Up To 13 People May Die On The Job Everyday

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

June is National Safety Month. This designation was established by the National Safety Council as a special recognition dedicated to reducing the leading causes of injury and death, at work, on the road, and in homes and communities. In 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,821 people died while on the job. This number equates to more than 13 people dying per day - a shocking statistic that is more frequent than people realize. While those working in an office job may be less at risk than those doing manual labor, knowledge of safety in the workplace benefits everyone.

The top 5 occupations that experience the largest number of workplace injuries, and as a result, more days away from work are:

Top 5 Jobs That Cause Workplace Injuries

  1. Public servants such as firefighters and police officers
  2. Transportation and shipping workers
  3. Manufacturing and production employees
  4. Installation, maintenance, and repair men
  5. Construction workers

The dangerous nature of these occupations shouldn't come as a surprise since exposure to machinery and heavy physical activity on the job are more likely to cause harm than operating a computer behind a desk.

While there are differences between these occupations, they share some consequential injuries.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

  1. Overexertion can occur with heavy lifting and lowering, and from repetitive motions. This can cause workers to become tired and susceptible to making injurious mistakes, like hammering their hands instead of a nail on a maintenance job.
  2. Contact with objects or equipment also causes injuries, when people are struck by the object/equipment, caught or compressed by the object/equipment, or struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material. This type of injury is frequent on construction sites when people are injured by heavy machinery.
  3. Slip and falls, either on the same level or to a lower level, result in 25% of workplace injuries. Examples include, a painter slipping on a wet tarp, firefighters tripping over a hose, or construction workers carrying large and heavy items not being able to see and avoid a pile of bricks in their way. 
  4. In general, any employees in these hazardous jobs may be kept away from work because of strains, sprains, tears, soreness, pain, cuts, lacerations, and punctures, resulting in missed days and difficulties returning to the workplace. 

You never know when you may be in a situation to help an injured coworker. Therefore, learning how to recognize injuries and being safe on the job is a smart precaution. It's also important to know how to prevent these types of workplace injuries from happening in the first place. Below are some safety tips for employees at work:

How To Avoid Workplace Accidents

  1. Avoid bending, reaching, and twisting when lifting heavy objects.
  2. Take short breaks frequently to minimize exertion.
  3. Store heavy objects close to the floor.
  4. Be aware of moving objects and equipment in and around work areas.
  5. Wear the proper personal protective gear.
  6. Place the base of ladders on an even, solid surface. 
  7. Use good housekeeping practices.
Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

This June, help spread awareness in your workplace as part of National Safety Month. At work, taking safety steps now, may help in the long run. Office and desk workers should also be mindful of professionals working more physical or dangerous jobs, keeping a safe distance from them and alerting emergency personnel if a workplace injury occurs. Safety doesn’t just stop when you leave your car or home, it must continue at work, as well. No employee wants to endure the pain and suffering that comes with a workplace accident. At the very least, the image of their boss in the back of an ambulance might scare people enough to brush up on workplace safety. 


Workplace injuries are much more common than people think. National Safety Month in June is helping spread awareness of safety on the job, in order to keep people off the stretcher and on their feet. If you or someone you know has experienced a workplace injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Life-Saving Apps That Prevent Distracted Driving

Over the years, distracted driving has grown to be a major issue on the roadways across America. It is estimated that 660,000 drivers are using an electronic device during any time of the day. The proof of damage that distracted driving can do has been recorded on phones through social media platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat by the very drivers who are engaging in the dangerous act. With so many injuries and tragic deaths that stem from distracted driving accidents, 391, 000 injuries and 3,477 deaths in 2015 to be precise, many state governments are revising their laws and punishments for drivers who are caught driving while distracted. Although Michigan has yet to change its law concerning devices that can be used when behind the wheel of a vehicle, for safety purposes, Michigan drivers should consider not using their electronic devices while driving.

Distracted driving

While it's simple to tell drivers to not use their phones or to turn off their phones when operating a motor vehicle, it's also very easy to turn a phone back on or to reactively turn attention away from the road and onto a phone when it signals a notification. That is why it may be beneficial to drivers who own smart phones to download an app that silences all cellular communication when the user is driving. DMV.org has reviewed and suggests a few such apps that can hopefully deter drivers from looking at their phones while driving.  

Out of the several surveyed distracted driving apps, four stood out to DMV.org and were approved by organizations such as Fathers Against Drunk Driving and Mothers Agains Drunk Driving. The apps were chosen because they are compatible on both the Apple iOS and Android systems.

Distracted Driving Prevention Apps

1. LifeSaver

Aptly named, LifeSaver is geared toward stopping drivers enacting distracted driving by utilizing GPS tracking and reward systems. Because the app taps into GPS monitoring, it knows when a driver is on the road and prevents drivers from using their phones. Once the driver arrives at their destination, it will alert loved ones that it is now okay to call and that the driver safely arrived. This app isn't just geared toward parents and teenagers engaging in safe driving habits and related rewards, but commercial businesses as well. 

2. TrueMotion

One of the few free distracted driving apps that are available on both iOS and Android, TrueMotion uniquely utilizes a trip score system. The trip score points out to the user, the moments during the road trip that a driver was driving distractedly and presents an overall rating on the motorists driving. This can then be used to positively change future driving habits.

3. AT&T’s DriveMode

This app blocks any texts and phone calls to completely keep drivers from cellular distraction. It even automatically replies to text messages telling contacts that you are driving if they try to text you.

Also, since most parents control their children's cell phone usage already, parents who are worried about their teen driver can set up the app to alert them when it is not in use and if they are any changes to the settings. One of those helpful settings is that DriveMode can be set to automatically engage once the user's car is going more than 15 mph. This app also allows parents and all users to set up goals and prizes for the number of miles driven safely.

4. Drive Beehive

This app is the official safe driving app of Parents Against Distracted Driving. It creates incentives to promote safe driving by allowing the driver to connect with family, friends, schools, business, and any other responsible sponsor who can set an award for the amount of miles driven safely. 

Apple's iOS 11

Distracted Driving Car Crash Lawyer

While it is not an app, The Michigan Law Firm blog recently informed readers of a feature of the new Apple iOS11 operating system called Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD). Similar to ATT's DriveMode, when DNDWD is in use, the iPhone automatically detects speed when it determines that a user is driving, it proceeds to turn off of cellular communication. The DNDWD function also informs anyone trying to contact the phone that the owner is currently driving and even gives them the options to text the word 'urgent' if it is vital that the iPhone owner be reached. 

In today’s world, phones have become an essential item of everyday life. As useful as they are however, they can also be highly distracting and cause accidents. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds, coincidently the same amount of time people use to glimpse at a text message or to scroll through contacts to make a call. But it's not worth it! As DMV.org says, "Distracted driving accounts for 9 deaths every day—deaths that are completely preventable simply by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel." 


Distracted driving apps exists for a very serious and useful reason - to save lives. If you or a loved have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our firm offers experienced advice on distracted driving accidents and will work to fight for any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan law.

Newborn Baby Abandoned In Unknown Car

Child Hot Car Lawyer Michigan

A visitor to Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI discovered a newborn baby abandoned in a car in the hospital parking lot, on the morning of June 12, 2017 and alerted police. The baby was not found in its parents' car but in an unknown man's vehicle. Officials are currently working to get to the bottom of the case. It has been reported that the baby’s 24-year-old mother is currently cooperating with investigators. However, it is still unclear whether or not the baby’s mother knows the man in whose car the baby was found.

Luckily, the baby, who appears to have been born within the last week, is in good health. However, the baby's abandonment is even more alarming because of the recent hot Summer weather in Michigan. Temperatures outside on Monday, June 12th reached the mid-90s, turning the inside of vehicles into ovens. It is of course, never safe to leave children or pets inside hot cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that from 1998-2016, 700 children died from heatstroke in vehicles. 54% of these deaths were due to the child being forgotten in a car by a caregiver. While a few minutes in a hot car might sound harmless, in just ten minutes, a car can heat up to 20 degrees higher than the outside temperature, which can be enough to kill children who are left in vehicles. Additionally, children are often too young to alert others for help if they are trapped in an abandoned car.

Source: Kars4Kids.org

It is therefore important to “check for baby” before leaving the car, to ensure child hot car safety. Making it a habit to check the backseat before leaving the car can prevent children from being left behind on hot days. The non-profit organization Kars4Kids wants to help bring awareness to this important subject. They have developed an app to help forgetful parents remember that there is someone alive and breathing in the back of their vehicle, among the mountains of groceries.

