Know the Law – Non-Economic Damages
When you’re injured in a Michigan car accident, you could experience significant losses. And not all of these losses have to do with financial loss. Even with the recent changes to the auto no-fault law, the concept of pursuing a claim for non-economic damages remains the same. Tom Sinas, Grand Rapids auto accident attorney, explains what you need to know about these legal claims.
What are Non-Economic Damages?
After suffering an auto accident, many people come to attorneys for help. Oftentimes they wonder what types of claims they can pursue, outside of damages for lost wages and medical expenses which are traditionally covered by a no-fault policy. The lawyerly answer is to pursue ‘non-economic damages.’ These non-economic damages compensate for injuries from an auto accident that result in change of quality of life. The law defines these quality of life changing injuries as serious impairment of bodily function, permanent and serious disfigurement, or death.
In the Cases of Death
After suffering a fatal car accident, loved ones are also able to claim non-economic damages as the result of losing their loved one. When filing a lawsuit after the fatal accident, the loss of your closest family members changes the quality of life. The parents, spouse, siblings, and children are all considered close family members regarding the law. When you lose a loved one, there is a "loss of society and companionship." The law recognizes the hole this loss leaves in the victim's family and helps to resolve it.
Handling Claims Regarding Quality of Life Changes
As an attorney, it’s Tom’s job to accurately portray the significance of loss a client has experienced as a result of their injuries or the loss of a loved one to a jury. The bottom line, attorneys ask a jury “what is the value of the person’s quality of life change?” Collecting and presenting the evidence that helps the jury understand these losses is crucial.
Threshold Injuries – Still True Under New Law
The most prominent factor in cases involving non-economic damages is quality of life change. If a case cannot be resolved, a jury of peers evaluate the evidence of the change in quality life. In order to pursue these claims, claimants must have what’s known as a threshold injury. In short, these injuries determine if the injury is serious enough to pursue compensation. One form of injury that is always serious enough in legal regards is death since it has a major impact on quality of life to surviving loved ones.
For more information on non-economic damages after suffering an auto accident, contact Sinas Dramis Law Firm.