Representing Injured Michigan Clients for More than 30 Years

Practice Areas


A. PERSONAL INJURY
Our firm has extensive experience in Personal Injury cases.  Our personal injury lawyers are members of the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ). Our entire focus is to recover the maximum possible for our injured clients.

Our convenient location in downtown Monroe, Michigan, allows us to serve the needs of both Michigan and Northwestern Ohio residents. We are proud of our reputation for honesty and integrity; we continuously apply these values with each new client we serve.

Dennis J. Czeryba, Robert Wetzel and Paralegal Connie Lingar, have dedicated their practices to assisting those who have been injured as a result of accidents including:

  1. Automobile Accidents:  We have been representing injured Michigan automobile accident victims in claims against defendants and their insurance companies for over 30 years.  Michigan is a No-Fault State, allowing injured persons to claim personal injury protection (PIP) benefits regardless of whether the accident was caused by the negligence of someone else or not.  This personal injury protection benefit claim, often called a PIP claim or a first-party benefit claim, will reimburse you for economic losses such as: medical bills, wage losses, replacement services, attendant care, transportation costs for medical care, etc.  We can help you to prepare an application for benefits form so that you will be eligible to receive your personal injury protection benefits.

    In addition, if you have sustained a serious injury which was caused by the negligence of someone else, we can assist you in bringing a claim against the individuals, companies, or insurance carriers involved.  This can be done on a contingency fee basis where attorney fees are paid only if and when we are able to achieve a recovery for you.  There is never a charge for consulting with this office on personal injury matters and the decision of whether or not to proceed is yours alone.

  2. Motorcycle Accidents:  Person(s) operating motorcycles seldom cause accidents but are generally injured the most severely when they occur. If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident which also involves any motor vehicle, that accident is considered to be a motor vehicle accident. In such an accident, a motorcyclist will also be entitled to two separate types of claims. The first type of claim is one for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and is generally asserted against the insurer of the motor vehicle involved or the insurer of its driver. This type of claim can be submitted regardless of who caused the accident and may include losses for: medical bills, wage losses, replacement services, attendant care, transportation costs to and from doctors, etc. We do not charge for consultations regarding motorcycle accidents and we will assist you in filling your application for benefits form to receive these benefits.

    In addition, if a motorcyclist has suffered a serious injury that was caused by the negligence of someone else, he or she can bring a claim against a negligent party for the injuries, wrongful death, pain and suffering and limitation that he/she has suffered. This office never charges a consultation fee for discussing these matters and we can proceed on a contingency fee basis with the client paying no attorney fees unless we recovery money for you.

  3. Pedestrian Accidents:  Pedestrians are often seriously injured as a result of contact with motor vehicles or motorcycles. A pedestrian who is injured as a result of contact with a motor vehicle may have two separate types of claims. The first is a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. These benefits will cover medical bills, wage losses, replacement services, attendant care, and transportation costs for medical care. We can help you to determine which of several insurance carriers may be liable for these benefits.

    In addition, if you have suffered a serious injury and the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you will have a right to bring a claim against the responsible individual(s), company(s), and insurance company(s) for the wrongful death or pain, suffering, and limitations that you have gone through.

  4. Boating Accidents:  Boating accidents can lead to very serious injuries and even wrongful death. Whether you are injured on an inland lake or on a great lake (where admiralty law is likely to control), you have rights that should be protected. If your injury results from the negligence of someone else, it is likely that there will be insurance coverage applicable to compensate you for your losses.

  5. Bicycle Accidents:  A bicycle is good exercise, relaxing, and can be an efficient mode of transportation. However, all too often bicyclists suffer serious injuries, most often as a result of the negligence of an automobile or motorcycle operator. A bicyclist who suffers an injury when struck by an automobile or motorcycle has two separate types of claims. One is a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and the injured person may be entitled to recover for his/her economic losses regardless of who caused the accident. These recoverable losses will include medical bills, wage losses, attendant care, replacements services, transportation costs for going to and from doctors, and numerous other benefits. You are entitled to these benefits even if you caused the accident yourself. We offer free consultations regarding all personal injury accidents.

