Caution: Don't Slip Into Spring

Finally! A glimmer of hope at the end of a polar vortex! Spring is coming early!

On Saturday, February 2, 2019, Americans were crossing their fingers and waiting on bated breath for Punxsutawney Phil to make his annual Groundhog Day prediction. As tradition dictates, if the groundhog sees his shadow and goes back into his burrow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. But, if he doesn’t see his shadow and stays outside, spring will come early. And if you haven’t already heard, Phil did not see his shadow!

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Punxsutawney Phil might just be the best meteorologist in America because Michiganders have been enjoying warm temperatures this week. Monday reached a high of 54 °F, which after the subzero temperatures the day before, made it feel like a heatwave hit Metro Detroit! But just because spring is coming early, doesn’t mean winter is over just yet. There may not be a blizzard on the horizon, but Metro Detroit is experiencing an ice storm. According to The National Weather Service (NWS), “Freezing rain develops as falling snow encounters a layer of warm air deep enough for the snow to completely melt and become rain. As the rain continues to fall, it passes through a thin layer of cold air just above the surface and cools to a temperature below freezing. However, the drops themselves do not freeze, a phenomenon called supercooling (or forming "supercooled drops"). When the supercooled drops strike the frozen ground (power lines, or tree branches), they instantly freeze, forming a thin film of ice, hence freezing rain... Ice storms result from the accumulation of freezing rain.”

The NWS also mentions that, “Ice storms can be the most devastating of winter weather phenomena and are often the cause of automobile accidents, power outages and personal injury.” In 2014, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 42,480 work injuries involved ice, sleet, or snow. 2,040 of them were Michigan work injuries. The report also indicates that the injuries resulted from, “falls, slips or trips; overexertion and bodily reaction; transportation incidents; and contact with objects and equipment.”

Icy sidewalks, driveways, and even roads may cause disasters and lead to a higher risk of slips, falls, and even car accidents. Don’t slip into spring; walk and drive slowly.


Slip and falls and car accidents caused by ice may lead to minor injuries such as twisted ankles and scraped knees and to serious injuries like broken bones and even traumatic brain injuries, leaving victims in the hospital for days and out of work for weeks. The Michigan Law Firm, PC provides legal services to those who have been injured in slip and fall accidents and icy car crashes. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Safety Tips for 4th of July Fireworks and BBQS

The Fourth of July is a day commonly spent with family and friends celebrating our nation’s independence. For many Americans, this national holiday is not complete without two key elements: barbecues and fireworks! While these two traditions are heavily ingrained in the American culture, their origins may be unknown to many. According to Reader’s Digest, fireworks have been tied to Independence Day since the very first official independence celebration in Philadelphia. On July 4th, 1777, 13 cannons were set off, representing each of the 13 states of the union, and fireworks glistened in the sky.

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The tradition of the backyard BBQ does not span as long, as barbecuing only became prominent in the early 1800’s. Virginian colonists grilled animals over a fire, continuing the practice taken from the West Indies, but it was political leaders who tied grilling to the 4th of July. They held rallies to commemorate the holiday, which attracted a large number of individuals, due to the inclusion of, “massive barbecues featuring whole pigs and oxen.”

Today, nothing says red, white, and blue quite like a fireworks show and hot dogs on the grill. However, a family-friendly backyard BBQ can quickly go from fun to fatal when attention is taken away from the grill. Not only can the open flames  harm to kids who get too close, but a fire could erupt, due to leaking propane, and quickly spread. The explosion could cause burns, as well as major property damage. Grill fires sound like a joke, but they are more common than people think.. According to TODAY, there are 7,000 gas grill fires in the US every year! Fireworks also pose a threat if they are not handled with care or if they are misused and can lead to serious firework accident injuries. Children and adults alike have been known to burn themselves trying to light a firework, or have a firework explode in their faces if they don’t back away in time, after lighting one. Since, 4th of July festivities can be just as dangerous as they are fun, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has suggests the  ten following safety tips so people can make sure their holiday festivities don’t involve a trip to the emergency room.

