In May of 2009, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan heard a case involving a car accident and a woman who claimed that she sustained a closed head injury. (See Barlow v. Adams, 2009 WL 1383305 (E.D.Mich.). In Barlow, the Plaintiff was injured in a car accident on October 4, 2005. Id. Plaintiff was a passenger in a pickup truck which was driven by her granddaughter. Id. Plaintiff was 54 years old when this car accident occurred. Id. As a result of the car accident, Plaintiff claimed she sustained closed head injury, depression, and neck and back injuries. Id. In Michigan, you have to have suffered a serious impairment of body function in order to prevail in a car accident where you seek non-economic tort damages. Id.
The issue of whether a person has suffered a threshold injury is one for the court as a question of law. Id. A serious impairment of body function means “an objectively manifested impairment of an important body function that affects the person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life.” Id. The Courts look to see if the Plaintiff is able for the most part to lead a normal life. (cites omitted). Id. It has to be more than a minor interruption in life. Id. The Plaintiff’s entire life course is looked at and if that course is still on track, then one’s injuries do not meet the serious impairment of body function threshold. Id.
The Court should look at how long the injury is to last. Id. The Court must look at if the injuries are to an important body function and whether they are objectively manifested. Id. The Court should also look at the duration of the impairment, if there is any residual impairment and the prognosis of eventual recovery. Id.
In the car accident case at hand, the Plaintiff had not worked for two years prior to the accident. Id. She did not have any real proof that she actually looked for any work. Id. Further, as to Plaintiff’s head injuries, the Plaintiff was self diagnosed with lifelong dyslexia since she was in high school. Id. As to Plaintiff’s depression from this car accident, Plaintiff had depression beforehand because of her daughter’s ongoing health problems and the recent death of her father. Id. Finally, as a result of this car accident, Plaintiff claims she could no longer play golf. Id. Though when asked, Plaintiff could not testify to her handicap, did not own golf clubs or name any courses she played. Id. Also, she claimed she could not dance as a result of this car accident. Though, Plaintiff could not name any locations where she has danced recently. Id.
Accordingly, the Court held that she had not suffered a serious impairment of body function and dismissed this car accident case. A Kentucky lawyer who handles car accidents can further explain this case and many others regarding car accidents to you.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky car accident matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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