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kent county personal injury lawyerA normal person going about their daily business - working, driving, helping a friend - can have their life changed in the blink of an eye when a spinal cord injury takes place. The consequences of a spinal cord injury are often wide-ranging, expensive and laborious to treat, and difficult or impossible to adjust to. If you or someone you love has been debilitatingly injured by a spinal cord injury, Michigan law may allow you to seek compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. Learn more about spinal cord injuries and then contact an experienced personal injury attorney who may be able to help. 

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a large column of nerve tissue that connects the entire body’s nervous system starting at the base of the skull and down through the middle of the back. Protective membranes surround the spinal cord, and these are further protected by vertebrae. The nerve signals that tell our bodies to pick something up, retract from painful stimuli, or scratch an itch all run through the spinal cord. Unsurprisingly, then, when the spinal cord is injured, the consequences can be devastating. Spinal cords are most commonly injured in accidents - unexpected events that happen in a split second and which can change a life forever. These accidents include, but are not limited to: 

michigan food poisioning lawyerIn February of this year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported exposure of cronobacter sakazakii from an infant formula manufacturer in Michigan. Tragically,  the infant died, and exposure to the tainted formula is believed to be a contributing cause. 

While infant formula producers generally recall products that are potentially tainted with bacteria that can cause fatal illness in babies, this action is often too little, too late for the children whose lives were put at risk. If your little one has suffered severe illness or death from exposure to pathogens in their food, the parties who allowed this to happen should be held responsible. Fortunately, with the help of an infant food poisoning attorney, you can do just that. 

Common Types of Pathogens in Infant Food

Parents need to be able to put their trust in the manufacturers of the food they feed to their babies. When food is tainted with pathogens, unsuspecting parents are often put through a terrible ordeal trying to discover why their child is suffering. Because baby food is often produced in facilities that manufacture many different types of food, testing shows that a significant amount of infant foods contain harmful pathogens, as well as other toxic substances like heavy metals. Pathogens that have been found in baby food include, but are not limited to: 

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kent county campus injury lawyerA common feature of many college campus organizations is hazing activities that introduce new members into a school’s fraternities and sororities. While these activities are harmless for most students most of the time, hazing often involves copious amounts of alcohol. Combined with students under 21 years old who have little experience drinking and no adult supervision, hazing can end in disaster. If you are a parent of a child who has been injured or killed in a campus hazing incident, you may be wondering if you can take legal action. Read on to learn more and then schedule a free meeting with a Michigan campus hazing injury attorney. 

Is Hazing Legal? 

“Hazing” is a term for the kind of difficult, embarrassing activities that college juniors and seniors often make freshmen and sophomores endure before they are accepted as part of an organization. Although some universities have decided to prevent hazing activities because of their potential dangers, in and of itself, hazing is not illegal as long as it does not involve illegal behaviors. 

The problem with so many kinds of hazing, however, is that many of the behaviors are illegal for everyone involved. For example, the most common type of hazing - forcing younger coeds to drink alcohol until they are willing to do something dangerous or embarrassing - could be illegal on a number of levels. Both the underage drinkers and the adults providing the alcohol are breaking the law. Further, any activities that are sexual or physical in nature could be grounds for criminal sexual assault or battery charges. Unfortunately, hazing can get much stranger and more violent, and in cases like these, students can be seriously injured. 

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Kent County Truck Accident LawyerThe trucking industry is an essential component of the American economy. Goods and materials need to be shipped to locations throughout the United States on a constant basis, and this need has only increased in recent years as more and more people shop for products online. Unfortunately, this has led to increasingly difficult conditions for truck drivers. Drivers are required to spend long hours on the road, and since they are encouraged to deliver cargo as quickly as possible, they may continue driving past the point when they can remain fully awake and in control of their vehicles. 

Driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents, and it puts everyone on the road at risk of being injured or killed. Due to current practices in the trucking industry, driver fatigue is an increasing concern. When commercial drivers are tired, they are more likely to miss important details that may help them avoid accidents, and they may experience increased reaction times or other issues that affect their ability to maintain control of their trucks. When drivers become drowsy, they are even more likely to collide with other vehicles, and nodding off for even just a moment can have deadly results.