They have created an app, called Kars4Kids Safety, which is designed to set off an alarm every time a phone that has the app leaves a vehicle. It does this by connecting to a car's Bluetooth technology to track when a user goes in and out of a vehicle. A customizable ringtone and option to add your child's photo make remembering to double check one's car as easy as posting on Facebook about your baby's first trip to the pool. Considering that even with windows rolled two inches down, a car can overheat at mercury-defying rates, Kars4Kids is helping fight for child car safety.  

Not only is it important to make sure children aren't left in cars, but it is equally important to not allow them to break into a vehicle when adult attention is turned away. Cars may look like giant playgrounds to small children, but in reality they are powerful, dangerous machines that should only be used for driving and not for hide and seek. By locking the car when it is not in use and by keeping keys out of reach of children, children can be stopped from being able to get into a vehicle and potentially trapping themselves inside.  

Michigan Child Car Safety Lawyer

While most parents and caretakers unintentionally leave children and pets in cars because they were distracted and forgot about the quiet dog or sleeping baby in the back, others think it's ok to leave a child in a car because they'll be right back in just one minute. While these actions are dangerous to the child, they are not done with ill intent. The Grand Rapids baby on the other hand was presumably, intentionally, abandoned in a hot car in a hospital parking lot. It's a shame that this is how the mother decided to leave her child when, according to CBS Detroit, the State of Michigan allows people to surrender their newborn babies to hospitals and other emergency care providers, without having to worry about criminal charges. In fact, the mother could have left the baby safely with a health care professional in the hospital itself, where she presumably gave birth, and not outside in a hot car. No matter what, there is no excuse for leaving a child to die alone in a hot vehicle. 

Driving with children always requires extra precautions, particularly in the Summer when scorching hot temperatures make vehicles burn to the touch. With the rescue and shelter resources available around the State of Michigan, there is no reason a child should be left behind. On June 12, a stranger saved a newborn baby's life. Next time, someone might not be there until it is too late.


Children should never be left in car on sweltering hot Summer days, for their own safety. If you so someone you know is in need of legal assistance relating to an incident of child car safety, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.Firm for a free consultation.

Sleep May Help Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries

It has been reported that one of the leading complaints people dealing with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have is that they either cannot get enough sleep, or suffer from insomnia, or that they are constantly sleeping or feel sleepy. So, it comes as a bit of a surprise when a study conducted by the University of Montreal's psychology department found evidence that TBIs and patients' recoveries correlate with sleep patterns. Nadia Gosselin, the study's author, claims that the study shows that if hospitals took more time regulating a sleep routine for a patient diagnosed with a TBI, it could go a long way in their recovery process. Gosselin also adds that, "Making sure patients are exposed to sunlight or its equivalent during the day and at night rest in a dark, quiet environment," TBI patients may be able to maintain a sleep cycle.  

Tired Driving Car Crash Lawyer

But First, What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury).  Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions."

Effects TBIs Have On Sleep And Health

Research has proven that when sleep cycles are disrupted, it can have an affect on mood swings, weight, memory, and other consequences. Hence, if someone is losing sleep due to a TBI, other serious health problems can correspondingly occur. Some of the more common diseases include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Additional problems linked to sleep deprivation are a lower libido, depression, and in extreme cases death. This doesn't include health problems that are usually a direct result of having a brain injury such as visual perception, motor function and problems with reading. spelling, and/or speaking. 

Sleep Routines May Help Heal TBIs

Traumatic Brain Injury Car Crash Lawyer

As Gosselin mentioned, setting up a sleep routine tied to the time of day is a good way to get started on resetting the bodies internal clock. Designating a time to wake up to every day and a time to go to bed every night are the simplest ways to set a routine. And by going to bed at least ten minutes ahead of the scheduled time gives the body time to relax to help get to sleep better. It should be noted that eating and drinking drinking alcohol and/or caffeine at least five hours ahead of bed time will also help a person suffering from sleep problems fall asleep easier. Visual stimulants such watching TV, checking email on the laptop, or playing smart phone games, should also be avoided because they can keep the brain busy and essentially signal it to 'stay awake.'

After about 30 minutes of trying to fall asleep and failing to do so, sleep experts recommend that people don't try to force themselves asleep as this can potentially lead to a restless night. Instead, researchers suggest getting out of bed and doing something boring until they feel sleepy. 

Night time isn't the only time a sleeping pattern should be enforced. There are also a few tips that TBI victims can use to stay on track during the day. Staying active through a workout routine during the day is an essential to good sleep. If the body works and tires out during the day, the brain and body are more likely to be susceptible to falling asleep at night. Again, by limit the amount of visual stimulants TBI survivors are exposed, such as smart phone apps, TV shows, and YouTube videos, is also important during the day. If a nap must be had during the day, they should be limited to no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day. Lastly, those dealing with TBIs should increase the amount of time they are outside, especially on days when the sun is out. 

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

A cure has yet to be found for some types of traumatic brain injuries, however, most TBIs can be managed through treatments and medications provided through a licensed medical provider. As for prevention of TBIs, the best way to avoid a traumatic brain injury is to take every precaution from getting a head injury. For example, one of the most common ways people suffer from TBIs is by being involved in a car accident. A study conducted by the CDC in 2013, revealed that "Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths (14%). When looking at just TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the third leading cause (19%)."

For the most part, car accidents themselves are preventable since many of them occur due to human error. Though it's easier said than done, by following the rules of the road, by properly wearing seat belts, and by not engaging in distracted driving behaviors, the number of car accidents, and thereby the number of car crash traumatic brain injuries, may decrease. 


Traumatic brain injuries are serious conditions that require time and attention to heal, if they can be healed. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle collision, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. We offer free consultations to car accident survivors so that they are not left in the dark on the legal process under Michigan law. 

90% Of Motorcyclists Killed In 2016 Had No Formal Training

Although May was National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, today, June 19, is International Ride to Work Day. Today, motorcyclists worldwide are celebrating their favorite form of transportation. Motorcycles give a certain freedom and excitement to drivers, unique from other boxed-in vehicles on the road. Add to that the fact that the weather in Michigan is starting to heat up, motorcyclists are starting to increase in number on the roads.

Michigan Motorycle Accident Lawyer


Unfortunately however, not all motorcycle drivers ride safely, and often motorcycles don't stand a chance of surviving a collision against the giant hunks of metal that are cars and trucks, moving alongside motorcycles on the roads. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, nearly 90% of motorcyclists killed in crashes on Michigan roads last year had no formal training during the last ten years. This is a staggering statistic, especially considering the wide number of training classes available across the state. However, many motorcycle accidents may be preventable if riders receive the proper training these classes provide and an official endorsement. 

Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The Michigan Department of State encourages programs that educate people on the safety of operating a motorcycle. There are multiple types of motorcycle training classes offered, through both public and private organizations, all as part of the Michigan Rider Education Program. And it is not just first-time riders who have the opportunity to take Michigan motorcycle driving classes. Beyond the Basic Rider course for beginners, other classes include: the Three-Wheel Basic Rider course for those who want to learn to ride three-wheel (instead of two-wheel) motorcycles, a Returning Rider Course for experienced drivers looking to refresh previously learned motorcycle skills, and an Advanced Rider course for already endorsed motorcycle drivers who want to brush up their riding skills.

With such a range of training class options, it seems silly for those operating a motorcycle to think they do not need training. Yet, the facts are there. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there was an 8% increase in fatalities from motorcycle crashes, nationally from 2014 to 2015. Obviously, the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents in the United States is only increasing. With many of these deaths being able to be prevented with simple training courses, there is a need for more awareness and exposure regarding these types of classes.
 
Michigan residents are encouraged to check Michigan.gov for the location of nearby motorcycle training classes that have been approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). In addition to taking a motorcycle safety class, motorcyclists may be interested in reading some general safety tips for motorcyclists, that The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously posted.

Michigan Motorcycle Car Crash Lawyer

Inexperienced and unprotected drivers may put themselves in dangerous situations that may lead to serious injuries or death from a motorcycle crash. The training classes the State of Michigan offers may be able to teach proper riding techniques to prevent motorcycle collisions or at the very least inform the rider how to act in such dangerous situations.

