Everything You Need to Know About Michigan Dog Bite Cases

Everything You Need to Know About Michigan Dog Bite Laws

After being bitten by a dog, you might feel unlucky or one in a million. However, this kind of injury is fairly common—approximately 17,000 dog bite claims are filed in the US each year. 

Getting bitten by a dog, or any type of domestic animal, can be very serious. Therefore, anyone who suffers significant injury or distress deserves to be compensated.

Dog bite compensation can be complex depending on the situation. However, with the help of a skilled dog bite lawyer, you can rest easy knowing you or your child will get the justice you deserve.

Below, we outline everything you need to know about Michigan dog bite laws, injury compensation amounts, how liability is determined, and what you need to do next (before time runs out).

How Are Settlements Decided?

All dog bite cases are unique, and there are many factors that contribute to determining the size of a settlement. These settlements can range anywhere from $1,000 to $1 million. 

Settlements are dependent upon factors including, but not limited to:

Because of all these factors, it’s hard to gauge a true average. However, it typically lands somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000.

Who Is Responsible, According to Michigan Dog Bite Laws?

There are a couple ways to determine who is responsible in dog bites incidents, and how much compensation, if any, a victim receives.

If The Dog Was Provoked

One defense that the owner can use is provocation. If you were bitten after provoking the dog, then you may not be compensated. An example of intentional provocation would be hitting or tormenting the dog.

Provocation doesn’t always have to be done intentionally, however. In other words, one may anger the dog accidentally—like stepping on its tail, for example. 

If the action would cause a “normal” dog to bite, then it may be considered provocation under Michigan law; automatically dismissing your case.

If The Victim Trespassed

According to Michigan dog bite laws, a dog bite victim may not recover damages if they were unlawfully on private property. 

So, even if the victim suffers injury, if they were on someone’s property without their permission and bitten by their dog, the owner may not be liable. However, extenuating circumstances include if the victim was a child, whether or not their fencing is up to city-code, leaving their back gate open, etc. 

In Any Other Case, The Owner is Liable

Some states have a “one-bite” rule that relinquishes the owner from liability the first time a dog bites someone. However, Michigan does not.

That means that the dog’s past nature is irrelevant. The dog could’ve been well-behaved its entire life before biting someone. Under this statute, the first bite could result in liability.

In a nutshell: Owners are responsible for dog bite incidents, unless the victim provokes the dog, or has trespassed on private property.

Time Statutes

In Michigan, there is a limit for the amount of time a dog bite victim has to file a lawsuit against the owner if they are bitten/injured. The victim must file their claim within three (3) years of the date of the injury.

It’s worth noting that you may plead multiple legal theories for holding the defendant liable in a dog bite claim—you aren’t limited to just one. For example; if a dog comes into your backyard and bites you on your private property, you may plead liability and trespassing. 

Additionally, if the dog is known to have previously shown violent behavior, you may also plead negligence. This cites that the owner was clearly displaying carelessness by owning a dog of violent nature.

Dog Bites Are Serious; Get Help From An Experienced Attorney

Getting bitten by someone’s dog is scary, and the added complexities of Michigan dog bite laws make it even more stressful. That’s why you need a skilled, experienced, and compassionate lawyer to help you navigate your case and explain your rights.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog and want compensation, don’t wait for time to run out. Contact the team at Wigod & Falzon today. 

Don’t forget; we work on a contingency fee basis, which means no recovery = no fee. 

accident with uninsured driver

Even though Michigan law states that all drivers must be insured, thousands of drivers try to go without it, and find themselves in tricky situations. 

If you’ve been in a car accident with another driver who doesn’t have auto insurance, you may be wondering what your rights are and what happens next. The process for circumstances like these can be confusing, so it’s necessary to understand potential outcomes so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Keep reading to understand what happens if you’ve been in a car accident with an uninsured driver, and how an experienced auto insurance lawyer can help. 

What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Though Michigan doesn’t require uninsured motorist coverage, you take a major risk if you drive without it. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you get into an accident with a driver who has no auto insurance. 