4th of July Firework and BBQ Safety Tips

  1. Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them.
  2. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers alone account for one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
  3. If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire.
  4. If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water then throw them away.
  5. Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
  6. Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs.
  7. Open your gas grill before lighting.
  8. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
  9. Declare a three-foot "kid and pet-free zone" around the grill to keep them safe.
  10. Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill.
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In 2016 alone, US hospitals treated approximately 11,100 individuals with firework-related injuries, as reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Of those injured, 69% were treated for burns, the most common injury to the body excluding the eye. If the eyes were impacted by fireworks, the damage consisted of, “contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eyes.” Adults 20 to 24 had the highest rate of firework-related injuries treated in a hospital, followed by children under the age of 5. These statistics are bleak, but they can serve as a powerful reminder that firework accidents should never be underestimated. While it may be a safer option is to leave the fireworks to the professionals and attend a local show instead, many Americans will celebrate this Independence Day in their backyards. For a safe and festive 4th of July, use caution when setting off fireworks, and you won’t have to share your brisket with any firemen who come to the rescue!


Firework shows are spectacular, and an exciting part of Fourth of July celebrations. Even if they are handled by professionals, viewers, and their vehicles must be located far enough away from the fallout zone to avoid firework-related injuries. Designated parking and viewing areas, when available, may provide a safe distance from flying debris. But with the heavy flow of traffic, they may be fully occupied. If a safe viewing area is not an option, try to find a spot as far from where the show will take place as possible, and be on alert of  other drivers also trying to find a place to park. If you or someone you know has been injured due to another person’s negligence, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC for a free consultation today at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our Michigan accident attorneys are ready to help!

Dangerous April Fools Day Car Pranks!

Today is April Fools’ Day, a day for pranksters to up their game and go wild! Planning pranks can take time and energy, but it is worth the effort when the victim springs the trap and is caught up in the prank. There are many harmless pranks people can pull for April Fools' Day, like scattering toy spiders throughout the house and waiting for an arachnophobia to stumble across them. Or perhaps switching the salt and sugar labels for some extra salty cookies. However, there are some pranks that may go too far and are no longer funny. In fact, they could be dangerous. According to Statistic Brain, about 175 people are injured by an April Fools’ prank each year. That may not seem like a large number, but considering pranks are supposed to be fun, it is far too high.

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A viral video from July showed a motorcyclist picking up a mug from the back of a car and returning it to the owner by driving up to her window! While this was done as an act of kindness, the opposite could be done as a prank. An online forum lists several car pranks that could easily go wrong. One trick is to leave a cup with coffee, or other drink, on a person’s car and hope they won’t notice. When they start driving, the cup goes flying and spills all over the car! This doesn’t seem like a big deal, other than possibly making a mess on the car, but the cup could also fall and hit the windshield of the car, or even another car, causing confusion, panic, and possibly a car crash if the surprised driver swerves. 

Another prank that most people have heard of, is covering someone’s car in Post-it notes or wrapping it up in saran wrap. These may seem funny at first glance, but another look can reveal car accident dangers. The Post-it prank is more of a painstaking, time-consuming art project, so the “victim” may want to only clear the windshield and drive with the rest of the car still covered. Not only does a colorful Post-it car cause other drivers on the road to be distracted but the Post-its could go flying from the vehicle and hit the other cars, once again causing confusion, panic, and swerving cars to get into a car crash.  Wrapping a car in saran wrap on the other hand,  makes it difficult for someone to get into their car in case of an emergency. Also, once again, a saran wrapped car may encourage distracted driving behavior from other drivers who see the car and are puzzled or humored by it. It just seems like any pranks concerning a car, though they seem funny, may also be dangerous, because at the very least, they cause distracted driving on the road.

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The cinder block prank is another popular car prank posted online, that seems more dangerous than funny. This prank involves someone removing the tires of a car and leaving the car boosted on cinder blocks. Unless the prankster is a professional mechanic, removing tires could possibly damage the car and make it unusable for the foreseeable future. If not done properly, taking parts off of a car may damage the car in a way that makes it unsafe to operate and may even lead to car accidents. Car damage and the associated risk of car accidents, are also a possibility in pranks that involve filling the car up with water by tossing a hose through a partially open car window. If not water, even filling a car up with something like golf balls could cause car accidents, if the balls rush out of the car and into the road or into traffic, when a door is opened.

