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2011 August Archive

Michigan No-Fault Insurance Series, Part I: The Basics of Michigan No-Fault

By Lipton Law on August 30, 2011 - No comments

In an effort to help Michiganders understand no-fault benefits, we will be posting a 5-part blog series in which we will be providing valuable information concerning no-fault insurance basics, benefits, denials, and limits. Today’s blog discusses the basics of no-fault insurance claims in Michigan.

Michigan law requires motor vehicle drivers to carry no-fault auto insurance. This insurance helps pay for the costs of an accident, such as medical bills and lost wages, that result from any injuries suffered in the accident. The required no-fault coverage, however, does not cover vehicle damage. Drivers who want or need additional coverage to repair or replace a damaged vehicle need to purchase comprehensive and/or collision coverage in addition to the required no-fault insurance.

Insurance companies in Michigan offer several alternatives for drivers to choose from when purchasing coverage above the no-fault requirement. For instance, drivers may purchase damage insurance to cover repairs and replacements after a crash, known as “collision” coverage, or damage caused by deer, weather, tree limbs, or other events, known as “comprehensive” coverage. Drivers can also purchase limited property damage liability insurance to cover them in the case a “mini-tort” suit for damage, and uninsured motorist insurance to cover costs in case the other driver in a crash has decided to risk driving without insurance.

Michigan no-fault insurance covers certain basics, but not others. If you need help dealing with a no-fault auto insurance claim, the experienced no-fault insurance claims attorneys in Southfield at Lipton Law can help. For a free consultation, call us today at 248-557-1688.


Understanding Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

By Lipton Law on August 23, 2011 - No comments

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results from a blow to the head. A car accident, a slip-and-fall, a workplace accident, or any other situation in which a person’s head hits or is hit by another object can cause a concussion. Concussions that are not diagnosed and treated properly are particularly dangerous since they can result in permanent brain damage. Even concussions that are treated properly can take several months to heal and leave a person with long-term health effects, particularly if the concussion is severe.

Everyone experiences the symptoms of a concussion differently. Some common symptoms include:

  • Headache or pain in the head, jaw, neck, or shoulders
  • Altered consciousness – drowsy, confused, difficult to wake up, unconscious
  • Confusion, inability to “think straight,” or an inability to remember things immediately before or after the concussion
  • Nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting
  • Changes in pupil sizes, double vision, or unusual eye movements
  • Difficulty walking or persistent weakness on one side of the body
  • Convulsions or seizures

If a concussion is suspected, the person should see a physician as soon as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency services immediately if the person is experiencing seizures, cannot stay conscious, has muscle weakness or walking problems, or is vomiting repeatedly.

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can cause permanent health problems. If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion in an accident, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Michigan personal injury attorneys at Lipton Law to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call us today at 248-557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.


Michigan Dram Shop Law May Hold Taverns Responsible in an Accident

By Lipton Law on August 22, 2011 - No comments

When a driver chooses to drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and injures someone else as a result, it’s normal to look into the behavior of the driver who caused the crash. However, it’s also important to figure out who else might be responsible for part or all of the accident. Michigan’s dram shop laws allow those who are injured in drunk driving accidents to hold responsible the places that sold the alcohol to the drunk driver in certain situations.

“Dram shop” laws are called as such because “dram shop” used to be a catch-all term for bars, taverns, and any other establishment that sold alcohol to patrons. The law still applies to places that serve alcoholic beverages, including bars and restaurants. In Michigan, a shop that sells alcohol to a minor or to a visibly intoxicated person may be liable if the minor or intoxicated person then causes harm to someone else, such as in car accident. In order to hold a seller of alcohol responsible, however, the injured person must demonstrate to the court that selling or giving the alcohol to the minor or intoxicated person would foreseeably result in an injury or fatal accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, contact the experienced Michigan drunk driver accident victim attorneys at Lipton Law. We will examine the specifics of your case carefully and help you understand your legal rights and options, so you can make an informed choice that protects your legal rights. To learn more, call us today at 248-557-1688.