There is nothing wrong with a little wind in your hair, as long as one remembers to enjoy motorcycles the safe way. And this International Ride to Work Day, it is especially important to remember that safety comes first when enjoying the celebration of motorcycles.


Motorcyclists face unique safety risks as they are sharing the road with other, much larger vehicles. Special training classes can teach new skills or refresh old techniques, in order to help riders prevent themselves from getting into motorcycle accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle car crash, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM.

2017 Michigan Vehicle Registration Increase

Michigan drivers who had a birthday between January to May, might have noticed a slight change in their vehicle registration fee. The increase was due to Governor Snyder signing a bill in November 2015 that is supposed to help raise funds to repair Michigan roadways. The bill didn’t only raise registration fees but gas taxes as well, from 19 cents to 26.3 cents on top of sales tax, and the bill forces hybrid car and electric vehicle owners to pay an additional fee on top of the 20% increase. (Electric vehicle owners have to pay $135 and hybrid vehicle owners pay $47.) The increase in both registration and gas fees is expected to collect $600 million that will be used for road and transportation purposes.

How Are The Funds Being Applied?

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

It was discovered that all of the money raised by these increased fees and taxes isn’t going to the state's transportation fund. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy reported that the transportation budget will only have $160 million and not the $460 million dollars that was estimated to be collected this year. This begs the question, “Where are the rest of the funds?" 

Supposedly, the remaining $300 million is instead being spent on Medicaid and school funding. Legislators state that the reason for the switch was because in previous years of tax revenues, money earmarked for these other causes, was scraped to pay the transportation funding costs.

How Do Drivers Feel About The Tax Hike?

The increase in taxes might have come as a disappointment to many drivers who share the same sentiment as Flint resident Sabrina Smith, 24, who said, “They don’t do anything around here, we still have busted roads and we’re still going to have busted roads."

Michigan Construction Accident Lawyer

As a counterpoint, Bob Johnston from Holland, Michigan disagreed with Ms. Smith's sentiment and said, “I absolutely understand the need for it. There’s a huge loss in economic development if we don’t have good roads and infrastructure. We need good roads.”  

So, there seems to be mixed feeling about the tax increase among the citizens of Michigan. However, Michiganders should remember that having an up-to-date vehicle registration is required in Michigan. Any driver who is concerned about how much they need to pay to register their vehicle can find the cost on the Michigan’s Secretary of State registration fee lookup tool. Michigan drivers should also keep in mind that the Trump Administration released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan on June 13, 2017 that might affect the current fees in place.

Though all of the money raised in the tax increase won't go toward infrastructure repair, Michiganders can still expect to see plenty of road rebuilding, bridge repairs, and other construction work this Summer. As such, it is important that motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians be extra cautious when traveling around construction sites as construction motor vehicle accidents are likely to occur. By keeping alert at construction sites, obeying construction traffic signs, and by driving more slowly and extra cautiously, construction site car accidents may be avoided.


Michigan motorists may have to redo going their budgets this year thanks to an increase in registration fees and fuel taxes. Although many drivers will hate the increase, it comes as a trade off to higher auto repair costs due to the crumbling infrastructure of Michigan roads. If you or someone you know have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to damaged roads or damaged infrastructure, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation, at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Summer Construction Heats Up at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

It is almost the official start of Summer, and in Michigan, the hot and sunny weather would not be complete without a daily dosage of road construction. The harsh winter climate in the mitten state destroys pavement, forcing the state to hire construction workers to repair damage during the three months of the year when the weather is most tame. The latest local construction project could leave those looking to travel to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport needing some extra time to make sure they aren’t stuck in a sea of orange cones when they should be boarding a plane.

Michigan Construction Accident Attorney

Detroit Metro Airport is the only major hub for air transportation for much of southeast Michigan and its surrounding areas. Construction has already begun on Lucas Drive, which gives drivers access to rental car parking lots close to the airport. Additionally, construction began June 12, 2017 on Rogell Drive, which connects I-94 to the northern area of the airport campus, as mentioned by the Detroit Free Press. When drivers exit I-94 onto Merriman Road, it turns into Rogell Drive near the airport. And with, Wayne County Authority Officials saying that 75% of people visiting the airport arrive via Merriman Road from I-94, this latest construction development becomes a road bump for the majority of visitors to the airport this Summer.

Construction improvements to these areas include the creation of “new overhead signs that are easier to understand and will improve wayfinding to the terminals,” Kelly Ferencz, Airport Authority Deputy Director of Facilities Design and Construction, said in a news release. “We’re also reconstructing the entrance of our parking structure near the North Terminal, the Big Blue Deck.” Hopefully, these developments will help modernize the airport roads and keep travel safe for drivers.

While most of the construction is expected to finish before Thanksgiving in November 2017, Summer travels to the airport will definitely require some planning ahead. The Airport Authority recommends the following tips for those driving to the airport:

Detroit Metropolitan Airport Construction Travel Tips

Construction Accident Lawyer Michigan
  • Arrive early and allow extra time to navigate through the campus.
  • Utilize cell phone waiting lots and short-term parking to reduce congestion.
  • Use Middlebelt Road to access the rental car facilities.
  • Beginning on July 5th, there will be lane closures on Rogell Drive, which will cause “Arrive 275” to be put into effect. This means that drivers should use I-275’s Eureka Road exit to reach the McNamara Terminal of the airport.

Drivers should always be cautious around construction, as reduced speeds and increased congestion alter normal traffic patterns. Watching for road signs and being mindful of construction cones and barriers can help drivers avoid becoming involved in a car accident. In addition, paying attention to construction updates throughout the Summer can help drivers plan ahead for extra travel time. It is also important that travelers to the airport allot extra travel time because the stress of making flights on time combined with construction caused congested traffic, is a formula for creating road rage. By leaving for the airport an hour earlier than planned, jetsetters may be able to avoid an aggressive driving car crash. The last thing someone wants, is to be stuck in construction around Detroit Metro Airport while their flight to Hawaii takes off in the skies above them.


Construction changes normal traffic patterns, forcing drivers to slow down, making commutes longer, and bringing out road rage in aggressive drivers. Construction sites themselves are also dangerous and contain elements that may cause injuries if drivers are not paying attention to construction signage. If you or someone you know has been involved in a traffic accident related to road construction, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Obesity Is A Factor In Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight but find yourself falling off of the workout routine, a study conducted by Berkeley School of Health might give you an extra incentive get back in the gym. In conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC), UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation and Research Education Center (SafeTREC) decided to conduct a study on whether or not obesity played a factor in motor vehicle fatalities.

Though the study was published in 2013, this information is even more relevant in 2017 as 1 in every 3 Americans are obese, and since obesity in general is steadily on the rise. The study's results showed that obese drivers are actually 78% more to die in a car crash compared those in the normal-weight category. So, yes, obesity is definitely a factor in car crash deaths.

Co-author and SafeTREC researcher epidemiologist Thomas Rice said, “This study highlights yet another negative consequence of obesity.”

The Higher The BMI, The Higher The Chance of A Car Crash Fatality

Drivers with a body mass index (BMI) under 18 or between 25 to 29.9 are found to have around the same fatality rates as those people with an ideal BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9. The problem comes in for those who have a BMI ranging between 30 and 39.9. Those whose BMI falls between 30 to 34.9 have a 21% increase in risk of death as stated by the SafeTREC’s study. The study also showed that those with a BMI between 35 to 39.9 increase their fatality rates by 51%. Obese drivers with a BMI above 40 have a 81% possibility of death in the event of a motor vehicle fatality. SafeTREC's study also confirmed that woman who are obese are more likely to die in a car crash than their male counterparts. 

In simpler terms, if a male driver was the nation's average male height of 5 feet 9 inches and weighed the national male average of 195.5 pounds with a BMI of 28.5, he would essentially face the same mortality rates as a male that weighs 158 pounds at 5 feet 9 inches with a BMI of 23. However, if a male that was 5 feet 9 inches weighed 220 pounds with a BMI of 32, he increases his chances of death by 21%. 

Vehicle Changes Made For Overweight Drivers

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Researchers of the study suggest that,“it may be the case that passenger vehicles are well designed to protect normal-weight vehicle occupants but are deficient in protecting overweight or obese occupants.”

Rice said, “Vehicle designers are teaching to the test –designing so that crash-test dummies do well, but crash-test dummies are typically normal size adults and children. They’re not designed to account for our nation’s changing body types.”

