Takata Air Bag Inflators Recalled After Explosion Caused Fatality

The Takata airbag scandal is not new news to readers who follow The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog. For those who are unaware however, in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Takata airbags were defective and could explode when deployed during a car accident, or even spontaneously due to wear over time. These exploding airbags have caused serious injuries and even death. The Detroit Free Press has recently issued a warning to all 2006 Ford Ranger drivers, in relation to defective Takata airbags, urging them to get their vehicles inspected immediately.

Michigan Takata Recall Accident Lawyer

The Detroit Free Press also reported that, "inflators, which use ammonium nitrate as a propellant, can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel. The problem touched off the largest string of auto recalls in U.S. history and forced Takata into bankruptcy and more than 180 people have been injured." In January of 2016, Ford recalled 391,000 Rangers in the U.S. and Canada from 2004 to 2006 to replace the vehicles’ inflators. The recall was announced after the unexpected death of South Carolina resident, 52-year-old Joel Knight in December of 2015. He was driving his 2006 Ranger when his airbag exploded randomly, and not due to a car accident.

In another similar defective airbag incident, Steve Mollohan from Hedgeville, West Virginia died while operating a 2006 Ford Ranger on July 1, 2017 when his airbag exploded. Even after that incident, as of July 28, 2017, only 3.7% of the recalled 2004 to 2006 Rangers in the U.S. had been repaired, according to the NHTSA. Recalls usually have a repair rate of around 75% after 18 months of the recall. Ford has tried everything to reach drivers in this situations and has encouraged drivers of recalled vehicles to get them repaired.

Detroit Takata Air Bag Injury Lawyer

A separate recall was issued in November of 2017, also because of faulty airbags. The NHTSA reported that around 34 million cars are being recalled and 46 million defective airbags could possibly explode and lead to serious injury or death. More airbags are scheduled to be recalled by December of 2019, bringing the total number of recalls to around 60-75 million. Of those recalled, only 43% of the airbags have been repaired. If you currently drive a Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet), Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter), Dodge/Ram, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion , Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, or Volkswagen, use the Recalls Lookup Tool to see if your car has been recalled. Ford has also said that loaner cars will be available to those who need them and repairs will be completed free of charge.

There are many cars out there that have been recalled, but not yet repaired. Drivers shouldn't hesitate in getting their cars fixed. It's better to be safe, than sorry and risk getting into a car accident or other type of dangerous situation. 


Every year many companies issue recalls to improve equipment or to implement safety measures. Ignoring recalls may lead to injuries, for example in the event that a vehicle's problem leads to motor vehicle accident. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.

Study Shows: Teens And Parents Unaware Of Drugged Driving Dangers

Michigan Drugged Driving Lawyer

A new study published in Forbes raises concerns about how much knowledge drivers have when it comes to drugged driving. A recent study regarding teens and marijuana use found that one-third of teens think it’s legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana in states where marijuana is legalized. While this could be written off as teenage ignorance, 27% of parents surveyed thought the same thing. To be clear, it is absolutely not legal to drive after consuming marijuana.

2,800 teenagers and 1,000 parents were surveyed and the results of the study highlight a common phenomenon that can be seen across the United States - drivers are well aware of the dangers that come with drunk driving, but the consequences of drugged driving are much less clear. Driving after consuming drugs just isn’t seen as being as dangerous as drunk driving! 88% of teens said driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, but only 63% said the same of marijuana. The surveyed parents rendered similar results, with 93% recognizing the dangers of alcohol, but only 76% recognized the dangers of marijuana.

While drivers may not be as informed about the dangers of drugged driving, they are still very real. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of fatally injured drivers in 2015 tested positive for drugs. This is higher than the 37% of fatally injured drivers found to have alcohol in their system. Of those drugged drivers, 35.6% tested positive for marijuana. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, 11.8 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Men were found more likely to drive under the influence of drugs than women, and drivers ages 18-25 were more likely to drive drugged than drivers 26 and older.

Marijuana, in particular, can slow reaction time, impair judgement of time and distance, and decrease coordination, which is why driving under the influence or marijuana risks car accidents. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, driving under the influence of marijuana can also lead to lane weaving and altered attention to the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) shows that 2015 saw a 47% rise in the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana. Driving while under the influence of marijuana increases the driver’s chances of being involved in a car accident by 25%.

Detroit DUI Lawyer

While it is clear that drugged driving is an issue, it is also clear that much more research is still needed. The NHTSA admits that they, “still have much to learn about how illegal drugs and prescription medicines affect highway safety.” This is likely because of how difficult it is to gather data on drugged driving accidents. Currently, there is no good road side test (such as a breathalyzer) for drug use. (Michigan even tried to implement a roadside drug testing pilot last year, but progress has been delayed.) On top of that, there are hundreds of drugs that drivers could be using, and they all vary in how much they impair the driver and how likely they are to cause a car crash. It is also common to find that drivers have consumed a combination of different drugs and alcohol, making testing difficult. Often, police won’t even test for drugs if the driver’s BAC has already been found to be over the legal limit. All of this means that further research and protocols are needed when it comes to collecting data on drugged driving.

Better collection methods and more data are clearly needed in order to fully understand the dangers of drugged driving, but there is more than enough data to know that drugged driving is dangerous. As more states move to legalize marijuana, there could be confusion on this issue when there really shouldn’t be. While using the drug may be legal, driving after using it is not. Like alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, impair the driver, not only putting the driver at risk of a car accident, but also the lives of other people in the car, other people on the road, and innocent bystanders.


Drugged driving is illegal and very dangerous. Driving under the influence puts the driver and others on the road, at risk of being involved in a car crash. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation.

My Oh My! That Seat Belt Looks Good On You

There are thousands of unique accessories in the fashion world, from purses to jewelry to hats to belts; the list goes on and on. Over the past few decades, fashion has started to become more economically friendly, with old products and materials being remade into something totally different. One unusual item being used for fashion is typically found in your car: seat belts! The secure straps were initially developed to save lives in automobile accidents, but today are being used for much more. 

Source:  HARVEYS

Source: HARVEYS

Nils Bohlin, a Swedish engineer, invented the modern-day seat belt in 1959. Previously, there were only two-point seat belts, and the only people who used them were race car drivers. Bohlin was hired by Volvo to be the company’s first chief safety engineer. After Bohlin’s revolutionary invention, Volvo made the new seat belts available to other manufacturers to help increase safety in the industry. By 1968, all American vehicles were required to have the modern day seat belts. Volvo estimates that over one million lives have been saved by the seat belt from the time of its invention to the time of Bohlin’s death in September 2002. In just the United States alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that seat belts save over 11,000 lives in car crashes per year. 

At some point, however, seat belts evolved from only being safety devices to protect people in the event of a car accident. Today, seat belts are used as fashion accessories, an economically friendly way to change up an outfit. HARVEYS, a California-based company, makes handbags and lifestyle goods out of old car seat belts. It all started when Dana Harvey was restoring a classic car and used the leftover seat belts to make a bag for his wife, Melanie. Today, HARVEYS makes numerous purses, bags, and backpacks in endless colors and designs, using seat belts in a fun and creative way. The company’s products even extend to dog leashes, passport holders, and lawn chairs! In a statement HARVEYS said, employees “get to experience the full life cycle of a product, and that has a big effect on how (they) design...it inspires you to make quality stuff that can last a lifetime.” The repurposing of seat belts doesn’t sound very far off from the original goals of creating a safer seat belt.

