When a child is injured in a school zone accident, parents and guardians may wonder if they have the legal right to sue for damages. In Michigan, the answer is generally yes; guardians can sue for a school zone accident. However, several factors will determine the guardian’s ability to file a lawsuit and the extent of their potential recovery.
The first factor to consider is whether the guardian has legal standing to sue. Legal standing means that the person filing the lawsuit has a direct and personal interest in the case’s outcome.
In Michigan, parents and legal guardians have legal standing to sue for their minor children. This means that if a child is injured in a school zone accident, their guardian may file a lawsuit.
Damages to Recover
The second factor to consider is the type of damages that the guardian can recover. Damages in a personal injury lawsuit typically include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, Michigan law limits the amount of damages that can be recovered in certain cases.
For example, Michigan has a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The current cap on non-economic damages in Michigan is $465,000 for cases involving injuries that occur on or after January 1, 2022. This cap may also apply to school zone accident cases if the injury was caused by medical malpractice.
Effect of No-Fault System
Another factor to consider is whether the guardian’s lawsuit will be subject to Michigan’s no-fault insurance system. Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning that in most cases, a person injured in a car accident must first seek compensation from their insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, there are exceptions to this rule, particularly when it comes to accidents involving pedestrians.
Under Michigan law, if a pedestrian gets hit by a motor vehicle, they may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the driver or the driver’s insurance company, regardless of whether the pedestrian has no-fault insurance coverage. This means that if a child is injured in a school zone accident, their guardian may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver’s insurance company rather than relying solely on their own insurance coverage.
What are the specific requirements for legal standing in Michigan for parents and guardians to sue for their minor children? Are there any limitations to the damages that can be recovered in a school zone accident lawsuit in Michigan? How long does the process of filing a lawsuit typically take in Michigan? We will discuss more in other articles.
Who Else is Responsible?
Finally, it is important to note that other parties may be responsible for the school zone accident in addition to the driver. For example, if the accident was caused by a defective traffic signal or poorly maintained road conditions, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road or traffic signal may also be liable for the child’s injuries. In these cases, the guardian may be able to file a lawsuit against the government agency as well as the driver.
In conclusion, guardians can sue for a school zone accident in Michigan. However, the extent of their potential recovery will depend on several factors, including legal standing, the type of damages sought, and whether the lawsuit is subject to Michigan’s no-fault insurance system.
Additionally, other parties may be responsible for the accident, which may increase the guardian’s ability to recover damages. If your child has been injured in a school zone accident, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your legal options.
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