Category: Blog

On Behalf of

Though whiplash can occur in several ways, a vehicle accident is the most common cause. Statistics show that around 3 million people in Maryland and the rest of the United States get injured from whiplash annually. A driver who has sustained whiplash may seek compensation, but they must prove their case.

Overview of whiplash

Whiplash refers to several types of injuries that damage the neck ligaments, tissues or tendons, also known as soft tissue. Whiplash isn’t an official medical term since most doctors use more specific terms such as cervical acceleration deceleration. An attorney might recommend that their client use the doctor’s preferred terminology on their personal injury claim.

Whiplash occurs from the strong force of the accident jerking the neck back and forth, causing hyperextension. Some common symptoms of whiplash include lower range of motion in neck, neck soreness, headache, dizziness and shoulder pain or soreness.

Proving a whiplash claim

While it is possible to seek compensation, the driver must prove that the other driver owed them a duty of care and breached it. Some whiplash injuries may not show on X-rays, but newer technology enables doctors to detect them easier.

Some drivers do not feel symptoms following the accident, so they delay medical treatment. However, medical treatment is essential not only for health but also for proving the injury. Some of the essential documentation in a personal injury case includes emergency care, hospital records and chiropractic records. If the plaintiff had been employed and now must miss work because of the injury, they need evidence of employment to include in the claim.

Drivers should not delay getting medical treatment even if they don’t seem to be injured. Most states limit the time a driver can seek compensation under statutes of limitation, so they should file a claim as soon as possible.

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Filing an auto accident insurance claim in Michigan begins with contacting your personal policy carrier and submitting an official accident report. Michigan is a “no fault” insurance state, which means that all vehicle owners are required to carry personal injury protection as the primary rider for their auto policy. As opposed to an “at fault” state process, the owner’s policy pays first for claims regarding medical bills, lost wages when the injured claimant is unable to work, and physical property damage when carrying comprehensive coverage. However, it is still important to exchange insurance information with any other involved driver if they are not injured beyond their ability to communicate.

Initial consultation

The process is seemingly simple when no-fault coverage is in place, but the truth is that your own insurance company can still be difficult when settling a claim. Insurance company claims adjusters will evaluate the accident and determine what benefits the company will pay in the beginning. Medical bill payments are typically covered first following Michigan motor vehicle accidents, but some companies may want to wait until the claimant is able to return to work or the case goes to court for a full settlement determination.

Dealing with an at fault driver’s insurance provider

It is important for Michigan drivers to remember that general damages for ongoing problems following an accident must be pursued with the opposing driver’s insurance company or the driver themselves. The amount of liability protection they carry can make a significant difference in the outcome of the general damage claim for pain and suffering. General damages from serious motor vehicle accidents can easily exceed policy limits, including PIP coverage with your primary carrier, and many times the remainder of damages for medical bills and lost wages are a component of the negligent driver’s total liability as well.

It is clear that being properly compensated for all damages following an accident in Michigan can be a complicated process.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more bicycles on the road means less bicyclist fatalities. As more people become interested in bicycling as an alternative to using automobiles for transit, many states like Michigan have introduced measures to ensure bicyclists have equal, safe access to the road.

Michigan’s statewide bicycle safety measures

Michigan has an online GIS map of public bike trails available for use. These provide bicyclists with a dedicated alternative to bicycle lanes and road shoulders.

Michigan state law provides legal protections and rights to bicyclists. Bicycles are legally considered “traffic” and therefore, in most cases, may be operated on public highways that aren’t controlled access.

MCL 257.636 provides that drivers statewide must allow bicyclists at least three feet of space where it’s feasible. If not, drivers are required to provide as much distance as practical and slow down to a prudent speed before passing a bicyclist.

What happens if a driver injures a bicyclist in Michigan?

Unfortunately, bicyclists on public roads are inherently more at risk of personal injury than those in passenger vehicles. If two bicycles collide, generally insurance benefits do not apply.

On the other hand, if an automobile makes physical contact with a bicycle, the motorist’s insurance benefits may apply. This is because there can be significant health complications, such as traumatic brain injuries, associated with this form of accident.

If eligible, a bicyclist injured in an accident with an automobile is entitled to “allowable expenses.” These generally include wage loss benefits, replacement services, and, if applicable, survivor’s benefits are supplied.

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle collision with an automobile, retaining a qualified attorney may help ensure that you receive all the benefits to which you’re entitled.

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A large part of any Michigan settlement or jury award is for pain and suffering. However, many people do not understand the term or what goes into calculating how much they receive. In Michigan, there are also special rules about these types of damages that plaintiffs must know.

What pain and suffering damages include

Pain and suffering is the largest part of the non-economic damages in a lawsuit. Economic damages pay you for the amounts that actually came out of your pocket, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages compensate you for what you experienced and continue to go through after your accident. This could include everything from the physical pain that you feel to the anxiety that you experience as a result of your catastrophic injuries. You can even be paid for the inconvenience and disfigurement that you will suffer for the rest of your life.

