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Will the no-fault insurance changes impact your medical claim?

Michigan's automobile liability insurance system has long been one of the most expensive in the country. Drivers across the state had to trade affordability for the depth of coverage offered by Michigan no-fault policies. No-fault policies have long covered the medical costs of the policyholder regardless of fault, ensuring that people receive medical care even if the other driver doesn't have insurance.

Now, some of the requirements for no-fault insurance in Michigan have changed, leaving many people worrying about what kind of protection they currently have. Understanding the changes to no-fault insurance can help you understand if you have to worry about changes in the coverage you can receive or the premiums that you pay.

Federal consumer agency: Major retailers sold recalled products

Even consumers who follow the news closely can't be aware of every product recall that impacts them and their family. People often assume that when companies or the government recall products due to safety issues, they are immediately removed from shelves and online inventories. While that's the way things should ideally work, it doesn't always happen.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced that three leading retailers owned by TJX Companies (T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls) continued to sell 19 separate products after they were recalled during the past five years. Some of the recalls were for serious safety issues, including flammability.

Responding to a settlement offer on your no-fault insurance claim

After a car crash that leaves you or a member of your family with serious injuries, you will definitely feel grateful for your no-fault insurance policy. While many people in Michigan bemoan the expenses associated with no-fault insurance, for those who need medical coverage, the protections of no-fault insurance are invaluable.

In the aftermath of a major collision, your insurance provider will have to cover your medical expenses, regardless of who caused the crash. In some cases, they may offer you a lump-sum settlement. Before you accept their offer, you need to do some careful research to determine whether the amount they offer you is reasonable given the extent of the injuries involved.

Why are teenagers frequently at fault in an accident?

It's important not to stereotype people based on their age, gender or any other characteristic, especially when trying to form conclusions after an event or accident. When a teenage driver is involved in a car accident, it is often assumed by others involved that it must have been the young person's fault. Making this assumption should never be done because the true fault behind any car accident will depend on several factors, and evaluations of each of the drivers' actions leading up to the event will need to be evaluated.

However, statistics relating to car accidents do suggest that teen drivers are more likely to become involved in a car accident, suggesting that much of the time, teens cause accidents due to their behavior behind the wheel. The following are some of the reasons why teens are frequently at fault in a car accident.

Elder abuse can happen at the hands of home health care workers

Many people associate abuse and negligence of elderly people with nursing homes. They've heard stories of overworked, underpaid, poorly trained staff members who are dealing with too many people to give them the care and attention they need. Some of them, unfortunately, intentionally harm and humiliate their vulnerable charges.

You may believe that by hiring one or more home health care professionals or by relying on a family member to take care of an elderly loved one, you don't have to worry about abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, that's not the case. It's still essential to keep an eye out for signs of physical and/or psychological abuse. Financial abuse is also a possibility when someone has access to your loved one's home and belongings.

Gender-reveal parties are getting more spectacular -- and risky

The blogger who is credited with inventing the concept of gender-reveal parties over a decade ago lamented recently that they've become a "dangerous trend." As the events have become increasingly more spectacular (largely because people are trying to create the next social media viral sensation), they've given rise to serious damage, injuries and at least one fatality.

In late October, a woman in Iowa was killed by a piece of metal from the homemade device that was essentially a pipe bomb intended to review her future grandchild's gender. In September, a plane spraying pink water for a gender-reveal stunt crashed in Texas, leaving the pilot with minor injuries and the plane with "substantial damage." A gender-reveal party that used explosives in 2017 resulted in a 47,000-acre fire in Arizona.

How to monitor someone for a potential traumatic brain injury

Determining who needs medical care after a major vehicle crash isn't always easy. Some injuries are obvious and easy for even a lay person to diagnose. A broken bone with obvious trauma to the site of the fracture can be visually obvious. Other injuries, however, can be harder to detect right after a car crash.

Brain injuries, in particular, could easily go unnoticed if the people involved in the crash and their loved ones aren't familiar with the warning signs that they may present. After a car crash, especially one that involved violent shaking of the vehicle or a vehicle rolling or spinning, those at risk for brain injuries should be carefully watched for a week or two.

When can you file a mini-tort claim?

Under Michigan's no-fault insurance system, drivers can get basic coverage from their insurer when they're involved in an accident regardless of whose fault the crash was. This no-fault system allows drivers to obtain compensation for medical care, lost wages, and in some cases, damages to their vehicle fairly quickly and easily compared to drivers in states that don't have no-fault insurance. However, the coverage is limited.

Drivers who weren't at fault (or at least less than 50% at fault) for an accident have the right to file a mini-tort claim against the at-fault driver if the damage to their vehicle is so extensive that their insurance won't cover it.

Driving an RV in the winter requires extra precautions

Some people only use their RVs during the spring and summer. However, if your RV is properly equipped and you feel ready to take on the weather conditions that a Michigan winter can bring, you may choose to take your RV on a winter road trip to enjoy the sights.

The first step toward ensuring your family's safety is making sure your vehicle is properly equipped. That means good snow tires, a well-charged battery and brakes that are appropriate for snowy conditions.

CPSC seeks to get infant incline sleepers off the market

Amid growing concerns about the dangers of inclined sleepers for infants, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced action that would take many of the sleepers off the market. The announcement comes after nearly 60 infant deaths have been blamed on them.

The CPSC says it's proposing a new rule that would require the sleepers to have no more than a 10-degree incline. Many of them, including those made by Fisher-Price, put sleeping infants at a 30-degree angle. A new study commissioned by the CPSC states that allowing infants to sleep at anything greater than a 10-degree angle places them at risk of suffocation.

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