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shutterstock_400863919-300x200We often think of cars and other road vehicles as high-risk machines that should be operated safely at all times. But boats and other marine craft, even those used for recreation, can bring about accidents, injury, and even death when operated in an unsafe manner.

According to a recent article, a woman experienced serious leg injuries in an accident on Lake Michigan. The woman was on an inflatable raft when a large boat reversed and ran over the device, injuring the woman and another individual. Cell phone footage of the accident shows that she and the other person were sucked under the boat. The severity of the injuries necessitated the amputation of both of her feet. In the days after the amputation the woman expressed shock and difficulty adjusting, imploring boaters to use more caution on busy recreational lakes and waters.

Damages for Serious Injuries in Michigan

Just like careless drivers in car accidents, negligent boat operators can be held liable for a victim’s injuries in civil court. Boat operators who fail to use reasonable care in operating their boats or are under the influence of drugs and alcohol are likely to be found negligent by a jury, which means they may owe you for your economic and emotional damages. Injuries, particularly injuries that result in scarring and disfigurement, can be financially compensated for in court through both types of damages award. And when video footage of the accident is available, as in the recent accident, victims may be able to more easily prove the cause of their harms.

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shutterstock_84041677-300x200Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a previous amendment to Michigan’s insurance laws was unconstitutional, reversing the amendment in a way that is now favorable to individual policy holders across the state. The ruling comes as a victory for victims of car crashes that find themselves in need of money for medical care and that might normally face uphill battles in getting their insurance companies to compensate them for their care.

In 2019, a significant change to Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law made it so that many insurance companies could take reimbursement away from injured Michiganders after their accidents occurred. Individuals that had previously paid for lifetime medical care in their insurance policies often saw their benefits slashed when they then became victims in a traffic collision and needed more intense medical care. As a result, these same victims often lost access to critical care when they needed it the most.

Late last month, however, a three-judge panel on the Michigan Court of Appeals decided that changing the terms of patients’ coverage after their accidents violated the Michigan constitution. Now, because of the ruling, insurance companies are unable to cut victims’ coverage after they are involved in any kind of car accident. If a Michigan driver, then, has enrolled in coverage that provides for full-time care and that driver then becomes the victim of an accident, their coverage will stay in place after the accident occurs.

shutterstock_673012249-300x206According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, over 50 percent of U.S. traffic deaths happen when a driver crosses the center line or edge of a roadway. Crossing the center line can result in a head-on, or frontal, collision, which accounted for 58 percent of passenger vehicle deaths in 2020, according to reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

These statistics are grim for passenger cars, but compound when one considers the added risk motorcyclists experience in the event of head-on collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than passenger car occupants due to their size and exposure.

Deadly Michigan Motorcycle Accident

According to a recent article, a Michigan man died after his motorcycle collided in a head-on crash with a van. Early investigations report that the van crossed the center line of the highway and crashed into the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was ejected and died at the scene. A passenger also riding on the motorcycle was also ejected and suffered critical injuries and hospitalization. Whether or not the victims wore helmets is unclear. Witnesses claim the driver of the van was considerably over the center line, so much so that another motorcycle was almost struck. The driver of the van showed signs of intoxication and had open intoxicants in his vehicle, and an investigation is pending.

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shutterstock_744979924-300x200Not all Michigan crashes are accidents, and drunk driving incidents are a prime example of preventable crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, over 30 people in the nation die in a drunk-driving accident. Recent statistics indicate that nearly 11,700 people were killed in an alcohol-related traffic accident in 2020- a 14% increase from the previous reporting year.

Alcohol is a substance that can significantly reduce a person’s brain function, which can lead to cognitive impairment and difficulties with reasoning and coordination. In essence, alcohol impairs all the abilities related to safely operating a vehicle. After consumption, alcohol passes into the bloodstream and metabolizes in the liver. The blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured by the amount of alcohol in a certain amount of blood.

