Kalamazoo Crash Underscores Consequences of Speeding

A tragic car crash in Kalamazoo, Michigan over Labor Day Weekend has demonstrated the deadly consequences of driving over the speed limit. Five teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 died in a fiery car crash around 1 AM on the morning of Saturday, September 2, 2017. They were traveling nearly 100 mph in a Dodge Charger when they slammed into a tree. A parked Kalamazoo police officer saw the car go speeding by and began following the car in order to slow it down. Upon rounding a corner however, he discovered that the car crashed and was being consumed by flames.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Speeding car accidents like this Kalamazoo car crash one are unfortunately not uncommon. Readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog may remember a similar teenage speeding car crash that resulted in the deaths of 3 of the 5 teenagers involved, in Stony Creek Metro Park.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a speed related crash as one in which the driver “was charged with a speeding-related offense or if an officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash.” In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, 27% of all fatalities from automobile accidents in the country were due to speeding. In Michigan, speeding related fatalities are also about 27% of all fatalities from automobile accidents. Data from the NHTSA shows that drivers between the ages of 15 and 34 are most likely to speed, and males are more likely to speed than females. Also, weekends and night time are when the most speeding occurs. In states with harsh winters such as Michigan, ice and snow also increase the likelihood of speed related car crashes.

This heartbreaking car accident highlights the dangers of speeding. Whether it’s 1 mile per hour over the speed limit or 20, speeding is not only dangerous, but is also against the law. According to the Michigan Legislature, driving at a speed greater than the posted speed limit is known as a violation of a basic speed law (VBSL). Basic speeding laws are set in place to assure that vehicles will be able to stop within a clear distance of the car ahead if need be. 

Michigan’s Posted Speeding Laws

Speeding Car Crash Lawyer
  • 25 miles per hour in business districts.
  • 25 miles per hour in residential districts.
  • 25 miles per hour within the boundaries of a public park.
  • 55 miles per hour on truck-line and county highways.
  • 55 miles per hour on gravel highways.
  • 70 miles per hour on limited access freeways.

In the state of Michigan, speeding is considered a civil infraction, resulting in speeding tickets of up to $100. In some circumstances, driving over the speed limit may even be considered reckless driving, which may result in a fine of up to $500 and possibly jail time. More so, according to the Michigan Secretary of State, driving over the speed limit can also result in points being added to the driver's license. Different violations have different point values, and the points stay on the driver’s record for two years after the conviction date.

Points for Speed Related Infractions

  • Reckless driving = 6 points
  • Drag racing = 4 points
  • Driving 16 mph over the speed limit or more = 4 points
  • Careless driving = 3 points
  • Driving 11-15 mph over the speed limit = 3 points
  • Driving 10 mph or less over the speed limit = 2 points

Speeding is illegal and dangerous. Driving over the speed limit may result in points on the driver’s record, a suspended license, tickets, and even jail time. What's worse however is that speed related automobile accidents may lead to serious injury or death. Going 10 mph over the posted speed limit and potentially rear-ending a vehicle due being unable to slow down in time for a sudden red light, is not worth shaving 5 minutes off of a commute. Drivers should instead plan out their trip before they leave and should be prepared to leave ahead of their scheduled departure time to ensure a smooth, steady, and safe drive to their intended destination. 


Speeding not only hurts your driving record, but it may also lead to serious injuries and death in the event of a speeding car crash. Driving over the speed limit, regardless of how much over the limit, is illegal. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a speeding driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Suspect Tackled After High-Speed Chase On I-75

A dramatic scene unfolded on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Detroit as police tackled a suspect in the middle of traffic on I-75. Detroit Police arrested a man suspected of homicide, following a high speed chase that had started nearly an hour and a half earlier. According to Click on Detroit, police began following the suspect around 11:30 in the morning. After briefly losing the suspect, the chase resumed around 12:30 PM after his car, a grey Nissan Murano SUV, was spotted from a helicopter. The suspect drove into traffic on Grand River Ave, going in and out of parking structures, and entering and exiting both I-75 and I-96 multiple times. The chase concluded with the suspect being tackled to the ground by police at 12:50 PM.