April Fools' pranks are meant to be funny, enjoyable, and perhaps also embarrassing to those exposed to the prank. They should not make people concerned for their safety, for the safety of their possessions, like their car, or the safety of others not even involved in the joke. Pulling a prank in, on, or around a car should be thoroughly thought out before being put into action, so that it doesn’t lead to permanent car damage or cause car accidents. If you have to cover a car in Post-its, even if it takes a whole day to do so, it’s best to film the victim’s reaction and then help them remove all of the paper before the car is driven. You’ll still get Instagram likes for the victim’s priceless reaction video and you’ll likely avoid any legal trouble you may have risked if you had caused a car accident. 


April Fools’ Day can be a very enjoyable holiday. Who doesn’t love the trick gum that snaps at a person’s fingers or squirting water at someone through a flower pin on your lapel? These pranks are small and harmless, however, not all pranks are. Don’t be the person who wraps your best friends car in saran wrap. Setting up a prank in or on someone’s car could cause a car crash, whether it be from distraction or even causing damage to the car. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Total Knee Replacements Common After Automobile Accidents

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Total knee replacements are one of the most common surgical procedures in the country. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality expects that by 2030, about 11 million Americans will have had either a hip or knee replacement. In 2010 alone, approximately 7 million people underwent joint replacement surgery. And while many people may associate knee replacements with the elderly, patients of all ages undergo the procedure. This is due in part to the fact that car accidents can result in damage to the joint of the knee, and car accidents don't care how old you are.

The knee is made up of three bones - the lower end of the thigh bone known as the femur, the upper end of the shin bone known as the tibia, and the knee cap, also called the patella. Where these bones all meet is covered by protective cartilage. When the cartilage starts to wear away (either over time with old age, or sped up by a traumatic injury such as an automobile accident), this results in knee pain, also known as arthritis. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “damaging a joint raises your chances of developing arthritis sevenfold.” When unbearable pain, deformities of the knee, and loss of mobility are not being effectively treated by medication and/or physical therapy, a total knee replacement surgery is the final option.

Victims of automobile accidents who undergo total knee replacements are likely suffering from post-traumatic arthritis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, post-traumatic arthritis occurs when an intense force hits the knee, such as the impact from a car collision. This results in fracturing of the bone and damage to the surrounding cartilage, which alter how the joint moves and wears out the cartilage more quickly.

During a knee replacement surgery, the surface of the bone as well as the cartilage are replaced with an implant, creating a joint that glides much more smoothly than an arthritic joint does. The implant can be made out of metal, ceramic material, or plastic. According to the AAOS, there are 4 basic steps of a total knee replacement operation.

Steps of a Total Knee Replacement Operation

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  1. Prepare the bone. The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia are removed along with a small amount of underlying bone.
  2. Position the metal implants. The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts are cemented onto the bone.
  3. Resurface the patella. The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Some surgeons do not resurface the patella, depending upon the case.
  4. Insert a spacer. A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.

Patients are likely to experience some pain and discomfort directly after surgery. This is managed through medication and physical therapy. Health Care providers encourage the use of over-the-counter pain medications as much as possible, as opioids can have severe side effects, namely addiction. Physical therapy is used to help strengthen the muscle surrounding the knee, and restore range of motion. In the long term, total knee replacement patients experience a dramatic reduction of pain, and can enjoy low impact activities such as walking, swimming, and biking.

While overall quality of life is greatly improved for the vast majority of patients, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are working to minimize pain and improve patient satisfaction in both the short and long term.

