If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Michigan, you have been (and may still be going) through a terrible, perhaps catastrophic, ordeal. Though you are undoubtedly overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of the accident, you needn’t feel alone. Miller & Tischler, P.C.’s outstanding team of personal injury attorneys is here to protect you and your future. We have a history of winning substantial awards and negotiating significant settlements for clients who, like you, have been seriously harmed by another’s negligence. Miller & Tischler, P.C. is committed to fighting vigorously to win you the compensation you deserve.
The Risk of Pedestrian Accidents Is Increasing
Governors Highway Safety Association statistics show that 2019 was the deadliest year for pedestrian accidents since 1982. The alarming increase in pedestrian accidents is attributed to more crowded roads and more distracted or impaired driving (and walking). No matter what the statistics show, a single pedestrian accident can turn your world upside down. That’s why it is essential to have a sharp personal injury attorney to guide you through.
Why Miller & Tischler Is the Personal Injury Firm for You
You are unlikely to find a firm in Michigan with more extensive understanding of Michigan no-fault and tort law than Miller & Tischler. We make ourselves available to you 24/7 and pride ourselves on prompt responses to your questions and concerns. Our negotiation and litigation skills are well-established and our determination is unparalleled. We will stand by you when you need us most. Among the services we provide are:
- Investigating and photographing the accident site
- Interviewing witnesses
- Inspecting police reports
- Examining medical data
- Consulting with experts (e.g.medical specialists, mechanics, accident reconstructionists) we may call upon to testify on your behalf if we take your case to court
- Determining which courtroom tactics will work best in your case
We are careful to maintain an appropriate balance between keeping you informed and not interfering with your ability to rest and recover.
Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
In addition to distracted and/or impaired drivers on overcrowded roads, other reasons for pedestrian accidents include drivers who:
- Speed and drive recklessly
- Disobey traffic signs or signals
- Fail to signal a turn
- Disregard weather conditions
- Drive while exhausted or sleepy
External factors (e.g., poorly lit roads, bad weather conditions, an obstacle or animal in the road, or a mechanical defect in the car) are also part of the equation and may contribute.
It is no surprise that (1) children and the elderly are most likely to be hit; (2) that almost half of pedestrian accidents involve either a drunk driver or an impaired pedestrian; or (3) that almost three-quarters of pedestrian accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. when visibility is decreased and when the roads are heavily trafficked.
No-Fault Insurance Claims
In Michigan, pedestrian-accident injury claims are governed by the state’s no-fault law. Under the no-fault law, you may be entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for certain economic losses. The no-fault law also provides for survivors’ benefits in the case of death. Because Michigan’s law is a no-fault law, an injured pedestrian must claim PIP benefits from his or her own insurance policy (if there is one).
A lot of pedestrians don’t own cars and instead rely on bicycles or public transportation when they’re not walking. Because they don’t own cars, they are not required to purchase auto no-fault insurance.So, in the case of an uninsured injured pedestrian, from where does he or she claim PIP benefits?
The Michigan no-fault law was amended in June 2019. However, certain portions of the new law do not go into effect until July 1, 2020. Therefore, through July 1, 2020, injured uninsured pedestrians will claim unlimited PIP benefits through the policy covering the vehicle that hit them. See Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Order #19-049-M. After July 1, 2020, however, injured uninsured pedestrians will have to claim PIP benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP). Unfortunately, such PIP benefit claims will be limited to $250,000 (as opposed to unlimited PIP benefits prior to July 1, 2020).
The amendments to Michigan’s no-fault law add an additional layer of complexity to resolving a pedestrian accident claim. Therefore, it is important to have the attorneys of Miller & Tischler at the helm.
Pedestrians May Bear Some Fault
Sometimes, pedestrians may bear some portion of responsibility for the accident because they:
- Fail to cross at crosswalks
- Dart in front of a vehicle
- Are intoxicated or high on drugs
- Ignore traffic signals
- Enter moving traffic while distracted (often by a smartphone)
Whoever is at fault, the pedestrian, with no metal cage of protection, bears the brunt of the collision. While fault does not matter for no-fault PIP claims, an injured pedestrian’s fault will be taken into consideration if you sue the driver in tort for your injuries. This type of lawsuit is known as a third-party or automobile negligence lawsuit.
Modified Comparative Fault in Michigan
In third-party automobile negligence cases, Michigan, like many other states, has a law to deal with shared negligence. In Michigan, the law is based on the principle of modified comparative fault. Modified comparative fault assigns percentages of blame to all involved parties after examining the evidence. If you, the injured pedestrian, are found to bear a portion of the blame, your economic damages will be adjusted accordingly.
If, for example, you are assigned 10 percent of the blame, and the court has awarded you $100,000 for medical expenses and lost income, you will actually receive $90,000. There is a catch, however. If the court assigns you more than 50 percent liability for the accident, you will receive no recovery for non-economic (intangible) losses like pain and suffering. This is where having an attorney who knows exactly how to navigate the system can make all the difference.
Pedestrian Injuries Tend To Be Severe
Pedestrians can suffer serious injuries even when cars are traveling very slowly. As a matter of fact, a pedestrian fatality often occurs in cases where the pedestrian is hit by a car traveling only 30 mph. Pedestrians lucky enough to survive such accidents may still suffer devastating injuries such as:
- Bone fractures
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
Painful, prolonged recovery is frequently necessary for victims of pedestrian accidents who may have to deal with traumatic injuries like amputation, cognitive impairment, paralysis, or loss of vision or hearing. There is also a strong possibility of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Such injuries, combined with the enormous financial stress that is often caused by high medical costs and loss of income, is a recipe for both depression and long-term incapacity.
Trust Miller & Tischler To Fight Hard for Your Right to Substantial Compensation
Once you contact our talented personal injury attorneys, we will fight tooth and nail to recover the damages you deserve which may include:
First-Party (PIP Benefits)
- Medical and rehabilitative costs;
- Personal attendant care and/or household replacement services;
- Work loss; and
- Survivor’s benefits
Third-Party (automobile negligence)
- Pain and suffering;
- Excess work loss;
- Loss of consortium (claimed by your spouse if married);
- Wrongful death
At Miller & Tischler we know all too well the challenges you face and how intensely these challenges also affect your loved ones. Let us help to give you back your sense of control and the relief that comes from hiring a skilled professional to handle your case.
Contact Our Michigan Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today for the Optimal Outcome
When you choose Miller & Tischler, you are choosing the best. Our attorneys not only have excellent credentials, but are known to fight doggedly to win you every dollar you and your family deserve. More than that, we have a well-earned reputation for compassionate, unwavering support. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can provide you with superior legal representation for your accident-related needs.