Source:  Buckle-Down

Source: Buckle-Down

Another business, Buckle-Down, turns seat belts into belts and buckles that hold up pants. Custom designs allow customers to choose what they want their belt to look like, and they offer everything from Disney cartoons to sports teams to car company logos. Buckle-Down also partners with retailers such as Hot Topic, Bed Bath and Beyond, and the Disney theme parks to bring recycled seat belt belts to more people.

There is always the possibility that someone will fall in love with a seat belt fashion accessory, and as a result, use their seat belt more or help spread awareness to others about the importance of strapping in while riding in a motor vehicle. In fact, whether they are connected or not, along with the popularity of up-cycled seat belt products, seat belt usage in the US has increased steadily from 70.7% in 2000 to 90.1% in 2016. Still, there are many more lives that could be saved in a motor vehicle accident through the use of a seat belt. 48% of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 were not wearing seat belts, which is alarming considering that this safety product is not a new development. During an automobile crash, buckling up helps keep passengers safe and secure inside their vehicles. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog has previously discussed the NHTSA's safety tips on how to wear a seat belt properly, so as to help prevent an injury or fatality in the event of a car crash. 

Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer

Nils Bohlin likely never imagined his first seat belt becoming more than a safety precaution after its development. Smooth and sleek, seat belts offer a trendy and unique look to fashionistas looking to update their outfits. Seat belt products also help the environment by reusing old belts to make something brand new. While seat belts are continuing to be transformed today, it is important to remember to “Click It or Ticket” when riding in a motor vehicle, as your life may depend on it. 


Seat belt fashion accessories are available on the market, bringing a more attractive side to safety. However, in line with their original purpose, seat belts are an important safety measure that save lives during a motor vehicle crash. Anyone riding in a car or driving a vehicle should always wear their seat belts, because no one looks good flattened on the side of the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car collision, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

How To Get Vehicles Ready For Winter Driving

Detroit Snow Car Crash Lawyer

With winter here and snow on the way, and knowing Michigan's reputation for brutal winters, it’s important for citizens of Michiganders to make sure their cars are prepared for winter driving. Just as people spend extra time layering on jackets and gloves and scarves, extra time needs to be taken to prepare cars for colder temperatures as well.

Since we can’t control the weather, and we really can’t control how other people drive in it and what winter car accidents may occur as a result, we need to be in control of how well taken care of our vehicles are. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which conducted an analysis of critical reasons for motor vehicle accidents, problems related to the vehicle accounted for 44,000 accidents over the span of two years. While this may not seem like a lot when compared to accidents caused by human error, there are more preventative measures that can be taken when it comes to vehicle-related causes to make them avoidable. And while winterizing your car won’t necessarily keep drivers out of any automobile accidents over the coming the months, it can help to ensure that your car runs as smoothly as possible in colder temperatures.

Of those 44,000 accidents, tires and wheels, along with brakes, were the biggest culprits in causing car crashes. Steering, suspension, transmission, and engine-related problems all accounted for a smaller percentage of the automobile accidents. All of these car parts, regardless of how many car accidents they may cause, are aspects that driver’s should pay extra attention to as the winter season is nearly in full swing. DMV.org suggests the following tips for getting your vehicle ready for winter driving.

How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter

Coolant: It is especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual for information on this mixture. Pick up a tester at an auto parts store and make sure the fluid is filled to the maximum line.

Oil: Some mechanics recommend switching to a thinner oil if you live where temperatures drop below freezing. Your best bet is to consult your owner's manual or talk to your mechanic.

Wiper Fluid: Often overlooked, you'll need freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear.

Inspect or Replace Your Tires: Low air pressure and worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads, as both can reduce traction

Snow Tires: Mounting the right tires on your car or truck can give you a huge advantage when trekking through snow. Many car makers and tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires to snow tires in the winter. If you don't swap all four, the difference between snow and summer tires can cause other problems for your vehicle.

Cold Weather & Battery Capacity: It isn't only your engine that doesn't like to start in the winter. Your battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter.

Pack an Emergency Kit: Items to include in your winter safety kit include a flashlight, blanket, leather gloves, hat, bag of kitty litter or sand, ice scraper and brush, small shovel, safe and leak-proof container of coolant, and snacks.

Michigan Ice Car Accident Lawyer

This list for winterizing a car is extensive and may seem a little overwhelming, but properly maintaining your car is a part of being a car owner, and is especially important in the winter months to help avoid getting into winter weather car accidents. While no amount of preparation can guarantee your car won’t break down or that you won't be involved in a motor vehicle collision, it can help prevent things that are easily avoidable. Winterize your car, take extra precautions when driving in winter weather conditions, and be prepared for a heavy holiday traffic this winter. It may not feel like it, but winter won’t last forever, and clear, sunny driving conditions will be back soon!


Winter driving is inherently more dangerous than driving during other times of the year. With snow, sleet, and ice already complicating driving over the next few months, the last thing drivers need is an easily preventable vehicle malfunction that makes them careen into a ditch or get into a motor vehicle accident. If you get injured in a car crash this winter, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney. 

Fiat-Chrysler Issues Ram Recall

Dodge Ram Recall Car Crash Lawyer

Fiat-Chrysler has issued a recall on hundreds of thousands of pickup trucks. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ram trucks with a 6.7 liter engine manufactured between 2013 and 2017 are under recall due to a water pump issue that could potentially cause a fire. The recall affects owners of Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, as well as Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs. This includes 443,712 vehicles in the United States, 46,220 vehicles in Canada, and 4,485 vehicles outside of North America. Fiat-Chrysler announced the recall on September 19, 2017.

The company is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by the water pump problem, and is issuing the recall as a precautionary measure. According to the Fiat-Chrysler press release, “certain trucks are equipped with a water-pump bearing that, after exposure to certain conditions, may overheat and potentially cause an engine-compartment fire. Compromised water-pump function may activate a warning light in an affected vehicle’s instrument cluster." Any customers with questions can call the FCA U.S. Recall Information Center at (800) 853-1403.

Recalls can conjure up images of exploding engines and malfunctioning steering wheels, but more often than not drivers shouldn’t envision the worst case scenario. While the scariest sounding incidents are usually the ones that receive the most attention, recalls are quite common, and the number of recalls issued per year is the highest it’s been in decades. Fiat Chrysler, for example has issued a number of recalls over the last year, including one for a Jeep gear shift, that was responsible for the death of Star Trek actor Anton YelchinU.S. News and World Report found that in 2013 alone, 22 million vehicles were recalled, and that number has gone up. Most recalls, such as the Ram recall, are preemptive measures taken by the company. The majority of recalls are issued after a complaint has been filed by a driver (or many drivers), prompting an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). A recall is then issued if they discover a problem in the manufacturing process, and the vehicle doesn’t meet federal safety standards. This sounds scary, but in reality a recall can be issued for something as small as a mislabeled sticker on a part under the hood. Some recalls are voluntary, and others are mandated by the NHTSA.

