“How do Michigan courts decide if an auto injury is serious enough to deserve money damages?”
Not every injury caused by an auto accident is considered serious enough under our law to qualify for compensation. Cases of bodily injury (this discussion does not apply to scarring cases or death cases) have to meet the standards of the no-fault law and the rules set down by the Michigan Supreme Court before the victim can qualify for money damages. Here are the three things that the injured person must be able to prove in order to win a verdict or settlement in a motor vehicle case:
So, you have to have an injury that the doctors can document, and it has to affect your life in a negative way for more than just a few days or weeks. It is also important that you are affected by the injury in a way that other people can see (there has to be more than just saying how much pain you are in).
These standards seem to shift every few years. Also, because judgment calls are involved, sometimes you see cases where what you think would be just a minor injury gets a big settlement or court verdict, while other injuries that sound more significant get less. It all depends upon the person, the circumstances, the medical documentation, and being able to convince the other side’s insurance company that you meet all three of the threshold conditions listed above.