Category: Catastrophic Injury And Wrongful Death

On Behalf of

Are you one of the thousands of Michiganders planning to hit the snowmobile trails this winter for the first time – or perhaps for the first time in a while? While this can be an extremely fun way to spend a day, remember that it has to be taken seriously. Snowmobile accidents can be deadly.

In addition to being safe yourself, you have to keep an eye out for others who might not be as conscientious. Taking a safety course, even if you’ve taken one in the past, never hurts.

It’s essential to know the state requirements around snowmobiles here in Michigan or wherever you’re operating one. Many states require a snowmobile certificate and each state has its own rules and regulations.

Some types of snowmobile accidents and activities can impact your driver’s license – such as operating a snowmobile under the influence. In Michigan, it’s also illegal to operate a snowmobile if you have a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

One thing that gets too many snowmobilers into trouble is going off the beaten track. It can be tempting to take the “road less traveled.” However, marked public trails are typically better cared for and have fewer hazards than unmarked ones.

You also want to avoid going on to someone’s private land without their permission. If a property owner gets too many people moving over from a nearby public trail to their land, the public trail could end up having to close.

Just as when you’re driving a car, you need to remain alert on a snowmobile. Even well-marked public trails have their share of fallen trees, rocks, ditches, animals, skiers and hikers.

Pay attention to the posted speed limit. If there isn’t one, use common sense. Either way, don’t drive too fast for conditions.

All of these tips can help you avoid being the cause of a crash or the victim of one. However, if you are injured by a reckless or negligent snowmobiler or if your snowmobile was defective, find out about your rights to seek compensation to help you cover medical costs and other expenses and damages.

On Behalf of

Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 5,977 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2017. That same data captures how 137,000 suffered injuries that resulted in them visiting emergency rooms that same year. The federal agency’s data suggests that certain factors make some pedestrians more apt to be struck than others.

CDC data shows that at least 20% of all pedestrians who die in pedestrian accidents are age 65 or over. Older Americans like this accounted for 10% of all pedestrians killed in such incidents in 2017.

That same data shows that 20% of pedestrian accident victims that same year were minor children under 15.

The federal agency’s research also shows that pedestrians, in general, have a more substantial fatality rate at night in urban areas. Their risk of a car striking and killing them increases the further they distance themselves from intersections.

Alcohol consumption can be deadly for both pedestrians and motorists. CDC data shows that at least one-third of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians involve that person having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%. Another 17% involve the motorist having an elevated BAC of .08% or more. There are countless other cases in which both parties have elevated indexes. CDC data shows that at least 47% of the fatal accidents in 2017 involved an intoxicated motorist or pedestrian.

Pedestrians are much like motorcyclists in that they lack the protection of a vehicle’s outer shell to absorb some of the impact if a car strikes them. While there are steps that pedestrians can take to make themselves more visible to avoid a potentially catastrophic crash, these measures don’t always help. A catastrophic injury and wrongful death attorney can advise you whether Michigan law allows you to recover compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s loss.

On Behalf of

Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018 show that 5,250 workers lost their lives on the job that year. The number marked an uptick in work-related deaths over the previous year. BLS data captures how transportation-related accidents were the leading cause of worker fatalities in 2018. Those same statistics show that some professions are more dangerous than others.

BLS data shows that the logging industry is the leading profession for worker fatalities. Their statistics capture how the death rate in this field is 97.6 per 100,000 full-time employees. That same data also shows that loggers often die after equipment or other objects strike them.

The second leading profession resulting in worker fatalities is the fishing industry. Transportation accidents are the most common reason for their deaths. This industry’s fatal injury rate is 77.4 per 100,000 full-time workers.

Third on the list for the most dangerous professions to work in are flight engineers or aircraft pilots. The fatal injury rate in this industry is 58.9 per 100,000 full-time workers. Transportation injuries are primarily to blame for these professionals’ deaths, much like it is for fishers.

The other seven professions that make it on the top 10 list of most dangerous jobs include roles such as roofers, sanitation, recycling, steel or construction workers, commercial truck drivers, ranchers or farmers and landscapers. These professionals have a high fatality risk associated with transportation accidents, except roofers and steelworkers. The latter are particularly vulnerable to dying in slip, trip and fall incidents.

An employer should minimize the injury risks their workers face as best as they can. They can do this by providing their employees with adequate training and safety equipment and taking other preventative measures. Many employers cut corners, though, in hopes that no one will get hurt.

If your loved one lost their life on the job due to their Rochester employer’s negligence, Michigan law might allow you to recover compensation for their untimely loss. A catastrophic injury and wrongful death attorney can help you recover compensation that will help alleviate some of the financial burdens that your loved one’s loss has left behind.

On Behalf of

Car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Blunt force trauma is one type of more severe types of injuries that result from automobile collisions. There are a variety of ways blunt force trauma may occur.