Now changes are underway starting with vehicle safety and design through test-dummies that are heavier in size to reflect the nation's growing weight. Michigan Medicine trauma surgeon Stewart Wang, M.D., is a collaborator on car safety as the director of the University of Michigan's International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM). Dr. Wang offers some perspective to engineers who are designing a safety mechanism that will later be placed into vehicles.

The surgeon says, "crash-test dummies look nothing like my patients...The condition, size and shape of an individual is hugely important in how severe their injuries are in any given crash." Dr. Wang also says that many of his obese clients suffer from lower extremity injuries in auto accidents as a result of the lap belt being too slack and causing them to slide under it upon impact. These types of injuries combined with, "their obesity makes treatment more difficult and delays recovery." Wang's medical research of live patients have provided ICAM with vital information which was used in the creation of new test dummies by manufacturer Humanetics, so that engineers can better interpret potential injuries to drivers of a certain weight, sex, and age. 

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

According to ScienceDaily.com, "Teams at ICAM gain tremendous insight from hundreds of thousands of CT scans, which can quickly be used for 3-D printing of prototypes once they're shared with engineers. This has revolutionized the way dummies are made and what they look like."

With scientific research highlighting the importance of test-dummies reflecting the nation's growing population of overweight and elderly drivers, changes can finally be made to vehicles that lead to lower rates auto accident fatalities, for all ages and body types. 


According to the CDC, obesity can be combated through local and state programs that work with communities in creating an environment that encourages healthy eating and physical activity. Living a healthy lifestyle including a lifetime commitment to eating healthy and exercising should help those combating with obesity lose and keep off their weight. Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of an auto accident? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today. 

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC Returns to Sponsor Birmingham’s Summer Concert Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Thursday, June 15, 2017

FIRM CONTACT: Josh Freedman Business Manager & Director of Provider Department Josh@TheMichiganLawFirm.com

Birmingham, MI - The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is thrilled to announce its sponsorship of Birmingham's In the Park Summer Concert Series.  2017 is the second consecutive year that the firm has sponsored this exciting community program.

Representatives from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC will be attending the concerts to hand out free treats, promotional materials, and interact with the community.  Concertgoers are welcome to visit the firm’s table and meet the friendly and knowledgeable personal injury law firm staff.

The series will kick off with the Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition Youth Action Board’s Teen Summer Concert on Friday, June 13th, at 7 PM. Most of the remaining concerts will be on Wednesday nights starting at 7 PM.   Most notably, the U.S. Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors will perform at 7 PM on Tuesday, July 4th.  The concerts, weekly through August 16th, appeal to all ages and will feature a variety of musical genres.

michigan lawyer

The Summer Concert Series has brought families and neighbors together for over three decades. Attendees can pack a picnic and spread out a blanket as they enjoy the music!

The concerts will take place among the scenic greenery of the centrally-located Shain Park, near Merrill Street in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. The concerts will take place on the performance stage and seating is first-come, first-served on the open lawn space. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and to dress lightly. Parking is available in the Chester Street and Pierce Street parking structures.

In the Park Concert Schedule

  • Friday, June 16, 2017 - Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition Youth Action Board's Teen Summer Concert, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Steve Acho (Pop/Rock), 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - Sinjon Smith (Country), 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - ***Special Fourth of July Concert by the Jazz Ambassadors of The U.S. Army Field Band*** 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - Weekend Come Back (Pop, Rock, Country, Funk & Motown), 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - Brand New afternoon concert by Gia Warner and Bobby Lewis (Rock/Classical), 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - Magic Bus (Psychedelic Music, 60’s & 70’s), 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - Toppermost Beatle Tribute (Beatles), 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - Elvis Tribute Artist, Darrin Hagel, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Brand New afternoon concert by The AnTekes (Classic Rock & Roll), 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - The Sax Maniacs from Detroit (Soul), 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Mainstreet Soul (Blues), 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - The Favorites! (50’s), 7 p.m.

For more info about the In the Park Concert series, visit www.bhamgov.org/summerconcerts. To learn more about The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, visit www.themichiganlawfirm.com.

 The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation firm that handles a variety of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls. Call us today for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM (844.464.3476).


Download a PDF Version of our Press Release - 6.15.17 Press Release


Dangerous Takata Air Bag Inflators Are Still On The Market

Since early 2015, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog has informed and kept readers updated on the Takata air bag scandal, in which faulty air bag inflators exploded, either randomly or when deployed in car accidents, when the chemical propellant inside degraded. In the latest news, it was discovered that the government overlooked a glaring error while attempting to rid vehicles of defective Takata air bags when they came to an agreement back in January, 2107. Under federal law it is completely legal for junkyards to sell previously or currently recalled and other wrecked vehicle parts to repair shops that later can be placed into other cars. The transaction is easy to do since there isn't a government agency that currently tracks the purchases, nor a state that has laws against the reuse of recalled vehicle parts. This means that faulty Takata air bags have been sold from junkyards and repurposed in cars that people are currently driving.

Faulty Air Bag Accident Lawyer

How To Avoid Buying A Faulty Car

A reused faulty air bag is the reason why Karen Dorado suffered from a punctured trachea, neck injuries, and damaged vocal cords after getting in a minor car crash on March 3, 2017. Dorado’s father bought her a Honda Accord so that she would have reliable transportation to get her back and forth to work and was unaware, at the time, of the car’s history. This history includes a car accident in Phoenix, Arizona in 2015 that declared the vehicle to be totaled and was later salvaged, repaired, and sold in Las Vegas on March 2016. The inflator however, was traced to a 2001 Accord that had been under recall, but had yet to be serviced and must have been stolen or replaced by a junkyard that sold it to the shop that repaired Dorado’s Honda Accord. 

Dorado is only one of almost 200 people injured or killed by the faulty Takata inflators. To avoid getting into car accidents in tricky situations such as Dorado's it is recommended that anyone who is looking to purchase a vehicle first check it's complete purchase and repair history. Auto history trackers like Carfax or AutoCheck are resourceful sites that research the history of used vehicles so that potential buyers will have an idea of any problems they could possibly be inheriting by purchasing a used vehicle.

Takata's Air Bag Buy Back Program

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Takata now has a program in place that will buy up any of their air bags to take them out of circulation. In fact, Takata has already purchased around 60,000 of them. However, this still doesn’t prevent future buyers of used or salvaged cars from potential danger even when searching the car's VIN number on websites like the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is only allowed to monitor reported vehicles and not car parts, whether they are reported or not. An NHTSA spokeswoman admitted as much to the L.A. Times stating that, “The federal government has no authority over used car sales and cannot stop air bags from being resold.”

Acting director of the Center for Auto Safety Michael Brooks, said,

“People should be suspicious of cars with salvage titles because there is no way of knowing where the parts came from or the quality of the repair work. Although some are safe, stolen or counterfeit parts can be used.”

Update On The Takata Air Bag Scandal

On January 13, 2017 Federal Detroit prosecutors announced that a settlement was reached with Takata over their defective air bag inflators that would cause debris to explode upon impact. The settlement agreement includes Takata pleading guilty to wire fraud, paying $1 billion in criminal penalties, and the indictment of 3 former Takata executives, Shinichi Tanaka, 59; Hideo Nakajima, 65; and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, 61. Roughly $125 million of the fine is going to go to those who were injured by the air bag - if they haven't received a separate settlement - while $850 million will go to automakers who have incurred debt over replacement costs for the air bags. Takata was also ordered to recall the almost 100 million air bags, in phases, which should be completed by the end of 2019.

Drivers are encouraged to make sure their vehicle has been recently serviced in order to prevent serious injuries and death resulting from the Takata air bag inflators. Future car buyers who may be purchasing a used car or salvaging a current one should be vigilant in making sure that the car parts are purchased from a state approved auto shop. At the very least, any one in the used car buying market should should look up the history of their car's parts.


Although, Takata is now compensating families for their loss, it comes a little too late for those who have lost a loved one due to their negligence. Now, the horror continues through sales of salvaged parts that is completely legal under federal law. If you or someone you know was injured due to faulty air bags or any other recall defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. today. We will work hard to earn you any compensation you may be entitled to.