    In addition, if you suffer a serious injury as a result of the negligence of a motor vehicle or motorcycle driver, you will be entitled to bring a claim for the pain and suffering, scarring, wrongful death, or limitations that you have suffered as a result of the accident. On this type of case, we can help you on a contingent fee basis and we will not receive a fee unless we recover money for you.

  6. Trip and Fall:  Many people trip or slip and fall as a result of someone else’s negligence. These falls can result in extremely serious and painful injuries. They may happen as a result of a defective sidewalk, a defective parking lot, an unexpectedly slippery surface, or objects left where they should not have been. Each claim must be evaluated on individual basis but, in many cases, the person who caused the accident and their insurance carrier can be held responsible. If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a fall that was caused by someone else’s negligence, let us help you decide if you have a claim. There is no charge for consultations of this type and if we accept the case, we will not charge a fee, unless we recover for you.

  7. Dog Bite:  Dog bites often result in painful and serious injuries. You may well have a right to recover for a dog bite under both the statutes of the State of Michigan as well as under common law. The dog owner most often has homeowner’s insurance coverage which will try to settle the case. In addition, there may be premises medical insurance coverage applicable to the incident which can pay for the medical bills incurred. Consultations for dog bite cases are free and we charge no fee unless we can recover for you.

  8. Premises Liability:  All too often people are needlessly injured because a property owner does not properly maintain his property. If you are seriously injured as a result of the negligence of a property owner, you may be entitled to be compensated. There may be insurance coverage that will compensate you for the pain and suffering that you have gone through and for the medical bills that you have incurred. Such injuries can result from poorly maintained buildings, sidewalks, and slippery surfaces in retail establishments or hotels. If you are seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence, we offer free consultations for these types of injuries and we never charge a fee unless we are able to collect for you.

  9. Wrongful Death:  A wrongful death is a legal term describing when one person has died as a result of the negligence of someone else. It can result from accidents involving cars, truck, motorcycles, or trains. These claims can result in recovery for family and relatives who have lost their loved one. We do not charge a fee for wrongful death consultations and we never charge a fee on this type of case unless we recover for you.

    Although we do not handle medical malpractice cases, if you were injured as a result of the negligence of a doctor, we can help you get in touch with an attorney that has expertise in the area that you need. Once again we do not charge any fees for discussing medical malpractice cases with our clients.

    If you have been seriously injured it is very important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Pictures should be taken as soon after the accident as possible as the scene of the accident will change and evidence will disappear. Witnesses should be interviewed as soon as possible while their memories are fresh and reliable. Often the information they have is essential to your case. In addition, there are notice requirements and statutes of limitations of various lengths that can forever bar your claim if not brought in a timely manner. Often there are provisions in insurance contracts that can bar recovery against an insurance company if proper notices are not sent on time. In other, cases there can be notice requirements as short as 60-days that can bar your claims if not brought promptly. If you have already been victimized by an accident, do not take a chance on being victimized a second time by having your claim barred as a result of a notice provision or statute of limitations. Talk to an attorney who has extensive experience in personal injury law immediately before your claims are barred.
Because we continually represent citizens injured in automobile accidents, we have gained extensive experience in the very complex Michigan No-Fault Law. When an injured person comes to us for help, we do not just limit our assistance to filing a claim against the person responsible for his or her injuries. We can also assist the client in obtaining all of the No-Fault benefits he or she may be entitled to, which may include payment of medical bills, wage losses, mileage to and from medical visits, replacement services, and attendant care.

- Clients have the option of retaining us on a contingent fee basis, whereby we would not collect any fees unless they are compensated for their injuries. All initial consultations for Personal Injury cases are FREE.


B. CIVIL, BUSINESS & ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
1. Corporate/LLC's
A Corporation is an entity with authority under the law to act as a single entity distinct from the shareholders who own it. They are governed by the corporate bylaws or charter, having the right to issue stock and exist indefinitely.

A LLC is a "Limited Liability Company," authorized by statute, and has limitations on its potential liability and on the transfer of ownership.

