I was in a car accident. I understand that in order to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver for my injuries, I must show that I have a serious impairment. Can you explain this?
Absolutely. A person injured in a car accident cannot recover noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering unless the injury results in death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of a body function. Serious impairment of a body function is defined under Michigan law as “(1) an objectively manifested impairment (2) of an important body function (3) that affects the person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life.” An “objectively manifested impairment” is an impairment that can be seen or perceived through actual symptoms or conditions. An “important body function” is a subjective question that can only be decided on a case-by-case basis with inquiry into whether the body function was significant or had great value to the injured person’s life. Whether an injury “affects a person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life” is also a subjective test and must be decided on a case-by-case basis. The inquiry is whether the injury has “an influence on some of the person’s capacity to live in his or her normal manner of living.”
As you can see, this is a difficult area of law. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call me. I can help you recover for your injuries. And remember, we do not get paid unless you win!