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Pain and Suffering Damages in Michigan Auto Accidents

Auto accidents can be absolutely devastating, as can the injuries they cause. A car accident and the ensuing injuries can damage your wellbeing and completely transform your life for the worse.

When pursuing an auto accident personal injury case, what you are attempting to do is to get financial compensation for the ways in which the accident and the ensuing injury negatively impacted your life.

What are Economic Damages?

Economic damages are ways in which the injury damaged your life that you can clearly financially calculate. They include damages like:

Medical Costs: Unfortunately, healthcare in this country is incredibly expensive. A serious accident can quickly rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, between doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medication costs, surgeries, physical therapy, mobility devices, caregiver fees, and other treatment-related costs. The combined costs from your medical care can be pursued as damages in a personal injury case.

Lost Wages: Many injuries impact a person’s ability to work and earn an income in various ways. This can range from temporary impairment and lost hours to permanent disability that takes the person out of the workforce for the rest of their life. You have a right to sue for all past lost wages as well as wages you would have had the potential to earn.

What are non-economic damages?

Personal Injury Attorney Wayne County MI

Other damages are slightly more subjective to calculate financially, but can still be pursued as personal injury damages. These are referred to as non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as “pain and suffering damages”. In Michigan, pain and suffering damages that can be claimed from a car accident include:

  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish
  • Fright and shock
  • Denial of social pleasure and enjoyments
  • Embarrassment, humiliation, or mortification
  • Shame, mental pain, and anxiety

How do you prove pain and suffering damages?

In order to sue for non-economic damages, you have to prove:

  • That the other driver was negligent and 50% or more at-fault
  • That the other driver’s negligence actually caused your injuries
  • That you actually experienced the pain and suffering you describe.

Unlike many other states, Michigan also requires that you suffered “serious impairment of bodily function” in order to sue for non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. This is known as the Michigan Bodily Injury Threshold. To prove it, you must show that the impairment of bodily function caused by the injury:

  • Is “objectively manifested” (i.e., someone other than the injured person can physically observe it from symptoms and conditions)
  • Impaired a bodily function “of great value, significance, or consequence to the injured person”
  • Affects the injured person’s general ability to lead their life normally

How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?

Personal Injury Attorney Wayne County MI

In Michigan, there is no set formula for calculating the financial worth of non-economic damages. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and create an argument for a specific sum. This will depend upon factors like the extent of your injury and impairment, how much it has affected your ability to live your daily life as normal, and other factors. There is no cap on damages for this sort of case, and it is up to either a mediation negotiation or a judge or jury to ultimately decide whether a proposed settlement is granted.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you know that many of the actual impacts and impairments on your life go far beyond what can be calculated in a medical bill or a lost paycheck. The fact is, it is profoundly difficult to endure having your life upturned by a sudden serious health problem like an injury. This can take an enormous toll on a person’s life, from their social life to their professional life to their romantic life to their family life to their spiritual life to their life as a mentor or community member.

If you or a loved one have experienced this sort of damage to your life, you deserve rightful compensation. If you are in Wayne County, Michigan, you can take the first steps toward getting that compensation by reaching out to Wayne County personal injury attorney Matthew Bedikian. Attorney Bedikian specializes in auto accident personal injury, and will go above and beyond to fight for the settlement you deserve. Don’t wait: call Attorney Matthew Bedikian and the Michigan Advocacy Center at (248) 266-7600 for a free consultation on your case today.