Severe pain after getting rear ended by truck while waiting at a red signal...

by Brenda
(Wyoming, MI)

I was rear ended by a truck while stopped at a signal. The other driver never hit his brakes. I suffered severe whiplash, and been having constant headaches and pain in my neck and shoulders, sometimes so severe it goes down my back.

I have had injections, pain shots, and am currently taking norco for pain, but nothing seems to help. Now I have to go to a surgeon for consult. I can't even enjoy being around my husband or my children because the pain is sometimes so severe.

What can I do? How do I get compensation for this severe level of pain and suffering I'm going through? Do I have to get a lawyer? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Severe pain after getting rear ended by truck while waiting at a red signal...":

Brenda (Wyoming, MI):

By now we will presume you have contacted your insurance company to report the accident and the injuries you sustained.

The State of Michigan is a No-fault insurance state. As a result, a person injured in a car accident must turn to his or her own insurance company for compensation arising out of a car accident, and not to the at-fault driver's insurance company. This is referred to as a "first party" claim.

First party injury claims in Michigan will normally cover the insured's damages, including medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. No-fault insurance does not provide compensation for pain and suffering or emotional distress.

However, there is an exception to the pain and suffering rule. If the insured suffered a "Threshold Injury," the insured may turn to the at-fault driver for additional compensation (this is referred to as a "third party" claim).

In third party claims, in addition to the damages listed above, the injured party can pursue a claim for pain and suffering. A threshold injury is one which causes serious impairment of a bodily function or serious and permanent disfigurement.

Here are some examples of a threshold injury in Michigan:

- Traumatic brain injury
- Closed head injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Burn injury
- Amputation
- Compound fractures

Because of the seriousness of your injury, you will need the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. There is just too much to lose in a serious personal injury claim to try to go it alone. You can be assured without an attorney, your insurance company will do everything possible to deny your claim for pain and suffering. .

Get a more comprehensive discussion of Michigan's no-fault rules here.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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