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The moments after a car accident are hectic and scary. A person is just driving along, minding their own business, when suddenly, BAM! Suddenly, they are looking at themselves and any passengers for visible injuries and assessing their car for damage. It may be difficult, but it is important for people to take certain steps in order to preserve any potential injury claims arising from this accident.

First is to make sure that you are OK and anyone else involved in the accident is OK. Health is of paramount importance, so if you feel too injured to move, stay still and wait for paramedics. If possible, try to move the vehicles to the side of the road to get out of the way of danger, but if you are too injured to move, stay in the car and wait for help to arrive.

If everyone is OK and the cars have been moved safely to the side of the road, begin collecting all information from the other drivers and take as many pictures as possible. Some people may assume that the police report will contain all relevant details, but there are times when police do not fill out a report. Therefore a driver should be diligent in collecting as much information at the scene as possible, including witness statements.

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As the weather continues to warm, more motorcyclists take to the road on trips and fun rides. As a Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer, we often see how those fun outings may turn into a nightmare when proper precautions are not taken. Here are some basic safety tips to help keep you and all the riders in your life stay safer will riding.

For starters, although the helmet laws in Michigan have changed in the past few years, you may want to do your research before riding without a helmet. Anyone 21 years old or older who has two years or more of riding experience can choose to not wear a helmet, however many experts still say choosing a helmet may mean the difference between a life-altering accident and walking away with only some scrapes and bruises. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates helmets saved the lives of more than 1,600 motorcyclists in 2011 and another 703 lives could have been saved if they had worn helmets.

It is important to always be alert and never be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when operating a motorcycle. Even more so than other drivers, it is important to operate your motorcycle defensively in order to stay safe. Because motorcycles are much smaller than the average vehicle, they can easily be missed in another driver’s blind spot.  It is important to remember other drivers may not see you.

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Some of the most serious accidents on the road involve tractor trailers. Since they are so much larger than passenger vehicles, they can be responsible for life-changing injuries. They may wonder if punitive damages are available to increase their reward. It is entirely possible that you may be eligible for punitive damages if the trucker or trucking company responsible for your accident cut safety corners. An experienced truck accident lawyer will examine the facts of your case to determine if punitive damages should be considered. If so, they will aggressively fight to maximize your recovery.

Punitive damages are damages meant to punish a company for certain actions. Typically, these would include safety rules that were ignored. Some examples could be hauling a load that exceeds weight requirements, ignoring hours of service requirements, or ignoring maintenance on their equipment. If something like this is found to have contributed to cause your accident, you may be eligible for punitive damages.

It’s important to be thorough in an accident investigation in order to find these safety problems. Not only does potentially increase the compensation, it also helps to prevent future accident. When trucking companies see that they will be held financially responsible for cutting corners, they are less likely to engage in this conduct. Most trucking companies are honest companies that follow the rules, but some are not. These people need to be held responsible for the injuries they cause.

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Accidents caused by drunk drivers often result in serious injuries. Since drunk drivers are slow to apply the brakes or don’t react at all, they often hit the other car at a high rate of speed. In an instant, a bad decision can result in serious injuries, even a wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, a personal injury lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of drunk driving accidents is that they are entirely preventable. The decision to drink and drive is made before a person leaves the house – if you drive to a bar or party where you know you’ll be drinking, you are setting yourself (and other innocent drivers) up for failure. The best way to prevent drunk driving is to leave your car at home. This allows you to have a good time while keeping everyone safe.

And today, it’s never been easier to find a ride. Apps like Uber and Lyft make it incredibly easy to call a cab, no matter where you are in the Detroit area. The ride is generally very affordable and very convenient. It’s certainly cheaper than causing an accident because you are impaired behind the wheel. Traditional taxi services have also greatly increased their customer service, making this a pleasant option as well. Instead of driving to the bar, take a taxi there to help guarantee you won’t be tempted to drive drunk.

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After an auto accident, it is the responsibility of each party to exchange information and wait for the police if they have been called. Unfortunately, some people ignore these responsibilities and drive off after an accident. This is incredibly frustrating for a person, especially if they have been injured by this negligent driver. They may worry that there is nothing they can do to recover damages for their injuries, but this is not the case. A personal injury lawyer can work to get you the money you need to make you as whole as possible after your accident.

In Michigan, adding Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage is optional. Some states require a driver carry this insurance, but in Michigan a driver must explicitly add it. It is generally inexpensive and can provide significant help after a hit and run. It may be wise to speak to your insurance agent about adding this coverage as additional protection against such an accident.

It’s important to note that UM Coverage only covers bodily injuries, not property damage. If a person is involved in an accident and there is only property damage, UM Coverage will not cover damages to the vehicle. That would be covered by Comprehensive and Collision coverage, which is separate. Again, your insurance agent can explain the coverage you have and how you may be impacted by being involved in a hit and run or an uninsured driver.