New Apple Technology Seeks to Break Bad Driving Habits

Distracted Driving Car Accident Attorney

Do-do-do! Your iPhone goes off from the car's cup holder signaling a text message. You pick it up to read it while simultaneously switching to the far left lane on the freeway and speeding up. It’s your best friend. The text says that he needs to call you right now to talk about last night's episode of The Walking Dead. You turn down the radio and dial his number as you grab a fry out of your McDonald's bag and stuff it into your mouth. With both hands off the wheel, you accidentally serve into the lane to your right. The car behind you and the car to your right honk! You abruptly drop your phone and use both hands to get back in your lane. Now you hear your phone ringing but it's lodged in the space between your seat and the center console. You sigh and try to fish it out while driving singlehandedly.

Sound familiar?

This is what it is like to drive distracted - something many of us have done but hate to admit. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that, daily there are about 660,000 drivers who use their cell phones while driving. The constant need to multi-task and the busy work life of hundreds of thousands of Americans endanger the safety of everyone on the road.

Therefore, as technology continues to develop, companies are being challenged to develop products that are not only new and improved, but that keep individuals safe while driving. Many cars already have wireless programs that allow drivers to talk on their phone or respond verbally to text messages without having to take their eyes of the road or their hands off the wheel. However, cell phones are still easy to check and within reach of the steering wheel, making cell phone usage while driving a lethal combination.

Michigan Distracted Driving Car Crash

Apple’s latest software, iOS 11, has been created with these distracted drivers in mind. Its newest feature, called Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD), is designed to prevent people from checking their phones while driving a car. Engadget tried out the new software and explained that the program uses Bluetooth or WiFi doppler effect to determine how fast a phone's user is moving. If an iPhone user is moving at high speeds, like those achieved while riding in a car, a blank screen will appear if the user tries to use the phone, in order to shield drivers from the constant flow of notifications and alerts. There is however an option to disable DNDWD when the program prompts users to say whether or not they are the drivers, thereby allowing passengers in moving cars to freely use their mobile devices.

The feature also has the capability to auto-reply to text messages, telling your phone contacts that you are driving and will view their messages when you reach your destination. There is even an option to customize certain contacts, allowing them to text back “urgent” to have their text message come through even if Do Not Disturb While Driving is on. Obviously, this feature is only intended to be used in case of emergency. While no software can prevent complete distraction, iOS 11 is Apple’s way of making iPhones safer for drivers. These efforts may dramatically decrease distracted driving.

Source: GIPHY, FX's Louie

Source: GIPHY, FX's Louie

One demographic that can definitely benefit from DNDWD is teenagers. Teens are the largest age group reported to have engaged in distracted driving behavior when involved in fatal car crashes. Young people also make up the majority of smartphone users in the United States. With DNDWD, Apple has discovered an easy way to save the lives of many of its teenage iPhone users, even marketing the idea of safe driving as “cool.”

Teens aside, distracted driving is not something for adults to take lightly either. Distracted driving may lead to serious injuries and death from car collisions in any age group. Alarmingly, 3,477 people were killed by distracted driving accidents in 2015 alone. Parents need to lead by example for their children, who may make the excuse that “Mom does it,” to use their phone while driving. In some states, it is against the law to text, talk on the phone, or participate in other distractions while driving. Yet time and time again, adult drivers pick up their cell phone while also driving on the road. Citizens of Michigan are especially guilty of this action since cellphone usage while driving is not illegal in Michigan. By utilizing Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature, drivers of all ages, Michiganders included, have even less of an excuse to drive distracted and are encouraged to choose to be safe rather than sorry.

Aside from any emergency situations, most motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving are completely avoidable. The next time you drive, consider the serious and deadly consequences of driving while distracted. Pick your radio station before leaving the driveway, save the snacks for the dinner table, do your makeup and shave in a bathroom mirror, and keep your pet securely fastened away from the driver. Most importantly and most easily, keep your phone in the back seat, in a purse or bag, or just simply turn it off. If a phone must be kept on, use programs designed for your safety, such as DNDWD, to help break the bad habit of checking every text, game notification or Instagram post, while driving. Explaining to the ER doctor that you wrapped your car around a tree because you needed an update on the Tigers game is not fun.

Source: GIPHY, SmallBizTechnology.com

Source: GIPHY, SmallBizTechnology.com


Distracted driving is a constant threat to drivers and passengers. Cell phones are a common form of distraction, taking driver's eyes, hands, and ears off the road, possibly leading to a car crash. If you or someone you know has been been the victim of a motor vehicle collision caused by distracted driving, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our firm offers free consultations for those who need assistance in navigating their legal options while recovering from their car accident injuries.

Pedestrian Deaths Increase Due To Wearing Headphones

In January 2017, Christopher Laurence Duncan was struck by an Amtrak train in Lima Township, Michigan and was later pronounced dead at the scene. Michigan State Police believe that Duncan was walking along the train tracks with his headphones on and did not hear the train approaching. The conductor onboard the train claims that he sounded his horn at Duncan and resorted to using the emergency stop brakes but was unable to stop in time to avoid the train crash. Despite the high speed and loud sounds of the train, which was going 76 mph towards him, Duncan remained blissfully unaware of the commotion because he was handicapped by the sounds blasting from his headphones instead.

Pedestrian Car Accident Lawyer

Train vs Pedestrian Accidents Are On The Rise

Unfortunate and probably preventable deaths like Duncan’s have shown to be on the rise according to a study by LiveScience. The study gathered information from 116 vehicle accidents in the U.S. between 2004 to 2011 involving a pedestrian wearing headphones. The results highlighted that most of the civilians who were wearing headphones were under the age of 30. and that most of the vehicles involved in those accidents were actually trains. It should also be noted that more than 66% of the victims were also male.

The lead author of the study and ER doctor at University of Maryland Hospital for Children, Dr. Richard Lichenstein did divulge however that based on the data collected for the study, that it was hard to determine if the victims were crossing the tracks or had fallen onto the tracks. The data however did show that about a third of the vehicle drivers sounded the horn to alert the pedestrian before the impeding motor vehicle crash. 

In a statement, Dr. Lichenstein said, "Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears. Teenagers may not be as experienced or as conscious of their surroundings, and they're just zoning in on their music."

As a result, nearly 70% of the 116 accidents reviewed in the study resulted in death. Researchers state that the pedestrians wearing the headphones are distracted and experiencing sensory deprivation which can lead to ‘inattentional blindness’. This means that the distracted person's mental attention has been reduced, which in turn causes them to be involved in accidents as they are not aware of any impeding dangerous situations around them. 

Ways To Mitigate 'Inattentional Blindness'

The best way to avoid an accident like the one Duncan was in, is by completely disconnecting one's self from electronic devices that cause some kind of sensory deprivation such as headphones, eye wear like virtual reality glasses, and other devices that draw a large amount of attention away from other senses. If such devices must be used, it is important to try limit the amount of distraction by turning down the brightness or volume of the device, especially when in public.  It is also important to watch the social cues of others in the vicinity to infer if danger is imminent. 

Inattentional blindness is a serious mental handicap that many people can be unaware that they are experiencing. It is human nature to believe that we can multitask and take in our surrounds at the same time without error. However likely that maybe for some people, such behaviors are usually unsafe. Like pedestrians, motorists who talk or text on the phone while driving are also engaging in this dangerous multitasking behavior and are placing others at risk.

Train Accident Lawyer

Dr. Lichenstein's study is one of many showing the increasing hazardous situations pedestrians are placing themselves in by becoming preoccupied with their wireless devices. Headphones cause users to zone out one's surrounding which in turn can lead to them not reacting in time to avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Have you or loved one been injured in a car or train accident as a pedestrian? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. When you are fighting for your rights, having an experienced and knowledgeable law firm in your corner is an advantage you need. 

The Impact of Autonomous Cars on the US Economy

There has been continuous buzz about self-driving cars over the past few years, with successful tests and disastrous accidents alike, being reported in the news. There is no doubt that such a ground-breaking invention will change transportation norms throughout the United States, just as Henry Ford’s automobiles forever changed the way to get around the country.

In fact, Wired reports autonomous vehicles are expected to add $7 trillion to the U.S. economy over the next 35 years, based on data from Intel and research company Strategy Analytics. This is no small number, considering just robotic cars alone could add $2 trillion to the nation's economy by 2050, not even taking into account the current jobs and businesses that will be affected financially. To put these numbers into perspective, $1 trillion could buy about 40 million new cars, according to Kiplinger. But what makes up this enormous number?