Michigan Car Defect Accident Lawyer

So what should you if you find yourself as the owner of a recalled vehicle? Instead of panicking, there are a number of steps you can take to in order to get your vehicle repaired and keep yourself safe from any potential recall related car accidents. Once the manufacturer has decided (or is forced) to issue a recall, they have 60 days to notify registered owners of the affected vehicles by mail. If you hear about a recall on the news (or on a law firm blog) that you think may affect your vehicle, but you never receive any correspondence from the manufacturer, you can check to see if your vehicle is affected by going to https://www.safercar.gov/ and entering the VIN number for your vehicle. If you are the owner of a used car that is under recall, according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB),  you should contact the manufacturer directly and make them aware of your contact information.

With most recalls, the manufacturer has usually engineered a solution that can be repaired relatively easily. According to U.S. News and World Report, “if the car is less than 10 years old from the date of the first purchase, the automaker must correct the problem by repairing the car, replacing the car or providing a refund for the purchase price of the car minus depreciation." If the car is older than 10 years old, you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you already had the issue repaired before the recall is announced, you may be eligible for reimbursement, but manufactures are not required to do so. Any local dealer can fix the problem, and you don’t need to take the car to get serviced at the dealer you purchased it from. It can be a frustrating process, but be patient. If it is a large recall, there will likely be a lengthy waiting list for repairs. Consumer Reports notes that the only time to really panic is if the manufacturer tells you to stop driving the vehicle. Again, this is rare, and the manufacturer should tow your car to the dealership and issue you a loaner in such an event.

Detroit Car Crash Accident Lawyer

Drivers are right to be concerned about recalls, no matter how small they may seem. All recalls should be taken seriously, regardless of whether or not they seem like they may lead to automobile accidents and injuries. If you find your vehicle under recall, stay calm, do your research, and proceed as necessary. In most cases, such as the Ram recall, you can continue driving your vehicle without worry. The manufacturer is looking out for driver safety, and taking the necessary precautions. That being said, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Check if your vehicle is under a recall even if you don’t hear anything from the manufacturer, and take the necessary steps to correct the issue. More so, drivers can be proactive. If you think something is not as it should be with your vehicle, let the NHTSA know. Your input could be what it takes for an investigation to be launched and a recall announced.  


All cars, whether under recall or not, have the potential to be involved in automobile accidents. While some events may be out of the driver's control, following traffic laws and being cautious are two things drivers can do to be proactive on the road. Even so, accidents can still happen. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Christmas Tree Transportation Safety Tips

Once Thanksgiving has come and gone, many of us set our sights on finding the perfect Christmas tree. It has to be just the right size and shape, fit in the front window perfectly, and the lights and ornaments need to be distributed just so. But whether or not you get your tree from a local lot, or head out to a farm to cut one down yourself, we all need to get those trees back to our houses somehow. While seeing cars on the highway with a Christmas tree secured on top is a quintessential sign that the holiday is approaching, it’s incredibly important to ensure that the tree is secured properly not only for the tree’s sake, but for the safety of you, your family, and other people on the road.

Winter Car Crash Lawyer

While there aren’t really statistics that tell us exactly how many car collisions have been caused by rogue Christmas trees falling off of the tops of cars, having any sort object come lose from a car traveling at any speed is undoubtedly dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52,000 of all automobile accidents that took place between 2005 and 2007 were due to environmental factors. Of those crashes, 50% were due to road conditions, such as debris on the road, and 11% were due to obstruction of the driver's view. A Christmas tree that is not secured properly can slide down the roof, blocking the windshield and obstructing the driver’s view. Should the tree come off the roof completely, the tree can slide down the car obstructing the driver's view, fall on to another car, or fall in the road causing drivers to swerve their vehicles to try and avoid hitting the tree, which are all outcomes that can cause a car crash. As such, Cars.com, in partnership with the National Christmas Tree Association, suggests the following tips for properly securing your Christmas tree to your vehicle.

Christmas Tree Transportation Safety Tips

  • Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable. If it's going on the roof, the trunk should be facing the front. Both will help reduce wind damage to the foliage.

  • Make sure to select a tree that will either fit inside your cargo area or, if you have a roof rack, on top of your roof properly. Also ensure that you have enough rope or cord to wrap around the tree and secure it to the roof rack or to cargo hooks.

  • Place a tarp or blanket over the cargo area to protect the interior from loose needles. If you're going to place the tree on the roof, place a tarp, plastic sheet or blanket between the tree and the rack to protect the roof from scratches.

  • If you are transporting a tree in the back of a pickup truck, keep in mind that there could be hot spots in the bed—from the exhaust pipe, for example. This can damage the tree's foliage, so put something under it like an old blanket.

  • Before leaving the lot, give the tree a good tug to make sure it's secure.

  • Drive slowly and avoid the highway, especially if you're not used to hauling heavy objects on your roof. They affect your vehicle's center of gravity and consequently emergency handling.

Michigan Christmas Car Accident Lawyer

Following these tips can’t guarantee that your tree will stay put, but they can help decrease the likelihood of losing your tree in transit. Some car collisions, such as those caused by winter weather conditions, may be out of your control. However, by taking time to tightly secure your Christmas tree to your vehicle is something you can be responsible for. While automobile accidents caused by Christmas trees may sound far fetched, it’s undeniable that having such a large object come loose on the freeway would be incredibly dangerous. Taking a few extra minutes to really secure your tree will not only keep you, your family, and other drivers safer, but may also save you an embarrassing phone call to your attorney about how you were involved in an accident with the family tree.   


The holidays are a joyous time of year, but hauling Christmas trees, winter weather, and holiday road trip traffic can all lead to car accidents. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident this holiday season, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our experienced accident attorneys put you at ease while you enjoy the season's festivities. 

Mother and Son Die After Colliding with School Bus

A mother and son from mid-Michigan died earlier this month after colliding with a school bus. According to the Detroit Free Press, Joshua Schafer was driving with his mother Kimberly when he rear-ended a school bus, killing both himself and his mother, who was riding in the passenger seat. Joshua was 19 years old, and Kimberly was 56.

The accident occurred in Isabella Township, Michigan, near Mount Pleasant. On Friday, September 8th, at around 7:45 AM, the bus was traveling eastbound on Weidman Road, just west of Whiteville Road. Mlive reported that the bus had stopped to pick up the first student on its route when it was hit. The car went underneath the bus. The bus driver was the only person on board at the time, and was not injured. Police said that no photos or videos of the crash were available.

school bus accident

Joshua was a sophomore at Central Michigan University, according to the university newspaper. It was his first week on campus, as he had transferred from Mid-Michigan Community College.

Authorities say that early morning sun may have been a contributing factor to the accident, as the car was facing and traveling eastbound, into the bright morning sun. While research on sunglare related accidents is sparse and very few statistics are available, we do know that school bus related accidents are unfortunately common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 1,353 people died in automobile accidents involving school buses between 2003 and 2014. 71% of those who died were not traveling on the school bus. For more information on school bus car accidents, as well as safety tips for drivers when sharing the road with school buses, check out this recent post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC.


When sharing the road with school buses, drivers need to slow down, and stop when appropriate. Even so, car collisions involving school buses will still occur, resulting in injury or death. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident involving a school bus, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. 

