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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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Kent County, MI personal injury attorney defective product

In Michigan, if you suffer an injury due to a defect in a product that you are using, you may have a case for compensation from the product’s designer, manufacturer, or seller, depending on the circumstances. However, with the growing prevalence of online shopping, it can be more difficult to determine who the seller actually is. For example, if you purchase a defective product through Amazon, should you pursue compensation from Amazon itself, or from the company that uses Amazon to sell its products? To answer this question, it is helpful to examine Michigan’s product liability laws, as well as recent defective product cases involving Amazon throughout the United States.

Who Is Liable for Defective Product Injuries in Michigan?

Michigan law establishes a high standard for demonstrating negligence in a defective product case. Depending on the situation, you may need strong evidence of some or all of the following:

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Kent County, MI personal injury attorney car accident

For those living in and around Grand Rapids, US-131 is an almost unavoidable travel route, whether you are simply driving around town or taking a trip to the Upper Peninsula or south into Indiana and the surrounding states. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous roads in Michigan. The intersection with Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids is especially dangerous, but car accidents are common across the entire highway. If you or your loved one was involved in a vehicle collision, an experienced attorney can help you bring a personal injury claim against any at-fault parties for your damages.

Recent Accidents Serve as a Sobering Example

In recent weeks, multiple accidents just south of Grand Rapids brought to light just how dangerous US-131 can be for all motorists on that road. The events, which took place in Allegan County, started when a pedestrian was struck by a semi-truck after leaving his vehicle. As traffic backed up due to the accident, two more collisions occurred, involving multiple large trucks and passenger vehicles. In total, three people died in these accidents, and several others were injured.

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Kent County, MI personal injury attorney car accident

Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding fatal collisions in winter weather conditions, Michigan was rated as the most dangerous state for winter driving in 2019. During the three-year time period of the data collection, there were 49 average annual fatalities in Michigan due to winter vehicle accidents, which is 19 more than the next highest state. With injury risks this high, it is crucial that you understand how to protect yourself from winter car crashes, as well as what to do if you or a loved one is injured.

Winter Driving Safety Tips in Michigan

With the proper safety precautions, you may be able to avoid winter car accidents entirely. The Michigan State Department offers several helpful suggestions for safe winter driving, including:

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Michigan personal injury attorneyIf you are injured in an accident, you may think that your case for compensation rests on the ability to demonstrate the negligent actions of an individual person who is responsible. While it is true that many personal injury cases, especially those involving car accidents, have an individual defendant, it is also possible for a business entity to be liable for your injuries. These cases can be more complicated, but with the help of an experienced attorney, it is also often possible to obtain greater compensation.

Circumstances in Which a Business Can Be Negligent

There are a wide variety of situations in which a business may be fully or partially responsible for injuries suffered in an accident. Some of the most common include:

  • When an accident occurs on the business’s property. According to Michigan premises liability law, the owner of a property has a duty of care to ensure safe conditions for lawful visitors. If an injury occurs in a store, restaurant, or other business because the business owner failed to reasonably address a hazard that they should have known about, the business may be liable for damages.
  • When an accident occurs because of a defective product made by the business. Design defects and manufacturing defects can both result in dangerous products that can injure or harm users. If there are reasonable measures the business could have taken to promote safer production or prevent defects, the business can be held responsible.
  • When an accident occurs because of the negligent actions of a business’s employee. Common examples include semi-truck accidents related to a failure of the trucking company to enforce safety regulations, and nursing home abuse or neglect by a staff member if the owner or operator fails to reasonably intervene. 
  • When the actions of a business contribute to the cause of an accident. One specific example is established under a statute known as the “Dram Shop Act,” which states that a business that serves alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated person can be liable for injuries resulting from that person’s intoxication.

Pursuing Compensation From a Negligent Business

When compared to individual defendants, businesses often have greater resources to hire a skilled legal team to defend them against claims of negligence. If you are seeking compensation from a business for your injuries, you need an experienced attorney who can hold his ground in settlement negotiations or litigation to resolve your claim. That said, businesses also often have higher liability insurance limits than individuals, so there may be more compensation available to cover the full extent of your damages if your claim is successful.

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Kent County MI personal injury attorney nursing home abuse and neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious problems throughout the United States, affecting approximately 5 million people each year. Many victims are afraid or uncertain as to how they can stop the abuse, and it is not always easy for a victim’s family members to recognize that abuse is happening. If you have a loved one who is living in an elder care facility, it is important that you watch out for possible signs of abuse so that you can protect your loved one and take legal action.