While many would think an arrest on the highway would mean the suspect was in a car, the real story is much more interesting. The Detroit Free Press reported that the suspect pulled over on the shoulder of I-75 after sustaining a flat tire to his left front wheel. The suspect got out of the car, jumped over the median, and started running into northbound traffic. Police also exited their cars, hopped the median, and ran after the suspect. The suspect then ran up the hood of an oncoming Chrysler Town and Country, and stood on the roof of the vehicle. The Chrysler stopped moving, and police officers tackled the suspect from the roof of the car onto the ground. 

Police took the suspect into custody, where in addition to being charged with attempting to flee police and resisting arrest, he will also be questioned regarding the shooting of a woman. Officials say the woman in question is in “extremely grave condition”. 

The driver of the Chrysler vehicle spoke with the Detroit Free Press. He is an employee for an Italian company called Vigel North America and was driving a company car north from Detroit back to their headquarters in Madison Heights. The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, said “it looked like in the movies,” and that he had stopped the car “because [he] didn’t know what to do.” The driver is still distraught from the incident, saying he feared for his life and is “still shaking from what happened.”

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Police chases as noteworthy as this one are rare.  A report published by USA Today found that 76% of police chases are over in 5 minutes or less. But sometimes, they go wrong. That same USA Today report found that nationally, 11,506 people have been killed in police chases between 1979 and 2013. That's an average of nearly one death per day. Of that number, more than 5,000 were innocent bystanders, most of whom were killed in their own car after being hit by a fleeing driver. In the state of Michigan, 27 people died as a result of police chases in 2014, according to Mlive. This is a significant increase from 16 deaths in 2013. While police chases like the one that happened on I-75 can be exciting and look like they are straight out of an action movie, it is clear that they can also be extremely dangerous. For more information on the dangers of high-speed police chases, check out this recent post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog.


High speed pursuits are dangerous for everyone involved - the police, the suspect, and innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like any instance in which a car is speeding, motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian car crashes are possible. Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation if you have been involved in an automobile accident. Our attorneys work hard to help those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Parents Claim Their Son Was Not The Driver In Fatal Car Crash

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously reported on a May 8, 2015 fatal rollover car crash in Stony Creek Metropark, involving 5 teenage boys. Speeding and alcohol were found to be factors in the motor vehicle collision that killed Johnathan Manolios, Emanuel Malaj, and Michael Wells, and critically injured Gregory Bobchick and Joseph Narra, all of Macomb County, Michigan. Now, the parents of one of the three teens killed are disputing the conclusion that their son, Johnathan Manolios, was driving the Jaguar at the time of the motor vehicle crash. 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney

The family of Johnathan Manolios has filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S District Court in Detroit, which also alleges misconduct by Macomb County and the Sheriff's investigators working on the case, including Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, Captain David Kennedy, Sergeant Jason Abro, and Deputies Renee Yax and David Crabtree. The Detroit Free Press says the lawsuit's complaints range from due process violations to defamation and negligence.  

The complaint was referred by Wickersham to the county's corporation counsel, John Schapka, who simply said, "I've reviewed the complaint. It is pathetic." A statement released by George and Susan Manolios says, "The only things we have ever wanted were answers and the truth." 

The Free Press describes how, "In the days and weeks after the crash, the sheriff's office said the car with the five teens was traveling about 72-82 mph, crashed into a guardrail, and rolled five times. Sheriff's officials said everyone in the car tested positive for alcohol."

On the subject of who was driving the car, "In 2015, Wickersham had said a relative of Bobchick's owned the car and that he did not know why Manolios was driving, but investigators believed Manolios pressured Bobchick to let Manolios drive the car." 