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

So, it's finally Halloween. You carved and put out the pumpkins, you covered the trees in cobwebs, and you have the noise machine rigged to make ghost sounds in tune with the gauze ghosts you hung from the roof. You even have an enormous cauldron filled to the brim with a wide assortment of candy. You sit back and sigh wishing you could go trick-or-treating. After all, you've made your house into the exact kind you would've been excited to go to as a child. But then, you remember that you're going to a costume party this evening. You can still go all out with your attire, plus there will be alcohol in addition to the candy there. Why were you even upset? An adult Halloween is way better!

While adults typically don't go trick-or-treating, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t involve running from house to house looking for candy. And while Halloween can be a fun night for adults too, it’s important not to have too much fun and risk anyone’s safety. Since most adult Halloween parties involve alcohol, it's important that people don't engage in drinking and driving, which can lead to drunk driving car accidents. What's worse is that since so many children are on the streets on Halloween night, drunk driving accidents are very likely to cause serious injury or death to children.

Michigan Halloween Drunk Driving Lawyer

Drunk driving is an unfortunately all too common occurrence on Halloween night, taking the lives of both those who were in the car, as well as innocent bystanders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that between 2009 and 2013, 43% of all deaths that occurred on Halloween were due to a drunk driving related car collision. In 2013, 26% of all pedestrian fatalities were caused by a drunk driver. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 55 deaths on Halloween night in 2015, a significant rise from 17 deaths in 2011. Officials expect that number will steadily rise over the coming years.

The NHTSA also found that drunk driving car accidents are three times more likely to occur on Halloween than New Year’s Eve. David Bohl, the director of an alcohol abuse recovery center outside of Chicago, believes this is because the idea of adults celebrating Halloween has increased in popularity over the past few years. Speaking to The Chicago Tribune, Bohl said that more adults are choosing to celebrate the night with drinking. If people are celebrating on the weekend (regardless of what day the holiday actually falls on) this can lead to 6-8 hours of alcohol consumption.

In an effort to combat drunk driving, ride sharing app Uber has a Halloween guide for those who will be drinking. Ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft are a a great way to minimize drunk driving accidents. However, it’s important to remember that with ride sharing apps, surge pricing is usually in effect for nights like Halloween, so the fare may be higher than expected. Therefore, Halloween party-goers who plan to drink might want to consider public transportation, a cab service, or selecting a designated driver, as other safe alternatives to driving while intoxicated.

Michigan Pedestrian Car Crash Lawyer

Even if drivers are not drunk, it is important to be especially cautious on Halloween night as the streets will be filled with excited trick-or-treaters looking for candy. According to the NHTSA, many pedestrian accidents are caused by common mistakes made by drivers that can be avoided. Safe Kids has the following tips for drivers.

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Celebrating Halloween is not something that has to end once you’ve outgrown trick or treating, but it’s also not a reason to endanger your own life or the lives of others. As Halloween continues to be a popular night for drinking, drunk driving accidents are likely to continue. Even if you only plan on having a couple of drinks, stay safe and have a designated driver or use a service such as a ridesharing app. If you are not drunk, it is still necessary to take extra precautions, drive safely, and be aware of the increased amount of child pedestrians roaming the streets that evening. There is no way to assure car collisions won't happen on Halloween, but being aware of the dangers and having a plan for staying safe can help lower the risk to yourself and others.


Drunk driving is bad idea regardless of the time of year, and drunk driving accidents happen year round. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our attorneys handle your legal troubles while you recover.

Accident Shows The Dangers of DIY Car Repair

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

A 65-year old Michigan man died after being pinned by an SUV on September 10, 2017. Dennis Peters, of Mayfield Township, Michigan, was struck by a car he was attempting to repair according to the Detroit Free Press. Peters was attempting to fix the brakes on a friend’s car. Someone moved the car, but the brakes were not functioning properly, so the kept going and hit Peters, pinning him against the garage. Mr. Peters' death is being investigated as an accident.

This story may sound somewhat familiar to readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog. Last summer, we wrote about the death of actor Anton Yelchin. Yelchin was also killed after being pinned by his own SUV. Even though Yelchin placed his Jeep Cherokee in park and exited the vehicle, the car started rolling down the steep driveway it was parked in and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar. This accident, however, was caused due to a faulty gear shift problem which was under recall from Chrysler Fiat.

Thankfully, deaths due to faulty brakes are relatively uncommon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey in 2015, in which they looked at the critical causes of car accidents. It was discovered that out of the approximately 2,200,000 accidents that took place between 2005 and 2007, 44,000 were due to an issue with the vehicle. Of this 44,000, faulty brakes attributed to 10,000 accidents. While this number may seem relatively small, it is certainly not the same as 0 deaths.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Fixing faulty brakes is a job that people often try to undertake themselves, rather than taking the car to a professional mechanic. Many think fixing malfunctioning brakes is one of the easier repair jobs on a car, but it is more difficult than people realize, and it is critical to get it right. When not done properly, the consequences can be deadly, as unfortunately seen in Mayfield Township. Fixing brakes doesn’t just involve repairing the brake pads, but also the calipers, rotors, wheel bearings, and brake fluid. Not properly repairing any one of these items can lead to a car malfunctioning, which could potentially lead to a car crash.

According to Auto Notebook, there are a few reasons why drivers decide to undertake car repair projects on their own, rather than going to a mechanic. Saving money is the most commonly cited reason. On top of that, video tutorials, detailed instructions, make and model information, and high quality pictures can now all be found online, making drivers much more confident in their abilities to fix their own car.

However despite popular belief, at home car repairs are not always going to be cheaper, especially in the long run. It's understandable that buying a $10 can of do-it-yourself (DIY) crack filler to fix a cracked windshield sounds a lot better than paying someone to fix it for $75, but when the DIY fix doesn’t work and the window shatters, it can cost $500 to replace it. More so, engines and transmissions are the most complicated parts of a car, and when the average Joe tries and fails to fix these parts himself, it can cost up to $7,000 each to replace them. On top of the monetary cost, any job that involves jacking up a car and crawling underneath, such as replacing shock absorbers, can be extremely dangerous, and is best left to a professional. From an expensive ER bill for a crushed hand, to causing a car crash on the highway due to a bad brake repair job, the risks of DIY car maintenance greatly outweigh any potential benefit. 

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Fixing your car yourself may sound very appealing - you can potentially save money, save time, and claim bragging rights to your friends and family about how smoothly you got your car running. However, without the proper training or experience, fixing your own car has the potential to be deadly or at the very least, costly. Changing a tire on the side of the road is one thing, trying to untangle the maze of wires in your very expensive transmission is quite another. Therefore, taking your car to a professional mechanic is the easiest and safest way to ensure that your car is maintained properly and safely. 


Accidents can still happen, regardless of how well taken care of your car is. If you have been involved in a automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of car accident law suits, including those caused by recall defects or faulty car parts.

Clown Horror Movie 'It' Marks Start of Halloween Season

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Fall is a beautiful time of year. With changing leaves, apple cider, football games, and pumpkin flavored everything, what's not to like about the changing of the seasons? Well, as anyone with a fear of clowns may remember, this time last year, the streets were flooded with creepy clowns. Clowns were everywhere, and The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog even wrote about the clown sighting, as what started out as a creepy, but generally harmless prank, ended up having deadly consequences.