Blood Drive Held by Red Cross in Memory of Bicyclist Killed in Canton

By Lipton Law on August 18, 2011 - No comments

A mother of four recently lost her life in a bicycle accident as she walked her bike across Haggerty Road in Canton. Now, the American Red Cross plans to hold a blood drive in her memory, according to an article in Hometown Life.

The blood drive is scheduled for August 19, from 1 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., at Salem High School. Donors may stop by to donate blood, and collection boxes will also be available for those who want to bring in donations for the family. Children’s products, including diapers, baby wipes, snacks, and money or gift cards for clothing are all welcome.

Friends of the family will be gathering donations for the late woman’s husband and her four children, who currently range in age from four months to four years. Friends say they remember the woman as being a caring and generous person, who in fact had taken a batch of homemade cookies to Canton’s firefighters on the day the fatal Michigan bike accident occurred.

The blood drive also provides an opportunity for those who want to help donate to the Plymouth-Canton high school band program. The band has an arrangement with the Red Cross in which, if the Red Cross collects at least 65 pints of blood at the blood drive, the band will receive $1,000 towards its trip to New York this fall to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Bicycle and pedestrian accidents claim too many lives in Michigan each year, and those who survive often face life-changing injuries and related challenges. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident due to negligence, please don’t hesitate to call 248-557-1688 and speak with the experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers at Lipton Law. The call is free and confidential.


Bedside Ultrasounds May Reduce the Risk of Misdiagnosis

By Lipton Law on August 16, 2011 - No comments

When examining a patient in an emergency room, hospital room, or doctor’s office, physicians have used certain tools for years, including the stethoscope, tongue depressors, and blood pressure cuffs. Soon, the ultrasound may join the basic physical exam toolkit, according to a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive procedure that bounces sound waves off the body’s interior tissues and uses the feedback to create an image. Originally, ultrasounds were performed by radiologists and their staff, who were trained in taking X-rays and similar images of the body. Recently, however, ultrasound technology has become cheaper, more efficient, and more portable. These innovations make ultrasound technology an option for bedside use.

Ultrasound is already used at the bedside in some procedures, including thoracentesis and lumbar punctures, where it’s important to see precisely where in the body medical instruments are being inserted. However, rules and procedures for using ultrasounds at the bedside have not yet been developed. Eventually, researchers hope that ultrasound use will help reduce the chances of an incorrect or delayed diagnosis causing harm to a patient.

Thousands of citizens in the United States suffer the consequences of a delayed or incorrect diagnosis for their specific medical condition each year. The results can be permanently damaging or even fatal. If you or someone you love has suffered due to a medical misdiagnosis, the experienced Michigan medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Lipton Law may be able to help. Call us today at 248-557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.


Documentary Hot Coffee Analyzes McDonald’s Infamous Lawsuit

By Lipton Law on August 15, 2011 - No comments

Most of us are familiar with the story about the woman who sued McDonald’s after hot coffee spilled on her, causing severe burn injuries. It is often cited as a perfect example of what is wrong with the legal system of our country, in which an everyday citizen can manipulate the system for personal gain. But do we know the whole story?

Hot Coffee, a new documentary film, analyzes the facts of the situation for a new perspective. The movie investigates what exactly happened, in addition to why and how the lawsuit was given such a large amount of attention by the media, as well as how that effort was funded, by whom, and why. Based upon the film’s presentation of the true facts, viewers can reach their own conclusions regarding who the hot coffee incident truly profited.

The goal of the movie is to assist viewers in understanding how the opinion of the public about the nation’s legal justice system has been shaped by both corporations and the media. Several public relations campaigns that were funded by tobacco, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies have resulted in the public believing many false facts to be true. For instance, that the court system needs to be reformed since it is out of control, and that a large verdict for a plaintiff will impact the pocketbooks of jurors. As a result, the system is not unbiased. Hot Coffee argues that the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit and others similar to it were utilized to promote tort reform, as well as putting caps on medical malpractice claims while helping companies insist upon closed-door arbitration. The film attempts to fairly present the case’s facts and detail the impact it has had on society.

Hot Coffee was produced and directed by Susan Saladoff, who spent over 25 years practicing law. Saladoff represented injured victims who had been harmed due to corporate and individual negligence.