Michigan Self Driving Car Lawyer

Self-Driving Cars and Jobs

Autonomous cars are predicted to positively influence the economy in the coming years, but their impact will be spread unevenly across sectors. Companies like Google and GM who have invested in making this technology a reality, will see the most money. Then, for the average Joe, the industries that will likely see a rise in job demands include data analysis, IT, and mechanics. Just like our smart phones and credit cards, autonomous cars collect data on a driver's habits, which in turn creates jobs for humans who need to sort and analyze this data. Intel reports jobs in information technology (IT), though they will see a shift from actual discovery of information to the management of machines finding information, will almost double in intensity. Additionally, the number of miles driven is expected to rise, increasing the need for cars, self-driving or otherwise, to be repaired by mechanics. 

Distracted Driver Accident Lawyer

On the other hand, there will also be a decline in jobs, especially for people working in the service industries. Jobs like food delivery and taxi services may no longer be needed with the use of self-driving cars. This brings into effect the concept that Intel and Strategy Analytics call "The Passenger Economy," an idea which places economic and societal value on pilotless vehicles. Essentially, why hire humans to do a job that cars can do on their own? While they profit either way, this is a question that companies like Uber will have to face when replacing human drivers with company vehicles. 

It should also be noted that self-driving cars may create jobs that are still unknown. After all, with new technologies come new jobs the market previously did not anticipate. On the flip side, new technologies could also make jobs that currently exist obsolete. No matter which sectors see an increase or decline in job security, the fact remains that the American economy will still receive an estimated $7 trillion economic boost (or even even bigger-no one can put an exact number on the future!) Just like the Model-T helped restructure city spaces and bring the suburbs into existence, autonomous vehicles have the ability to transform job markets. There are endless possibilities for economic reform.

Autonomous Car Regulations

Michigan Self Driving Car Ethics Lawyer

Though all the glory of creating thousands of new jobs and boosting the economy sounds appealing, it does not happen without the technology meeting all safety standards first. Which is why, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not counting their chickens before their eggs hatch. The NHTSA has released the Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles, a document which, "outlines best practices for the safe design, development and testing of automated vehicles prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads." Included in this document is a 15-point safety assessment that requires manufacturers to meet objectives such as operational design, post-crash response, privacy, and cybersecurity before their cars can go to market. Considering that 94% of automobile crashes are due to human error, there is definitely room for technology to advance driver safety. Hopefully, if all autonomous vehicle manufacturers can meet the standards set by the NHTSA, this will be a step in the right direction to saving lives. 

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

What does all this mean for people who are willing to give up their spot behind the wheel and let the car drive itself? (That is a scary thought for a lot of people!) Well, most people want more proof that these cars won't crash and will safely deliver them to their destination before they surrender the wheel. That is why companies who create autonomous car technology need to be regulated to ensure absolute safety in their products and so that consumers are not just paying for the newest trend in transportation. Put simply, this technology needs to save lives and be safer than the transportation methods we already have. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute said to Consumer Reports that “there’s no way that we as a society would accept self-driving cars that cause the same number of fatalities as humans.” 

Autonomous Car Crash Lawyer

In 2015, there were roughly 35,000 traffic deaths in the United States. Future autonomous vehicles must allow for more safety if they are to replace human drivers. People also need to remember that transportation technology takes years of planning before it can be used in everyday lives, and that for now, only people can drive cars. Testing allows room for development and improvement, but overall “we expect machines to be better than us,” as Pratt said.

Until it's proven that autonomous vehicles are safer than human-operated vehicles, humans need to be careful when driving on the road today. While we may one day be able to sleep while a car drives us around, we have to make sure that for now, we don't fall asleep behind the wheel! Sleepy driving, distracted driving, and drunk driving are bad human habits that can lead to serious injuries and death in the event of a car crash. By following the rules of the road and maintaining good driving habits, people can protect themselves from being involved in fatal car accidents. 

At the end of the day, it is impossible to plan the future or to predict how large of an impact autonomous vehicles will have on the economy or auto law. What we do know is that self-driving cars will add jobs, take away jobs, and, based on how well they are regulated, even save lives. 


Self-driving cars are growing closer to reality than we think due to the rapid development of technology. However, today, we still rely on people to drive vehicles, and as such, following the rules of the road is the best way to stay safe and to avoid motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been in involved in an auto accident, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

The Dangers Of Driving In Heels

Michigan Car Accident Attorney

A Florida woman from Fort Walton Beach claims that her flip flops are the reason behind her automobile accident. The anonymous female driver stated that she was in the process of backing out of her driveway when her foot slipped and her heeled shoe got caught under the gas pedal preventing her from braking in time. She crashed through her neighbor's house across the street and nearly killed a young boy in the process. Accidents like this may seem outlandish but are more common than people might believe. In fact, a UK court recently heard an ex-model's tale of how she accidentally hit a cyclist while test driving a car, due to wearing 2-inch-heels.

Why Proper Driving Footwear is Important

The model in the UK case was Julie Hunter. Ms. Hunter was supposedly test driving a car in a 30 mph zone but was going 50 mph. In an attempt to avoid hitting another vehicle on the road, Ms. Hunter spun out her car and hit a cyclist named Debbie Riches. Upon impact, Riches’ bicycle flew 20 feet into the air before landing and becoming pinned under Ms. Hunter's vehicle. Ms. Riches was pinned under Hunter’s vehicle for about 30 minutes until fire crews arrived and were able to lift the car by utilizing inflatable airbags. Riches was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical team rushed Hunter to a nearby hospital for her fractured skull and internal ear damage.   

The crash investigator who worked on the scene determined that there weren’t any mechanical issues with the car Hunter drove or the bicycle that Riches was riding at the time of the accident. However, the investigator did say that the, "very high" heels worn by Hunter may have inhibited her ability to drive. 

Examples of Improper Driving Footwear

Car Crash Lawyer Detroit

Coincidentally, Shell Oil Company conducted a survey on over 1,000 drivers and determined that at 29% of drivers aged 18-30 are more likely to drive while wearing inappropriate footwear, including shoes with wide bottoms, thick soles, or even driving barefoot. Shoes that have wide soles can make it harder for a driver to properly place their foot on one pedal at a time. In a similar sense, shoes with thick soles make it harder for a driver to gauge the amount of pressure needed to apply to the pedals. Respectively, improper footwear does not just pertain to woman, but includes male footwear as well. Some typically male styles of shoes that may be improper for safe driving include oxfords, work or steel toe boots, and sandals.

The Recommended Footwear for Driving

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

The Telegraph advises that drivers should stick to shoes like the moccasins or athletic footwear for easy stow-ability, comfortability, and proper sole-to-pedal ratio. Motorsports shoes are also a responsible alternative to prevent scuffing while providing grip. 

With summer having arrived in Michigan, many drivers refuse to wear anything but sandals until cold weather hits returns. These drivers should remember the importance of wearing proper foot gear as a precaution to avoid getting into car accidents. If compromising their style is their biggest worry, drivers can keep a pair driving appropriate shoes in their car year round that they can switch out with whatever shoes they want to wear once they get out from behind the wheel of their motor vehicle. Valuing fancy footwear over driving safety is not worth a trip to the ER!


All drivers, and not just ladies, should be aware of the shoes, or lack their of, that they wear when driving. Wearing the right footwear could possibly prevent motor vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today, for a free consultation. 

Belle Isle's Detroit Grand Prix

Michigan Speeding Car Crash Lawyer

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, a staple event in the Motor City for the last three decades, took place from June 2-June 4, 2017 on Belle Isle. The results ended in a weekend sweep for driver Graham Rahal, who became the first IndyCar driver to win both races in the Grand Prix doubleheader. Rahal has followed in the footsteps of his father, Bobby, who won one of the races at the event in 1992.

Over 100,000 fans from around the area attended the three-day event, gathered in bleachers near the track to watch cars race by at speeds up to 150 m.p.h. For fans, there is a fascination created from race cars zooming by combined with the classic Michigan location. The racers movements around the track are so elegantly sleek and the air on the track is so charged that it can seem as though anyone can just jump in a car and step on the gas pedal. However, looks can be deceiving as only the professionals are capable at taking round turns and switching lanes at high speeds without flipping their cars and causing serious injuries to themselves. This precaution leaves all other non-race car drivers to keep an eye on speed limits and follows the rules of the road in order to avoid motor vehicle accidents and even death. 