Underinsured motorist coverage is usually offered alongside uninsured motorist coverage. It protects you if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the damages or injuries they caused in an accident. 

Without these coverages, you could end up paying for medical expenses or vehicle repairs out of your own pocket after an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver. 

What Happens to the Uninsured Driver After an Accident?

In situations involving uninsured drivers, there are a few things to keep in mind:

If They Are At Fault

If the uninsured driver causes the accident, they will have both civil and criminal penalties, including consequences that will impact you moving forward. 

The at-fault, uninsured driver could be held financially liable for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, or vehicle damages. Your auto insurance companies may also come after them to be reimbursed for what was paid in benefits.

If You Are At Fault

Michigan is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you have insurance, you’ll be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s personal injury damages; this is, of course, if you’re deemed 50% or more negligent for the accident.  If you have no insurance, you may be liable for all damages to the other driver.

Is It Worth Filing a Lawsuit?

Is it worth suing an uninsured driver? This depends on a couple factors. It may or may not be worth it; depending on whether the driver can afford to cover the damages. 

Typically, if the driver has assets to cover some or all of your damages, you may sue them. However, it’s possible that if the driver cannot afford the minimum liability coverage, they probably can’t afford to pay you.

However, don’t assume that all uninsured drivers are financially challenged. There may be circumstances where the driver can compensate you. In this case, you may sue them to recover damages.

If you involve an attorney, they can run an asset and credit check on the driver to assess their financial status. If the assessment reveals the driver is financially stable, the attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit. 

The matter also works out in your favor if you have uninsured motorist coverage and if the uninsured driver also ran off after the accident.

Regardless, You Need an Experienced Attorney After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

If you’re feeling confused or scared after an accident involving an uninsured driver, it can be really helpful to enlist the help of a skilled car accident attorney. They can help you understand your rights and the potential outcomes of your situation. 

For help with a car accident, contact us today. We can help you by navigating insurance claims, negotiating with the other party’s attorneys, or pursuing legal action. When you contact us, rest assured we’ll put you in touch with an experienced attorney that can help you resolve the situation as smoothly as possible.

michigan no fault law

Unlike other states, there is a Michigan no fault law regarding car accidents. This means that your car insurance will cover your injury-related costs, whether or not you were at fault in causing the accident.

In 2020, a revamped no-fault insurance law went into effect that provides consumers more options for coverage. However, this new statute also complicates the process of seeking full compensation for many drivers, with a large increase in third-party claims now occurring.

Whenever the legislature and insurance companies get involved, a personal injury claim grows even more complex. Keep reading to learn how Michigan’s no-fault law can affect your claim.

Changes in the Michigan No Fault Law

For the last 50 years, the majority of drivers in Michigan only had the option to purchase unlimited no-fault coverage. The law has since changed, and Michigan drivers now have the choice of one of the following:

Most drivers should choose unlimited, or limits of $500,000 or $250,000 for better protection. The less coverage you have, the more the claims process for accident victims who endure serious injuries will affect their financial wellbeing.  Having limited coverage will change the claim process for accident victims who endured serious injuries.

Insurance Company Advantage

The basic problem with the Michigan No Fault Law is that the legislature passed laws requiring every driver to obtain No-Fault insurance from profit-based private companies, like State Farm and Allstate. At the same time, there are no laws that ensure that insurance companies will pay the benefits to the auto accident victims that the legislature says they must pay.

For instance, you may be hurt in an accident and unable to work. However, that doesn’t mean that your insurance company is simply going to pay you. The legislature wanted that to happen; that is why they call it No-Fault, but it never did. As it turns out, insurance companies are very good at holding onto their money.

They’ll require you to attend insurance medical examinations (IMEs). This is where doctors, paid by the insurance industry, will see you for a few minutes and declare there is nothing wrong with you, or that you have healed from the auto accident. 

After that, the insurance company merely stops paying you your benefits. They will then require you to either accept their decision, or hire an attorney to help you litigate against them for the benefits that the legislature guaranteed you.