Conditions Leading to Truck Driver Fatigue

To help ensure that truck drivers can properly control commercial vehicles, they are required to follow regulations regarding their hours of service. These regulations limit the number of hours a person can drive at a time, and they require drivers to take regular breaks and receive sleep between shifts. However, even when drivers abide by all applicable regulations, they are still likely to experience fatigue, especially since non-driving hours that are logged as “sleeping” are often spent loading or unloading cargo, finding a place to park, eating meals, taking showers, and dealing with other issues.

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Kent County Nursing Home Abuse LawyerNursing homes and assisted living facilities provide essential care for many elderly and disabled individuals. When a person resides at a nursing home, this can provide their loved ones with the assurance that their needs are being met. Unfortunately, there are far too many nursing homes throughout the United States that provide substandard care to patients. Nursing home neglect is an issue that can threaten the health and well-being of patients. If a facility’s staff members do not provide the proper care and supervision, residents may experience serious health problems, including malnutrition and dehydration.

Symptoms and Effects of Dehydration and Malnutrition

Many nursing homes struggle with staff shortages. When a facility is unable to maintain adequate staffing levels, or if it has not provided staff members with the proper training, employees may be unable to fully monitor patients’ needs and provide the necessary care. This can lead to malnutrition, in which patients do not eat enough to provide their bodies with the necessary calories or the vitamins and nutrients that will allow them to maintain the proper health. Dehydration may occur if a person does not drink enough water or receive liquids through other sources that will ensure that their bodily systems can function correctly.

A person who suffers from malnutrition may experience symptoms such as weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, dry skin, difficulties with concentration, memory loss, depression, anxiety, irritability, and delayed healing of wounds. Without the proper nutrients, bodily systems may cease certain functions, which may lead to additional health issues. Continuing malnutrition may even lead to a person’s wrongful death.

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Kent County Personal Injury LawyerCarbon monoxide is a silent killer. It is odorless and colorless, making it difficult to detect. The symptoms it causes are easily mistaken for mere tiredness. When carbon monoxide is allowed to build up in an apartment building, it can very quickly become deadly. Michigan has laws in place requiring all multi-family homes including apartment buildings to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. Without a working detector, it is nearly impossible for individuals to notice that they are being exposed to hazardous levels of this insidious chemical. 

Sadly, because chemical exposure to carbon monoxide can become fatal before it is detected, many lawsuits related to negligent carbon monoxide poisoning are brought as wrongful death suits. If you were harmed by or lost a family member due to carbon monoxide poisoning, you should contact an attorney to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation. 

What Causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Rental Units?

A number of problems, often related to poor maintenance, can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide in apartments or other multi-family structures. A landlord can be held liable for the harm their tenants suffer as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning if the landlord was negligent in allowing the poisoning to occur. Problems that can contribute to carbon monoxide poisonings include: 

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Kent County Personal Injury AttorneyWhen your loved ones dropped you off at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, they probably breathed a sigh of relief, believing that you were finally safe. Being actively addicted to a mind-altering substance can put your life in danger. When you make the bold decision to go to rehab and try to defeat your addiction, you deserve to be cared for in a safe environment. The problem is that the rehab industry is not nearly as regulated as it should be. Anything from a lack of trained medical personnel on hand to inadequate supervision to dangerous conditions in the residential area can put patients at risk. Being injured while in residential treatment can have enormous consequences, and may even trigger a relapse if you experience a lot of pain. If you were injured while staying in inpatient rehab, an attorney may be able to help you recover financial compensation. 

Negligent Rehab Practices That Put Patients in Danger

A lack of regulation in the recovery industry emboldens some shady rehab centers to put profit ahead of patient safety. When you check into a rehab center, you expect to be kept safe while you recover. People who are coming off drugs or alcohol are vulnerable and need a higher level of care than some rehabs are interested in providing. Negligent practices that could endanger you include: 

  • Unmanaged detox - Withdrawal from benzodiazepines or alcohol can be fatal if it is not properly medically managed. Withdrawing from any substance can cause harm and put you at risk for problems like dehydration and falls. During the acute detox phase, you need extensive medical care. It is critical that you are seen by a doctor almost as soon as you check in so that you can be given the appropriate medications. Failing to provide appropriate care at this point can rise to the level of medical malpractice.