Readers may recall that a 16-year old boy in Reading, Pennsylvania died after getting into a fight with someone dressed as a clown, and in Wisconsin, clowns were chasing cars in the streets. Right here in Michigan, a clown reportedly attacked a 7-year old in Sterling Heights. As a result of the creepy clown craze, many establishments started banning people in clown costumes from entering, and some halloween stores stopped selling clown costumes all together. It was a bizarre and terrifying phenomenon that preoccupied Americans throughout the fall of last year.

This Fall, while there have yet to be reports of actual clown sightings, one famous one is leaving his calling card in various cities around the world. Stephen King’s 1986 novel It, which was first made into a miniseries that debuted in 1990, has been rebooted into a movie, and premiered on September 8, 2017. Leading up to the release, the trademark of Pennywise the killer clown, a red balloon tied to a storm grate, has been found in cities around the world. On September 5, 2017, in a now viral Facebook post, the Lititz Borough Police Department in Pennsylvania reported finding red balloons tied to storm grates throughout their town. Down under, in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, pedestrians also noticed the balloons popping up on their streets. Luckily for all of us, it does not appear as though Pennywise was behind it. In Pennsylvania, 5 teenaged girls admitted to placing the balloons as a way to scare their classmates who were excited about the movie. In Australia, the red balloons were used as a promotional campaign for the release of the movie.

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Spooky pranks such as dressing up as a clown or leaving red balloons around town may seem fun and innocent, but the consequences can go much further than planned. Trying to scare people may seem harmless enough, but what if those people are driving a car? Motorists who are calmly driving down the road are likely to be startled at best and petrified at worst, by a clown jumping out into the road, seeming coming out of thin air, and chasing them down the road. Being scared while operating a motor vehicle could potentially result in the driver taking their focus off of the road, which for even a second could cause a car collision. Seeing a red on a grate while passing through an intersection could have a similar distracted driving car crash effect. Even if people aren't scared by seeing the balloon and realizing it's implication, they could take their hands off the wheel to point it out to a friend or try and take a picture.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people died in 2015 alone, due to distracted driving accidents. While many people associate distracted driving with texting or talking on a cell phone, being chased by a clown or seeing red balloons in your street can be pretty distracting too. Nobody wants to call their car insurance company or a car accident lawyer and have to tell the embarrassing story of how they totaled their car because they saw a red balloon coming out of the sewer!

So, leading up to Halloween this year, everyone should remember to have a good time, but to have a safe time, by doing things that don't involve public pranks.


Cell phone related distracted driving accidents are not the only kind of distracted driving car crash. Whether it's a hyper pet in the back seat or a creepy Halloween decoration, anything that momentarily causes a driver to take their eyes off the road could cause a car crash. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a distracted driving car collision, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. 

Suspected Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Car Crash

In July, a 19-year-old man was killed after a suspected drunk driver T-boned him at an intersection in York Township, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, said the car crash happened at the intersection of Bemis and Moon Roads. The 19-year-old was traveling eastbound on Bemis, while the 34-year-old driver of the other vehicle was traveling southbound on Moon. "The victim goes through the intersection," Jackson said. "The suspect runs the stop sign, T-boning him in the driver's side and killing him." 

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The motor vehicle crash in also injured two passengers in the 19-year-old's vehicle. The 34-year-old was arrested, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the car crash. 

Jackson commented, "We suspect he was highly intoxicated."

Drunk driving is one of many risky driving habits that people exhibit, despite the consequences of potentially enduring or causing injury or death from a vehicle collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 alone, 10,265 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. That is 1 person killed every 51 minutes, every day of the year. 

The good news is that drunk driving deaths have been cut nearly in half since 1982 through stricter laws, smart law enforcement, and increased advocacy. Yet people are still dying in drunk driving car crashes. With technological advances such as personal breathalyzers and the popularity of ride-sharing, there are no excuses for driving while intoxicated. It is important to remember to drive sober or get pulled over.


Drunk driving is a well-known form of risky behavior on the road, yet this type of distracted driving accident still occur frequently. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a drunk driving car accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Automakers Respond To Consumer Technology Demands

Forget about fuel economy, acceleration times, or reliability. What many new car shoppers want to know is if they will be able to integrate their smartphone with their new car’s multimedia system, and if the latest vehicle is Wi-Fi compatible. Automakers are increasingly developing new cars with these consumer demands in mind.  People in the market of buying a new car want to be able to access things like navigation, music, phone calls and text through their car's dashboard touchscreen, steering wheel buttons, or by voice command for a more hands-free experience. In response, the 2017 lineup of vehicles include one or more tech-savvy feature. Demand for multimedia systems, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, continues to increase, and with it, the number of vehicles catering to these needs.

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A year ago, fewer than 50 vehicles were offering one or more of these features. The list has reached over 100 this year, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. General Motors now has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in 30 of its models. Ford, a company that one year ago didn’t even have one vehicle with a multimedia system, is now the first vehicle manufacturer to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on every vehicle line it sells, including the luxury Lincoln brand. BMW and Porsche have the option for Apple CarPlay in a majority of their models, though no plans to add Android Auto have been announced.

While many automakers are jumping to integrate already existing technology into their cars, Toyota is going against the grain by creating their own system, called Scout GPS Link. This system allows the integration of a smartphone navigation app with the vehicle's multimedia system on many of the Toyota and Lexus models.

On the Wi-Fi front, GM and Ford are following in the footsteps of Chrysler by implementing Wi-Fi in some of their vehicles, thereby bringing wireless connection to models other than just luxury cars. Some GM cars now even have OnStar 4G LTE, Ford has upgraded their MyFord Touch system to make accessibility easier for users, and even Chrysler has extended Wi-Fi to its Jeep and Dodge models, giving vehicles an extended 150-foot range for secure and private network connections.

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As with all new inventions, the latest and greatest vehicle technology is not without its setbacks. When a driver is too busy changing the music, sending a text message, or consulting the multimedia system for directions, they are engaging in distracted driving behavior and are putting themselves and other drivers at risk of being involved in a distracted driving car crash.

Not only do these high-tech systems pose a car accident risk, but they also increase the likelihood of car hacking incidents. Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek conducted a controlled experiment to test the capabilities of the software, finding that they could remotely access a Jeep Wrangler and control its functions through its multimedia system. They were even able to cut the brakes and engine!

In response to the rising threat of car hacking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) accounced that "to ensure a robust cybersecurity environment for these dynamic new technologies, NHTSA adopted a layered research approach, modified its organizational structure, and is continually developing vital partnerships, encouraging members of the industry to take independent steps to help improve the cybersecurity posture of vehicles in the United States. NHTSA's goal is to stay ahead of potential vehicle cybersecurity challenges, and to continue seeking ways to address or avoid them altogether."

Despite the public’s desire for a wireless network while on the road, it comes at a price some are not willing to pay. It has been proven that the Wi-Fi systems in cars can be exploited. Until the guidelines and regulations concerning cybersecurity in cars and their multimedia systems are tested, improved and enforced, drivers must use their car's technology with caution in order to avoid being hacked. Drivers should also be wary of interacting with their car while driving in order to avoid distracted driving car accidents.


