Sustaining a brain injury can have a long-lasting impact on your life. It can affect everything from your ability to work to your capability to conduct ordinary every day activities. If you’ve sustained a brain injury as a result of an auto accident, it is a good idea be aware of the compensation to which you may be entitled as a result of your injury. It is therefore a good idea to contact a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in head injuries. Here are 5 questions you should ask in determining if a lawyer is right for you.
1. Do you have experience with these types of injury cases?
To find the best attorney for your case, you will want someone who specializes in this specific area of law. If you sustained a brain injury from a car accident, you will also want a lawyer who specializes in auto accident cases. That’s why you should ask the attorney whether he or she has had experience with cases that are similar to yours and if so, the number of cases won and the average amount recovered.
2. Will I have to pay upfront?
Most personal injury attorneys do not ask for payment up front (i.e., a “retainer”). That’s because a lot of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid an attorney fee after the conclusion of your case. The standard contingency fee is one-third of the amount recovered after deduction of costs.
3. What Could I Receive in Compensation?
No two cases are identical. It is therefore important to have an understanding as to the type of compensation you may receive. This understanding starts with understanding that there are two types of potential cases: first-party (PIP benefits) and third-party (automobile negligence).
In a first-party case, compensation is for economic loss. This includes payment for expenses such as medical bills, medical transportation mileage, personal care, and work loss. In a first-party case, this compensation is recoverable regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident.
In a third-party case, compensation is for non-economic loss such as pain and suffering. You may also recover excess economic loss in a third-party case. There is one important caveat to keep in mind for third-party automobile negligence claims. That is that Michigan follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that if an injured plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident (and therefore his or her injuries), he or she cannot recover any non-economic damages.
4. Can I expect a settlement or a trial?
Most cases are settled without the need to go to trial. However, for the cases that cannot be settled without a trial, it is important to know that your attorney has had a depth of experience trying cases in court. Be sure to ask them about their trial experience as well as the results achieved. As far as your specific settlement or verdict in a personal injury case, it is dependent on many different factors.
5. Can I file my claim during the current stay-at-home order?
In Michigan, the statute of limitations for filing a first-party case for no-fault benefits is generally one year from the date of the accident. For third-party automobile negligence cases, the statute of limitation is three years. The Michigan Supreme Court has issued an Order in light of Governor Whitmer’s stay at home Order. The Michigan Supreme Court’s Order tolls (i.e., delays) the running of these statutes of limitation until the stay at home Order is lifted. However, the best practice is to file your claim as soon as possible and within the original statute of limitations period.
Although the current state of things has shut down many courts and businesses, it doesn’t have to prevent you from filing your claim. Some courts have e-filing; others are permitting filing by remote means (such as filing via email). Moreover, many attorneys, such as Miller & Tischler, have changed the way in which they currently conduct business to include more phone and web-based operations, such as utilizing Zoom for virtual court hearings, client meetings, depositions, etc.
The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Head injuries can be quite severe, often leading to chronic pain and long-lasting issues.
The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!