There are some caps on pain and suffering in Michigan

Michigan is one of the states that try to put limits on pain and suffering awards. For example, you have three years from the time that you discovered your injury to file a lawsuit, or else you lose the right to sue. In addition, Michigan has dollar caps for pain and suffering in product liability and medical malpractice cases. However, car accidents and other injuries do not have any limitations on pain and suffering awards.

You need to demand what you deserve

Usually, an insurance company will use a multiplier of your medical bills to calculate pain and suffering. You can expect that they will try to understate your actual experience unless you stand up and fight for your legal rights. Your attorney will need to clearly and convincingly show how you have been harmed.

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Motorcycle accidents cause injuries in Michigan each day. Even though motorcyclists have the right to full use of the road, too often, drivers don’t exercise reasonable care for the safety of bikers on the road. Common causes of motorcycle accidents in Michigan include speeding, tailgating, drunk driving and dangerous road conditions.

Common causes of motorcycle accidents in Michigan

Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents in Michigan include:

  • Speeding – All drivers must use reasonable safety measures for driving with consideration for the other traffic that is on the road. When others drive too fast when there are motorcycles on the road, the result may be an accident. Drivers must obey all traffic laws including slowing their speed as needed for the safety of others, including motorcyclists.
  • Tailgating – Tailgating vehicles create danger for motorcyclists. Michigan law requires drivers to leave sufficient time to stop in the assured cleared distance ahead. When they follow too closely, motor vehicle accidents may result.
  • Drunk driving – Drunk driving in Michigan includes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is also driving over the legal limit for alcohol. Drunk drivers have reduced reaction time and may not be able to react appropriately for other traffic on the road, including motorcyclists.
  • Dangerous road conditions – Ice and snow are common road conditions in Michigan. Potholes and debris in the road can also make the roads unpredictable. Motorcyclists who encounter these dangers may be accident victims.

Motorcycle accident causes in Michigan

There are a number of different causes of motorcycle accidents in Michigan. In fact, an accident may have more than one cause. The victim of an accident who suffers serious, permanent or disfiguring injuries may claim financial compensation for their injuries. A victim may have the assistance of a motor vehicle accident lawyer.

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Car accidents are a fairly common occurrence. Car insurance statistics show that most drivers will have one every 17 years or so. But since they can be so serious, it’s wise for drivers in Michigan to know the common causes of collisions. Sometimes, they are true accidents. At other times, there is negligence involved.

Weather conditions and motor vehicle accidents

One factor that can have big impacts on collisions is the weather. Snow and rain are obviously dangerous because they affect the condition of the road itself. But even bright sunlight can be a hazard for drivers. In fact, one study published in 2017 found that 16% of collisions that caused serious injuries occur when sunlight is unusually bright.

The glare from bright sunlight can affect the ability of drivers to see the road, and obstacles, clearly. When people are dealing with glare from sunlight, they may misjudge distances. They may also drive faster than they normally would. The authors of the study believe that this information should inform the way drivers are trained.

It possibly should inform the way vehicles are designed, too. Every driver knows that there are times when the visor is simply not enough to keep glare from their eyes. Addressing this issue in a systematic way could potentially improve or save lives. The study found that motor vehicle accidents in sun glare conditions were responsible for as many as 5,000 days of hospitalization.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to contact an attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you recover damages. This money can possibly replace lost wages and cover medical expenses.

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When you start driving in Michigan, it’s important to develop safe driving habits as early as possible. If you practice safe driving when you first get your license, you’ll retain these habits for the rest of your life. You’ll also enjoy lower car insurance premiums and find yourself taking on more responsibilities.

What are some safe driving habits?

Many people get into MVAs because they underestimate the power of their vehicle. Modern vehicles might be safer than ever, but you still need to maintain control at all times. If you glance away from the road for even a second, you could end up in a serious car accident.

On a similar note, you should always take safety precautions when you’re on the road, including wearing your seatbelt. Don’t assume that you don’t need a seatbelt because you’re just driving up the road–most car accidents happen within the first few minutes of driving. If you get in the habit of not wearing a seatbelt, you won’t be wearing one when you actually get into an accident.

If you’ve never driven a car before, you might be eager to get your license and hit the road as soon as possible. However, don’t be afraid to practice driving with an adult until you’re ready to drive on your own. It’s better to take your time and know what you’re doing than cause an accident right after you get your license. You should also take the opportunity to find out what you should do after an accident, including seeking medical attention and hiring a personal injury attorney.

What if the accident wasn’t your fault?

If you didn’t cause the accident, you have the right to seek compensation just like any other driver. You might need to hire an attorney to help you determine fault. Even if you know that you didn’t cause the accident, you might have to prove it to the other driver’s insurance company. Once you’ve done that, your attorney can often help you prepare in case of insurance providing lowball offers, too.

