Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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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Sometimes, when you are involved in an accident, the at-fault party is charged criminally for his actions. Most commonly, this typically involves a driver who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is a crime in most states. When the at-fault party is charged criminally, however, it does not guarantee that you, as the victim, get compensation. In fact, to receive damages for your injuries or property damage from the crash, you have to file a separate civil claim against the driver. Understanding this distinction between criminal and civil cases is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve.

According to a recent local news report, a pickup truck driver took a number of substances before he was involved in an accident that killed one teen passenger and severely injured another. The prosecutor stated that the driver picked up two teens and others before heading to a house party, where he consumed alcohol and “whippets,” which are inhalants that substantially affected his ability to drive and operate his vehicle. After the accident happened, the driver fled the scene on foot. Various witnesses corroborated that the driver was drinking at the party, and the prosecutor also obtained a video of the driver inhaling whippets before the crash. The driver pleaded no contest to several counts, including operating while intoxicated and causing death and failing to stop at the scene of the accident when at fault for causing death.

When an at-fault party is charged criminally, they are typically being prosecuted by the state. The result of the criminal case is typically a punishment handed down by the state, such as jail time or community service. The victim in the accident is not involved in the criminal case outside of potentially being included as evidence of the at-fault party’s wrongdoing.

shutterstock_1086785336-300x200A wrong-way driver on the interstate in Michigan caused a head-on collision at night last month that resulted in serious injuries to the other driver. According to a local news report discussing the accident, a 37-year-old woman was driving a minivan headed north in the southbound lanes of I-75 when she collided with another driver who was driving a Cadillac SUV. Both drivers were seriously injured in the crash, and the driver of the minivan was trapped in the mangled wreckage of her vehicle for several hours before being extracted and taken to the hospital by ambulance.

It is more common than one would think for a driver to enter a divided interstate highway heading the wrong direction, especially at night. Most freeway exits have “wrong way” or “do not enter” signs facing the surface roadway to prevent drivers from inadvertently driving up the exit and into oncoming traffic. While the signs prevent some drivers from entering the freeway into oncoming traffic and certainly save lives, there is often only a single sign where the exit meets the roadway, and if a driver misses that sign and fails to notice the yellow line on the right side of the road, then it may appear that they are on the right track. The dangers from these crashes increases at night or when visibility is reduced, as drivers may not notice other signals that they are driving into oncoming traffic as easily as when visibility is better.

Determining fault and liability in the event of a wrong-way accident is usually quite simple, as the driver who is driving the wrong way was clearly negligent and should be held accountable for the crash. Legally, an accident victim can easily demonstrate that a wrong-way driver was negligent by demonstrating negligence per se, which is a legal doctrine for proving negligence that is centuries-old. To prove negligence per se, a plaintiff simply needs to show that the defendant was violating a law or regulation that was designed to prevent the type of accident that occurred, and that the defendant’s violation of the law resulted in damages or injuries to the plaintiff. Because wrong-way traffic laws are codified in the Michigan traffic code, proving liability in a wrong-way accident should not be difficult, although certain obstacles may still apply.

shutterstock_1086785336-300x200According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, head-on and wrong-way accidents disproportionately represent fatal accidents on two-lane highways. While any accident can result in serious injuries, wrong-way accidents tend to have the most disastrous consequences. For example, a Detroit news report recently described a harrowing Michigan wrong-way accident.

Michigan State Police explained that they received a call regarding a wrong-way driver; however, two people were found dead by the time police arrived. This accident is the second major Michigan wrong-way accident this year. In early January, the other accident occurred when a 25-year-old driver traveling the wrong way crashed into a 33-year-old woman and her 6-year-old son. The wrong-way driver and the woman died in the accident, and her son was released nearly a month after the crash.

The Michigan Department of Transportation started testing technology to flash at wrong-way drivers due to the growing number of accidents involving wrong-way motorists. The technology will notify MDOT to alert police if the driver does not turn around. An MDOT spokesperson states that this technology will alert authorities faster than a passing motorist. They believe that quick notification is the key to preventing a catastrophic incident.

shutterstock_182286515-300x200Michigan is no stranger to freezing temperatures, snowy conditions, and icy weather. Familiarity with cold weather, however, does not mean that accidents because of weather conditions are less common. Because driving on a slick or snow-covered surface can be a challenge for even the most careful and safe of drivers, it is crucial to drive with care to prevent serious accidents from taking place.

According to a recent local news report, two people died and a third is experiencing life-threatening injuries after a multi-vehicle car accident in west Michigan. Local state troopers reported that a pickup truck was traveling west when the driver lost control, crossed the center line, and crashed into a Ford head-on. Police believe that ice on the road was the primary culprit for the accident. Both the driver of the pickup truck and the driver of the Ford were pronounced dead on the scene, and the passenger riding in the Ford was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

In 2019 alone, there were an estimated 182,000 crashes across the country that involved winter weather conditions. Unfortunately, Michigan is also no stranger to these accidents, despite its familiarity with icy weather. If you must drive during poor weather conditions, there are several things you can do to stay safe and to keep others you’re sharing the road with safe as well.

shutterstock_1721662828-300x169A roadside accident is a car accident that occurs on the shoulder, or side of the road. Roadside accidents usually happen when a driver pulls off onto the shoulder of the road and then is either struck themselves or their vehicle is struck, by another passing car or truck. However, these accidents also involve police officers, emergency responders, utility workers, tow truck drivers, and construction workers because they spend so much time on the side of the road. In fact, roadside accidents are what prompted lawmakers to pass the Michigan Move Over Law, which provides enhanced penalties to drivers who fail to change lanes as they approach emergency vehicles.