Multimedia systems are designed to make things easier for the driver since they allow the driver to be able to use the features of their smartphone, without actually using their phone. While this hands-free technology may help to prevent the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving, it doesn't complete eliminate distracted driving behaviors. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. For a free consultation, call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM.

 

 

Help! We Can't Stop Texting And Driving

Distracted driving has become a major issue in our world today, especially since more people have smartphones than ever before. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that each day in the United States, 660,000 drivers use an electronic device while driving. Also, each day, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in automobile crashes reported to have involved a distracted driver, based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It should be mentioned that these are just the reported distracted driving car accident cases, and there many be thousands of other cell phone car accidents that occurred without official documentation, because of how difficult it is for authorities to pinpoint a distracted driver. It therefore goes without saying that distracted driving is very dangerous, and with the technological era upon us, it is also on the rise.

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Distracted Driving Statistics

The following statistics, provided by Click On Detroit, help put the dangers of distracted driving into context:

  1. Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of a crash.
  2. When driving 55 miles per hour, five seconds with eyes off the road is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
  3. Distraction is a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes

The texting and driving problem has gotten so big that highways across the country now regularly warn drivers "Don't text and drive," and 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning texting and driving. If these laws don't deter people from engaging in distracted driving, we hope that drivers will keep these shocking statistics in mind, to help prevent a distracted driving car accident and to minimize the risk of experiencing a life-changing car crash injury on the road.

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However, although we know that talking or texting while driving is an issue, the problem isn't just calling or sending a text message to catch up with your best friend. Drivers with smart phones are now even using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Maps, Spotify, and YouTube, all while operating a vehicle on busy roads. In a survey sponsored by the National Safety Council that focused on 2,400 drivers of all ages, 74% said they would use Facebook while driving, and 37% said they would use Twitter while behind the wheel, with YouTube (35%) and Instagram (33%) close behind. 

 CNN talked to Jennifer Smith, a mother of two and founder of the advocacy group StopDistractions.org. She lost her own mother in a crash nearly 8 years ago when a 20-year-old who was talking on the phone drove through a stoplight. Since then, Smith has devoted her life to helping other families who have become victims of distracted driving crashes by providing support, lobbying for legislation, and planning public awareness events.  Smith believes that people need to really focus on what's important. "As I'm talking to new families, more and more of them are telling me, 'It's Snapchat,'" said Smith, whose daughters were 1 and 13 when their grandmother was killed in Oklahoma City. "It's Snapchat today, but then what is it tomorrow?...Social networking while driving is not necessary and should not be done by anyone, in any way, who's driving. Period. And somehow we've got to make the whole country understand that."

Also acknowledging the widespread problem of using social media while driving, Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council commented, "We know that it's an under-reported issue and it's a lot like impaired driving in that way where people know it's not acceptable to do it, and yet a lot of people still do it anyway." 

The Science Behind Distracted Driving

David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology, told CNN that the constant need to check our phones, even when operating a vehicle, is caused by the “addictive nature of smartphones and how our brain instinctively responds to those pings, which signal an incoming text or social media update.” 

Smartphones are taking over the world. They are affecting our brains and behavior on a daily basis. When we hear the alert of a new message, social media notification, or new email, our brains get a dose of dopamine, which is a chemical that leads to an increase in arousal. “The dopamine reward centers are the same centers that have to do with pleasure from eating, pleasure from sex and procreation, pleasure from drugs and alcohol,” Greenfield said. “This reward circuitry is as old as time and if we didn’t have it, we probably wouldn’t exist as a species.”

Where the trouble arises however, is not the higher level of dopamine, but the shutdown of access to the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for most of our judgement and reasoning. “The parts of the brain that say, ‘OK, how important is this text? Is this text worth dying for? Is this text worth killing somebody else for?’” Greenfield said. “The answer, of course, logically, would be ‘no,’ but if you have less access to that part of your brain when you’re in this state, which seems to be the case, then you’re not really using your judgement.” 

Distracted Driving Prevention Apps

Scott Tibbitts, founder of a technology called Groove, believes he can help bring an end to distracted driving. His distracted driving prevention app sends a signal to the driver’s phone service provider, altering it to hold off on all texts and social media notifications while they are driving, and also prevents the driver from posting anything while the car is moving. Tibbitts compares the addiction to texting while driving to having an open bag of potato chips in the car. “I know I shouldn’t be eating potato chips, but just take a deep breath of that barbecue sauce. Well that’s what the ‘bing’ is. The ‘bing’ is “Oh, my gosh this might be the text message from my daughter that says, 'Dad, I need help,'” Tibbitts explained.

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Groove is only one of many distracted driving prevention apps and phone features being developed to minimize distracted driving, like Apple's Do Not Disturb While Driving feature and At&T's DriveMode app. It may seem ironic to use technology to stop the usage of electronics while driving, but it actually might make more sense. If people are relying so much on their mobile devices, what better way to spread the word about the risks of distracted driving and to help break bad habits than with the cell phones themselves? 

Every time we look at social media while behind the wheel or text while driving, we get a false sense of security and believe that we will be safe in future attempts. Despina Stavrinos, director of the University of Alabama’s distracted driving research lab, says it’s similar to the reinforcement theory. “So you’re driving every day, sending text messages, and nothing happens. So it’s reinforcing to you, ‘Hey, I can do this. I am a pretty good multitasker,’” said Stavrinos. In reality, distracted driving is doing nothing more than putting drivers and passengers at risk for severe injury or death. People are smart enough to develop addictive apps and modern cell phone technology, so they should be more than capable of making the right decision to forget the distractions and focus on the road while driving. 


In many ways, distracted driving can be just as dangerous (if not more so) to drivers and others on the road, than drunk driving. If you truly believe that text messages, Facebook alerts or emails are that important, pull over to the side of the road and complete your business before getting back on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a distracted driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. Our firm are highly experienced in dealing with all types of motor vehicle accidents and can help you. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Cause Epilepsy

No one can predict the outcome of a motor vehicle accident. In fatal vehicle collisions, it takes just seconds for a shiny new car to become a pile of metal, rubber, and plastic. Not only are automobiles ruined in traffic crashes, but the passengers inside may be seriously injured, if not dead. That's why safety precautions must be taken to help protect passengers in the instance that they are involved in motor vehicle collisions. One such precaution is always wearing a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seat restraints have saved 344,448 lives since 1975. Unfortunately, however, seat belts can't do it all, as they can't prevent head bumps and even cause whiplash injuries themselves. This is dangerous because what people may not know is that a momentary head bump or skull scrape in car crashes, may lead to a much more serious type of head injury and other brain related conditions, such as epilepsy. 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI), as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is "a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury." They can occur to anyone, from young children to older adults. TBIs can be mild, like " a brief change in mental status or consciousness, or severe, like, "an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury." Symptoms of a TBI include problems with thinking and memory, balance and sensations, language like talking, and emotions, such as depression, anxiety, and aggression. While not every head injury results in a TBI, people who sustain head injuries in automobile crashes are more likely to sustain TBIs due to the heavy force with which a head gets struck in a car collision. 