Please visit http://www.facebook.com/hotcoffeethemovie or http://hotcoffeethemovie.com/ to learn more. You can also view the trailer for the film below:


Retired Judges Return to the Bench in Jackson County

By Lipton Law on August 11, 2011 - No comments

Two retired judges have returned to the courtroom in Jackson County to help handle the increase in cases left behind by the recent departure of Judge Chad Schmucker, who left to become the state’s court administrator, according to a recent article in The Jackson Citizen-Patriot. The judges are handling both criminal cases and civil cases, such as Michigan medical malpractice disputes.

Circuit Judge Edward Grant, who retired in 2007, returned to the bench in a vacant courtroom on the fifth floor of the county courthouse to oversee a complex criminal case. A few weeks later, Circuit Judge Charles Nelson presided in the same courtroom over a complicated medical malpractice case, which was expected to take at least a week to conclude. Judge Nelson retired in 2006.

By handling cases as needed, Judge Grant and Judge Nelson are helping to take the pressure off the county’s other Circuit Court judges, who had shared out the extra work among them. The governor is expected to appoint a judge to fill the vacancy permanently, but he has not yet made a decision. At least 10 local attorneys have applied for the position.

Since the judge in a personal injury or similar court case controls the courtroom and makes major decisions relating to evidence, objections, and procedure, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Michigan who understands the trial process and isn’t afraid to build a strong case at trial if a settlement cannot be reached. At Lipton Law, we investigate each client’s case and have the experience to go to trial if necessary. To learn more about your rights after an injury, please call Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688 for a free consultation.


Bicycle Accident Claims the Life of Orion Township Man

By Lipton Law on August 8, 2011 - No comments

A bicyclist from Orion Township lost his life recently after he was hit by a car traveling on Giddings Road, according to a recent article in The Detroit Free Press.

The man was riding his bike at about 5:40 p.m. on a weekday when the car struck him. Both the bicyclist and the car were traveling on the right side of the road and going in the same direction. The driver, who stopped at the scene of the Michigan bicycle accident, told police that he never even saw the bicyclist before the collision occurred. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt, but he suffered no injuries in the crash. He is a resident of Clio Township.

Oakland County police and other rescue workers rushed to the scene, where the injured bicyclist was placed in an ambulance and taken to Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on his arrival at the hospital. He was 58-years-old.

The bike crash is under investigation by the police. Although they have not stated any conclusions about what caused the accident or how it occurred, they did mention that they did not believe alcohol was a role in the crash.

Bicyclists in Michigan have the legal right to ride on public roads, as long as they obey the same traffic rules that motor vehicles must follow. Even though they have a right to use roads, however, bicyclists are at a distinct disadvantage in a collision with a vehicle. Their light weight and extreme exposure make them more likely to be seriously injured if a car strikes them.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced bicycle accident lawyers in Michigan at Lipton Law. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 248-557-1688.


MIOSHA Slow to Investigate After Construction Worker Suffers Injuries

By Lipton Law on August 4, 2011 - No comments

Recently, a construction worker was injured on the job when he became pinned between two steel beams at the construction surrounding the interchange between Interstate 94 and Interstate 69 in Port Huron, according to a recent article in The Times-Herald.

The worker was part of a crew setting steel beams for the new Black River Bridge when the accident occurred. Rescue workers from the Port Huron Township Fire Department helped to free the man and transported him to Port Huron Hospital to be treated for his injuries. The hospital has not yet provided an update on his condition.

After a construction site accident, it’s common for both the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) to investigate in order to ensure that employers are meeting state and federal safety requirements to protect workers. Although several days have passed since this accident, however, MIOSHA has not yet opened a formal investigation of the accident. A spokesperson for MIOSHA told reporters that the agency is aware of the workplace accident but did not comment on the lack of investigation, leaving Michiganders to wonder if the agency is overworked, lacks the resources to investigate, or has another reason for the delay.

Workers in Michigan injured on the job are often entitled to workers’ compensation payments to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the workplace accident. If you are having difficulty collecting the insurance payments to which you are legally entitled to, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Michigan benefits claims attorneys at Lipton Law. For a free consultation, call us today at 248-557-1688