In most states, including Michigan, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .08. However, crash data indicates that many accidents involve situations where the impaired driver had a BAC of .01 to .07 g/dl. Even a BAC of .02 begins to affect a driver’s cognitive ability.

shutterstock_676181746-300x200Every day, there is a wide range of different vehicles being driven by individuals, including what are known as off-road vehicles. Off-Road Vehicles, or ORVs, are motor-driven recreational vehicles that are capable of cross-country travel and that are meant to be used off-road or on dirt roads. ORVs are not meant to be driven on paved roads or highways. These vehicles are capable of traveling on land, snow, ice, marsh, and other landscapes. ORVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), and other similar vehicles. ORVs can have different sizes depending on the type of vehicle. For example, ATVs can weigh more than 600 pounds, in addition to being able to reach speeds of 65 mph or more.

In a recent news article, a 17-year-old Greenville resident passed away after an ORV accident in Otisco Township. According to the report, the 17-year-old driver and an 18-year-old passenger were riding in the ORV when the vehicle flipped over. The 17-year-old driver died in the crash, while the 18-year-old passenger was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Initial reports suggest that speed and recklessness were likely factors in the accident, and neither individual wore a helmet at the time of the accident.

In the state of Michigan, ORV license and trail permits are valid for one year, which begins April 1 and ends March 31 of the following year. The Michigan state government website includes information about permit requirements and trail etiquette, in addition to reminding people that operators under the age of 16 in Michigan are required to take an approved ORV education course.

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shutterstock_628251-300x200In action-packed movies and action-packed tv shows, it is not uncommon to see a scene involving speeding vehicles crashing into objects that result in the vehicle erupting into flames. When these types of crashes happen in the real world and involve a vehicle catching fire, these crashes can be especially devastating for those involved and even for those who witness the fiery crash. According to research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 212,500 vehicle fires caused 560 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries; and $1.9 billion in direct property damage in the US during 2018.” The causes of vehicle crashes that involve fires are not always easily identifiable or immediately clear and take some time to be investigated properly.

A recent news article revealed the details of a tragic accident that occurred during an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan. A 40-year-old male died while driving a semi-truck powered by jet engines 300 mph down a runway as part of a performance. A video shows him driving past an explosion on the runway when his jet-propelled truck catches fire and appears to roll. The crash took place during the show’s pyrotechnic portion when planned explosions were going off. The crash is still under investigation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of vehicle fires were mechanical failures or malfunctions and electrical failures or malfunctions. The association stresses the importance of regular maintenance on vehicles to prevent vehicle fires. When vehicle crashes include fires, family members of accident victims may wonder how this impacts their ability to recover damages. One may be able to bring a product liability suit against the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer of a vehicle can be held liable for defective trucks they design when it is proven that the vehicle posed a reasonable risk of harm, that a safer version of the vehicle could have been manufactured, and the defect was a direct cause of the injuries sustained. In addition to the possibility of product liability suits, victims and the loved ones of those killed in these types of accidents should consult with an experienced lawyer who can help determine which type of civil lawsuit may be viable.

shutterstock_552711124-300x200Auto-pedestrian accidents in Michigan present a serious danger to commuters trying to navigate our cities on foot. The aging roadway infrastructure in our state often lacks adequate safety features to allow pedestrians to safely cross roads and highways. A pedestrian was recently killed when she was hit while attempting to cross the street in Detroit in May 2022. A recently published local news report discusses the accident and the consequences being faced by the driver of the vehicle involved.

According to the facts discussed in the news report, the victim, a 32-year-old Detroit woman, was attempting to cross the intersection at Livernois and Dragoon street when she was struck in the median by a truck. The driver of the truck fled the scene after the crash, and the woman was pronounced dead by authorities after they arrived on the scene. Although the driver of the truck fled the scene of the crash, the 24-year-old Detroit man later turned himself in and was placed under arrest for his role in the fatal crash. According to the article, the man was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash, and reckless driving that caused death.