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Many car accidents are the result of driver error, but you should also pay special attention to the condition of your vehicle before you take it on the road. In some cases, mechanical issues can lead to a car accident or make the accident worse. Here are some things to look out for to ensure that you and your family are safe on the road.

Taillights or headlights that don’t work

If the lights in the front or rear of your vehicle are not working, you may not be able to see well, especially if you’re driving at night. This can slow your reaction time and cause a major collision.

Broken windshield wipers

You should be able to see clearly at all times when you’re driving. If your windshield wipers aren’t working as they should, you won’t be able to remove snow and rain from your windshield, which could cause you to veer off the road or run into another vehicle.

Worn tires

If your tires are worn down or need to be inflated, there’s a greater chance that you’ll have a tire blowout on the road. This will likely cause you to lose control of the car, and you’ll also be putting other drivers in danger.

Faulty suspension and steering system

When you can’t properly steer your car, you may not be able to avoid an object in the road or another vehicle in time to stop a collision. If your car’s suspension is not working well, you’ll experience bouncing and swaying on the road, which can make you lose control of your car.

Malfunctioning brakes

This mechanical issue can cause a serious motor vehicle accident. If you’re not able to stop in time, you could rear-end another vehicle or run into a tree or pedestrian. Check your brakes often and take your car to be repaired if you notice that you’re not stopping fast enough or if your brakes squeal when you press them.

If you’re in a car accident, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side to walk you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve. A personal injury attorney may thoroughly research your case to find out who is at fault and help you negotiate a settlement for your injuries, include lost wages and medical care.

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When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle in Michigan, the last thing you’re likely thinking about is an accident. However, accidents do happen, and one study revealed that most crashes happen within the first few minutes of driving. According to Dolphin Technologies, 40% of all roadway accidents happen within the first 10 minutes of driving. The first three minutes of driving a vehicle accounts for 25% of the overall traffic wrecks recorded.

Overly familiar territory leads to a false sense of security

When you think about your first 10 minutes of driving, it likely includes the area surrounding your home and your work. After traveling these roads for days upon days, the mind starts to create a false sense of security. As you get to know the roads, traffic signs and traffic stops better, your attention tends to be distracted from the roadway. Individuals are more likely to be involved in a self-induced accident on these short trips.

Understanding self-induced car accidents

Self-induced car accidents are a result of illogical decisions due to distracted driving. There are many ways that you can induce an accident with your behavior. Some of these include driving while fatigued, driving drunk, being distracted on your phone or even trying to read while driving down the road. People are more likely to be involved in self-induced accidents when they’re on roads that they’re familiar with.

It’s important to realize just how dangerous distracted driving can be. When you’re participating in any distracting activities, it takes your hands off of the steering wheel. In addition, it takes your eyes off of the roadway, meaning that you are not receiving adequate information to drive safely. You might miss seeing an obstacle in the road like a pedestrian walking out in front of you. When your eyes are on your phone and not the roadway, you don’t see the pedestrian and cannot react to avoid the collision. These activities also take your mind off the task of driving, which makes you more likely to be involved in a car accident and receive a personal injury.

Be a safer driver

Once you understand the importance of vigilant driving, it’s easy to make an action plan to avoid putting yourself at risk. Consider paying extra attention when you’re traveling a short distance from home and work. Also, be sure to avoid distractions like texting, loud music, messing with your GPS or even having intense dialogue with one of your passengers. This will help you and others on the road stay safe.

On Behalf of

If you plan on driving in Michigan during the winter months, you should be prepared to travel on roads that are covered in ice, snow or slush. Although driving on wet roads may stress some drivers out, you can significantly decrease your risk of getting into an accident by staying patient.

Give yourself more time to reach your destination

When a road is clear, it may be safe to drive at speeds of 55 miles per hour or more. However, when that same road is covered by snow or ice, you may have to reduce your speed by up to 30 mph. This is because you have less traction on snowy or icy surfaces, which means that you’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle while driving at the posted speed limit. Furthermore, it’s easier for your car to come to a complete stop when you’re traveling at a lower rate of speed.

Try to create a point of reference when visibility is low

It’s not uncommon for snow to cover up lane markings, which means that you might be in two lanes at once without knowing it. However, it might be easier to maintain proper road position by looking for signs or roadside markers that usually sit alongside the slow lane. If you’re driving on a highway, medians, guardrails or other structures may make it easier to determine where the left lane ends and the shoulder begins.

Don’t go out unless it’s necessary to do so

The easiest way to avoid a motor vehicle collision during the winter season is to refrain from traveling during periods of bad weather. If a storm has passed, it may be a good idea to stay home until after the roads have been cleared.

If you’re injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another motorist, you should seek treatment for broken bones, whiplash or internal bleeding immediately. After seeing your doctor, it may be a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney who may be able to help you obtain compensation for medical bills and other expenses.