To help better understand the expansive section of the law that covers personal injury and wrongful death cases, we’ve put together this FAQ.
Although none of the answers are fully exhaustive, they should serve as a good starting point to help you determine if you may have a good case before contacting a lawyer.
Personal Injury FAQ
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is a situation where a Plaintiff pursues compensation for injuries resulting from an accident or injury such as a car accident, dog bite, nursing home negligence or neglect, slip, trip and fall accident, or malfunctioning product or equipment. Personal injury cases often result in an out-of-court settlement, but if the Plaintiff doesn’t accept the settlement offer, the case will move through the litigation process toward trial.
What is the process of a personal injury claim?
After a lawsuit is filed, the injured party bringing the suit is the Plaintiff and the party that caused the injury is referred to as the Defendant. This can be a single person or a company. Usually, the Defendant will offer an amount to settle the case, but when the offer isn’t accepted by the Plaintiff, the case moves toward trial. If the parties cannot negotiate a settlement before the trial date, a jury or Judge will assign damages after hearing arguments from both sides.
What percentage of personal injury cases go to trial?
Across the country, only about 5% of personal injury cases reach either a jury or bench (Judge) trial, while the other 95% of cases are settled ahead of trial. Most personal injury cases are pursued to secure monetary damages, and the legal process involves the respective attorneys finding an amount that is agreeable to both parties.
Are personal injury settlements taxable in Michigan?
Personal Injury settlements are usually tax-exempt under both state and federal laws. When in doubt, talk with your tax provider regarding tax treatment of any settlement.
Additional Resources: 8 Reasons You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Wrongful Death FAQ
What does wrongful death mean in terms of the law?
Wrongful death means any human death caused by another human due to a wrongful act, such as negligence or an intentional act of violence. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the family of the deceased to seek compensation for damages incurred as a direct result of the death.
Is wrongful death a civil or criminal case?
Wrongful death is always a civil matter, however, the event that led to the death could also lead to criminal charges, but those will be handled separately from any civil filings. In a criminal case, the defendant will be facing punishment for actions, while a civil case will result in a monetary penalty. Civil and criminal cases are separate proceedings, even when they involve the same accident.
Who can file a wrongful death suit in Michigan?
In Michigan, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by immediate family members such as a spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandparent or grandchild. However, only one person can file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate. This can be a non-family member so long as the person filing is named in the Will of the decedent.
Ready to move forward? Contact Dingeman & Dancer
Think you might have a case? The next step is to contact an attorney. The attorneys at Dingeman & Dancer, PLC have been helping Michiganders get the compensation they deserve since we opened our doors over 30 years ago. We’re here to help you, too.
Request a consultation online or give us a call today at 800-626-0050. When you call us, you get us.