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Premises liability is an area of law that holds property owners and occupiers responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors. In Michigan, the “open and obvious” doctrine is an important concept in premises liability law. This blog will discuss what the “open and obvious” doctrine is, how it affects premises liability cases in Michigan, and what you need to know if you have been injured on someone else’s property.

To start with, it is the law in Michigan that a premises possessor owes a duty to undertake reasonable efforts to make its premises reasonably safe for its invitees. Lugo v Ameritech Corp, 464 Mich 512, 526; 629 NW2d 384 (2001). As such, a premises possessor “owes a duty to an invitee to exercise reasonable care to protect the invitee from an unreasonable risk of harm caused by a dangerous condition on the land.” Id. at 516, citing Bertrand v Alan Ford, Inc, 449 Mich 606, 609; 537 NW2d 185 (1995). A premises possessor is generally not required to protect an invitee from open and obvious dangers however. Riddle v. McLouth Steel Products, Corp., 440 Mich 85, 91; 485 N.W.2d 676 (1992).


Due to their high center of gravity, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are more likely to roll over than their smaller counterparts. Vehicle rollovers can quickly turn what would have been a mild accident into a serious one. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an SUV rollover accident that was not your fault, you need to reach out to a seasoned Michigan injury attorney who can meticulously review the facts of your case.

An SUV is a vehicle classified as a light truck that can be used on rough surfaces but is often used on city roads and highways as a family vehicle. An SUV rollover accident takes place when the SUV tips over onto its side or roof after impact. The top-heaviness of an SUV increases its chances to roll over in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 11,000 fatal rollover accidents take place each year in the United States. In fact, rollover accidents make up more than half of all single-vehicle auto accident deaths. Rollover accidents also increase your risk of serious injury by 36 percent. Data from the Michigan Traffic Crash Reporting System reveals that in 2015, there were a total of 664 crashes involving passenger cars, SUVs, and vans.

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“Whiplash” is a kind of catch-all term to describe injuries that occur after an incident that causes a person’s head to violently snap back and forth.  Probably the most common cause of whiplash is when a vehicle is struck from behind by another car or truck, but sports injuries and slip, trip and falls can also result in whiplash injuries.  Whiplash injuries can range from mild to severe depending on how severely a person’s neck hyperextends or compresses as a result of an impact.  Moreover, symptoms may not be immediate or even appear for several days following a trauma to the neck.

So what are the symptoms of whiplash?  It really depends on how a person’s head, neck and spine react to the trauma or impact that caused the whiplash.  Less severe whiplash may result in minimal or no pain or stiffness.  Mid level whiplash may cause pain radiating to areas such as the face, head, back and shoulders, as well as possible muscle spasms that cause difficulty in moving one’s head and/or neck.  More serious whiplash can cause quite devastating symptoms including numbness, weakness, headaches, dizziness, vision and sleep disturbances, as well as neurological problems associated with trauma to the vertebrae, discs, and nerve roots in the spine.

The types of treatment and length of treatment for whiplash type injuries is generally dictated by the severity of symptoms a person experiences after sustaining trauma to the head and neck.  For less severe instances of whiplash, one or more of the following may be all that is needed: Anti-inflammatory medications, pain medication, muscle relaxers, immobilization and/or physical therapy.  For more severe instances of whiplash, a person may need some or all of the above plus electrical nerve stimulation, injections and in some cases, spinal surgery.  Obviously, the time and potential for a full recovery will depend on the severity of the damage caused by the whiplash event.  Some may recover in weeks.  Others may have permanent damage and never fully recover.

It has been well documented in the news and social media that the 2019 changes to the Michigan No-Fault Law have had many devastating consequences for persons seriously injured in vehicle crashes.  A very real example of this is a case we are handling for a pedestrian that was mowed over by 2 vehicles that fled the scene of the accident.  As a result, our client suffered fractures to both hips, ribs and collarbone.  He lacerated his liver, sustained a penile injury and had bleeding on the brain.  He spent 1-1/2 months in the hospital, underwent multiple surgeries and requires round-the-clock care to assist him with activities of daily living.

Prior to enactment of the 2019 No-Fault Law, our client would have had unlimited lifetime benefits for what are referred to as, “allowable expenses.”  These include things like medical expenses, home or vehicle modifications and attendant care.  “Attendant care” basically refers to home nursing assistance to help an injured person with activities of daily living he or she can no longer do for themselves.  This includes things like assisting with bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, administering medication, helping get in and out of a chair or bed, etc.

Under the new law, allowable expenses are capped for our client at only $250,000.  While that may seem like a lot, it is really only a drop in the bucket for seriously injured victims of vehicle crashes.  In our client’s case, the full $250,000 was used up on the first day of his hospitalization, leaving nothing left to pay for the additional medical treatment he requires or the attendant care providers he will need the rest of his life.  As a result, the taxpayers (through Medicaid) now have to foot the bill for the care our client needs rather than the insurance companies that continue to rake in record profits in the State of Michigan.