2. Real Estate
Real Estate, or "Real Property," deals with land and anything growing or erected upon it.

3. Landlord/Tenant
The Landlord, or "Lessor," is an individual who leases Real Property (Real Estate) to another. The Tenant, or "Lessee," holds or possesses the Real Property by right or title, usually for a period of time specified in the lease. Both have certain rights and duties.

4. Municipal Law
Municipal Law is the ordinances and local laws applicable within a city, township, or other local governmental entity.

5. Licensing Law
Licensing Law is revocable permission by a governmental entity to commit some act that would otherwise be illegal, such as driving or selling alcohol, for example.

6. Worker’s Compensation
The Worker’s Disability Compensation Act permits employees injured at work to recovery certain benefits for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and wage loss.

C. CRIMINAL LAW
Criminal law, unlike civil law, is focused upon punishing an individual as opposed to compensating a victim. Criminal Law includes laws defining offenses against the community at large, and regulating and establishing punishments for convicted offenders. These punishments range from probation, fines, jail time or some combination of the three. Crimes are generally broken down between felonies and misdemeanors.

1. Felonies
Felonies are crimes under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts and are usually punishable by fine, penalty or confinement of more than a year.

2. Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors are crimes less serious than a Felony and are usually punishable by fine, penalty or confinement of one year or less.

3. Traffic Offenses
Traffic Offenses are the violations of rules intended to promote the orderly and safe flow of traffic. They can be misdemeanors or civil infractions.

4. Drunk Driving
Michigan Law makes it illegal under MCLA 257.625 to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. The first offense is a misdemeanor and subsequent offenses can become felonies.

5. License Restoration
Under certain circumstances an individual who has lost their privilege to drive can petition the Secretary of State, Drivers License Appeal Division Hearing offices and/or the Circuit Court requesting that their driving privileges be either partially or totally restored.

D. DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Domestic Relations issues are handled by the Circuit Courts, generally with the assistance of the Friend of the Court.
1. Divorce
Michigan is a No-Fault Divorce State. MCL § 552.6 (MSA 25.86) provides that a Complaint for Divorce may be filed in the Circuit Court upon the allegation that the objects of Matrimony have been destroyed, and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.

2. Child Custody
The Court determines who should have custody of the children based upon what appears to be in the best interests of the children.

3. Child Support
Child Support is determined based on each parties' net income and applying the Michigan Child Support Formula.

4. Visitation/Parenting Time
The Court determines visitation and parenting schedules.

5. Adoption/Step-Parent Adoption
This area deals with custody issues for non parents.
E. PROBATE & ESTATES
1. Estate Planning
Estate Planning is the preparation for the distribution and management of a person's Estate at death through the use of Wills, Trusts, Insurance Policies, and other arrangements. The purpose is often to minimize estate tax consequences or to ensure that assets will be handled in a particular manner.
a) Wills - determine what should happen to your assets after you pass away.
b) Living Wills - these deal with your wishes as to your heath and medical treatment decisions should you become unable to make them yourself.
c) Trusts - these are a tool used by many people to minimize estate taxes or control how your assets should be administered either before or after your death.
2. Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is an instrument granting someone authority to act as agent or attorney-in-fact for the Grantor.
a) Durable Power of Attorney - remains in effect even if the Grantor should become incompetent.
b) General Power of Attorney - authorizes an agent to transact business for the principal.
c) Irrevocable Power of Attorney - a Power of Attorney that the principal cannot revoke.

3. Guardianship/Conservatorship
A Guardian or Conservator is one who has the legal authority and duty to care for another's person or property because of the other's infancy, incapacity, or disability. Normally a guardian deals with the care of a person while a conservator deals with the handling of their assets.

4. Estate Management
Our firm assists Personal Representatives to manage Estates according to the wishes of the decedent. In addition, we guide Personal Representatives through each stage of the Estate process including: filing all forms, obtaining Court Orders and maintaining correspondence, both in Supervised and Unsupervised Estate matters.
When you choose the law firm of Godfroy, Wetzel & Horkey, PLC, you will benefit from personal representation by an attorney who is experienced in your particular area of need.