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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).


“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.


Nearly 300,000 rollover accidents are reported yearly, resulting in more than 10,000 deaths in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Understanding why rollovers may be more likely in some situations and how you can decrease the risk may help you keep your family and loved ones safe. If you have suffered personal injuries in such an accident, your Detroit personal injury lawyer can fight on your behalf.

Detroit Personal Injury Lawyer – Understanding Why Rollovers Occur

Rollovers are directly correlated with the stability of the vehicle you are riding in. Whether the center of gravity is off because the vehicle is too high, the load heavier than normal or if weather conditions decrease the safety of the roads, rollovers can happen in the blink of an eye. Most rollover accidents occur when a vehicle swerves into a curb, pothole or other type of shoulder obstacle.

 LANSING — The Michigan House Insurance Committee approved legislation today that would fundamentally destroy the Michigan auto no-fault system as we know it.  In response to the committee’s action, Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) president John Cornack issued the following statement:

            “The actions by the house insurance committee today were completely and utterly irresponsible. It is irresponsible to approve legislation that would shift millions of dollars onto already over burdened taxpayers. It is irresponsible to approve legislation that kills thousands of good-paying jobs. It is irresponsible to approve legislation that circumvents voters’ constitutional rights. It is irresponsible to approve legislation based on unverifiable data controlled by a single interest group. And finally, it is irresponsible to approve legislation that destroys the best auto insurance system in the country,” said Cornack.

Cornack notes that Gov. Snyder has stated early on that his administration would be committed to making transparent, data-driven decisions. “If the governor wants to stay true to his commitment to support policies based on facts, then I would hope this legislation would be rejected outright until the data being presented by the insurance industry and MCCA can be verified by the media and independent sources,” said Cornack. Currently, the MCCA is not subject to FOIA requests or the open meetings act.

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