Frequently Asked Questions

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  • If a dog bites me, do I have a claim against the dog's owner?
    Yes. Under Michigan law, a dog owner must pay the damages caused by their dog biting someone. This is true even if the dog never exhibited any vicious or violent tendencies prior to the biting incident. Normally, the dog owner's homeowner's insurance carrier will pay the injured person's damages.
  • If I am involved in a boating accident, can I bring a lawsuit against the negligent boat operator?
    Yes. Boating accidents are more common than one might think, especially in Northern Michigan. Much like car accidents, an injured party is entitled to bring a lawsuit against a negligent boat operator. The same is also true if you are a passenger in a boat. You can bring a lawsuit against the boat operator if you are injured as a passenger. Like all personal injury actions, there are specific time limitations that could bar your claim. If you are involved in a boating accident and have sustained an injury, you should contact our firm immediately.
  • If I'm injured at work, what insurance benefits are provided by workers' compensation?
    If you are injured at work, the law requires your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier to provide you with the following insurance benefits: 
    -The insurance company must pay all of your medical bills.
    -The insurance company must pay your wage loss if you cannot return to work. 
    -The insurance company must reimburse you for the miles you drive to and from your doctors' appointment.
    -The insurance company must pay to retrain you for a different job in the event you are injured so severely that you can never return to your job.
  • If I slip and fall on someone's property or within a store, can I recover damages for injuries I suffered?
    Yes, but only if the landowner was somehow negligent. Unlike auto cases where insurance benefits are provided regardless of fault, in premises liability cases, you must prove negligence to recover damages suffered in a slip-and-fall accident.
  • If I'm in a car accident, can I sue the at-fault driver for my vehicle damage?
    No, except for recovering up to $3000. Generally you cannot recover more than $3000 from the at-fault driver for your vehicle damage. This $3000 recovery is called a "mini-tort." In other words, even if the other driver is negligent and is 100% at fault for causing the crash, you can usually only recover $3000 for vehicle damage. This is why it is so important to purchase collision coverage for your vehicle through your own auto insurance company. If you have purchased collision coverage, your own auto insurance company will pay to repair the vehicle damage.
  • How long after an auto accident do I have to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver?
    Generally, you must file a claim against the at-fault driver within three years after the accident. However, there are exceptions and variations to this rule. You should contact our attorneys as soon as possible after an accident to discuss the issue.
  • If I am injured in a car accident, may I file a claim against the driver who caused the collision even though I have "no-fault"
    Yes. Michigan law permits an injured party to file a claim against a negligent driver. This type of claim is often referred to as a "third-party lawsuit." Under Michigan law, an injured party is entitled to bring a third-party lawsuit for non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering) if the injured person has suffered either: a serious injury, a serious and permanent disfigurement, or death. Additionally, in a third-party case you must prove that someone other than yourself was at-fault for causing the accident.
  • If I am injured in a car accident, and I am at fault for causing the accident, am I still entitled to receive insurance benefits
    Yes. Michigan is a "no-fault" auto insurance state. This means you receive insurance benefits even if you were at fault for causing the accident.
  • If I am injured in a car accident and don't have health insurance, will my car insurance company pay my medical bills?

    What about other things such as lost wages if I am unable to work?

    Most likely, yes.  Most auto insurance policies sold in Michigan provide “personal protection insurance” (PIP) benefits.  Under this PIP coverage, your car insurer must pay all of your accident-related medical bills up to the coverage limit amount.  Your auto insurer must also pay your wage loss if you cannot return to work.  It must pay up to $20 a day for someone to do your household chores if you are injured and cannot do them.  It must also pay “attendant care” benefits if you need supervision or nursing-type care because of your injuries.  After the 2019 amendments to the no-fault law, some drivers are allowed to opt out of purchasing PIP coverage.  However, most policies sold in the state still provide at least some PIP coverage.

  • If I am involved in a car accident, do I need to speak with an attorney?
    Yes. To begin, most attorneys will provide you with a free consultation, so it won't cost you anything to discuss your case. There are three reasons why you should speak to an attorney after an auto accident.