On the other hand, "The Manolios family lawsuit claims Narra was the actual driver of the vehicle, and that Manolios's body was found furthest away from the car on the other side of a riverbank 150 feet away. It also alleges that the defendants did not have the expertise, equipment, or manpower to investigate the case properly, refused to turn the case over to the Michigan State Police to reconstruct the accident, and did not conduct forensic testing on the car that would have "conclusively proven who the driver was." 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

The lawsuit also claims that Sgt. Abro inserted himself into the case to ensure Narra "upon information and belief, a family friend, was not prosecuted for the serious crimes that were committed that evening." The allegations mention that Abro had Narra's mother sign a consent to search form, allowing Abro to obtain Narra's toxicology results from the hospital, and that Abro ordered the roof of the car to be cut off "with no legitimate purpose other than to destroy the deployed airbags so that DNA testing could not be performed." 

Among other complaints, the lawsuit "alleges that the parents inquired with the Sheriff's office where Manolios's body was found in relation to the crash scene because it was necessary for them to go there and memorialize the location pursuant to their religious beliefs. They allege that they were misinformed and told where Malaj's body was found, not Manolios's body, depriving them of their right to full practice of their religious beliefs."

To make matters worse, the complaint states the defendants confused Manolios's body with Malaj's, delivering what they thought was the body of their son, but was really Malaj's body, to the funeral home. 

This lawsuit is one of several that have been filed in federal and circuit courts since the 2015 speeding car crash. The lives of five teenage boys and their families were altered forever by the unsafe decision to drink and drive, regardless of whoever was driving. Not only are there deadly consequences to high speed car accidents, but drunk driving is a whole other category of danger. There are alternatives to driving drunk, and no one in a vehicle-driver OR passenger-should bring alcohol on the road. While it's sad to imagine that investigators may have made errors in figuring out who was driving and in delivering the wrong body to the funeral, it's important to see this situation as a cautionary tale of the dangers of driving under the influence. 


Teenage drivers are less experienced on the roads, and may make unsafe decisions that put themselves and their car passengers at risk for serious injury or even death, in the event of a motor vehicle accident. In order to avoid having to call a personal injury lawyer, it is important for people of all ages to stay informed about the dangers of risky driving behavior, so they can do everything they can to minimize their risk of getting involved in an auto accident. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a serious car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 884.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

The Dangers of High-Speed Police Chases

Source: GIPHY, Channel 4 News' Police Chase in Inglewood

Source: GIPHY, Channel 4 News' Police Chase in Inglewood

Nothing makes for more exciting TV footage than a police chase. Yet in reality, police chases put all drivers on the road at risk of car accident injuries, all because of someone's reckless decisions. Earlier this summer on June 4, 2017, 25-year-old Timothy Remon Gomez stole a vehicle and took it for a joy ride near Grand River Avenue. Gomez was spotted speeding by Michigan State Police (MSP) who ran his license plate in their database to find that the car stolen. When Michigan State Police tried to pull him over, Gomez decided to flee, leading the Michigan State Police on a high-speed chase on I-96.

However, while attempting to turn westbound onto Martin Luther King Boulevard, Gomez crashed the stolen car and instead attempted to flee on foot. Authorities soon found Gomez hiding not too far away in an abandoned house. Gomez was arraigned in the 36th District Court Monday and was charged with driving without a license, resisting and obstructing police, and receiving and concealing a motor vehicle fleeing and eluding third degree, by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Mr. Gomez was lucky that no one was harmed in this high-speed police chase.

High-Speed Police Chase Statistics

Deaths linked to police pursuits have increased in the last few years. An analysis by USA Today listed that 1 in 3 pursuits result in a high-speed car crash and police chases are responsible for more than 11,000 deaths from 1979 to 2013. It is estimated that 5,000 of those deaths include innocent bystanders and passengers. Typically, reports do not specify whether the victim was killed by the fleeing vehicle or another vehicle that was hit during the chase, but a relatively high number of high-speed car chases are caused by minor traffic violations, misdemeanors, or nonviolent felony charges.

“Overwhelmingly, someone is fleeing because they’ve got a minor warrant, their car isn’t insured, they’ve had too much to drink...the sanctions imposed by courts nationwide for merely stealing a car don’t justify anybody taking any risk.” said Edward Flynn, the police chief of Milwaukee, WI.