Common Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse in Grand Rapids

Entrusting your family member’s care with another party is often a difficult decision to make, but in most circumstances, it is necessary if your loved one cannot live on his or her own anymore. Any of the following signs can possibly point to nursing home abuse or neglect:

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Grand Rapids personal injury attorney car accident

After a June car crash that took the life of an 18-year-old Grand Rapids, MI resident, questions regarding the legal consequences of serving alcohol to a minor have come to the forefront in the local community. In this case, the victim died in a single-car accident and was found to have a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level after drinking at a party at the home of one of his classmate’s parents. While charges in the case are still pending, it is important to understand what Michigan law says on this subject in case you or a loved one is involved in a similar drunk driving accident.

Social Host Liability in Michigan

Michigan law statutes are clear that a business, such as a bar, brewery, restaurant, or liquor store, that sells or serves alcohol to a minor or a visibly intoxicated person can be considered liable for injuries and other damages that person causes as a result of his or her intoxication. However, cases may become more complicated when the person who served or provided the alcohol was the host of a party in his or her own home, rather than the operator of a business.

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Kent County, MI personal injury attorney construction accident

Construction can be a dangerous job, involving heavy machinery, close contact with potential electrical and gas hazards, and risky work environments. Medical expenses and lost wages from on-the-job injuries can usually be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation benefits, but as a recent Michigan case illustrates, many construction site accidents involve third-party liability, which opens up another avenue for pursuing compensation in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.

Dangers for Michigan Road Construction Workers

In recent weeks, a road construction worker in East Michigan was struck and killed by a passing driver in a hit-and-run accident. This incident is one of several that have affected Michigan road construction employees over the years, and it is representative of the risk of injury due to a negligent party that many construction workers face. Road construction workers are particularly susceptible to drunk and distracted drivers, as well as those who fail to obey reduced speed limits in construction zones.

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Grand Rapids personal injury attorney car accident

As the winter holiday season approaches, many families will be taking to the roads to visit loved ones and join in annual celebrations. For parents with young children, one of the most important items they will have in their vehicles is the child safety seat on which they depend to keep their little ones safe in the event of a car accident. Unfortunately, however, national statistics reveal that four out of every five safety seats on the road are not being used correctly, leaving tiny occupants at risk for serious injury or death.

Seat Base Too Loose

Among the most common mistakes that parents make when installing child safety seats is not making the base of the seat tight enough. A good test to see if the base is installed properly is to grab the base on both sides—in the areas where the seat belt is looped through—and try to move it. The base should not budge more than one inch on either side or when being pulled forward. If the base moves, it is not installed correctly. Car seat safety inspectors recommend placing your knee on the base and putting your weight on it while tightening the seat belt. If you are installing an infant seat, use your elbow during this step. When the belt is as tight as it can go, it is critical to make sure the seat belt locks. This is another step many parents forget, which can have tragic consequences in the event of a collision with another vehicle.

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Grand Haven personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

In 2018, 134 Michigan motorcyclists lost their lives in fatal accidents, and over 2,000 more were injured. Compared to other vehicle occupants, motorcyclists are at greater risk of severe and catastrophic injuries because their vehicles provide very little physical protection, and unfortunately, Michigan’s auto insurance laws often make it more difficult for injured motorcyclists to obtain the compensation they need. If you have been in a motorcycle accident and suffered one of the following injuries, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options for recovery.

Motorcycle Injuries Can Be Severe

In a car accident, motorcyclists may suffer from both blunt force trauma from the initial collision and additional injuries after being thrown from their vehicles. Some of the most common injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include:

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Grand Rapids personal injury attorney car accident

A motor vehicle crash can happen in an instant and usually when you least expect it. However, its consequences can be long-lasting depending on the severity of the collision. If you are injured in a car accident in Michigan, the state’s laws provide you with an added layer of protection that many other states do not. This protection comes in the form of no-fault insurance, a mandatory policy included with the required car insurance coverage for all Michigan drivers. However, recent changes to the no-fault insurance law may create complications for vehicle collision victims and increase the need to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

What Is Michigan No-Fault Car Insurance? 

In Michigan, no-fault car insurance is required Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage included in a driver’s own car insurance policy. When a driver is injured in an automobile accident, PIP coverage will pay for many of the driver’s economic damages, regardless of who is at fault for the crash. Specifically, a PIP policy covers:

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Many personal injury claims filed following a car accident are based on negligence. If a driver is negligent, that means that he or she failed to exercise reasonable care toward other people on the roadways when operating their vehicle.

Proving negligence requires you to establish these four elements:

  • Duty – All motorists have a legal duty to other drivers and parties on the roadways to operate their vehicles in accordance with the law act responsibly behind the wheel.
  • Breach of duty – When a driver fails to adhere to traffic laws or drives recklessly, he or she has breached the duty owed to others.
  • Causation – The driver’s negligence must have directly and proximately caused the accident and the victim’s injuries and damages.
  • Damages – The victim must have suffered injuries and damages as a result of the accident

Common Forms of Driver Negligence

If you have been in a car accident that you did not cause, it is likely that the other driver broke one or more traffic laws. Some of the most common forms of driver negligence include:

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