Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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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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If you are in a car accident in Michigan, a Detroit car accidents lawyer can assist you in figuring out what steps you need to take to get rightfully compensated for your losses. It is important to know how long you have to file for a lawsuit and how much it will cost you, for starters.

Accident victims have one year to file a lawsuit with their own company under the no-fault insurance benefits and up to three to file against the other driver’s company for pain and suffering damages. It is increasingly difficult to file a lawsuit after the time frame has passed.

In Michigan, the no-fault insurance helps pay medical bills, mileage to and from appointments, loss of earnings, nursing care and many other aspects to assist victims of car accidents. Some times an insurance company will stop payments for the covered aspects and it is crucial to get an experienced lawyer who can step in and take charge of the situation.

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A former peanut executive has been sentenced to 28 years in jail for his role in a salmonella outbreak. This outbreak occurred in 2009 and resulted in more than 700 illnesses and 9 deaths. According to prosecutors, this man knowingly sold peanuts that had failed food safety tests, causing these illnesses. As a product liability attorney, this is a great message to send to food executives and other companies that consumer safety is of paramount importance. By holding executives criminally liable, it makes safety compliance far more likely.

This salmonella outbreak was more than just a simple oversight, the executive allegedly knew of the salmonella and had the peanuts sold anyway. In some cases, batches came back positive but were simply retested until they came back negative. In other cases, peanuts were shipped before the food safety results came back. In both cases, this is a flagrant disregard for consumer safety and the laws governing food production.

Salmonella can make people very sick, resulting in nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, and more. It is especially dangerous for elderly people, children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. For these people, salmonella can be deadly.

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In every personal injury case, the goal is to make the injured person as whole as possible after an injury. But what exactly does “made whole” mean? Specifically, it means to return a person to the state they were in before an accident occurred. Since we don’t have a time machine to take a person back to prevent an accident, we use money to compensate people for their injuries. It is not perfect, but it is the only tool available to help someone after an injury accident.

As an example, let’s imagine a person is struck by a drunk driver. This person is very fortunate and only suffers damage to their vehicle but doesn’t suffer any injuries. They walk away completely unharmed save for the property damage to their case. To make this person whole, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will only need to cover the damage to the vehicle.

If, however, the driver above suffered serious injuries from the drunk driver, the monetary amount would be much greater. This injured person would need to be made whole from the immediate treatment the received from the paramedics and the emergency room doctors. There would then be follow up visits to their primary care physician, specialists to look at specific parts of the body, and physical therapists needed to help them rebuild strength. These damages would be substantially more since there was a greater loss.

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When an auto accident occurs, the people involved should exchange information and accept responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, some people choose to flee the scene instead of doing this. When this happens, it can cause major difficulties for an injured person. An uninsured motorist attorney can help with your accident and make sure that you get money you need if you have been involved in a hit and run in the Detroit or Farmington Hills area.

The first thing a person should do after being involved in such an accident is to report it to the police. Hit and run is a felony and the police may ultimately be able to find the person who hit you. If not, having a police report will help in proving that you were involved in a hit and run. Before making an uninsured motorist claim, a person will need to prove that the other driver either had no insurance or cannot be found.

Once a person has proven this, they will have access to their own policy for any injuries that have occurred. This means, for instance, that if a driver carries a $20,000/$40,000 policy, that will be the coverage available to the injured driver. This coverage is not mandatory in Michigan, unlike other states, so a driver should talk to their insurance agent about adding this important coverage. This way, if they are involved in a hit and run, they will have money available to cover their injuries.

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One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with a personal injury claim is when an insurance company declares their party isn’t at fault. This can be confusing and frustrating for the injured person – if the insurance company says they aren’t at fault, what options are there? Fortunately, the insurance company is not the ultimate arbiter of fault in these types of cases, a jury is. If you have been injured and the insurance company is denying responsibility, a lawyer can fight to get you the money you deserve.