Detroit Speeding Car Crash Attorney

It's not news that speeding endangers the lives of drivers and those around them. In fact, in 2014, 9,262 lives were lost due to speeding-related crashes. Plus, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the factors that inspires people to speed is the feeling of detachment drivers feel when inside a motor vehicle. It is easier to disregard speed limits when one feels like their behavior on the road cannot be seen by others. However, drivers on local roads can be observed by others, and speeding does lead to severe crashes and fatalities. When getting behind a wheel of a car, people need to remind themselves that they are not on a race track and the high speeds like those at the Grand Prix are not suitable for everyday roads.

There are a variety of ways to prevent accidents caused by speeding. In general, drivers should pay attention to signs listing speed limits and go slower than what they believe the limit is, when they do not see any signs. People also need to go extra slow in highly congested areas and where there are many pedestrians. It is important for fans of race car driving to remember that these high speeds are made for tracks and experienced drivers, and that high speed driving should not be imitated on local roads.

The fast paced competition on Belle Isle this weekend provided endless entertainment for people as they took in the surrounding view of the Detroit skyline and cheered on their favorite drivers. It brought fans together from across the area, wondering who would be the one to pass all the other cars for the trophy and a victory lap. The big weekend winner, Graham Rahal, said to the Detroit Free Press that, “when you get a chance to win a race, you never take it for granted.” While enjoying the sport, fans of the Grand Prix and other high-speed race car competitions also need to keep an eye on the speed limits of local roads, so they too can enjoy safe driving without taking it for granted.   


The Motor City is known for its love of sports, including race car competitions like the Grand Prix. Fans of high-speed races need to make sure that they drive within the speed limits on local roads, and remember that they are not on a race track. Following speed limits and the rules of he road can help drivers from being involved in high speed car accidents. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a speeding car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation today. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Detroit's New MoGo Bike Share Program

Michigan Bicycle Accident Attorney

Detroit, Michigan is working diligently to expand its reputation beyond being the Motor City. Not only is the Q-Line up and running to the public, but now a bike share program, MoGo, has been added to the Detroit transportation roster. Sponsored by Henry Ford Health System and Health Alliance Plan, MoGo has 430 bikes in 43 stations found in 10 Detroit locations such as the Eastern Market, Woodbridge, the New Center area, Lafayette Park, Southwest Detroit, the Riverwalk, Clark Park, and of course in Downtown. MoGo lists reasons to get behind the bike-share initiative, by saying that it saves money, saves time, is fun, and is green. Not only can people travel throughout the city, while enjoying a more scenic route, getting exercise, and reducing their carbon footprint, but the bike-share program also helps those who are rushing to and from bus stops, the Q-Line, and other transit stops.

The executive director of MoGo, Lisa Nuszkowski told The Detroit News that, “They say it takes a village to raise a child. If that’s the case, then it takes a city to launch a bike share, that’s for sure. Bike share can transform the campus community, and it will transform community health as well.”

The Detroit News also mentions that, "Garry Bulluck, deputy chief of Mobility Innovations for Mayor Mike Duggan, said MoGo, the QLine and improved transit in the city are the building blocks of a transportation network that is going to be world class. “It’s an opportunity just not for people to access different parts of downtown Detroit, but also to increase physical fitness. ... This is about people’s lives.""

How Does MoGo Work?

Since MoGo has bike stations spread out all over the city as far as Southwest Detroit and North End, riders have easy access to a bike station near them. Then, renters can go to www.mogodetroit.org, to see how many bikes are available and how many bike docks are open. MoGo also uses two apps, Transit App and Cyclefinder.

As far as handling the bike return properly, riders will know if the bike is properly docked by waiting to see if the light on the dock turns green. For those who wish to ride as a group, 4 bikes can be rented and removed at a time. Bikes are available to rent 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year, if weather permits it.

How Much Does MoGo Cost?

For those bicyclists who plan to use a bike on-and-off throughout a day, daily passes are available for $8. There are also monthly passes ($18), annual passes ($80), and access passes ($5) for registered members of state benefit programs. These passes allow for unlimited 30 minute rides for their respective duration. It is important to note that any ride is limited to 30 minutes, unless extra time is needed, in which case riders will incur an additional $4 for every extra 30 minutes, or $2 with any of the passes. In case a bike is lost or stolen, renters will have to pay a $1,200 fee.

For a limited time, MoGo is offering a Founders Pass ($100) that includes a MoGo Founders T-shirt, four Daily Passes to give to friends and family, and the opportunity to ride in their launch event, in addition to an annual pass.

Bicycle Safety

Detroit Bike Car Crash Lawyer

The MoGo bicycle was manufactured in New York, and is reddish in color with black seats, relaxed handlebars, a basket, plastic protected fenders, and lights. At this time however, bike helmets and other safety equipment do not come equipped with the MoGo bikes, and nor are they handicap accessible. MoGo is waiting on additional grants so that helmets, hand bikes, and tandems will be available for the public at-large. MoGo users and bike riders in general are asked to be careful while out during anytime of day, but especially at night. So, until MoGo implements safety features, it's important for MoGo renters, to wear reflective and protective gear while riding and to be mindful of other bike riders and motorists on the road. This is actually a good rule of thumb for any bicylist and not just MoGo renters, as taking such safety precautions can help bicyclists avoid getting into car collisions and bicycle accidents.  


MoGo Bike share is an awesome addition to the revitalization of Detroit. Hopefully, with the bike share program in use, added tourism and fitness excursions will further help the health and economy of Detroit. With the soon to be flourishing bicycle scene in Detroit however, it is important for motor vehicle operators and bicycle riders alike to be extra mindful of road safety in order to avoid serious injuries from bicycle car accidents. If you or someone you know have been injured in a bicycle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Cyclist Hit By An SUV In Crosswalk

A lawsuit was filed in Chicago by the husband of a woman struck on her bike in a crosswalk by an SUV. The lawsuit is a wrongful death lawsuit against 56-year-old driver Hanna Burzynska. Eric Jakubowski, the cyclist's husband, is seeking more than $100,000 for his wife Joni Beaudry, according to the Chicago Tribune. Authorities state that Beaudry, had activated the crossing signal before riding her bike in the crosswalk.

Bike Accident Lawyer

“This is a situation where no amount of money can ever change the circumstances here," said the personal injury attorney representing the Jakubowski family.

The Jakubowski lawsuit claims that Burzynska “carelessly and negligently drove and operated [the SUV] and failed to keep a reasonable [and] careful lookout ahead for other traffic or pedestrians attempting to cross [the road].” This personal injury suit seeks monetary compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and burial expenses. Another reason Jakubowski filed the lawsuit is  pain and suffering due compensation for the loss of Beaudry. 

Burzynska was originally charged with a $150 fine following the auto accident and was later issued fines for misdemeanor traffic citations including failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to reduce speed. Her attorney, stated that Burzynska has also suffered as a result of the accident “not nearly to the degree of this family but psychologically...she's not been able to work.”

Cyclist

According to the National Highway for Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014,  deaths similar to Beaudry’s accounted for 726 deaths, the equivalent of nearly 2 lives lost every day. However, 50,000 injuries were reported due to bicycling versus motor vehicle incidents. The NHTSA research shows that 29% of cyclists are killed as a result of accidents involving motor vehicles.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed some promising interventions that could protect cyclist when traveling. 

Interventions that showed to be promising in reducing auto accident injuries and fatalities to bicyclists include: 

  • Wearing fluorescent clothing that also aids cyclists in being visible from further away. 
  • Dressing in retro-reflective clothing to allow bicyclists to be visible at night.
  • A cyclist can fit their bike(s) with active lighting that can be attached to the tires or the bike frame for increased visibility. Active lighting includes the front white and rear red lights that usually come attached to the bicycle. 
     

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a personal injury law firm located in Birmingham, MI.  Our firm handles serious injury cases throughout the state.  Speak to a Michigan accident lawyer today. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consult.  You deserve a great lawyer.

Michigan Supreme Court Ruling Affects Medical Providers And Car Accident Victims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, May 26, 2017

FIRM CONTACT: Josh Freedman Business Manager & Director of Provider Department Josh@TheMichiganLawFirm.com

Birmingham, MI - Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a significant ruling in the Covenant Medical Center v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company case that affects all Michigan medical providers who treat auto accident victims.  The Court ruled that “a healthcare provider does not possess a statutory cause of action against a no-fault insurer.”