Although the driver of the truck may face serious criminal consequences for his role in the victim’s death, the family of the victim may need to pursue a civil claim against the driver to receive financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. Drivers on Michigan roads owe other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians a basic duty of care to prevent intentional or negligent injury by the driver’s conduct. When a driver violates that duty by driving negligently or violating traffic laws in the process of causing an accident, they can be held accountable for the consequences of the crash.

shutterstock_1384642727-300x200Motorcyclists in Michigan should always wear protective gear and use as much caution as possible to avoid a collision. According to one study, motorcycle accidents are four times more likely to result in a serious injury or death when compared to automobile collisions. Even when motorcyclists do everything right and utilize the best precautions, tragic accidents can occur when other drivers are negligent. A local news article discusses a Michigan collision that resulted in the deaths of two bikers earlier this month.

According to the facts discussed in the news report, the two motorcyclists were stopped at an intersection waiting to make a left-hand turn when they were struck by another driver from the back. The bikers were ejected from their bikes, and by the time emergency crews arrived on the scene birth of the motorcyclists were dead. The driver of the car that crashed into the stationary bikers remained at the scene and was questioned by law enforcement officers. According to the article, the crash is still under investigation.

Inattentive drivers do not only place motorcyclists at risk. Accidents caused by inattentive drivers injure or kill thousands of Michiganders each year. If a driver is negligent and causes an accident, they may be subject to criminal, administrative, as well as civil liability for the crash. Criminal charges are not uncommon after a serious crash, negligent drivers can be charged with felony assault or even homicide after a serious crash. Administratively, the state of Michigan may suspend or revoke a dangerous driver’s license until they can demonstrate the ability to drive safely.

shutterstock_620008691-300x225Michigan roads can be dangerous under any conditions, with many drivers failing to pay enough attention to the road, speeding, following too closely, or operating their vehicles while impaired. Accidents that involve semi-trucks and other large vehicles are even more dangerous. Although truck drivers must be licensed and trained to safely operate their vehicles, the pressures and stress involved with hours of driving can lead to lapses in judgment. A local news report discusses a recent accident involving two semi-trucks and a car, which ended in tragedy.

According to the recently published article, the crash happened on April 28 on Interstate 94 near Albion township. It appears that a semi-truck driver was following a car too closely, and when the car started braking to avoid colliding with another semi-truck in front of it, the semi in the rear crashed into the car. After the initial collision, the car was crushed into the other semi-truck and sandwiched between the two large vehicles. When police and EMTs arrived on the scene, the only occupant in the car was pronounced dead, and one of the semi-truck drivers was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Victims of accidents involving semi-trucks or other large vehicles may face different challenges in seeking compensation for their losses. Semi-truck drivers have an increased duty to the public to operate their vehicles safely, and state and federal regulations mandate acceptable and unacceptable driving practices. An accident victim needs to know exactly what regulations applied to the trucker involved in the crash and should be able to determine if any safety regulations were violated before the accident occurred. If an accident victim can demonstrate that a truck driver was not complying with safety regulations or was in violation of a traffic law before an accident occurs, then proving the truck driver’s negligence and holding them accountable becomes much easier.

shutterstock_667288234-300x200Head on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents for several reasons. One of the reasons why head on collisions are so dangerous is that they often involve high speeds, as these accidents typically occur on undivided highways or other roads that have higher speed limits. Another reason why head on collisions often result in such serious injuries is that the impact in these accidents is direct, meaning a vehicle goes from traveling full speed to a complete stop in a split second. The results of a head on accident are often fatal, and even when motorists survive, they may suffer lifelong debilitating injuries.

According to a recent news source, a head on collision in Cheboygan County claimed the life of one Michigan man. The accident occurred on M-68 near the M-33 junction in Koehler Township at approximately 5:25 in the morning. Evidently, the driver of a Ford pickup truck was heading eastbound on M-68 when he suddenly lost control of the vehicle. The truck crossed over the center median and into oncoming traffic, at which point it collided with an oncoming car, driven by a 54-year-old man from Onaway. Emergency responders came to the scene and determined that driver of the car had died from the injuries he sustained in the accident. The driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries. Emergency responders were able to treat him on the scene, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Fault in Michigan Head On Accidents

Head on accidents don’t just happen; they are almost always caused by driver negligence. In the case discussed above, there is no indication of what caused the driver of the pickup truck to lose control and cross into oncoming traffic. While the official investigation is still underway, it is likely that the driver was somehow negligent.

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