Remember; an insurance company’s goal is to always make a profit, and the seriousness of a claimant injury is not always their top priority. That’s why it’s necessary to have an attorney that will fight for your rights.

How an Injury Can Qualify for A Negligence Lawsuit

In Michigan, only certain injuries will qualify a victim to sue a negligent driver for additional damages beyond their own PIP coverage.

Since the Michigan statute uses the term, “serious impairment of body function,” it can be difficult to navigate the issue as to whether or not your particular injury will qualify for a negligence lawsuit.

The insurance companies know this, and will attempt to contact auto accident victims before they retain an attorney. This is because they may say things that will hurt their chance for a lawsuit. We know from case law that broken bones typically represent a serious impairment of body function. However, soft tissues may or may not, depending on how these injuries affect a person’s ability to lead a normal life. 

A knowledgeable auto accident attorney can help you understand the kind of injuries that will qualify you for pain and suffering damages.

Contact a Michigan No Fault Law Attorney for Help

No matter what type of no-fault coverage you have in Michigan, the claim process can be both challenging and stressful.

The legal team at Wigod & Falzon takes on complex car accident claims, whether a case involves first-party no-fault claims, fault-based third-party claims, or both. If you have any questions about your car accident claim, please do not hesitate to call (248) 356-3300 today or contact us online.

how are personal injury settlements paid out

After an injury, you may feel anxious to receive your compensation. However, personal injury settlements can get quite complex. Understanding the process for getting justice and putting the case behind you can make it a little easier.

Keep reading to understand, “how are personal injury settlements paid out?”

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

1. Signing a Release Form

Once your attorneys and insurance company have agreed to a settlement amount, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. You’ll most likely sign several documents, but the most important one is the release.

The release form is a legal agreement between two parties in which one party waives the right to hold the other responsible for damages. This form also releases the at-fault party/insurance company from any future liability or damages.

In some cases, all parties may have a hard time agreeing on the terms of the release, even after they’ve agreed on the settlement amount—this can cause delays in paying out a settlement. 

2. Writing and Depositing The Check

Once the signed release goes to the at-fault party’s insurer, they will write a check. Then, the check is made out to you and your attorney and sent to the law firm.

Your settlement money is now in the hands of your legal team. Before you get your money, however, they will deposit it into their legal trust account. 

3. Negotiation of Your Debts

It’s fairly common for injured people to owe portions of their settlement to third parties. Often referred to as “liens,” these debts can be negotiated, and your attorney will fight tirelessly to reduce the amount you owe. 

Liens against a personal injury settlement often come from:

Once all liens are agreed upon, your attorney will pay the lienholders out of the settlement funds. It’s worth noting that there can be a large amount of back-and-forth in this step of the process, and it may extend the time it takes to complete the settlement.

4. Receive Your Money

Once all debts, fees, and other expenses are finalized, you will meet with your attorney to finish your case. They will provide a settlement packet, where you’ll find a copy of your release and all of your paid expenses. Then, you’ll review all documents and sign the last of your paperwork.

After that, you will receive your check! This can be done in person or, with the option to have the law firm deposit the insurance check and send you your portion in the mail.

The final step is to relax, and find peace in the fact that you’ve gotten the money and justice you deserve after an injury.

Need Help With a Personal Injury Settlement? Contact Us Today

Now that you know how personal injury settlements are paid out, our attorneys at Wigod & Falzon stand ready to get you what you need and deserve.

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means no recovery = no fee. Rest assured that you’ll be in great hands with an attorney that truly cares about you and your case. Contact us today!

medical misdiagnosis lawyer

As many as 250,000 people die yearly, and some 370,000 suffer harm because they are misdiagnosed in the emergency room, with doctors failing to identify serious medical conditions like stroke, sepsis, and pneumonia; according to a 2022 analysis from the federal government. And that’s just in the ER!

Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to correctly diagnose a patient’s condition, leading to incorrect or delayed treatment. This can result in serious harm to the patient, including prolonged pain and suffering, permanent disability, or even death.

