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Can I sue a negligent motorist in a no-fault insurance state?

If you've recently relocated to Michigan, then you may not have heard of no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance before. Virtually every motorist in the state is expected to carry it to cover their expenses if they're involved in a crash in Rochester or somewhere else in the state.

Taking out no-fault insurance is mandatory in Michigan and eight other states including Hawaii, Florida, Minnesota, Utah, New York, North Dakota, Kansas and Massachusetts. Drivers in New Jersey, Kentucky and Pennsylvania have the option of taking out either no-fault or tort coverage.

Even in decline, drunk driving poses an incredible risk

The good news about drunk driving is that it remains in decline. A few decades ago, it was a much worse problem than it is today. Police have really cracked down on impaired driving, schools have increased education programs and nonprofit organizations have worked for change. And they're making progress.

If you look back over the last 30 years -- running back to the late 1980s -- you will find that the deaths from drunk driving accidents have declined by a third. It's taken time, but it's getting better.

Preparing for summer motorcycle season in Michigan

The climate in Michigan all but ensures that most motorcycle riders will have to store their bikes for the winter. Even if you don't mind slushy and snowy roads, extreme cold temperatures can make riding a motorcycle unbearable. Winterizing your motorcycle may be a simpler solution than attempting to keep it in running condition throughout the worst of a Michigan winter.

Once the snow melts, you will undoubtedly start itching to get your bike out of storage. Now is a great time to start preparing yourself to safely enjoy your motorcycle over the summer. Of all the kinds of collision-related personal injury cases out there, motorcycle injuries tend to be some of the most severe. After all, motorcycle crashes typically involve much larger vehicles which can cause substantial damage to the bike and its rider. That's why you should plan now to improve your safety.

Car crash leads to serious assault

When most people think of a car crash, they usually think of the drivers exchanging information or victims being transported to local hospitals. In Detroit last week, a 20-year-old woman allegedly pulled out in front of a vehicle traveling south on Linwood, causing a crash.

The victim pulled over into a gas station parking lot, as did the 20-year-old. What started as a verbal argument quickly became physical, according to a statement from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

The serious risk of 'making great time'

Have you ever ridden with a driver who gets excited about the idea that you are making excellent time? It's almost like they view it as a goal or a way to prove themselves. They want to get to their destination as fast as possible.

Of course, "making great time" often just means driving faster than you should. If the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, and your GPS tells you exactly how long it should take to get there, arriving early just means you went faster than 60 mph. You broke the speed limit.

Michigan's older drivers are safer than younger ones

Senior citizens are routinely stereotyped as bad drivers. Indeed, we've all seen examples of elderly drivers who mistook the accelerator for the brake or who had some type of medical emergency behind the wheel and caused a serious crash. With the number of older drivers increasing, that can be cause for concern. Here in Michigan, the percentage of drivers who are at least 65 has grown by almost 25 percent in less than a decade.

However, data from the Michigan State Police shows that older drivers are much less likely to be involved in collisions as the drivers young enough to be their grandchildren. In 2017, 75 out of 1,000 drivers were involved in a crash in the state. However, that number is less than half (35.5) for drivers who have reached 65. Interestingly, it gets even smaller for drivers 80 and older.

Should state's catastrophic injury fund be used for road repairs?

If you've never had to use it, you may be unfamiliar with the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association's (MCCA's) fund for motorists who suffer catastrophic injuries and whose medical claims are greater than $550,000 ($580,000 as of July 1). The head of the MCCA recently appeared before the state's Senate Insurance Banking Committee (SIBC).

The hearing was part of the legislature's efforts to gather information as they work to reform our state's no-fault auto insurance system. However, the group is fighting efforts by some legislators to use money from that fund to pay for road repairs.

A car accident may cause delayed muscular pain

Car accidents come in all shapes and sizes, leaving victims with numerous injuries they may not feel immediately. In some cases, a person may experience a car accident and walk away from it with only bumps and bruises, which is certainly a blessing.

However, many serious injuries are not visible and do not cause pain for hours or days. If a car accident victim does not receive a full medical examination, they may not realize they suffered injuries until the symptoms set in.

Reminders for safer driving in construction zones

When spring eventually returns to Michigan, plenty of road construction projects will get underway. Construction zones can be highly dangerous for workers and motorists alike. That's why it's essential for drivers to take extra care when they enter a construction zone. This means obeying all signs as well as instructions from those directing traffic in and around these areas.

Following are some important tips to help drivers avoid unnecessary and tragic accidents:

  • Begin to slow down and be especially alert as soon as you see signs indicating construction ahead. These are generally diamond-shaped signs.
  • Take care if you need to change lanes. If there are lane closures, you may have multiple lanes of vehicles trying to merge into one lane. Use your turn signal before attempting to change lanes and continue to observe traffic around and behind you through your mirrors as you complete the lane change.
  • Allow extra space between the driver ahead of you and your vehicle. A good rule of thumb to help avoid a rear-end collision is to have seven seconds worth of braking distance. Also keep a safe distance from any traffic cones, barriers and (of course) highway workers.
  • Watch the flaggers and law enforcement officers who are monitoring and directing traffic and obey their directions.
  • Remain patient. It's natural to become frustrated if your trip is delayed by road construction. However, it's essential to drive as slowly as necessary for the conditions around the construction zone.
  • Make sure you're completely out of the construction zone before you resume the normal posted speed.

How a brain injury changes family life

When one member of your family suffers a brain injury, the immediate healing may just be the first step. Even after physical healing is complete, that person may never seem like the same person again.

A brain injury is very serious, and it impacts every person in unique ways. It can lead to changes in mood, changes in behavior and even full-fledged personality disorders.

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    – Dewnya Bazz
    Personal Injury Lawyer in Dearborn, MI

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