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Some people assume that they can handle a personal injury case on their own. They think they can get a similar settlement and, without having to pay attorney’s fees, will actually have extra money left over. It is certainly a person’s right to handle their own case, but it should be noted that it’s generally not wise. Before trying to handle your own case, speak to a personal injury attorney for a free consultation to learn how they may be able to help.

Some studies have shown that people with attorneys collect more in their settlement than people without an attorney, even when accounting for attorney’s fees. If this sounds incorrect, consider that an attorney knows how to properly evaluate a case and properly value injuries. When people handle a case on their own, they often leave out important damages like future medical and non-economic damages. These can be substantial so it’s important to know just what types of injuries you are facing.

Personal injury lawyers are extremely familiar with injuries and know exactly what to seek when trying to settle a case. They also have access to experts who can prove these injuries and bolster the evidence that proves their worth. This is vital when seeking damages and proving a person’s case. If you handle a case on your own, you may not have the same resources at your disposal to prove your case.

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There are times when an insurance company jumps in after an accident and makes an offer. Often, they tell the injured person that this is the best they can expect. They also tell the injured person that if they don’t accept it, they may not receive any money whatsoever. This pressure is extremely difficult for someone also dealing with a serious injury. A personal injury lawyer can be of great help during this time. Before accepting any money from the insurance company, contact Davis Law Center for a free consultation.

These bullying tactics are very common with insurance companies. They know that a person doesn’t know how to properly evaluate their claim. They also know that if they can get a person to accept a settlement that is far less than they should receive. This is why it’s so important to speak to a lawyer before accepting a settlement – once you have settled your claim that is the end of it. You cannot go back, even if further treatment is needed.

A personal injury lawyer knows how to evaluate claims and knows how to get an injured person the compensation they deserve. They will deal with the insurance company and make sure that the injured person is treated fairly. Don’t be bullied into accepting an offer that is far too little to properly compensate you.

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People are trained to pass on things that sound too good to be true. This means that some people hesitate to contact an attorney because they worry they will be charged. They hear “free consultation,” but assume there must be some kind of catch. In reality, there is no catch to a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. If you have been hurt in an accident, take advantage of this consultation to get the information you need.

A free consultation is good for both client and attorney. For the attorney, they can learn about the facts of a case, get some general information, and get a feel for the client. This helps them learn if they might be a good fit to represent a particular client. Instead of forcing the client to sign a contract, the lawyer can be certain they are the right fit for the client.

The advantage for the client is that they can learn about a particular law firm, listen to the types of cases they normally handle, and get some information about what to expect from this process. Since many people are unfamiliar with personal injury cases, this information can be invaluable. And, if after the meeting they determine the attorney is a good fit, they can retain that lawyer.

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When a person is injured in an accident, it is very important to see a doctor right away and continue seeing that doctor until you have reached maximum medical improvement. This continuity makes it very easy for a personal injury lawyer to prove causation and show that the injuries were related to the accident in question. If a person waits too long or routinely skips doctor’s visits, the insurance company will use that as ammunition to deny your claim. These gaps in treatment can cause problems down the road, so be sure to see a doctor right away and continue seeing him or her.

The two biggest causes of gaps in treatment are not seeking out a doctor’s advice immediately after injury and not following up once the person begins to feel better. In the first case, a person may not think they need help because they feel OK immediately after the accident. But in the days or weeks that follow, they begin to feel progressively worse. Some people wait for months hoping the pain heals on its own. Time may not be enough – see a doctor immediately, even if you think your injuries are minor after a car accident.

In the second case, they may think their injuries are healing so they blow off doctor’s visits. Taking time out of your day is not convenient, but it is necessary to preserve your case. If, after a few months, things begin to hurt again, the insurance company may try to claim that because the injured stopped treating, this pain was caused by a subsequent injury. By following a doctor’s advice until you have been released from his or her care, you can be sure that your injuries are being properly treated and documented.

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One of the most dangerous things we can do behind the wheel is to text while driving. Studies have found that when a person texts, they take their eyes off the road for up to four seconds. This might not sound like long, but it is the difference between a close call and a serious accident. As a Detroit car crash lawyer, this office has seen far too many people injured by careless drivers using their phone while driving. Keep the phone in your pocket or purse until you get to your destination.

Another study found that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident compared to an undistracted driver. This stark number puts the danger into perspective. Still, many people continue to engage in this dangerous conduct. It will take a major effort from law enforcement and from the public at large to stop texting behind the wheel.

The closest comparison comes from drinking and driving, Many years ago, people understood that drinking and driving was dangerous but it was generally tolerated. As people began to fully understand the severity of the danger, harsh laws were passed and public service efforts to educate the public became common. The rates of drunk driving have consistently fallen since then (although some could argue that they still remain too high).

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American Association for Justice Michigan Association for Justice The National Trial Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum State Bar of Michigan