Prior to the Court’s Opinion, it was well settled Michigan law that medical providers could bypass the car accident victim and sue the no-fault insurance company directly for unpaid bills.  The standard for medical providers to collect unpaid no-fault related bills has likely now changed.

Medical Provider Lawyer

The Covenant decision points out that Michigan medical providers may still retain certain rights under Michigan law.  The Court stated in a footnote that its conclusion was “not intended to alter an insured’s ability to assign his or her right to past or presently due benefits to a healthcare provider.”

Best practices for medical providers may now include working closely with car accident victims so that they better understand the billing process and to obtain signatures for assignments of rights to permit the medical provider to litigate against no-fault insurers directly for unpaid medical bills. 

The effect of this Opinion on Michigan auto accident victims may be significant as well.  It may become routine for medical providers to seek an assignment of rights from auto accident victims.

The full impact of this decision is not yet fully realized by the Michigan trial court practice.  Today, multiple Wayne County Circuit Court judges did not hear medical provider motions to intervene into auto accident lawsuits and have already began implementing the Michigan Supreme Court ruling as it relates to MCL 500.3112 motions regarding disbursement of No-Fault settlements.  It remains to be seen exactly how Michigan trial courts apply the Covenant decision moving forward.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC represents auto accident victims and medical providers across the state of Michigan.  We are continuing to evaluate this new decision and will issue more analysis in the coming days and weeks regarding how Covenant will affect Michigan medical providers and Michigan auto accident victims.

For more information about The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, visit www.themichiganlawfirm.com or call us at 844.4MI.FIRM.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation firm which handles a variety of personal injury lawsuits including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls.

Download the PDF Press Release here: Covenant v. State Farm -Press Release -  5.26.17

 

Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Fatalities

Memorial Day celebrates the many men and women who have risked their lives to defend our country, but it also kicks off Summer travels. Whether by plane, train, boat or car, most Americans use this long weekend for a short getaway. With so many people leaving on vacation however, congestion and accidents are expected to follow. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 439 people will be killed and 50,500 will be seriously injured, over this three day weekend, due to Memorial Day motor vehicle crashes. 

Memorial Day Car Crash Lawyer

Memorial Day Car Crash Statistics

This year, it is expected that nearly 39.3 million Americans will go on vacation for Memorial Day. 88.1% of those traveling are planning to do so by driving, despite gas prices being increased by 11 cents since Memorial Day 2016. Additional statistics estimate that out of the over 50,000 car accidents and injuries incurred on this holiday every year, that 44% of these car crashes involve alcohol. In Michigan alone, out of all of the fatal car accidents that took place over Memorial Day weekend in 2015, approximately 33% of these motor vehicle accidents included a pedestrian or driver with alcohol in their system, according to Michigan State Police (MSP) reports.

Safe Driving Recourse

Although there are’t any plans to set up drunk driving checkpoints over the holiday weekend due to the questionable legality in Michigan, the MSP will still be on the road identifying drunk drivers and distracted drivers. MSP will also be involved with the Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts operation (C.A.R.E.), which is an international traffic safety initiative to keep the roadways safe during the Memorial Day weekend. Other programs that MSP will be participating in are the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” kickoff geared toward making sure that both children and adults are properly wearing and using their seat-belts. If a Michigan police officer discovers a driver not wearing a seat-belt between May 23 to June 5, they can expect to receive a base fine of approximately $65. 

Memorial Day Weekend Travel Safety Tips

Unfortunately, tickets and fines don't deter everyone into following the rules of the road. Therefore, even if you are adhering to the law, that doesn't mean that every other driver on the road will. So, for those who are planning on traveling by car, truck, bus, or RV this weekend, here are a few traffic safety tips provided by CNN News:

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer
  • Drive shorter distances. It is reasonably deduced that with the large number of drivers on the road who are traveling long distances, accidents can be reduced if other drivers drive shorter distances.  

  • Take the highway. On highways everyone is heading in the same direction and there are no turn lanes, so, traffic doesn't often stop - unless a car crash or traffic jam occurs. This helps make for a quicker journey than taking local roads which usually eat up time with red lights, turn lanes, and four way traffic.

  • Congestion could save a life. As odd as it sounds, taking the road less traveled could lead to speeding and accidents. In congested traffic, the only way to go is slow, which can further prevent accidents from happening or at least lessen the damage caused by any potential impact.

  • Leave early. Based on Waze traffic congestion studies, it is best to avoid the roads on Thursday between 3 to 5 P.M., on Friday from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M., and on Monday from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

  • Don’t drive under the influence. Is there really much more that needs to be said? Driving under the influence can affect reaction time, cognitive functions, and motor skills, all of which can lead to drunk driving car accidents.

  • Drowsy driving is a no-go. When experiencing constant blinking, swerving, or trouble recalling the last few miles, take it as a sign to pull over and rest or to switch drivers if possible. Falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to motor vehicle accidents and irreparable injuries. 

Drunk Driving Lawyer

It's also a general rule when driving any time that drivers should stay focused at all times on the road. That means no distractions from pets, phones, or even passengers. In this day and age, it's especially important to refrain from trying to text, post, tweet, record a video, or do anything else that can potentially cause attention to move away from the road. As many studies show, there are enough accidents caused around Memorial Day every year that could be avoided if drivers just take their time, drive responsibly, and abide by traffic laws.

Unofficial start of Summer aside, Memorial Day should be respected and we should do our best to remember those who died to serve our country. Thank you to those who laid down their lives in service, to those who have served, and to those who are serving. 


It is important for Michigan drivers to be aware that with the Summer travel season upon us, that the roads will quickly fill up with people wanting to take advantage of the warm weather. This surplus of out of town drivers on the road will cause travel times to be extended and thereby make crash statistics increase. Long weekends like Memorial Day, may even bring out an influx of road rage accidents and aggressive driving accidents. If you or a loved one becomes involved in a car accident over Memorial Day weekend, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We provide free consultations to victims of motor vehicle accidents. Speak to a Michigan car crash lawyer today at 844.4MI.FIRM. 

GM Ignition Switch Update

Earlier this year General Motors (GM) agreed to pay $1 million in a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC). The Detroit News reports that the civil penalty is a result of the SEC’s investigation into GM’s ignition switch recall. A recall that led to nearly 2.6 million motor vehicles to be serviced for faulty ignition switches that GM was aware of for more than 10 years and had refused to address. The malfunction in the ignition switches could flip the switch from the run position and prevent the airbags from deploying in case of a car crash and caused several injuries and linked to 124 deaths.  

Ignition Switch Lawyer

 

GM Ignition Switch Cost 

Despite the settlement agreement with the SEC, GM clarified that just because a settlement was reached with the SEC, did not mean they were admitting any wrongdoing. GM even made a statement that the settlement with the SEC, “does not call into question any of GM’s current or prior financial statements or its disclosures. Also, no material weakness or significant deficiency was found by the SEC.”

To date, the GM ignition-switch crisis has cost the company more than $2 billion in penalties, fines, and settlements including the $600 million spent in compensation and lawsuits to the victims and their families, a civil penalty that was worth $35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and $900 million paid in a settlement to the Justice Department. So it comes as no surprise that GM is arguing that deaths and claims that occurred before their 2009 bankruptcy filing should not be admissible at court. 

GM Bankruptcy Appeal

 

Car Accident Lawyer

A federal court permitted claimants with cases involving wrongful death, personal injury and even economic loss to court with proper proof due to the fact that GM may have been aware of the ignition switch defect. GM argues that under bankruptcy law that there are not responsible for past liabilities related to “Old GM” and that they are essentially wiped out under bankruptcy law. But with the backing of the Supreme court, several hundred remaining claims made on or before 2009 can proceed to trial.  

“There are a lot of cases out there that either are going to have to be settled by G.M. or litigated, now that the Supreme Court is not getting involved,” said Robert C. Hilliard in The New York Times, a lawyer that is handling more than 200 claims against GM. 

In the meantime, GM is not accepting the Supreme court's ruling and will continue to fight and file appeals to remove the court's decision since it was not based on the merits of bankruptcy law. Those who have a case that takes place before 2009 should move quickly in submitting their claim so that it will be heard and possibly receive proper payment. 


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation law firm in Birmingham, Michigan.  Our legal team handles personal injury lawsuits throughout the state.  Call a Michigan personal injury attorney for a free consult at 844.4MI.FIRM. You deserve a great attorney in your corner.