Police Technology Improvements

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When analyzing previous police chases, officials are often torn between police being better trained on pursuing suspects in motorized vehicles or choosing better technology to help avoid high-speed police chases altogether. According to a 2006 Justice Department study, police officers only receive 40 hours of driving training compared to 72 hours of weapons training, and though many police cruisers have portable computers or electronic dashboards, the main "technology" used in police chases is tire spikes. This method is two decades old, and involves officers knowing where a fleeing car is headed so that they can pull a strip of spikes across the road to bring the vehicle to a stop by popping its tires. It's important to note that this procedure also endangers police personnel standing in the middle of potentially busy roads to try and stop the motor vehicles with the spikes. 

In terms of modern improvements, "devices that would shut off the engines of moving cars by transmitting microwaves are not commercially available a decade after the Justice Department funded their development," reports USA Today. A new device was made back in 2010 that shoots a GPS tag onto the exterior of a vehicle to track when cars stop so police can make an arrest. Still, only 20 of the 18,000 police departments nationwide use the device.

While high speed driving is sometimes necessary for law enforcement agents to do their jobs, speeding in a car is dangerous even when the reason for doing so is to catch a criminal. Although speeding may be unavoidable, hopefully, new technologies and more high-speed chase training will help avoid some speeding car crash injuries.The hope is that the primarily negative consequences of police chases, such as innocent pedestrian car crashes, will spur officials and tech companies alike into improving the software available for high-speed pursuits. Even adopting new policies that emphasize reserving police chases for suspected violent felons could help minimize the risks of injury related to a speeding car accident. 


Fact: Around 76% of high-speed police chases last only about 5 minutes yet are responsible for approximately 7,400 car accident injuries every year. If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident involving a speeding driver, please contact The Michigan Law Firm PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Man Dies In Flint Area After Crashing Stolen Police Car

Flint Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

A 24-year old Michigan man has passed away after stealing a Michigan State Police car early on the morning on July 9, 2017, and crashing it 20 miles away. 

MLive reports that police officials were called to the area of M-55 and Plank Road in Tawas shortly after 4 AM, to look for a man driving a golf cart along the road without headlights. 

Phillip Everett, of Greenbush, Michigan in Alcona County, was stopped by troopers and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. As troopers worked to secure the golf cart, Everett was able to move into the driver’s seat of the police car and drive away at high speeds. 

Law enforcement discovered a short time later that Everett had crashed the patrol car at southbound US-23 near East Bessinger Road in Arenac County. He died as a result of his injuries sustained in the crash. 

Flint Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Drunk driving crashes kill 1 person every 51 minutes in the United States, despite all 50 states making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. As in Everett's case, driving while impaired may lead to arrest, serious injury, and even death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following safety tips to help prevent drunk driving:

  • If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan a safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time or plan to use a ride-sharing business like Uber or Lyft.
  • If you become unexpectedly intoxicated, do not drive for any reason. Once again, call and Uber or call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. The NHTSA also has a SaferRide mobile app available, allowing users to call a taxi or friend and identify their location so they can be picked up. 
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a sober ride. 
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life. 

Drunk driving can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Reckless driving and speeding may also lead to accidents, endangering drivers, passengers, and people in other motor vehicles and on the roads. If you or someone you know has been involved in a severe car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Are Americans The Worst Drivers In The World?

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

The United States is known for its enthusiastic love of American football, for popularizing the juicy hamburger, and for its all American privilege of freedom for all. What the US can't proudly brag about however are its citizens' bad driving habits, commonly characterized by cell phone usage and the consumption of snacks and drinks while behind the wheel. The frequency of car accidents on US roads is constantly in the news. In fact, ABC News reported that there were over 41,000 deaths on American roads in 2015 alone. As tragic as this statistic is and as commonplace a stereotype about bad American driving is, surprisingly, American drivers are only in the middle of the pack when it comes to road safety.

Michigan Speeding Car Crash Lawyer

Perhaps it's due to different driver’s license requirements and road organization from country to country, that many other countries come out on the better side of traffic fatality statistics than the US. This may especially be because distracted driving is not as common in these countries as it is in the United States. Germany in particular comes out on top as a safer driving country than the US despite the fact that their road speeds regularly reach 140 mph on the autobahns. Distracted driving is a danger that millions of Americans participate in daily, that may lead to severe injuries or traffic fatalities. However, because German drivers tend to obey road rules more than Americans, and are less likely to be distracted by activities that take their eyes off the road when they are traveling at such high speeds, they are generally safer drivers. 

