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Steven M. Gursten

Steven Gursten’s Answers

302 total


  • How long should I expect to wait for a response to a 30 day demand letter? Its been 45 days. No response yet. Starting to wonder

    Auto acc mi

    Steven’s Answer

    Michigan has limited bad faith laws, and no law that requires insurance companies act in good faith which would require they respond within your time limit. I can't tell from your question if you are a lawyer or trying to settle a case on your own, but your choices now are wait for what likely will be a much lower response than you will like, start to negotiate against yourself, or start a lawsuit. In the event of an excess verdict, your demand letter may allow for bad faith penalties if it conforms with Commercial Union v Liberty Mutual.

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  • Can I sue a driver who ran a red light and totaled my car for the remainder owed on my loan?

    I was waiting to turn left on a green light. A truck coming from the other direction had the right of way and then out of the blue a driver ran his red light, struck the truck first and then they both hit my car and it was totaled. My insurance p...

    Steven’s Answer

    Please ignore the last answer. Michigan is a completely different state and your recovery is determined by the state mini tort law and recovery is capped at $1000, unless the other driver was uninsured in which case you can sue him for the outstanding balance

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  • Auto accident in mi neck injury radiculopothy at fault driver 500,000 policy lawyer asked for thatto much?

    Neck injury auto

    Steven’s Answer

    There isn't enough information to answer. The key to Michigan law - and what makes MI so different from other states - is that while the underlying injury is important, how much impairment and how much lifestyle impact that injury causes you is far more important. So the neck injury is important because you meet the first prong of our threshold law test of serious impairment because you have an objectively manifested injury, but how much time did you miss from work, how much treatment have you had, what are the doctors saying about your long-term prognosis and future medical care? These matter far more and will go a long way to answering your question about whether the $500,000 policy is too much (or not enough).
    Good luck, Steve

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  • Auto accident mi no fault state my med bills are 50,000 but were covered through insurance does that count toward my lawsuit?

    Car accident neck injury

    Steven’s Answer

    No, but with a little bit of yes. You are asking about your pain and suffering case, and because Michigan is a No Fault state, the amount of money paid towards your medical treatment is not admissible. However, Michigan has a threshold law of serious impairment of body function that does count very much towards your lawsuit and how successful the outcome will be. So while the actual amount of money will not be admissible (lawyers can't "blackboard" this 50,000 like they can in most other states), the duration and extent of your medical care and treatment very much is a factor that counts towards your lawsuit since it goes to how much of a lifestyle impact your car accident has caused you. Hope this helps.

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  • Is this a suit out not

    I was driving my girlfriends car I hit the back of someoneand stop and go traffic 6:30 a.m. o75 the freeway. I was not on the insurance I was hurt in the accident so was a passenger in the car with me. the car was non drivablebecause the girl at t...

    Steven’s Answer

    If you were the operator but not the owner of your girlfriend's car, and assuming you did not have such regular and frequent use of the car to qualify as a constructive owner, then you can bring a lawsuit---but there is one more hurdle to meet first. You can only sue if your injuries are sufficiently serious to qualify under Michigan's serious impairment of body function threshold law. To qualify, you have to show an objectively manifested impairment of an important body function (such as your neck or back) and a lifestyle impact that is sufficiently serious to qualify (think doctor appointments and a period of time off work).

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  • My son was in an accident where a woman ran a red light. He has plpd on his car, can we sue her for the value of the car?

    We believe his car is totaled. We live in Michigan.

    Steven’s Answer

    No, I'm sorry but because Michigan is a mini tort state, the woman who ran the red light and caused the car to be totaled will only be responsible for the first $1,000 of vehicle damage, even if the total loss is far greater. Under Michigan’s mini tort law, victims of auto accidents can only recover a maximum of $1,000 for vehicle damage from the driver who caused the crash. This is called a mini tort claim. However, if the other driver is uninsured, they will lose the protection afforded under the mini tort and can be responsible for the full amount of the loss.

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  • Will the drunk driver be able to atleast pay for my medical expenses and to fix my truck?

    I was in a car accident yesterday by a drunk driver who ran into me from the tailgate as I was turning. He blew on a test and it read .13. He told me he had insurance but it shows on the police report for him that his insurance is "unknown". I wen...

    Steven’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear about your accident and hope you feel better soon. The answer to your question is Michigan is a No Fault and a mini tort state. This means your own auto insurer will pay any medical expenses you incur, and assuming the other driver has insurance, that driver is protected under the mini tort law and is only responsible for the first $1,000 of vehicle damage. If he is uninsured, he loses this protection.

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  • If a car is hit from behind, no tickets but no insurance for the driver in the backcar what is the limit for damages in Michigan

    The accident happened in Michigan and involves a Canadian bus

    Steven’s Answer

    The Canadian bus will certainly have insurance, so I am assuming you are referring to the driver of the car in your question? There are 3 potential cases, under Michigan law, or if the driver is an uninsured owner and operator at the time of the crash, there will be no case.

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  • Is there ever a time to throw in the towel on a auto claim if the lawyer doesn't brief or attend depo, inform status ,

    make or receive/return calls. amt. of possible award is small- won't prevent filing bankruptcy,

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Throw in the towel on your case? Sounds like it may be more appropriate to throw in the towel on your lawyer if he or she isn't attending depositions or court hearings and returning your phone calls and giving you status updates.

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  • Can I sue the one/more people who hit my car in an accident and recover all the extra costs incurred due to this accident?

    I was in an accident two days ago. I was rear ended by the car behind me and another car hit the front bumper and damaged the head lights. it will take 5 weeks to get my car back and I will be paying $500 deductible for the repairs and all the mo...

    Steven’s Answer

    I have to respectfully disagree with the last answer. Michigan has a mini tort statute that is very specific as to what you can recover. Under Michigan's mini tort law, you are limited to a maximum of $1,000 as of October 1, 2012, for all vehicle damage that any at-fault driver causes.
    The state of Michigan does not require a driver to have collision coverage or rental car coverage. If you do not have collision coverage on your vehicle, or rental on your policy, you can recoup some of your out-of-pocket costs for vehicle repairs via the mini tort law. The mini tort also applies if your coverage is limited or you have a collision deductible — and you are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. You can read more on my website www.michiganautolaw.com about our mini tort law.
    Good luck.

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