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How “Pain And Suffering” Is Defined By Courts In Michigan

The term “pain and suffering” is one that you may be familiar with. With auto accidents, it refers to damages after a crash that under Michigan can allow victims to collect damages under certain circumstances. “Pain and suffering” charges are intended to compensate victims for the pain and suffering they have suffered because of an at-fault driver’s human error negligence.

As you can imagine, state laws differ across the U.S. when it comes to how these types of cases are defined. There is an extra burden of proof on Michigan auto accident victims to provide proof that a “serious impairment of body function” has occurred because of an auto accident before damages are available. This requirement is also known as the Michigan bodily injury threshold.

Pain and suffering damages are possible to obtain in Michigan and can be recovered from an at-fault driver and/or his or her auto insurance company. However, the victim will need to discuss how proof of physical pain, suffering, and/or anguish can be presented during a case. That is where having an experienced law firm that specializes in auto accidents can help.

Proving Pain and Suffering can be Difficult

To qualify a situation for “pain and suffering” in for auto accidents Michigan, the following conditions must exist: physical pain and suffering; mental anguish; fright and shock; denial of social pleasure and enjoyments; embarrassment, humiliation or mortification; and shame, mental pain, and anxiety.

Of course, it is up to your legal team to prove that pain and suffering existed. Our team of experienced attorneys at Bashore Green can help. We know that proving requires the following steps: the driver who caused the crash was negligent; he or she was 50% or more at fault (in causing the accident); the driver’s negligence caused your injuries; you suffered a serious injury that included impairment of one or more bodily functions. 

How Damages are Paid

In most cases, an at-fault driver’s auto insurance company pays for these damages following an accident. Yet there are other things to consider. If any damages exceed the limit in the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance policy, then the at-fault driver may have to pay out of his or her own personal assets.

There also is no consistent way to determine how damages are going to be assessed, and therefore how much a victim will be eligible for. The compensation that is will depend on the physical specifics of a case, what was at the scene, witness statements, the police report, and more. Damages are intended to compensate the victim rather than punishing the at-fault driver. There is no set monetary cap.

One final thing – it is important to remember that Michigan residents have three years from the date of a car accident to file a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault driver based on pain and suffering damages. To be considered for such a lawsuit, the at-fault driver must be 50% or more at-fault. Showing a “serious impairment of body function” must be shown as well.

Before you make a decision on who to contact regarding your personal injury case, you will want to consider the level of experience that Michigan-based attorneys have in dealing with auto, truck, or motorcycle accident cases. The team at Bashore Green can help – and remember, we don’t get paid unless you do as well.