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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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Grand Rapids Personal Injury LawyerThe use of electronic cigarettes, or “vapes” has grown exponentially in the past year. Many Michigan residents made the switch from cigarettes to vapes during the pandemic, believing vaping to be healthier and safer than smoking. While the long-term effects of using a vape are still unknown, some injuries and illnesses caused by vapes have already appeared. Vaping injuries can be severe, leading to hospitalization or even life-long illness or disfigurement. If you or your minor child have been hurt by a defective product such as a vape, you may have options for pursuing compensation. You can start by contacting an attorney. 

What Types of Vape Defects Cause Harm? 

The first step towards recovering compensation in a products liability case is showing that the product was indeed defective. In Michigan, there are three types of product defects: manufacturing defects, design defects, and marketing defects. All three types of defects can be dangerous for consumers. 

Manufacturing defects occur when a mistake is made while the product is being made. Many vapes and vape components are manufactured overseas, where safety standards may not be as firmly enforced as they would be in the U.S. Design defects mean that even if nothing went wrong during manufacturing, the product would still be dangerous because it was poorly designed. 

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Grand Rapids Car Accident LawyerIn 2020, passengers accounted for almost 16 percent of car crash fatalities and more than 23 percent of car crash injuries throughout Michigan. Many passenger injuries happen in multi-vehicle accidents, but a large number also happen in single-car accidents, like a crash earlier this month in Grand Rapids in which a driver collided with a pole and two passengers suffered serious injuries. The circumstances surrounding passenger injuries can sometimes make it complicated for victims to recover compensation, but it is possible with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Sources of Compensation for Injured Passengers

In most states, the first source of compensation for car accident injury victims is the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. However, in Michigan, injury victims must first look to compensation through their own no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which is required by law in all car insurance policies throughout the state. Though it may seem counterintuitive, the most reliable source of compensation for injured passengers is often their own car insurance coverage, rather than the coverage of any of the drivers involved in the collision.

Michigan PIP coverage provides compensation for a car crash victim’s medical expenses and lost wages. If an injured passenger does not have their own PIP coverage, they may still be covered under the policy of a spouse, a parent, or another relative. If they have no access to PIP coverage of any kind, they may be able to recover through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

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Kent County Personal Injury AttorneyIt may seem like common sense to assume that most semi-truck accidents are caused by the actions or negligence of the driver while the truck is in transit. Certainly, truck driver negligence is a factor in many accidents, but sometimes, a truck is predisposed to an accident before it even enters the road. One factor that can greatly increase the risk of a truck accident is improperly loaded or secured cargo. If you are injured in an accident and there is evidence that shifting cargo was a factor, you may be entitled to compensation from multiple parties.

The Importance of Securing Semi-Truck Cargo

While federal regulations place an 80,000-pound gross weight limit on commercial semi-trucks and their cargo, Michigan state law actually permits trucks to carry weight of up to 164,000 pounds, provided that the weight is distributed appropriately throughout the truck such that no axle bears a weight of more than 13,000 pounds. This distribution is crucial to ensuring that the truck can be handled safely.

However, cargo that is not properly secured can shift while the truck is in motion, throwing off the weight distribution and affecting the vehicle’s balance and traction. When this happens, a truck is more likely to overturn, posing great danger to the occupants of surrounding vehicles. Unsecured cargo can also fall off of a truck and obstruct the roadway, especially if the truck has an open bed or the trailer is not closed and secured properly.

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Kent County Personal Injury LawyerFor any parent, sending a child to college can be a challenging time filled with mixed emotions. You may be proud of your child’s accomplishments and excited for what they are about to experience, while at the same time feeling sad about your child moving out of the house and nervous about them living on their own. As this new school year begins, many students are about to embark on a fun and rewarding college experience, but unfortunately, for some students, their parents’ worst fears may come true. If your child is injured at college, you should be sure to understand your legal options for handling the situation.

Alcohol-Related Injuries Among College Students

Many students view college as an opportunity to try things that they were not able to do while living with their parents, and unfortunately, this often includes binge drinking. The first few weeks of college are some of the most dangerous, both because of the many social events where alcohol may be available, and the fact that many students do not fully understand the effects that alcohol will have on their bodies and mental faculties. Students who binge drink, or even those who are around others who are binge drinking, may be at risk of injury in a number of ways, including:

  • Drunk driving accidents - As passengers, drivers, or pedestrians, students on or near college campuses may be at risk of injury at the hands of a drunk driver. In the most serious cases, these injuries can be fatal.