Another reason Germany has more safe drivers may be due to the training Germans receive prior to becoming certified to drive. In Germany, there is a more difficult path to earning a driver’s license, involving a tougher written test, and required road tests in four different types of driving environments before allowing people to get a driver’s license, at age 18. On the other hand, each US state has their own age requirements for receiving a license, typically allowing teens to becoming licensed at age 16, following driver’s education classes and a basic road test. On top of stricter German license requirements, new drivers in Germany are essentially on probation for two years and in the event that they receive a traffic infraction, are booted back to driving classes.

Michigan Speeding Accident Attorney

Even stricter than Germany, Japan carefully polices written and road tests, only allowing drivers to skip their road test if they take a $2,500 driving course. The country is so specific on their driving requirements that, coupled with excellent public transit systems, many people avoid driving altogether. Then there is Iceland, which requires driving in snow and ice to be a part of the road test. Some US States, including Michigan, could benefit from adding this type of practice to their road tests for optimal winter driving safety!

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Great Britain also appears to have safer drivers than in the US, possibly because the country has fewer freeways going through city centers than American cities do. This means that there are fewer high speed auto collisions as a whole. Heavy congestion in British cities also doesn’t allow many people behind the wheel in Great Britain to be able to get up to the speeds typically needed for fatal collisions. Andrew Howard, head of road safety for Great Britain says, “Our plummet in road deaths in recent years has been particularly in urban areas. You now can’t get up the speed to have them."

The famous British 'stiff upper lip' has also been attributed as a reason that car accidents are not as prevalent in Great Britain, as British drivers maintain their emotions and don't exhibit aggressive driving behavior, which in the US usually leads to road rage car accidents. An American expatriate living in London for the past 11 years explained, “You still have very much more courtesy and abiding by the rules in England. Someone will go zipping by at 100 [mph] , but they’ll do it in the appropriate lane."

While many countries have better safe driving records than America, there are still others that have worse car crash statistics. Unlike the other European countries mentioned in this article, Portuguese streets are almost twice as deadly as American roads. Turkey's driving conditions were described in a US State Department 'driver safety briefing' as, “pedestrians seemingly completely oblivious to oncoming traffic … vehicles backing up (in reverse) on exit ramps and on main highways … [and] oncoming drivers who play inscrutable light games, flashing and flashing whether you have your ‘brights’ [high beams] on or not.” 

Detroit Car Accident Attorney

Perhaps worse than bad driving skills are the bad behaviors of Russian drivers who often bribe the police to get out of traffic tickets and driving under the influence of alcohol, and to drive unlicensed vehicles. Sergius Morenc, an ABCNEWS correspondent in Moscow, said, "there are, of course, standards and rules to be followed, but nobody follows them...If somebody breaks down, say, in the fast lane, he will take his spare wheel out or start working on the engine where he stopped." 
Finally, the United States still has safer roads than South Korea, the worst country to drive in, because highways are desperately in need of repair due to constant car accidents which occur when roads are congested.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

So, the truth comes out: Americans are not really the worst drivers in the world. But, stereotypes are hard to shake, which is maybe why many Europeans still wonder if Americans are the worst drivers. Nevertheless, the US could do with less distracted driving driving car accidents. Americans should stop participating in lengthy group chats, stop finessing their Pandora playlists, or eating a three course meal while in the driver’s seat. Speedy driving also needs to be reduced in order to have safer American roads and to reduce the number of fatal speeding car collisions. Overall, driving policies are criteria that vary no matter where one is in the world, but it is the need to travel between destinations that unites all people to rally for vehicle safety.


Driving is a universal action. Humans also universally display tendencies of speeding, distracted driving, and other actions that may lead to dangerous motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident and call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We offer free consultations for victims of motor vehicle collisions. Contact us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM.

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.