In many cases, you can still recover compensation if you were hurt in a car crash that was partly your fault. However, doing so requires the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney.
Michigan’s Comparative Negligence Law
Michigan’s comparative negligence law treats economic damages and non-economic damages differently.
Medical Expenses, Lost Income, and Other Economic Damages
The law allows you to recover compensation for economic damages regardless of your percentage of fault. In other words, even if you were more than 50% responsible for the crash, you may still recover damages for things such as medical bills, lost income, and out of pocket expenses. However, your compensation will be reduced by the amount of fault attributed to you. For example, if the court finds that you were 45% responsible for the crash and the other driver was 55% responsible for the crash, then you may recover 55% of your damages from the other at-fault driver.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Non-economic damages, such as physical pain and emotional suffering, are treated differently. You may only recover compensation for pain and suffering if your percentage of fault is 50% or lower. As is the case with economic damages, your pain and suffering recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you. The difference is that if you were 51% or more responsible for the wreck, then you cannot receive any non-economic damages.
How is the Percentage of Fault Determined?
Each driver’s percentage of fault is often contested. There is no formula to determine the right percentage. Instead, the percentage of fault is worked out during settlement negotiations or in court.
Before you decide whether to pursue a car accident lawsuit, we encourage you to contact an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer for a complimentary consultation. We will thoroughly review your case and advise you of your legal options so that you can decide whether or not to pursue a claim. Call us or fill out our online contact form today to learn more.