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Kent County, MI Personal Injury LawyerBicycle accidents have been a cause for concern in Michigan in recent years. Last month, a bicyclist was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle at an intersection on the west side of Grand Rapids. Statewide, bicyclist fatalities nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020, and on average, almost three bicyclists were injured every day last year. If you regularly travel by bicycle, it is important that you are prepared to handle a situation in which you are injured in an accident.

Reasons for Bicycle Accidents in Michigan

Michigan bicyclists are required to obey a number of state traffic laws, including using the right side of the road whenever possible; obeying traffic signs and yielding the right-of-way when appropriate; signaling stops and turns; and equipping their bicycles with functioning brakes, lights, and reflectors. Unfortunately, many bike accidents and injuries happen because a bicyclist fails to follow these laws.

However, another common cause for bicycle injuries is negligence on the part of the driver of a motor vehicle. As with other types of car accidents, drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding tend to be common factors. A driver may also strike a bicyclist after failing to take notice of the bicyclist, failing to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist at an intersection, or failing to maintain the three feet of space required by Michigan law when passing a bicyclist.

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Grand Rapids MI Carnival Ride Injury lawyerThis month, a startling video circulated online of a carnival ride in Traverse City, Michigan that appeared as if it might tip over backward while in motion and fully loaded with riders. Fortunately, a group of courageous bystanders stepped in to balance the ride by hanging onto the front railing, possibly preventing what could have caused catastrophic injuries to those on the ride and the bystanders.

 

While no one appears to have been injured in this case, the incident has made many people wary of the safety of rides at carnivals and amusement parks throughout Michigan and the United States. You may be wondering just how common amusement park ride injuries are, as well as what you can do if you or a loved one is injured.

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Grand Rapids MI Construction Site Injury lawyerDespite the fact that the federal government regulates health and safety standards on construction sites, accidents resulting in serious injuries are still a regular occurrence. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry accounts for around 20 percent of work-related fatalities, or around 1,000 per year. A larger number of construction workers suffer catastrophic injuries that they must cope with for the rest of their lives.

Life-Altering Construction Injuries

The various hazards on construction sites in Michigan and throughout the U.S. expose workers to the risk of a variety of catastrophic injuries, including:

  • Spinal cord injuries - The most common causes of construction-related spinal cord injuries are falls from ladders, scaffolding, and other elevated areas, as well as accidents involving motor vehicles or heavy equipment. These injuries can cause a loss of sensation and mobility.

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Grand Rapids fatal car accident attorney

According to a recent report from the Michigan State Police, the number of fatal car crashes so far in 2021 is substantially higher than at this point in 2020, with a 34 percent increase as of May. The number of accidents resulting in serious injuries has also grown significantly, up 27 percent from 2020. Given these troubling trends, it is more important now than ever that you know what to do if you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious accident.

What Is Causing More Fatal Accidents?

Michigan law enforcement officers have offered their thoughts on several possible reasons for the rise of fatal traffic accidents. One factor that is likely at play is an overall increase in vehicle traffic associated with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions as the number of cases continues to drop and the number of vaccinated people continues to increase. However, there seem to be other contributing factors as well.

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Kent County MI personal injury lawyer wrong way drivers

After a recent fatal head-on collision on US-131, Grand Rapids residents have been reminded of the dangers that wrong-way drivers pose to others on the road, especially on interstate highways where vehicles are traveling at high speeds. State governments in Michigan and throughout the U.S. have made efforts to address the problem of wrong-way drivers through improved road signage and other, more technologically advanced solutions, but wrong-way highway accidents still account for around 500 deaths each year. If you or a loved one has been injured by a wrong-way driver, you are likely entitled to compensation for your damages.

Why Are Wrong-Way Accidents So Dangerous? 