The Link Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a type of brain disease that causes re-occurring seizures. Epilepsy may have a variety of causes, all depending on conditions that affect a person's brain. Some examples are a stroke or a brain tumor. TBIs can also trigger epilepsy in people, either right after an injury happens or months and even years later. Researchers have found that the more severe a TBI is, the greater chance there is that the person may develop epilepsy. 

Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are two types of seizures caused by a TBI. PTS are seizures occurring in the first week after a TBI, while PTE is defined by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as one or more unprovoked seizures that occur at least one week after a TBI. In PTE cases, 86% of patients experiencing one seizure at least one week after a TBI, experienced a second seizure within two years. This means that most of the time, epilepsy takes a while to be discovered. Just when people think they are in the clear from a severe motor vehicle accident, their traumatic brain injury comes back as a different monster.

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Epilepsy is difficult to pinpoint because seizures are different for different people. Some fall, cry out, or shake, while others become confused, twitch, or believe they see, taste, or smell something unusual. The lack of a definite, clear-cut diagnosis makes handling TBIs even more of a headache. Though it may seem difficult to comprehend until one witnesses it, people that learn to recognize the symptoms of a seizure may be able to offer assistance or contact a medical provider if needed. The sudden movement of body parts, unresponsiveness, lip-smacking or chewing, fumbling movements, and not being able to speak or understand others are all common symptoms of a seizure. Bystanders can assist someone having a seizure by making sure they don't fall and turning their head to the side so anything in the mouth, including saliva, does not block their throat. Check for a heartbeat and for regular breathing, starting CPR if there are no vital signs or calling 911 to alert medical professionals.

MRIs and other neuroimaging tests are recommended following the first post-traumatic seizure, as these tests can help look for brain abnormalities that might suggest a case of PTE. Preventative medicines may be prescribed by a doctor for seizures, and clinical observations by the Epilepsy Foundation further support using drugs early on after an injury, to help suppress the development of PTE. Though it is unlikely that current medicine will completely eliminate epilepsy, it can help control or stop seizures for a majority of people. 


How To Avoid Car Crash Brain Injuries

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In 2013, the leading causes of TBI-related deaths were falls for people 65 and older, and motor-vehicle crashes for people age 5-24. In an effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle accident traumatic brain injuries, safety precautions can be taken that may minimize the risk for traumatic brain injuries. Driving and riding safely is the number one step people can take towards safety. This includes wearing seat belts, using helmets on motorcycles and bicycles, turning on airbags, and seating children in passenger seats designed for them. People may also want to be mindful of where they are walking, so they may be less likely to be involved in a pedestrian car crash.

No matter what people do to increase their safety while on the road and on streets, head injuries can still occur from during car collision. Medical research and technological advancements are working to ease the pain and suffering from traumatic brain injuries, but the reality is that some people may experience epilepsy or seizures years after what they once thought to be just a simple bump to the head. TBIs are yet another consequence of car accidents, and though they cannot be completely prevented, recognizing the symptoms and responding with proper care may help car accident victims' health in the long run.


Head injuries, like those that can be caused by motor vehicle collisions, have numerous negative side effects. It is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, so as to help protect yourself and others. If you or someone you know has sustained a head injury or any other injury in a car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Stay Safe At The Summer Drive-In Theater

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Summer is in full swing, and with kids everywhere out of school, parents are looking for ways to keep their children busy. While the pool, park, and zoo are excellent options for a fun day out, many Michigan families are spending summer evenings at the drive-in movie theater. A drive-in typically takes place in a large parking lot, where vehicles can pay to park and watch movies on theater-size big screens, as they sit comfortably in their cars and listen to the sound on the radio. Some drive-ins even have concession stands where people can buy snacks and drinks. The drive-in movie theater is an entertaining way for parents to use their cars for something other than driving, while making the kids happy, too.

The drive-in movie theater is not a new concept. In fact, they weren’t even called drive-ins originally, but a “park-in” because of the parking lot movie theater setting. In the summer of 1933, motorists parked their cars on the grounds of Park-In Theaters in Camden, New Jersey, the site of the first ever drive-in movie theater. As the idea caught on, more drive-ins popped up all across the country. According to HISTORY.com, one of the largest drive-ins featured parking space for 2,500 cars, a kid’s playground, and a full service restaurant, spread out across 28 acres. If only extravagant drive-ins like that existed today, parents would never have to worry about their children being bored!

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Today, however, there are less than 350 drive-in theater locations across the country. Luckily for Michigan residents, the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA) says our state is home to 8 different theaters with 18 total movie screens. Metro Detroit is home to two drive-ins: the USA Hockey Arena Summer Drive-In located just off M-14 in Plymouth, and the Ford Drive-In in Dearborn. Movies begin at dusk, and films change weekly, showing everything from Disney cartoons to the latest action blockbuster. 

However, just because vehicles are parked at the drive-in, does not mean they aren’t still dangerous. Children often run around and play in the parking lots at a drive-in as they wait for the movie to start, putting them at risk for a severe injury or fatality from a moving vehicle nearby. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) recommends summer motor vehicle safety tips, including tips for kids.

Motorist and Child Safety Tips for Drive-In Theaters

  1. When backing out of a parking space at the drive-in, walk around your vehicle first to look for children running and playing. Children playing are often oblivious to cars around them.
  2. When using a backup camera, it is important to remember that kids might be out of view, but may still be in the path of a vehicle. Additionally, all vehicles have blind spots that increase in size as the height and size of the car increases.
  3. There are lots of people and vehicles moving around upon entrance and exit to the drive-in, so drivers must pay attention to their surroundings and parents must watch out for their children so as to prevent a motor vehicle from backing or running into a pedestrian.

Summer drive-ins transform everyday vehicles from modes of transportation to a relaxing place to kick back and catch the latest movie. The rare and old-school format of drive-ins make them fun for families of all ages. Still, warm weather calls for summer safety tips, and safety at the drive-in is just as important as on the roads. Anytime a motor vehicle is involved is an opportunity to practice automobile accident prevention safety, and the drive-in movie theater is no exception. 


Summer is a great time to enjoy the warm weather at a local drive-in movie theater. Children playing at the drive-in should watch for moving vehicles and drivers must be aware of their surroundings, in order to prevent an injury or fatality from a car crash. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

New Traffic Signal Helps Save Pedestrian Lives

One New York City suburb has gone without a single pedestrian-motor vehicle accident in the past year. Leonia, New Jersey has implemented a new traffic signal for one of the area's busiest crossroads. The intersection between Fort Lee Road and Broad Avenue has introduced an all-red phase traffic signal, stopping traffic in all directions for 26 seconds every other cycle. 

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The intersection is often congested with vehicles trying to take a different route across the Hudson River, other than the crowded George Washington Bridge. With all four directions temporarily turned red, pedestrians can safely cross the busy intersection and even cross diagonally if desired.

During the two years before the introduction of the all-red signal phase, 7 pedestrians were hit by cars at the intersection. One New Jersey woman was dragged more than 70 feet along the road, leading to her death.  

Mayor Judah Zeigler told USA TODAY, “If we had kept going down the course we were going down, it was really a matter of when, not if, another pedestrian would be killed.”  

Senior citizens, who take longer to cross the road, and students benefit the most from the all red-signal, according to Chief Thomas Rowe of the Leonia Police Department. Many students walk to a nearby elementary school that is less than a block away from the intersection. School foot traffic coincides with rush hour, further clogging the roads and endangering pedestrians. 