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Proving a Food Poisoning Case

Posted on in Personal Injury

Kent County Food Poisoning LawyerFood poisoning is one of the least pleasant experiences you can have. Severe cases can leave you nauseous, dehydrated, and in pain for days or even weeks. Some people ultimately need to be hospitalized in order to treat food poisoning. People who are immunocompromised, elderly, chronically ill, and children are the most likely to experience severe illness after getting food poisoning. You may know exactly which food from which restaurant got you sick but proving it to a jury may be another story. Fortunately, there are several strategies available to attorneys who handle food poisoning cases under a products liability theory that can help you prove your case. If you suffered food poisoning after dining out, it is important to contact an attorney first, before you reach out to the establishment. Being represented right off the bat can make an enormous difference in these cases. 

What Kinds of Proof Are Needed for a Food Poisoning Case?

The difficulty with food poisoning litigation is proving that a specific dining establishment caused your illness. Some types of proof are easier to come by than others, but an experienced attorney will know how to help you build the body of evidence you need. Types of evidence that may be used in food poisoning cases include: 

  • Multiple people sick - If you are the only one who became ill after eating out, it can be challenging to prove that it was the restaurant’s food rather than something else you ate. One step your lawyer is likely to take involves looking for other people who also became ill after eating the same food or dish you had. This is why many food poisoning cases become class-action lawsuits–if a restaurant served contaminated food, it likely sickened more than one person. 

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Grand Rapids Car Crash LawyerDrunk drivers can be wildly unpredictable, which makes it nearly impossible for the sober drivers around them to avoid getting hit. Drunk drivers turn without signaling, signal without turning, and cannot seem to stay in their own lanes. They may jump medians, drive up an exit ramp, or blow through stoplights. This can lead to serious crashes that the sober driver could not see coming. 

While the drunk driver - or their insurance company - can certainly be held responsible for any damages they caused, in some cases, there might be another liable party. 

Michigan still has what are called dram shop laws, which can make an establishment that serves alcohol to a patron who later causes an accident liable. An attorney can help give you a better idea of whether dram shop laws may apply to your situation. 

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Kent County Foodborne Illness LawyerEveryone who cooks at home knows that there are certain steps you need to take to avoid giving your family food poisoning. Throw out any bread or baked goods that have mold on them. Do not use the same cutting board for raw meat and vegetables. Restaurants are responsible for the products they serve. The problem with restaurants is that you cannot see what is going in in the kitchen most of the time. You have no way of knowing whether they are handling your food safely. Even if the dining room is very nice, there is no telling what could be going on behind the scenes. If you became seriously ill after eating at a restaurant, you might be able to recover compensation. Contacting a lawyer is the first step. 

What Negligent Kitchen Habits Could Cause Food Poisoning?

In some cases, food is already contaminated when it reaches the restaurant. In others, food reaches the restaurant in a safe condition, and then something the restaurant does renders the food dangerous. Careless behaviors like these could get you sick: 

  • Wrong temperature - Foods that need to be refrigerated must be kept either under 40 degrees Fahrenheit or over 140. The temperature range in between is known as the “danger zone.” Bacteria can multiply very rapidly at those temperatures, causing illness. 

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Kent County Bed Sore Injury LawyerBedsores are often associated with very elderly and very ill bedbound patients in nursing homes. However, even younger and healthier people can suffer from these painful sores, also called “pressure ulcers” while recovering from a serious injury in an inpatient rehabilitation center. People often enter these facilities in a vulnerable state, not expecting to suffer further injury due to neglect. Unfortunately, some of these facilities are less careful than they need to be with their patients. If you or your loved one suffered bedsores while in a rehab center, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation.

What Are Rehabilitation Centers Used For?

These facilities are often used as a sort of “middle ground” between being in the hospital and being at home. Unlike nursing homes, these facilities are generally for short-term stays. People of all ages may stay in these centers while recovering from long-term major injuries. Rehab patients are typically too sick or injured to return home yet and are in need of around-the-clock care. Many of them are transported directly from the hospital to rehab centers. Injuries and conditions that may be treated in rehab centers include: 

  • Traumatic brain injury

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Kent County Car Accident LawyerGrand Rapids is known for its local breweries. With all the excellent beer options offered, many visitors enjoy trying a few - or more than a few. If they take an Uber, walk, use public transportation, or appoint a designated driver, then all should be well and we are glad they came out to support our local businesses. However, when they choose to drive themselves after overindulging, there is likely to be a problem. They could cause a crash involving you. Most instructional guides explaining what to do after a car accident presume the other driver is sober and behaving rationally. This is not always the case. Dealing with a drunk driver after a car accident can be a bit different. 