As a result of an impact, a vehicle may rapidly decelerate, propelling your body into the dashboard, seat belt or steering wheel. Sometimes, there can be multiple individuals and objects colliding at once, such as pedestrians or bicyclists and motor vehicles.

Other ways blunt force injuries can occur are in contact sport competitions like football or hockey. A person may be the victim of a physical assault. If a person falls from an elevated height or down a flight of stairs, then impact trauma may occur.

Blunt force trauma can result in a variety of injuries. A person may suffer abrasions, bone fractures, contusions, lacerations or even damage or rupture to internal organs. Injuries suffered may create the need for medical attention, such as visiting the emergency room.

A patient may have to be treated by a nurse, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, plastic surgeon, orthopedic specialist, radiologist or a respiratory therapist.

The road to recovery can be long and costly for those who suffer blunt force trauma injuries. Multiple surgeries may be needed. You may require months of physical therapy. It’s also possible that you may never fully recover and that your life may be permanently changed forever.

You may be entitled to financial damages if you’ve been in a car accident and have suffered blunt force trauma injuries. The monetary compensation you be able to recover will vary depending on the unique aspects of your case and applicable Michigan laws. An experienced attorney can review your Rochester case and advise you of how to best proceed in it.

On Behalf of

Many states have relaxed marijuana laws during the last few years. As a result, recreational marijuana usage has significantly increased in many areas. Unfortunately, the use of this drug, like alcohol, doesn’t just occur at home or in a controlled setting. It can happen just before or while a person operates a motor vehicle as well.

Studies have had mixed results concerning whether an increase in recreational marijuana use results in more auto collisions. In Colorado, one study found an elevated rate of auto deaths due to motorists’ consumption of this drug, however. The numbers were unaffected in Washington state.

A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine article suggested that there’s been an increase of nearly 7,000 deaths annually in the last few years. The authors of that study argued that as many as two additional deaths per billion miles traveled could occur due to relaxed marijuana laws.

Part of the uncertainty of whether the increase in marijuana sales correlates to an elevated car accident rate is that marijuana can remain in a person’s system for several days. Thus, the detection of marijuana in a motorist’s body at the time of an accident does not necessarily mean they were impaired when the collision occurred.

The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 11 states. However, the sales tax and amount of marijuana a person can purchase varies by state. Drugs may also impact people differently for various periods.

Countless individuals are seriously injured or killed in drunk driving accidents every year. Researchers and government regulators are only at the beginning stages in understanding the impact that recreational drug use may play in causing accidents.

If you have been injured or involved in an auto accident due to someone impaired by the use of marijuana, then you may be entitled to monetary damages. A catastrophic injury and wrongful death attorney can help you recover damages for your losses by filing a lawsuit in your Michigan case.

On Behalf of

Parents expect school buses to safely take their children to school and bring them back home. Unfortunately, things do not always work out that way. School bus manufacturers aren’t required to equip these vehicles with seatbelts per federal law. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only eight states mandate that school buses have seatbelts. Michigan isn’t one of these states.

Researchers recently filled a school bus with 15 crash dummies as part of a simulated rollover scenario. Eight were strapped in with seatbelts and seven others went unrestrained. One unbelted test crash dummy went flying through the air in the crash, snapping their neck. Two other passengers without seatbelts slammed into other riders’ seats. All eight belted passengers remained in their seats during the rollover.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that all new school buses come equipped with three-point seatbelts. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that school busses’ compartmentalized seats are sufficient to protect children in the event of a crash or rollover.

All motorists must wear seatbelts no matter how small, or big their passenger cars are per state and federal laws. It often surprises parents to learn that most jurisdictions’ laws don’t require school bus manufacturers to equip their vehicles with seatbelts, especially since they carry children. Accidents are unpredictable and happen without warning. Your son or daughter’s life is on the line by not being restrained by a seatbelt.

Seatbelts can prevent motorists’ serious injuries. Police officers often stop motorists who drive unrestrained. It’s illegal not to wear seatbelts in most jurisdictions because it just might save your life.

If your child has suffered severe injuries in a school bus crash in Rochester, they’re sure to have a long road of recovery ahead of them. You may be entitled to file a lawsuit on your son or daughter’s behalf. An experienced attorney can represent you and your child to achieve the best result possible in your Michigan case.

On Behalf of

Riding a bike is an excellent form of exercise, yet it can also be hazardous to your health. Sharing the road with motor vehicles can be very dangerous and unpredictable. Bicycle accidents have been on the decline in the last few years. Unfortunately, fatal accidents associated with bike riding have been on the rise.

As bike riding has become more popular, advocacy groups have become more successful in getting safety features added to the roadways to reduce the number of bicycle accidents. Some of those enhancements include bike lanes and protective medians. These safety precautions aren’t uniform, however. They vary by jurisdiction.