Determining fault is extremely important because it impacts what award, if any, an injured person can expect to recover. In Michigan, a defendant must be at least 50% responsible for a person’s injuries in order for the plaintiff to recover. The jury award will be pro-rated based on the level of responsibility assigned to the defendant due to these comparative fault laws.

For instance, if a driver rear-ends another, they are generally responsible for the injuries caused to the other driver. But if the injured driver was not wearing a seat belt, the jury might find that they are partially responsible for their injuries. In this case, the jury might assign 80% of the blame to the defendant and 20% to the plaintiff with a $100,000 award. The plaintiff would receive $80,000 (80% times $100,000). There is no formula for a jury to decide exactly how to assign blame in car accidents, so this percentage will ultimately be based on the unique facts of your particular case.

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When a person is involved in a car accident in Detroit, the amount the maximum they can generally expect to recover depends on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits. This means that if your injuries exceed their policy limits, you may be left holding the bag for the total cost of your injuries. With underinsured motorist coverage, however, you can potentially have more money available to you after an accident. An injury attorney can recover damages from this insurance should you choose to carry it.

When a person carries this policy, they will have their own coverage limits available to them should the other party’s insurance coverage not sufficiently cover their injuries. For instance, if the at-fault party only carries the minimum insurance coverage in Michigan — $20,000/$40,000 – that often is insufficient to compensate serious injuries. Just a night or two in the hospital can cost a person tens of thousands of dollars, and that doesn’t take into account the physical therapy and follow up treatments that will almost certainly be required. With underinsured motorist coverage, a person could then file a first party insurance claim on their own policy to get the money they need.

It is important to note that this coverage only covers injuries, not property damage. It is also important to note that there may be minimum coverage requirements in order to carry this insurance. It may be wise to speak with an insurance agent to learn about adding this coverage. It can prove extremely valuable should a person be involved in a serious accident.

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As we enter the last month of summer, some people might be planning vacations before the kids return to school. These road trips are a great way to build memories with the family, but they can become dangerous when people ignore safety precautions. The NHTSA has tips for families driving with children in the car in order to keep everyone safe. This way, families can enjoy the summer without needing the help of a Detroit car accident attorney.

Some of the safety tips are good not just for summer for all months. These include:

  • Never leaving children unattended in the car
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As a Detroit injury attorney, too often we see cases where a terrible accident is made much worse because the people involved were not secured in proper safety belts or devices. This may be especially true with children. It may also be quite confusing to truly know when children should be restrained and what seat is truly appropriate for the child’s age and weight.

From the time you bring your child home from the hospital until they are in grade school, he or she must be properly restrained with an age and weight-appropriate device while riding in any motor vehicle. Here is an overview of the general car seat laws and recommendations from Michigan’s department of motor vehicles’ web site:

Experts recommend a baby or toddler ride rear-facing until he or she is two years old or until he or she reaches the highest weight or the highest height allowed by the car seat.

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Almost 34 million vehicles are being recalled due to defects in the airbag. Takata, one of the largest suppliers of airbags in the world, has issued this recall that impacts one in seven vehicles currently on the road. This is the first time Takata has admitted that its airbags are causing injuries, even though injuries had been reported for years. If you have been injured by an airbag, a personal injury lawyer can fight to get you the money you deserve.

The issue with this airbags is that, when they deploy, they can release shrapnel and other sharp objects into the passenger compartment. More than 100 people have been injured in this way, with six people dying. Obviously, airbags are meant protect people, not cause them serious, life-changing injuries. With this recall, hopefully the problem will be fixed and lives can be saved.

Some of these injuries likely could have been prevented had the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration acted sooner and forced a recall. In 2009, the agency began investigating claims that these airbags were causing injuries. They closed the investigation after six months citing “insufficient evidence.” Consumer advocates accused the agency of being far too easy on the industry it was supposed to regulate, putting industry interests over the safety of the public. Fortunately, it appears that this attitude is changing.

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