If you were involved in a car accident with someone who should have found a safer way home from one of our breweries, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney promptly. You may have a very strong claim. 

What Should I Do After an Accident When the Other Driver is Drunk?

Another driver hits you. You pull your vehicle off the road if you are able to and get out to go speak to the other driver. The other driver nearly falls out of his vehicle, smelling as if he had fallen into a vat of beer and begins shouting obscenities at you as if this situation is your fault.  It becomes clear that a polite exchange of information is not going to happen. 

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Kent County Personal Injury LawyerIf you have experienced food poisoning after ordering food from a local eatery, you may be wondering exactly what made you sick. Was it undercooked chicken? Vegetables that were not washed? Often, food poisoning–a type of personal injury–is caused by some kind of carelessness on the part of a restaurant. Especially now, with staffing shortages rampant, restaurants may be increasingly inclined to cut corners that put the health and safety of their customers at risk. Food poisoning can be very serious, especially for those who are already in poor health or otherwise vulnerable. If you were recently sickened in a food poisoning incident after eating out, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney who may be able to help you recover financial compensation. 

Which Foods Are Most Commonly Linked to Food Poisoning in Restaurants?

If you believe that your food poisoning was caused by a local restaurant, it is important to speak to an attorney rather than contacting the restaurant directly. While almost any food can cause food poisoning if negligently handled, these foods are frequently the culprit: 

  • Sprouts - There is a very good reason that Jimmy John’s took sprouts off their menu entirely back in 2017. Multiple cases of serious food poisoning were linked to alfalfa sprouts. The conditions sprouts are grown in tend to invite the growth of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. 

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Kent County Motorcycle Accident LawyerBeing hit by a negligent driver in a bigger vehicle is something every motorcyclist fears. It can be bad enough when a motorcycle crash does not involve another vehicle. Car versus motorcycle accidents can be devastating. As bikers know, there is very little to protect a rider from the impact of being struck by a car. Drivers have a duty to pay attention to and avoid colliding with all other vehicles on the road, including motorcycles and even bicycles in the roadway. Yet, some drivers become complacent and forget to keep an eye out for harder-to-spot modes of transportation, putting motorcyclists at risk. 

If you were hit by a car while riding, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries and other costs related to the accident, like lost wages. Or, if you tragically lost an immediate family member in one of these accidents, you may be able to file a wrongful death action. 

What Negligent Behaviors Cause Drivers to Strike Motorcyclists?

Motorcycle accidents frequently result in very serious injuries or fatalities. Long-term disabilities or extended hospital stays are very common. Driver’s are responsible for using appropriate care to avoid causing these injuries to others. Common careless mistakes drivers make that cause these accidents include: 

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Kent County Nursing Home Abuse LawyerSome forms of nursing home abuse are quite easy to spot. If the abuse or neglect is severe, there may be obvious signs like bruising or serious bedsores. Other types of neglect can be more insidious and difficult to identify. If someone you love is being cared for in a nursing facility, it is important to monitor them so that you can take action quickly, at the first sign of a problem.

If your loved one has already suffered harm of any kind as a result of nursing home neglect, they may be legally entitled to recover financial compensation. Contacting an attorney for a case evaluation is a good move if you suspect that a nursing home is not adequately caring for your loved one. 

Why is Nursing Home Neglect Hard to Spot?

Many nursing home residents suffer from age-related mental incapacities and are unable to communicate to their families what is happening. Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s may not be taken seriously if they do say something to a loved one, who may believe the nursing home resident is merely confused. 

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Kent Count Car Accident LawyerThe dangers of cell phone usage while driving are well known. Drivers who are looking down to type a message may fail to spot a hazard and cause an accident. However, distracted driving has been around a lot longer than cell phones. Even before people had phones in their cars at all, distracted driving crashes happened all the time. 

