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Top Personal Injury Attorneys

Top Personal Injury Attorneys

There are many ways that a personal injury can occur that can lead to a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury cases arise from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and liability surrounding the use of premises. Usually, the incidents happen because the defendant was negligent of their duties or lacked good judgment in a particular situation. There is usually not a purposeful intent to harm.

In our everyday lives, it is the responsibility of business and building owners to make the surroundings safe for everyone, and to repair or address any situation that may cause an accident. For instance, floors in a store or shopping mall should have dry and non-slippery surfaces, or walkways should be marked to warn pedestrians.

Drivers should not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and manufacturers should not design and produce defective products to sell on the market. Overall, it is the obligation of the people and companies whose pathways and products we use to ensure they are not negligent in creating safety hazards that can impact others.

Common Personal Injuries

In the United States, an injury occurs every second, and an American is killed every three minutes. Accidental injuries are the third-leading cause of death. Of these, vehicular crashes, drowning, falls, and even poisoning are some of the top preventable injuries.

A personal injury claim refers to a category of law that covers damages an individual has suffered as a result of bodily injury and psychological harm.

In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to establish the negligence of the defendant and the failure to provide a certain level of care that was reasonable under the circumstances. The plaintiff must further prove that the care expected was not provided and that the actions of the defendant were directly related to the injury or damage. In short, the defendant must be proven to be at fault.

Common examples of personal injury claims include:

  • Brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Medical malpractice and negligence
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Car accidents
  • Burn injuries
  • Birth injuries
  • Product liability injuries, such as hernia mesh or 3M earplug injuries
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

In Michigan, for the majority of personal injury cases, the victim has three years to file a claim against a defendant, and this may be extended for cases that are discovered after the statute expires. The type of accident can also impact the statute of limitations so don’t wait to contact a personal injury lawyer at our law firm for guidance.

In most cases, the plaintiff may have to accept partial responsibility for the injury due to their own actions, and if the plaintiff has more than 50% of the responsibility, the courts can deny any compensation. This is the “modified comparative fault” rule that allows the court to assign partial liability to the plaintiff.

A Michigan lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of a personal injury claim and get you the damages you deserve.

Worker’s Compensation

Types of Damages

A person who is injured usually suffers from more than just physical pain. Victims and their families often also experience immense emotional distress and suffering, especially if there are multiple surgeries, lost wages, and uncertainties for the future involved.

There are two kinds of damages involved in a personal injury claim: Economic and non-economic.

Economic damages include calculable expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Transportation costs
  • Costs of future care, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, or 24-hour nursing care

Economic damages are intended to make the victim whole again financially, as a result of what they lost due to their injury.

Non-economic damages refer to compensation given for the psychological stress that can arise from a personal injury. These cannot be quantified on paper, but they are important aspects of a patient’s suffering. Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

While often, this compensation cannot make the victim whole again, it can help give credence to the claim that the victim was unnecessarily injured as a result of negligence on behalf of the plaintiff.

Exemplary Damages and Criminal Convictions

In Michigan, you cannot recover punitive damages that are intended to punish the defendant. Instead, you may be awarded exemplary damages, which is non-economic compensation. Exemplary damages may be awarded to plaintiffs who were humiliated, experienced a loss of dignity, and who are outraged by the defendant’s actions. Exemplary damages are appropriate if it is found that the defendant acted willfully, maliciously, and wantonly.

Exemplary damages may be awarded in any case where the defendant’s behavior was so egregious that it is, or borders on, criminal. In fact, many civil cases follow criminal convictions, and these convictions help bolster the civil suit.

In a criminal suit, the burden of proof lies on the state to prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” All the evidence must be air-tight and prove motive, means, and opportunity.

In a civil suit, the “preponderance of evidence” must prove that the defendant is responsible. The sum of all of the evidence presented in the case must show that the defendant is more than 50% responsible for the incident. In a personal injury case, if the person or entity who wronged you is found guilty in criminal court, the evidence and conviction help highlight that the defendant is responsible for your injury or your loved one’s wrongful death.

Exemplary damages do not need direct evidence of an injury. It is enough to provide testimony that the plaintiff has experienced mental suffering as a result of the defendant’s actions. However, if the injured party is awarded exemplary damages, they cannot also recover separate non-economic compensation for pain and suffering.

Wrongful Death Claims

If you lost a loved one as a result of their personal injury, you can pursue damages in a wrongful death claim on behalf of their estate. Damages for these types of claims include both economic and non-economic, including:

  • Pre-death medical bills
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial contribution and future wages
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
  • The emotional distress of surviving family members
  • Loss of support and services

Insurance Settlements

Sometimes in a personal injury claim, you do not need to go before a judge or jury. In motor vehicle accidents, premises claims, or medical malpractice cases, it’s often more advisable to file a claim against the insurance company. However, if the insurance company tries to low-ball you or offer a settlement you think is unfair, our top personal injury attorneys can counter their offer. If both parties cannot agree, we can represent you in a civil trial.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we are experienced personal injury attorneys with extensive understanding and knowledge in several personal injury practice areas. If you or a loved one was hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, we can help.

We work on a contingency basis, which means that if we decide to take on your case, we don’t get paid until you win. Our attorney Eileen Kroll is also a registered nurse, which gives her unique insight into medical complications, understanding of future care, and the kind of medical evidence needed to build a strong case that you can win.

Contact our personal injury law firm to take advantage of our free consultation, and count on us to use our years of experience to help you get compensation for your injury. Call us now at (866) 868-3779.

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