Rowe said, “The benefits have been exactly what we were hoping for, and there’s absolutely no reason for us to go back to the way it used to be. I can’t allow our pedestrians to be put in danger.” 

While some motorists have complained about traffic being further delayed by the all-red signal phase, it is clear that pedestrian safety is the number one priority for the city of Leonia. 

Throughout the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says on average, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes in traffic crashes. Considering this staggering statistic, it is no surprise that towns such as Leonia are taking steps to improve pedestrian safety. In addition, both pedestrians and drivers can take steps to keep roads safer. People on foot should use sidewalks to cross streets whenever possible, be visible with bright or reflective clothing, and never assume that automobile drivers see them. Motor vehicle operators on the other hand, should always watch for pedestrians, slow down, and be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk, and use extra caution in hard-to-see conditions, like at night or in bad weather. 

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Accidents happen; that's reality. However, efforts taken by cities like Leonia to make roads safer for pedestrians may help prevent serious injuries or fatalities from car crashes. Everyone has been a pedestrian at some point in their lives. If all it takes to keep people on their feet is stopping at a red traffic light for 26 seconds longer, more cities need to take note in order to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions. 


Chickens aren't the only ones trying to cross the road. Pedestrians walking on busy roads are constantly at risk of being hit by a motor vehicle, even when all they want is to get to the other side. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian motor vehicle collision, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Man Dies In Flint Area After Crashing Stolen Police Car

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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. 

Defective Gas Tank Part Investigation Is Ongoing

Defective Car Recall Lawyer

According to Claims Journal, the NHTSA has started investigating certain auto parts which appear to be made by Continental Automotive GmbH, a German auto parts manufacturer, after the manufacturer filed paperwork indicating that there is a possibility of defective parts and that a recall will take place. A Continental spokesperson has went on the record saying "[o]ur filing is signaling that basically there’s a potential defect and here’s who we sold it to." The full extent of this auto part recall remains to be seen.

Bloomberg has recently reported that the "recalls so far affect certain Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, Audi Q7 and VW Touareg SUVs sold over the last decade. The fuel pump flange is generally mounted in the fuel tank and closes an opening used to mount other fuel and vapor management." It has also been reported that Continental may have also supplied the potentially defective fuel pump flanges to McLaren, Lamborghini, and Volvo, as well as multiple auto suppliers.

Continental has said that it is communicating with those who may have been impacted by the gas tank part being investigated.  The potential number of vehicles involved in this recall is still being determined, but estimates "could spread to millions of other vehicle" according to Claims Journal.


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a Birmingham, Michigan personal injury firm. Our Metro Detroit law office handles all types of injury accidents and seeks to recover monetary damages for our clients. Call our law office today at 844.4MI.FIRM (844.464.3476) for a free consultation.  Speak to an accident attorney today. 

FTC Sued For Approving Used Cars With Recall Defects

Auto Recall Car Crash Lawyer

The old adage, "it's too good to be true" comes to mind in the light the news that used cars sale representatives have been approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sell used cars as certified, despite some of them having safety defects. Some of those defects include vehicles or parts under recall that have yet to be fixed. However, used car salespeople can still sell the cars as 'safe' or as subjected to 'rigorous inspection' vehicles just as long as they post a notice prior to the purchase of the vehicle stating that it may be under recall notice and by providing the buyer with the information to discover if the vehicle is under recall. 

CBS News listed that the defects may include exploding faulty Takata air bags in addition to other defects that can cause serious to fatal injuries such as, defective ignition switches, problems with the power steering, and damaged brakes. The FTC came to the decision during a settlement with General Motors (GM) and 2 used car dealers.

Opponents Of Recall Defective Car Sales

Cash 4 Junk Cars Sign

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not approve of the FTCs ruling. In fact, the FTC's agreement goes against NHTSA policy. The NHTSA's policy, which they unfortunately don't have the power to enforce, says that used cars must be inspected and fixed before being resold. 

Seconding the NHTSA's view on the issue, Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) said, “The FTCs reckless action will result in more people being killed and injured because of unsafe, defective used cars.” To back up their words with actions, Shahan’s organization is fighting along with a few Democratic senators, the Center for Auto Safety, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group against the FTC. “It’s a dangerous and irresponsible abuse of the commission’s authority,” Shahan continued. Now the FTC is facing a lawsuit from the 3 organizations on the grounds of consumer safety.  

The legislative director for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, Deidre Cummings also said to NBC News that, "The Federal Trade Commission is supposed to crack down on false and misleading advertising, but instead they are encouraging it. They should have protected consumers, but chose to protect reckless car dealers.”

How Defective Car Sales Affect The Auto Industry 

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Many view the FTC's decision as a change in the auto buying industry. This may lead to car dealers altering their policies to reflect monetary benefits for themselves instead of safety measures for the consumers. In fact some changes have already been made. Ford has already modified their policies to include recall defects such as the Takata airbag. Ford Dealers can now sell vehicles with faulty parts as 'certified' as long as the word 'safe' is not utilized at anytime in the sale. Used Ford buyers will then sign an agreement noting that they are aware of the safety issue and agree to be contacted by the Ford dealer once the replacement parts arrive. 

In defense of their new policy, Sara Tatchio of Ford Communications stated that, “The safety of our customers is our top priority. Our dealers must complete all recalls when parts are available. In the extremely rare instance when parts are not available, our policy is that dealers must clearly disclose the situation including printing the open recall information and handing it to the prospective customer. As soon as parts are available, the dealer will then prioritize completing the open recall.”

How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Recalls

They are few things consumers can do to safeguard themselves from buying a used vehicle that may have recall defects.

  • Look up a vehicle's Identification number (VIN) in the NHTSA’s recall lookup tool. The NHTSA’s system will show any outstanding recalls that have yet to be fixed on the vehicle.
  • Get a vehicle's history report on websites like CarFax to see if the car has been involved in any accidents, if any original parts have been replaced, and if it has been regularly and properly maintained. 
  • Before making a vehicle purchase, ask the salesperson about the history of the car and whether any defects or other safety problems have been made aware to them. 
  • Even if the vehicle list it has been subjected to "rigorous inspection" or as is labeled "safe," get it inspected anyway by a qualified mechanic before buying it. Try to find an auto shop that doesn't have ties to the dealership that the vehicle is being sold from. 

These tips are not 100% effective in every used car buying scenario but in general, they may ease the trepidation one may have in buying a used car. Hopefully, armed with the knowledge of past or present recalls and mechanic history, used car buyers can make an informed decision on what vehicle would serve their needs best while keeping them and others safe. After all, getting involved in a car accident due to a faulty or defective car part because you didn't due your due diligence in researching a used car before purchasing it, is an unfortunate way to harm yourself. 


Car recall lookup tools provided by government websites and agencies such as the NHTSA are one ideal way to make sure that car buyers are truly purchasing safe cars. It is unfortunate that the FTC would approve of the sale of cars with defective parts, thereby making buyers unable to trust the CPO seal that guarantees buyers that they are buying a recall-free vehicle. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by a vehicle under recall, call 844.4MI.FIRM and speak to the experienced staff at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We provide free consultations to discuss your legal options.

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.