One reason why fatal bike accidents have been increasing in recent years is because there are more novice bike riders on the road than ever before. Many of them aren’t familiar with safe biking practices. Another problem is that drivers don’t often use the necessary degree of caution when sharing the road with bicyclists. Many cities have discussed making changes to road infrastructure to increase bike riding safety, but few have begun to implement them.

The place where bike accidents happen the most is in urban areas. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that 70% of all fatal bike accidents occur in city centers. Above-average traffic is likely to blame for this. These municipalities are often more resistant to installing bike safety features than suburban and rural areas are.

If you have been the victim of a severe bike accident here in Rochester, then you may be entitled to monetary relief. You may be able to use any compensation that you recover to pay your current and future medical bills and other crash-related expenses. A catastrophic injury and wrongful death attorney will know Michigan law and how to apply it so that you achieve the best resolution in your case.

On Behalf of

Statistics published by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that public transportation use is safer than driving. The federal agencies’ data shows that it’s ten times safer for individuals to use public transportation like trains and buses than being in a personal vehicle. Nonetheless, public transit safety is a concern for many people.

Public transportation crashes are rare. However, these accidents often result in multiple casualties when they happen.

The use of public transportation does reduce auto accidents just because more people take trains or buses than cars. NHTSA and FTA statistics show that individuals who use public transportation at least 40 times per year become involved in half the crashes as people who take less than 20 car rides a year do.

Earlier research conducted by the federal agencies included a survey of the eleven metro areas in the country with the highest public transit use. They averaged 5.8 traffic fatalities per 100,000 public transit rides compared to 10 deaths per 100,000 per car trips. Commuter or intercity railroads are reportedly 18 times safer than driving.

No mode of transit is perfect. Things can go wrong, and accidents that cause catastrophic injuries can occur. You may be entitled to monetary compensation if a collision has left you injured. It may also be possible for you to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you’ve lost a loved one in a crash. Proving liability isn’t easy. A personal injury attorney can work to build a case that helps you get the compensation you need and deserve.

On Behalf of

People who are nervous about boating often are most afraid about being out on the open water — and, more specifically, the possibility of going overboard. However, you can also be seriously injured while getting on and off a boat.

Boat owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their passengers from the time they get to the dock to get on the boat (embark) to the time they get off the boat (disembark) and are back on the dock.

If you’re going out for a day on one of Michigan’s lakes, your boat operator should take a number of precautions to help keep you and other passengers safe while embarking and disembarking. For example:

  • The boat should be securely tied to the dock.
  • Boarding stairs and gangways need to be properly attached to the boat.
  • Passengers should only embark and disembark at designated loading/unloading areas.
  • Passengers should be kept away from any tanks and other equipment while embarking and disembarking.
  • Passengers should be given assistance to avoid falls. Any luggage or heavy items should be brought on the boat for them.
  • Once on the boat, passengers should sit down and keep away from the sides while others are boarding.

It’s also a good idea to have your life jacket on before you embark and to keep it on until you’re off the boat. Under Michigan law, all vessels are required to have a minimum of one personal flotation device (PFD) for each person who is either on board or being towed (for example, on water skis).

While boat owners should have insurance, if an injury is deemed to be their fault, the insurer may refuse to pay any claims. That means that injured passengers may have to take legal action against the owner directly.

On Behalf of

Every year, thousands of pedestrians are struck and killed by motorists in this country. We all think that we’re too careful for this to happen to us. However, even when pedestrians obey traffic signals and only cross the street in designated crosswalks, there’s no guarantee that a driver won’t hit them.

Too often, drivers are busy watching for other vehicles (or not paying enough attention at all) and don’t see a pedestrian in the road until it’s too late to avoid hitting them. Even though drivers are supposed to yield to pedestrians, don’t assume that they will.

Pedestrians can take steps to minimize their risk of being struck by remembering to do the following if you’re walking on or near a road:

  • At a crosswalk with a light, never cross unless you have the “walk” sign, even if there don’t appear to be any vehicles nearby.
  • Don’t engage in “distracted walking.” That means, don’t use your phone to talk or text, and don’t even look at it. Don’t wear earbuds that can prevent you from hearing what’s going on around you. Keep your eyes and ears alert to your surroundings.
  • Only cross the street at marked crosswalks. If there isn’t one at an intersection where you need to cross, make sure you have an unobstructed view of oncoming traffic before you step into the road.
  • If there’s no sidewalk available and you must walk in the street, walk on the side where you’re facing oncoming traffic.
  • Before you cross any street, even if you have a “walk” signal, look to the left, then the right, and then left again. If a driver is moving in your direction, make eye contact with them to be sure they see you and are going to stop.
  • Don’t walk if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It may seem like it’s safer to walk home rather than get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking or getting high. However, these things can impact your judgment, balance and sense of direction — all of which can lead to a deadly accident.

If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in a vehicle-pedestrian crash, it’s essential to get the compensation you need and deserve. An experienced attorney can help you.