Experienced Farmington Hills Personal Injury Lawyers Fight To Protect Your Rights
Farmington Hills is the second largest city in Oakland County, Michigan. The city and its neighbor, Farmington, are among the oldest still-operating cities in the state. Because of this rich history, the area features many historical sites, including the Longacre House and the Governor Warner Mansion. Visitors also come to Farmington Hills to explore the Holocaust Memorial Center, Michigan’s only Holocaust memorial.
Like Troy, Oakland County’s largest city, Farmington Hills frequently appears on lists of the safest cities in Michigan and the United States. However, these cities’ reputations for safety don’t mean no one ever suffers an injury. While many injuries result from unavoidable accidents, others are due to another person or business’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.
If someone else is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to hold them liable and recover compensation. Talk to an experienced Farmington Hills personal injury lawyer today. The Sommers Schwartz, P.C. team can help you understand your legal options and fight to protect your rights.
Farmington Hills Injury Statistics
In 2021, Oakland County saw 32,038 traffic crashes, second only to Wayne County, which surrounds Detroit. Oakland County crashes caused 66 deaths and 8,535 recorded injuries.
Traffic crashes are one way Farmington Hills residents, workers, or visitors might suffer harm that could lead to a lawsuit. Other common personal injury claims involve:
- Medical negligence and malpractice.
- On-the-job injuries.
- Injuries from defective products.
- Slips, trips, and falls.
- Dog bites or other animal attacks.
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights.
Personal Injury in Farmington Hills
If a person’s or company’s negligence causes harm to another person, the injured person may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving negligence in a Michigan personal injury claim requires a plaintiff to prove four things:
- The other party had a duty to use reasonable care to prevent harm.
- The other person breached or fell short of that duty.
- The breach caused harm to the injured person (the plaintiff).
- The court can address that harm by awarding damages or taking another action, like issuing an injunction (an order to do or stop doing something).
Some types of personal injury cases have additional or slightly different requirements. For example, in medical malpractice claims, questions about a medical provider’s breach of duty focus on the applicable standard of care for certain types of medical treatment.
Auto, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Crashes
Collisions involving vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists can be especially serious and cause devastating injuries. To protect others on the road, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians must all use due care when traveling on public streets. This includes following the rules of the road, obeying traffic control devices, keeping a lookout for other road users, and operating at a speed appropriate for the road and weather conditions.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slips, trips, and falls can all cause injury, even if the fall is only a short distance.
Older adults are at the highest risk of serious injury from falls. In recent years, 1.6 million elderly individuals received emergency care for injuries they suffered during falls. Approximately 388,000 of these patients spent time as hospital inpatients for treatment of their injuries. Common types of fall-related injuries include the following:
- Broken bones, including arm, leg, and hip fractures.
- Head injuries, including concussions.
- Soft tissue injuries, like torn ligaments or tendons.
- Nerve damage.
The CDC estimates that 20 percent of falls, or one in five, cause serious injuries. Falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can lead to lingering problems with thinking, memory, attention, and mood.
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe. If you’ve slipped or tripped due to someone else’s negligent maintenance, you may be able to recover compensation.
Dog Bite and Animal Attack Incidents
In 2021, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) ranked Michigan among the top ten worst states for dog attacks against postal workers. However, mail carriers aren’t the only ones who can suffer harm from a dog bite. Nearly anyone can be injured when a dog is not adequately restrained or controlled.
Some state laws follow what’s known as a “one bite” rule, which essentially allows a dog owner to avoid liability for injuries their dog causes unless the animal has a history of aggressive behavior. This is not the case in Michigan. Michigan has a “strict liability” rule, which holds dog owners legally responsible for all bites and injuries – even if the dog has never previously acted aggressively.
However, there are limits to this rule. To hold a dog’s owner liable, the injured person may not have provoked the dog in any way. Further, the injured person must have been somewhere they could legally be when the bite happened. For example, a burglar could not recover from a homeowner for dog bite injuries they sustained while breaking and entering.
Medical malpractice or medical negligence occurs when a medical provider fails to meet the standard of care in treating a patient, causing injury or harm.
Common situations that give rise to medical malpractice claims include:
- Failure to diagnose, delayed or misdiagnosed a condition or illness.
- Failure to treat or delayed treatment.
- Surgical errors.
- Medication errors.
Michigan medical malpractice claims have many rules and requirements that differ from other personal injury claims. If you suspect your injuries or illness result from medical negligence, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure you meet all the legal requirements to pursue a claim.
Medical malpractice law in Michigan also limits the compensation an injured person can recover. Michigan law limits non-economic damages (those awarded for losses like pain and suffering or emotional distress). The total limit, or “cap,” is adjusted yearly for inflation. Not all medical malpractice damages are affected by the cap. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand more about these limits and the compensation that may be available.
Product liability cases cover situations where a defective product causes harm. Nearly any product can be involved in a liability claim, including automobiles, household appliances, packaged foods, and children’s toys.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tracks defective products and manufacturer recalls. Even if a product hasn’t been recalled, it may be dangerous. If you are injured by a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to seek compensation.
Michigan limits the amount of certain kinds of damages in product liability claims. However, these limits may not apply if evidence exists that the product’s manufacturer or distributor knew about the defect and the risk of harm.
Workers’ compensation is insurance employers buy to cover their employees in the case of an on-the-job accident. Most Michigan employers are required to carry this insurance. Workers’ compensation covers bills like medical expenses so injured workers can return to work as quickly as possible.
Fighting for the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to after an on-the-job injury can be challenging. An attorney can help you navigate the process and obtain the benefits you deserve.
Although you usually can’t sue your employer for a workplace injury, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against another responsible party. For example, if a defective piece of equipment injured you, you may have a claim against the equipment manufacturer or distributor. To make sure you get all the compensation you deserve, talk to an experienced lawyer.
How Long Do I Have To File a Claim?
Michigan has a three-year statute of limitations (the time you have to file a lawsuit) for most personal injury claims. If a claim isn’t filed within three years, it cannot be heard in court.
Some types of personal injury claims have different time limits and filing requirements. For instance, an injured person must first notify the medical provider about their plan to file a claim in medical malpractice cases. These notices have special deadlines, which can be confusing. Work with an experienced lawyer to create a plan and ensure you meet all the time limits that apply to your case.
What To Do if You’ve Been Injured
It’s never easy to recover from a severe injury. Rebuilding your life can be a physical, financial, and emotional struggle. You deserve caring, experienced support as you pick up the pieces and seek compensation for your damages.
At Sommers Schwartz, P.C., our personal injury attorneys specialize in helping injured people in Farmington Hills and throughout metro Detroit. We’ll help you understand your options and take steps toward recovery. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.