Research on Improving TKR Experience:

  • Robotic Total Knee Replacement: Using robots can improve accuracy and precision during surgery. This leads to a more exact placement of the implant, resulting in better patient outcomes.
  • Press-fit Implant Technology: This type of implant does not require cement to adhere it to the bone. This allows the bone of the knee to regrow better, allowing implants to last longer. This is especially beneficial for younger patients, who need their implants to last 20+ years.
  • Customized 3D Implant Printing: Knee implants typically have one design that only varies in size, even though human anatomy varies tremendously. Custom printed 3D implants that more closely match the patient’s anatomy improve function and satisfaction.
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation: This utilizes a brace that sends electrical stimulation to the muscles surrounding the knee. This causes the muscle to contract, strengthening the joint. These braces can be used before surgery, to make sure the joint is strong enough, and after surgery during recovery.
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Accidents happen, so while there is no way to completely prevent needing a total knee replacement due to a car collision, there are other areas of your life in which you can take steps to minimize your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight so as not to put extra strain on the joint is what most doctors recommend. More so, be sure to wear the proper safety equipment, such as knee pads and shin guards, when playing high impact sports such as football or soccer. And who knows, since most car crashes are caused by human error, maybe with the future of autonomous vehicles we will be able to minimize the risk of knee injuries from automobile accidents. The good news is that total knee replacements are a relatively safe and effective procedure, should you find yourself needing one, and doctors and researchers are working to make the experience even better.


Knee injuries make the simplest things in life, such as anything involving walking or moving, difficult. The experienced attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC understand that it is especially frustrating to have sustained a knee injury due to a motor vehicle accident, since medical treatment can be very expensive and auto insurance companies can be difficult to work with. If you have suffered any injury from a car accident, including a knee injury, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovery. 

August Is National Water Quality Month

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Since August is the month that usually wraps up the summer, it is filled with last minute family trips to go enjoy the Great Lakes and streams that make Michigan so pleasant. It is for this reason, that sustaining water quality is so important. In fact, since the implementation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (amended in 1977), and since an agreement was also signed in 1972 between the United States and Canada to protect and restore our Great Lakes, the water quality of the Great Lakes has improved. Another Michigan water quality problem that has not improved however, is the Flint Water Crisis. 

Flint Water Crisis

Citizens of Flint, Michigan have been without proper drinking water since 2014. According to The Detroit News, tests taken last year in August of 2016 showed that lead contaminants have been reduced to almost federal standards, however, there are still locations with very high lead levels. Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, believes that it will take two more years for Flint’s water to be drinkable. From July to the end of 2016, 90% of Flint lead levels have been around 12 parts per billion (ppb); the federal action level is 15 parts per billion.

Michael C. McDaniel, retired Brigadier General, stated that he wishes to see Flint residents use water filters until lead levels consistently test below 10 ppb. To reach the lower lead levels, over 20,000 pipelines must be replaced. McDaniel says the total cost for pipeline replacement will be $100 million. Mayor Weaver stated that replacing the pipes could take 3 years, that is, if they have enough funds. Over the three year period, the city has enough money to fund pipe replacements for 2017, about half the money for replacements in 2018, but not enough money for 2019.

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As of March 2017, Flint has replaced around 800 pipes, but plans to accelerate pipe replacement and have around 18,000 replaced by the end of 2019, if it can receive the amount of funds necessary. Leading up to March, Congress funded Flint a total of around $253 million, and this number only continues to grow. So thankfully, the likelihood that Flint will receive enough funds to replace 18,000 pipelines seems positive.

Tips For Sustaining Clean Water

Flint is showing positive strides in its improvement of the city’s water quality, but there are still obstacles to clear. Hopefully the city will be able to obtain the funds they need and execute the replacement of pipelines faster than they have thus far, through 2017. The overarching issue however, is that no city, or more importantly, individual should be deprived of clean water. Also, improving water quality is only half the battle. Sustaining clean water and protecting it from pollution can sometimes prove even more difficult. In honor of National Water Quality Month, below are some tips provided by Natural Choice that homeowners can use to help sustain clean water in their community:

  • Do not flush non-degradable products down the toilet. These products can damage the sewage treatment process. Also, do not flush medications down the toilet because they can prove harmful to the water supply.
  • Avoid using pesticides and other fertilizers on your yard, as they can pollute ground water. Instead, use natural fertilizers such as bone meal or peat.
  • Avoid using antibacterial soap because these soaps are known to have pesticides that can damage marine life.
  • The only thing that should go down storm drains is water because the drains flush out into waterways.
  • Make sure to clean up after your pets because their waste can fall into storm drains.
  • Stay up to date with your local water quality report and see how you can improve the water quality within your community.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation law firm. We handle all varieties of personal injury cases including automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced attorney today.