses an injured person can seek. Limitations will fall under the insurance coverage level (or personal injury protection cap) chosen for your insurance policy.
Pain and suffering is considered non-economic damages, and the amount granted will depend on specific calculations meant to meet your needs. These calculations are challenging and can be affected by numerous factors, such as the severity of injuries, the type and length of treatments, and any residual effects on your quality of life going forward.
If insurance fails to pay damages in a timely manner or continues to delay or deny such benefits, you should consider contacting a Michigan personal injury attorney for a case evaluation. You can receive help negotiating a settlement with the insurance company adjuster or, if necessary, filing a lawsuit to obtain the damages you deserve. Such a lawsuit can be against the insurance company or any negligent party to the accident.
If, as a passenger, you sustain bodily injuries in an auto accident, you might be wondering who will be paying for them. In Michigan, the first insurance company to pay for your no-fault claim is your own.
However, if you do not have your own insurance policy, Michigan follows an established “order of priority” in determining who is to pay. Benefits will be sought under your spouse’s no-fault policy or under that of a resident relative in your household.
In some personal injury cases, you, as a passenger, may not have any insurance. If so, the no-fault law in Michigan should protect you. This no-fault law guarantees that all passengers will receive coverage under PIP benefits.
However, you will need to take extra steps, starting by applying for coverage under the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. Once you do this, the state selects which insurance company will provide your no-fault auto insurance benefits.
You may also have other options to obtain compensation, so be sure to seek legal advice from experienced attorneys as early as possible.
As a passenger, you put your trust in the vehicle’s driver. If that driver drives unsafely or recklessly and an accident occurs, a passenger can sue the negligent, at-fault driver. That is to say, you can sue the driver and their insurance company for your pain and suffering and for economic damages that exceed your insurance policy’s PIP cap.
You can also sue the driver of the other motor vehicle if they were negligent and contributed to the accident. For either of these, your lawyer will need first to prove negligence on the part of a driver and proceed from there.
In addition, a unique stipulation of Michigan law in these cases is that the passenger must show the suffering of a serious impairment of bodily function to bring a pain and suffering compensation claim. This is called the no-fault insurance tort.
Michigan laws provide that if the passenger is not the cause of the accident, they cannot be held liable for damages resulting from the accident. There are particular exceptions to this.
A passenger can be found liable in a Michigan car accident if it is shown that they did any of the following:
It is essential to keep these in mind as Michigan is a comparative negligence state. Any damages you receive in a lawsuit will be reduced by the percentage you are at fault for the car crash.
If you are being accused of any of these actions or simply have questions about liability, seek the legal advice of our passenger injuries attorney.
All drivers involved in an accident are legally required to stay at the scene, regardless of who is at fault. As a passenger, you can leave the accident scene, such as if you feel threatened or unsafe by staying. Still, you will want to report the accident to authorities. If you are injured, it is best to wait for the authorities and medical help to arrive so that you can file a report.
When we meet with you, whether in-person or by Zoom, we’ll listen to you and your concerns, explain the legal process and the issues in your case, and show you what we can do to help you get medical care and compensation.
Getting you medical care is our number one priority. If you don’t have a doctor, we can help you find the right doctor and receive the care and treatment you need without being burdened by insurance company delays or restrictions on your doctors.
We’ll also identify all possible sources of compensation. This could include Michigan no-fault, uninsured/underinsured coverage, workers’ compensation, liability insurance of the other driver, the insurance covering the owner of the at-fault vehicle, and policies covering you, your family members, and others.
We’ll handle all aspects of your case. Our firm will communicate directly with insurance companies, adjusters, your benefits and medical bills, your property damage claim, and others. This will give you the time to focus on getting better.
We seek total compensation. Matz Injury Law will work tirelessly to help you get full compensation for all your losses, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We won’t leave money on the table. We’ll try to resolve your case for the maximum value of your claim. During the legal process, we’ll provide constant updates, inform you of significant developments, and provide supportive counsel at the right time. Contact us online or call 866-226-6833 to get started.
If you or a family member sustained an injury as a passenger in a vehicle, you should know your rights and how to obtain the compensation you deserve. Put your trust in our dedicated car accident lawyers at Matz Injury Law. Our law firm will evaluate your case, investigate and compile evidence, file your insurance claim, negotiate a fair settlement, and, if needed, represent you in a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Call 1-866-22Not33 to schedule a free consultation, or submit the simple online contact form on our website today.
$3.45 million settlement against a cement company whose truck crossed a center line causing three deaths and severely injuring a 4 year-old boy. The settlement was $450,000 in excess of available insurance.
$1.74 million settlement against a 19 year-old driver and the fraternity where he was drinking immediately prior to a head on collision that killed a 52 year-old husband and father of 3 children.
$1.3 million Federal District Court settlement on behalf of a mother and daughter in a car/truck collision. Mom suffered a pancreas injury but returned to full-time employment within six months; eight year old daughter suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing learning disability as well as a ruptured spleen.
$1 million settlement for a 52 year-old woman in a rural county who broke both ankles and suffered a retrobulbar hemorrhage of her right eye after being struck by a gravel truck.
Matz Injury Law obtained a $1,000,000 settlement for a woman in Northern Michigan who fractured both ankles as a result of being rear-ended by a gravel truck.
A settlement of $3,450,000 ($450,000 more than the insurance policy limits) for a family who lost loved ones as a result of an inattentive cement truck driver.
$100,000 uninsured motorist settlement (policy limit) for family of passenger killed in Detroit in suspected joyriding incident.
$1 million settlement on behalf of a 60 year-old woman with a mild closed head injury due to County Road Commission negligence.
$950,000 settlement on behalf of the mother of a young boy who died while a passenger in a one-vehicle crash.
$750,000 to the family of a passenger killed in a collision on an icy road.
$285,000 settlement on behalf of a 52 year-old woman who suffered from fibromyalgia after hurting her shin resulting from an auto injury.
$475,000 for a 42 year old-man who suffered a neck injury as a result of an automobile crash in Oakland County.
We have earned over 300+ million dollars
for our Michigan clients.
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.