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What is the Injury Threshold in a Michigan Claim?

person in wheelchairThe Threshold Injury law is unique to the complicated no-fault state of Michigan. Essentially, it is used to define when an injury involves a “serious impairment of body function” after a car crash.

Jay Trucks & Associates explains this law and when it may apply to an auto negligence claim. Why is this important? If you have a qualifying threshold injury, you may be eligible to pursue additional compensation for your injuries and other damages. The experienced attorneys at our firm are prepared to help you through this process, and you can learn more in a completely free initial consultation. If we validate your claim, we can represent you with no upfront costs. We only get paid if you do.

How the Threshold Injury Law Applies to a Negligence Claim

Before you can consider pursuing an auto negligence claim, you must first obtain an evaluation and medical evidence to establish that your injury meets the eligibility requirements for a threshold injury.

Getting your injury classified as a threshold injury involves:

  • An evaluation from a doctor
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Medical records and doctor’s notes to verify your claim

The only caveat to pursuing an auto negligence claim in Michigan is that, per the state’s comparative negligence law, you must not be more than 50 percent liable for the collision that caused your injuries. Any percentage of fault you are assigned will reduce the final amount of any compensation you receive. If your fault is deemed to be 51 percent or higher, then you will not be able to pursue compensation beyond your no-fault benefits. 

Injuries that may meet eligibility for serious body impairment

There are multiple types of injuries that may have a significant impact on an injured victim’s daily quality of life. Many of these injuries may also qualify as a threshold injury under the law, such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Compound fractures
  • Amputations
  • Closed head injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries

In addition to looking at the type of injury, there are other considerations that may apply, including these new requirements for a threshold injury added under the No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform, effective July 2020, including:

  • The extent of the injury is clear to others when observing the symptoms or condition of the injured person.
  • The injury must be the direct cause of impairment to an important body function; further defined by the significance, value or consequence the impairment is to the injured
  • The severity of the impairment interferes with the injured person’s quality of life or impacts his or her normal state of living and functionality
  • There is no minimum or maximum length of time an impairment must last to qualify
  • Threshold injuries must be confirmed and verified on a case-by-case basis
  • The capacity of a person’s state of functionality will be compared to before and after the injury

What Types of Damages Can You Pursue?

If you meet the eligibility for a threshold injury, you may be able to pursue compensation for other types of damages, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Excess medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of body function
  • Disfigurement
  • Partial or full disability
  • Humiliation
  • Reduced ability to participate or enjoy social pleasures
  • Loss of companionship

There may be additional damages resulting from your threshold injury that you may be eligible to receive, but it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your claim and seek medical care to obtain an evaluation of your injuries.

Contact One of Our Attorneys For Legal Help

If you sustain a serious or life-altering injury that may meet Michigan’s threshold injury requirements, we strongly recommend that you arrange for a legal consultation as soon as possible. Our Grand Rapids car accident lawyers are prepared to carefully review the circumstances of your accident and the injuries you sustained and guide you through the process of determining whether you are eligible to pursue additional damages through an auto liability claim.

Our law offices are available to take your call anytime, day or night. When you contact us, we will schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your claim. We do not recommend that you delay, because Michigan does have a strict deadline for filing a claim. Additionally, having an experienced attorney on your side can help to protect your legal rights and ensure you avoid missteps from the beginning.

Call Jay Trucks & Associates today at: (800) 762-8623 for answers to your legal questions.