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Ask the Expert: Proving Injuries and Damages

If you have been the victim of a serious car accident, one of the things your lawyer will have to show is that your damages meet the legal threshold for a Third Party Lawsuit. Find out what your lawyer can do for you to show those kinds of injuries at court.

The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, a top lawyer training service in Michigan, recently asked auto law expert David Christensen what it takes to prove “threshold injuries” in Third Party Lawsuits. This third in a 4-part series will discuss how attorneys prove that you’ve been seriously injured.

What is a Threshold Injury?

Under the Michigan No-Fault statutes, the only time you can sue a negligent driver is when your injuries meet a certain legal threshold: death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of a bodily function. The toughest cases address serious impairment – where your attorney will have to show that your injuries seriously affect your everyday life. If your lawyer can’t meet that threshold your case against the negligent driver could get dismissed all together.

Using Objective Evidence

The best lawyers won’t rely on testimony to establish that an injury occurred. Instead David Christensen uses objective evidence like X-rays, MRIs, and functional capacity evaluations. Your treating physicians may even have done objective tests like testing flexibility, reflexes, or memory during your office visits. To discover those objective tests, your lawyer will talk to your doctors to find out what your diagnoses are, and how they were made. That’s why it’s so important for you to sign medical releases and let your doctors know about your lawsuit.

Meeting the Threshold

Having the injury isn’t enough though. The injury has to impact your lifestyle. Your testimony will be a part of proving that affect, but other witnesses will help too. Family members can show what you can no longer do around the house.

Coworkers and neighbors can be even more effective because they won’t get anything if you win your lawsuit. For example, if your neighbors used to love your garden, but now your lawn goes uncut for weeks it can show you are no longer able to maintain your landscaping.

To show the impact of your injury, the lawyers will get into the mundane details of your life: sitting, standing, walking, talking. Be as cooperative and specific as you can. What you think is no big deal could be the difference between a great case and a big challenge.

David Christensen and his team are expert trial lawyers. They will work with you and your doctors to develop and prove your threshold injury. If you want a top team working on your case, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today.