Parking lot accidents are more common than you may think. With cars moving in and out of parking spaces, pedestrians, and sometimes even shopping carts, drivers must navigate parking lots with the utmost caution. If you or someone close to you was injured in a parking lot accident, you need to reach out to an experienced Michigan injury attorney who can evaluate the merits of your case. You can trust that if we take on your case, we will vigorously pursue the compensation you deserve.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that one out of every five automobile accidents occurs in parking garages and parking lots. Even though most parking lot accidents occur at low speeds, these accidents can lead to serious injuries, especially when a car strikes a pedestrian. Some common causes of parking lot accidents include inattentiveness when backing out of a parking space, distracted driving, speeding in the parking lot, or underestimating the amount of space one has to pull into or back out of a parking space.

Whether you are injured in a parking lot accident or somewhere else, your legal rights remain the same. A pedestrian who is hit by a car in a Michigan parking lot can try to pursue damages through a negligence claim. Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a driver using reasonable care would not excessively speed through a parking lot, understanding the risk of striking a pedestrian associated with such behavior.

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Pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences for victims. Pedestrians often suffer extremely serious injuries, since they do not have anything between their body and the vehicle that strikes them. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should reach out to a skilled Michigan personal injury attorney as soon as possible. We can examine the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a pedestrian as any individual on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle crash.   According to the NHTSA, on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents in 2013. In fact, there were 4,735 pedestrian deaths that year, accounting for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Unfortunately, that number increased in 2014, when a total of 4,884 pedestrians were killed, while an estimated 65,000 were injured across the country.

In Michigan, 148 pedestrians were killed in 2013, accounting for 15.6 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the state in 2013. In 2014, there were 148 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 16.4 percent of total traffic deaths. Pedestrian accidents can take place in a number of ways, including:

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The neck is one of the most crucial and vulnerable parts of your body. When a person suffers a neck injury in an auto accident, the results can be catastrophic. If you or someone you love sustained a neck injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. At Davis Law Center, our seasoned Michigan auto accident attorneys can examine the facts of your case and determine the viability of your claim.

The neck can be easily jarred and injured during a motor vehicle crash. In the United States, motor vehicle accidents account for approximately 37 percent of neck injuries. Approximately 50 percent of vertebral fractures are to the cervical spine. Neck injuries can take a variety of forms, including mild to severe whiplash, disc herniation, spinal cord injury, vertebral fracture, vertebral dislocation, pinched nerves, compression fracture, and complete severance of the spinal cord. It is important to note that neck injuries are not always immediately apparent.

Neck injuries from auto accidents can be life-changing because they may require extensive treatment costs. Over time, neck injuries can cause ongoing issues with chronic pain and mobility, sometimes inhibiting your ability to have a normal life. This is why Michigan law allows victims of auto accidents to recover a variety of damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other losses arising from the accident.

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Pedestrians struck by vehicles on crosswalks can suffer serious injuries and even death. Unfortunately, it is not that uncommon for crosswalk accidents to occur in Michigan and throughout other states. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a crosswalk accident, do not delay in reaching out to a skilled Michigan pedestrian accident attorney. At Davis Law Center, our skilled injury attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your harm. You can rest assured that we will thoroughly examine the facts of your case and come up with a legal strategy accordingly.

MCL 257.10(b) defines a crosswalk as any designated area for a pedestrian crossing. This broad definition is likely intended to cover a wide range of situations. As a result, drivers must be vigilant behind the wheel in order not to injure or kill pedestrians while driving.

Under MCL 257.612, vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and bicyclists who are lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection. Michigan case law also supports the rights of individuals walking through a crosswalk safely. In Guina v. Harrod, the court held that motorists are required to anticipate the presence of pedestrians at street crossings, and, in the event they cannot see if the crossing is clear, they must drive in a manner that is consistent with how a reasonably prudent person would drive. In other words, motorists should anticipate crosswalks and proceed with caution around them because they should be aware that pedestrians may be in the area, and it may not be easy to see a pedestrian from a distance.

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Spinal cord injuries can have devastating effects on a victim’s life. If you or someone close to you has suffered a spinal cord injury in a mishap that was caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help. At Davis Law Center, our skilled Michigan personal injury attorneys can review the facts of your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve for your harm. You can rest assured that we have the experience and determination to handle your case.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 11,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries each year. The spinal cord consists of a collection of nerves inside the spine and connects nearly all of the parts of the body to the brain, with which it forms the central nervous system. Put another way, the spinal cord is a column of nerve tissue protected by the spine and is in charge of delivering messages from the brain to the rest of the body. A spinal cord injury may take place because of a sudden blow or cut to the spine. The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on two things:  the place of the injury along the spinal cord and the severity of the injury to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can cause partial or total paralysis of the lower limbs or of all four limbs.

Some causes of spinal cord injuries are car crashes, pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, slip and falls, and sports accidents.

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Storeowners have an obligation to stack merchandise in a safe manner. Unfortunately, a number of people in Michigan and the United States are injured each year due to improperly stacked items falling off shelves at big box stores. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, such as an accident caused by falling merchandise, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Davis Law Center, our seasoned Michigan personal injury attorneys can zealously advocate for your rights at every step of the way.

Falling merchandise accidents take place when a customer is injured because merchandise falls on top of him or her. This typically happens in commercial places, such as warehouses and big box stores, where goods are vertically stacked. Common causes of falling items include:

  • Stacking too high;
  • Poor stacking;
  • Defective racks;
  • Failing to warn customers of danger zones;
  • Faulty shrink wrapping;
  • Shoppers inadvertently dislodging improperly stacked items when reaching for other items;
  • Improperly secured goods; or
  • Inadequate employee training.

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