The severity of wrong-way collisions is tied in large part to the fact that they tend to be head-on crashes. Head-on collisions are among the most disproportionately fatal types of car accidents for a number of reasons, including the high rate of speed at which they occur and the proximity of the point of impact to the drivers and front-seat passengers. Vehicle occupants often suffer concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, lacerations from broken windshield glass, and crush injuries resulting in broken bones, internal organ damage, and spinal cord damage.

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Grand Rapids MI personal injury lawyerElectric scooters are an increasingly popular means of transportation in the U.S., especially in urban areas and on college campuses where companies like Bird, Lime, and Spin make their scooters available for short-term rental. However, the growing availability of scooters has been accompanied by more injuries, with almost 40,000 riders requiring emergency room treatment between 2014 and 2018. If you are injured in a scooter accident in the Grand Rapids area, it is important to consider your options for covering your medical expenses and other damages.

Accidents Between Scooters and Motor Vehicles

If, while riding an electric scooter, you are injured in a collision with a car, truck, or other type of motor vehicle, you may have a couple of options for recovering compensation. One option is to file a claim through the no-fault insurance coverage that Michigan law requires for anyone who drives a motor vehicle. An electric scooter is not considered a motor vehicle itself, but scooter riders who have a no-fault insurance policy for another vehicle may still be able to benefit from the coverage. As long as the accident involves a motor vehicle, no-fault personal injury coverage can take effect regardless of who caused the collision.

However, no-fault coverage often comes in limited dollar amounts, so if your injuries are severe, it might not be sufficient to compensate for all of your damages. In this case, you may be able to recover additional compensation through a personal injury claim if you can demonstrate the negligence of the motor vehicle driver who caused the collision. An attorney can help you gather evidence and document your economic and non-economic damages so that you can pursue a fair settlement.

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Grand Rapids boat accident attorneyLast month, a proposal came before the East Grand Rapids city planning commission for new developments on Reeds Lake, a longtime popular location for boating and other recreational activities. The plan would bring several changes, among them a public marina with pontoon boat rentals. Supporters claim that these developments will increase access to and enjoyment of the lake, but some residents fear that the ease of renting a boat will lead to an uptick in boating accidents. The impact of the plan, if approved, remains to be seen, but it is nonetheless important for Grand Rapids residents to understand their rights if they are injured in a boat accident.

Michigan Boat Accident Statistics

According to statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 128 recreational boating accidents in Michigan in 2019, resulting in 22 fatalities and several more injuries. Though this is a relatively small number, the potential for serious boat accident injuries is certainly present. When these injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, injury victims and their families are often entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim.

Common Examples of Negligence in Boating Accidents

The Coast Guard has identified five factors that have contributed to the most boating accidents throughout the U.S. over the last several years, most of which are related to boat operator negligence. These include:

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Grand Rapids MI personal injury lawyerMany people are aware of the ability to recover compensation for damages related to car accident injuries, whether through insurance or a personal injury claim against the negligent party. However, you may be unsure of what to do if you are injured because of someone’s intentional actions, such as assault or battery. Is it enough to press criminal charges, or should you also file a civil claim for compensation? An experienced attorney can help you answer that question and determine the best course of action.

Restitution vs. Compensatory Damages in Michigan

In Michigan, assault and battery are both criminal offenses. Assault is defined as threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to another person, while battery is defined as intentionally causing bodily harm. If a person is convicted of assault or battery committed against you, the court may order them to pay you restitution for your medical care and rehabilitation, lost income, and other costs related to the injuries you have suffered.

However, even if you decide to press criminal charges against the person who caused your injuries, there is no guarantee that they will be convicted, which means there is no guarantee of restitution, either. For this reason, it is often a good idea to file a civil personal injury claim whether or not there are pending criminal charges. A personal injury lawsuit may help you recover compensation more quickly, and a successful settlement or verdict ensures that you receive compensation even if the person is not convicted. However, keep in mind that a criminal court will not award restitution for damages that you have already been compensated for in a civil case, or vice versa.

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Grand Rapids MI personal injury attorneyOut of everyone who shares the roadways in Michigan, pedestrians have one of the highest risks of suffering severe injuries in a car accident. According to the state’s most recent crash statistics, almost 8 percent of pedestrian injuries are fatal, compared to a less than 1 percent fatality rate for injured vehicle occupants. Pedestrians who survive a collision are often left with catastrophic injuries that affect the rest of their lives. As such, it is important for victims and their families to understand how they can recover compensation for their expenses and losses.