In some cases, a medical misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary treatments or surgeries, which can further harm the patient. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical misdiagnosis, it’s vital to seek legal representation to hold the responsible parties accountable and to get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

A skilled Michigan personal injury attorney with experience in medical misdiagnosis and medical malpractice cases can help you navigate the complex legal process, build a strong case, and fight for your rights. 

Types of Medical Misdiagnosis Cases

Medical misdiagnosis cases can be categorized into three main types: 

Total misdiagnosis occurs when a physician fails to identify the patient’s condition, resulting in a complete lack of treatment. 

Wrongful misdiagnosis happens when a physician identifies a condition that the patient does not have, resulting in unnecessary treatments or surgeries that can cause harm to the patient. 

Delayed misdiagnosis occurs when a physician fails to identify the patient’s condition in a timely manner, resulting in delayed treatment that can worsen the patient’s condition and cause serious harm. This is especially common in patients with cancer, heart attack, stroke, and other diseases. 

In any of these scenarios, medical malpractice has occurred, and a personal injury attorney with experience in medical misdiagnosis cases can help you pursue equitable compensation.

When to Act if You’ve Been Misdiagnosed 

Medical misdiagnosis cases can be complex and challenging, and pursuing legal action can be overwhelming. However, seeking representation from a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in medical misdiagnosis cases can help you navigate the legal system and build a strong case. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical misdiagnosis, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There are deadlines for filing a medical malpractice claim, so acting quickly to protect your legal rights is essential. A qualified attorney can help you understand your legal options, gather evidence, and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Examples of the recoverable damages you can expect include but aren’t limited to:

Experienced Michigan Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyers

At Wigod & Falzon, we understand the devastating impact that medical misdiagnosis can have on your life. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you understand the legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve.

With years of experience handling medical misdiagnosis cases, we have the knowledge and expertise to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical misdiagnosis in Michigan, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We’re here to help you get your life back on track.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

From 1953 to 1987, United States service members living at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were drinking and bathing in water containing toxic chemicals.

According to recent estimates, approximately 1 million people have been exposed to chemicals such as industrial solvents, benzene, and vinyl chloride, among others. All of these substances are known cancer-causing chemicals, and are extremely dangerous to human health.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. You may be asking yourself, “do I need a lawyer for Camp Lejeune water contamination?”

Luckily, our expert veteran’s disability team can guide you throughout the entire complex process.

Illness and Conditions Caused By Contaminated Water

Exposure to contaminated water, including chemicals such as the ones detected at Camp Lejeune, has inflicted very serious side effects in generations of people. 

Side effects include, but are not limited to: 

Currently, these conditions are the only ones for which there is sufficient medical evidence to support presumptions. However, the Veterans Association continues to add new diseases as evidence becomes available. 

Camp Lejeune veterans who are experiencing these or other health conditions are encouraged to seek help from a physician, and to file a claim.

*If you’ve been exposed to contaminated water, but don’t have any symptoms indicating potential illness, take the extra step–get a check-up from your doctor to get ahead of any potential health abnormalities.

Who Can File A Lawsuit?

The qualifications for filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit are as follows:

Under the law, anyone who “resided, worked, or was otherwise exposed” to Camp Lejeune drinking water for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may be eligible to file a claim for damages. This includes: 

  • Military veterans who served at Camp Lejeune during the above period 
  • Family members of veterans who lived on the base
  • Civilians workers who lived or worked on the base

What is the Process for Getting Benefits?

In order to qualify for compensation, you first need to file a claim. This requires some evidence via documentation. The proper documentation is as follows, depending on how you were affected.

Additionally, you’ll need to provide evidence that you paid health care expenses for your condition during one of the time periods listed below:

If You’ve Been Affected by the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination, Contact Us Today

You’ve served our country; now let us serve you. If the Camp Lejeune water contamination has affected the health of yourself or a loved one, contact us today.

We’ll guide you through the rigorous claims and documentation process, and help you navigate both the legal system and the Veterans Affairs Department, to get you the compensation you and your family deserve.