According to a local news report, one man was killed earlier this month when he was struck by a passing car while assessing damage from a minor accident. Evidently, the driver collided with a guardrail on I-75 at the off ramp to 8 Mile Road. The driver pulled his vehicle onto the shoulder, exited the car, and went to check on the damage.

As the driver was standing next to his car, another motorist crashed into the rear of the stopped vehicle. The force of the collision pushed the car into the driver, who was standing near the front of the vehicle. The driver of the stopped vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The other driver suffered minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

shutterstock_46373200-300x200As winter approaches, road conditions often get icier, and, because of this, roads become more dangerous. While individuals will often be more diligent on the road due to these conditions, it can also lead to more car accidents. And if someone is injured in one of these accidents, they may want to bring a lawsuit against the blamable party. Unfortunately, the defendants—the people sued in these accidents—will often try to escape responsibility and argue that they are not responsible for the incident because of the weather. However, experienced personal injury attorneys know how to defeat this line of argument and recover monetary compensation for their clients.

Recently, in West Michigan, icy conditions led to multiple crashes. In one accident, a pickup truck was headed southbound when it lost control, crossed the median and landed in the northbound lanes. A car then hit the truck, and both the driver of the pickup truck and a passenger in the car sustained injuries. In another accident, a crash near Grand Rapids involved eleven vehicles and numerous people had minor injuries.

When someone is injured in a car accident and wants to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party, they will often bring a negligence lawsuit. In order to prove the defendant was at fault in Michigan, the plaintiff—the individual bringing the lawsuit—must prove five elements: (1) the defendant had a duty to be safe and careful; (2) the defendant failed to meet that duty; (3) the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injury; (4) if not for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have been injured; (5) the plaintiff has suffered because of the accident.

shutterstock_760039594-300x169Following Michigan’s historical auto insurance reform, many consumers faced uncertainty about their coverage limits. If someone suffers injuries in a Michigan auto accident, the state’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage pays for the medical care, recovery, and rehabilitative treatment. Before the change, Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP) provided coverage to uninsured non-motorists, like bystanders, pedestrians, and passengers. The new insurance laws cap coverage at $250,000 for claims commencing July 2, 2020. However, uncertainty prevailed among uninsured non-motorists who suffered injuries between the law’s enactment on June 11, 2019, and the effective date of July 2, 2020.

Citing consumer protection concerns, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued an order that required MACP to provide unlimited PIP medical coverage to those who suffered injuries before the July 2020 effective date. According to a recent report, the agency that administers the MACP filed a lawsuit asking the Court to overturn the order. After the Court ruled to uphold the order, the The Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF) filed an appeal. However, the appeal was dropped after DIFS reached a settlement that allows unlimited PIP coverage for uninsured vehicle occupants and pedestrians who suffered injuries before the July 2020 implementation. The DIFS director explained that a premature implementation could have seriously affected the livelihood of many Michiganders.

Under the new PIP coverage options, drivers must choose the coverage that pays for medical care if they are in an accident. In return, the law requires insurance companies to reduce the PIP medical portion of premiums based on the policyholder’s choice. There are six levels available, including unlimited coverage, up to $500,00 in coverage, up to $250,000 in coverage, up to $250,000 in coverage with PIP medical exclusions, up to $50,000 in coverage, and PIP medical opt-out.

shutterstock_1187007133-300x194As Michigan’s auto insurance laws take effect, many accident victims are already facing the consequences of the drastic changes. The new rules are Part II of the state’s auto insurance overhaul. The first facet of the changes took place last year and provided Michigan drivers with an option of how much no-fault medical coverage they must purchase with their auto insurance policy. Before the overhaul, the law required Michigan motorists to purchase unlimited, lifetime coverage.

The most critical change impacts those receiving care at rehabilitation clinics and from other providers who treat accident victims. The changes will require these centers and providers to cut their prices by 45%. The reductions will likely impact the nearly 7,000 Michigan accident victims who are receiving treatment paid for by their auto insurance policies. For instance, as described in a recent news report, a case manager who handles the care of accident victims recently described how the changes are already impacting her clients.

The woman’s client has quadriplegia and a traumatic brain injury from a car accident. He is unable to engage in typical daily activities without assistance. The man requires assistance leaving his bed, using the restroom and getting food and water. Unfortunately, he is dependent on his caregivers, previously paid for by his insurance company, to do any of these necessary tasks. The recent changes forced the case manager’s company out of business, which has left him without any care. The case manager frantically tried to arrange care for him, but without family or friends, she was forced to take him to a hospital.

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