Compensation Options for Injured Pedestrians

In all cases, the first thing you should do if you are injured in a pedestrian accident is to seek medical care. Prompt treatment can give you a better chance of making a full or substantial recovery, and demonstrating that you have received care will also be important for any means of recovering compensation for your injuries.

In Michigan, injury victims in car accidents, including pedestrians, can often look to compensation through no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you are injured as a pedestrian and you have a vehicle and car insurance policy of your own, you can file a claim with your provider for coverage of medical bills, lost wages, and household upkeep expenses resulting from your injuries. The same may be true if you are covered under the insurance policy of another member of your household. If you do not have your own PIP coverage, however, you may need to file a claim with the insurance provider of the driver involved in the accident, or with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

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Kent County, MI personal injury attorney dog bite

Although dogs are often friendly and obedient, they are also capable of inflicting severe injuries under certain circumstances. Perhaps nowhere is this more clear than in the case of police dogs, who are trained to use force when necessary to assist in the apprehension of a dangerous suspect. The use of police dogs is common practice in Michigan, but it can sometimes go too far. In fact, a Michigan state trooper is currently facing charges of assault for alleged excessive use of force involving a police dog. This raises the question of whether it may be possible to pursue compensation through a civil claim for police dog bite injuries.

Dog Bite Liability Laws in Michigan

According to Michigan law, victims of dog bite injuries are often entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner. The state’s dog bite law is one of strict liability, meaning that it is not necessary for the victim to demonstrate that the dog’s owner was negligent in allowing the attack to happen, or that the owner knew of a previous history of the dog’s viciousness. However, it is necessary to demonstrate that the victim was not provoking the dog at the time and that the victim was lawfully allowed to be in the place where the attack occurred.

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Grand Rapids personal injury attorney truck accident

If you have been in a semi-truck accident, it is understandable that your thoughts would be preoccupied with your severe injuries and their effects on your day-to-day life, leaving you little time or energy to focus on legal matters such as the question of whose negligence is responsible for the crash. However, determining the answer to this question is crucial when it comes to securing the financial compensation you need to address your injuries. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney can handle this matter for you while you recover.

Driver and Trucking Company Negligence 

Typically, when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your first instinct may be to assume that liability lies with another driver. It is true that in many accidents involving large commercial trucks, the truck driver’s negligence is a contributing factor, meaning that he or she is liable for resulting injuries. However, the driver’s employer often shares responsibility in these cases, including in situations that you may not expect. For example:

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Grand Rapids personal injury attorney nursing home neglect

Physical and psychological abuse are rampant problems in nursing homes throughout the United States, but perhaps equally damaging is the high prevalence of nursing home neglect. Nursing home residents who do not receive adequate care can suffer serious harm to their physical and mental health, and it is important for victims and their families to know that it is possible to take legal action to recover damages due to the negligence of a nursing home operator or employee.

What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

In general, nursing home neglect occurs when those responsible for caring for patients or residents fail to provide them with the necessary care, such as feeding, bathing, and providing medication and supervision. Nursing home neglect may be tied to a variety of causes. In some cases, individual staff members may fail to perform their care duties. However, neglect is often a symptom of problems on an organizational level. For example, nursing home management may fail to provide their employees with adequate training or supervision throughout the workday. In other cases, a nursing home may fail to provide the space or materials necessary for the quality care of its residents.

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Kent County, MI personal injury attorney snowmobile accident

Recent snows in the Grand Rapids area have inspired many residents to bring out their snowmobiles and engage in this popular recreational activity. However, it is important to note that along with the enjoyment of snowmobiling comes an important responsibility to ensure personal and public safety. Unsafe riding can often result in serious accidents and injuries, and injury victims may need to look to compensation from negligent parties through a personal injury claim to alleviate their medical expenses and other damages.

Common Causes of Snowmobile Accidents

Snowmobile accidents can happen for many different reasons and may involve a variety of parties, from snowmobile operators and passengers to pedestrians, to drivers of motor vehicles. Some of the most common causes of accidents that result in injuries include:

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