If you were injured in a car accident and suspect that the at-fault driver was distracted, you will need to speak to an attorney who can help investigate and gather evidence. Proving driver distraction after a car accident can be tricky, especially if the driver was distracted by something other than a cell phone. 

What Distractions Other Than Cell Phones Take Drivers’ Attention Off the Road?

While cell phones are probably the most common culprit for distracted driving accidents nowadays, there are other types of distractions that can cause a driver to take their eyes off the road long enough to cause a wreck. The driver who collided with you could have been paying attention to: 

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Kent County Premises Liability LawyerWinter weather can be delightful, but it can also bring a host of dangers. There is ice and snow to slip in or hydroplane on, and frostbite to worry about. Now that it is fully dark outside by the time most people are leaving work, there may be additional safety concerns related to crime. Parking lots outside bars, malls, and other businesses can become dangerous in the evenings when there is little light and not enough security. 

For some businesses, failing to provide adequate security when there is a known risk of criminal activity can lead to premises liability. If you suffered a criminal attack while entering or leaving a business, you will want to speak to an attorney to determine whether you may be eligible for compensation. 

When is a Business Liable for Crimes on its Premises?

A business cannot - and is not expected to - prevent all crimes on its premises. The problem with criminals is that they are unpredictable and not likely to follow an establishment’s rules. However, in certain situations, a business does have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect its patrons from a foreseeable risk of harm, even if that risk is caused by criminal actors. 

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Grand Rapids Carbon Monoxide Poisoning AttorneyCarbon Monoxide is often called a “silent killer.” It has no odor and can be impossible to identify without a detector. People who live in apartments and other small rental units are at greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning than those who live in larger accommodations. Because apartments are smaller and typically not as well-ventilated as a house, even a small amount of carbon monoxide can become extremely dangerous. In most cases, carbon monoxide leaks are preventable when appropriate safety procedures are followed. If you were poisoned by carbon monoxide in a rental unit, you will want to speak with an attorney to find out whether your landlord may be liable. 

Recognizing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be hard to identify. While even short exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide may quickly become fatal, exposure to lower levels over time can cause serious damage. The following symptoms may point to carbon monoxide: 

  • Headache

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Grand Rapids Product Liability LawyerToys are supposed to be safe and fun objects for children to play with. People generally expect the products they pick up in the toy aisle to be safe for young ones. Unfortunately, there are careless toymakers who put children at risk by putting dangerous toys on the market. Dangerous design flaws may result in small parts that present a choking hazard, or an overseas manufacturer may cut corners and use paint that contains lead. Regardless of what makes the toy dangerous, sellers of unsafe commercial products are generally liable for injuries that result. If your child was injured by a dangerous toy, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you get the chance. 

What are the Most Common Defects in Children’s Toys? 

Toymakers have a duty to make sure that their products are safe for their intended users -- children. Because children are less sophisticated than adults, and toddlers are less sophisticated than older children, toymakers must consider the safety needs of each age group. While an adult or adolescent may be able to handle a toy safely, a young child may not. These common toy defects all pose a risk to children: 

  • Small parts - Very young children tend to explore the world by putting things in their mouths. Toys intended for this age group should be free of any small pieces that may detach and become a choking hazard. 

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Kent County College Hazing LawyerCollege campuses are supposed to be a safe place for young adults to study and learn. Yet, campuses can be dangerous places. One of the biggest dangers to young people on college campuses may be other young people. Hazing is a practice as old as time, but the risks associated with it have led to hazing being not only banned on most campuses, but outright illegal in many places, including Michigan. If you were injured as a result of hazing, you should seek medical attention, and then get in touch with a qualified attorney. Quick investigation can be the key to recovering damages in hazing cases, and evidence may not last long on campus. 

What Types of Injuries Does Hazing Cause? 

Hazing can be done in many different ways. While hazing is often associated with sororities and fraternities, other student groups, official or unofficial, will haze just about any student. Some forms of hazing may be harmless, but others can be deadly. Some of the most common forms of hazing injuries include: 

  • Excessive intoxication injuries - A common form of hazing involves forcing new students to consume large quantities of drugs, alcohol, or both. This can result in life-threatening overdose, often requiring treatment in the emergency room. Excessive intoxication can cause other injuries, like those resulting from falls or other accidents that could have been avoided had the victim not been so intoxicated. 

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