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2011 October Archive

Roundabouts Improve Intersection Safety, but Crashes May Still Occur

By Lipton Law on October 31, 2011 - No comments

Roundabout Car AccidentsRecently, roundabouts have replaced traditional road intersections in many locations in Michigan. Commonly used in Europe, roundabouts keep traffic moving and reduce the risk of accidents by guiding traffic in a circle that moves around and through the intersection, rather than forcing drivers to stop for a light or a signal.

Roundabouts can help reduce the number of serious accidents at intersections both by keeping all the traffic moving in the same direction and by reducing traffic speeds, making it less likely that a high-speed vehicle will cause a crash, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). However, accidents can still occur in roundabouts, so it’s wise to understand the most likely ways crashes can occur. By keeping an eye out for common roundabout accident causes, you can help protect yourself from an accident.

Crashes are more common in multi-lane roundabouts than in single-lane ones, according to the IIHS. The most common types of crashes involve a single car hitting the center island, which is often caused by entering the roundabout too fast. Vehicles rear-ending or side-swiping one another while entering or leaving a roundabout were also common. Even these crashes, however, did not tend to cause as many serious injuries as crashes at traditional intersections.

After a Michigan car accident, you may feel overwhelmed by the requirements of your no-fault insurance and your need to find out what happened. At Lipton Law, our experienced Southfield car accident attorneys can help you handle these and other issues so that you can focus on recovery. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (248)557-1688.


Safe Costume Design Can Help You Enjoy a Happy, Injury-Free Halloween

By Lipton Law on October 28, 2011 - No comments

Costume parties and costume contests are a big part of Halloween fun for adults and children alike. When a costume, accessory, mask, or other dress-up item is defective or dangerous, however, it can cause serious injuries and turn your Halloween fun into a true horror story. Help protect yourself and those you love from injury by looking over your costume with these safety tips, courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Wear flame-resistant materials. Pre-made costumes should state on the label that they are “flame-resistant.” If you make your costume at home, choose flame-resistant materials like polyester or nylon; many fabrics sold in fabric stores are also marked “flame-resistant.”
  • Brighten up your costume with bright materials or reflective strips, especially if you plan to be outdoors at night. Reflective strips can be added creatively to many costumes so that they don’t intrude but can still catch the light so that drivers and others can see you.
  • Choose makeup, not masks. Masks can make it difficult for you to see, hear, or otherwise sense danger. Makeup, hats, and wigs are less likely to obscure your vision. When choosing makeup, test it on the inside of your arm before putting it on your face to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
  • Avoid decorative contact lenses unless you have had them fitted by an eye care professional.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Michigan product liability lawyers at Lipton Law. We will examine the details of your case carefully and help you hold any negligent parties accountable for their actions. To learn more, call us today at (248)557-1688 for a free and confidential case evaluation.


Distracted Driving Increases Crash Risks, But Does Banning Cell Phone Use Help?

By Lipton Law on October 24, 2011 - No comments

Ample evidence exists that distracted driving increases the risk of a crash. A study performed at the University of Utah, for example, found that texting while driving decreases a driver’s ability to respond to emergencies as much as if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent.

In response to this and other information about texting and cell phone use while driving, many states (including Michigan) have banned texting while driving, and several Michigan counties prohibit handheld cell phone use while driving. However, some research indicates that bans do not help decrease the risks of distracted driving.

Only one study has specifically examined whether texting bans help decrease distracted driving accidents. The study, which focused on handheld cell phone use among commercial truck drivers, found that drivers were more likely to get into an accident in areas where handheld cell phone use was against the law. Researchers believe that the risk may increase if drivers feel they need to hide their cell phone use while driving in order to avoid a ticket.

Researchers stress the need for caution when considering these results, however, since they come from only one study that focused on professional drivers. More research is needed to determine the best way to reduce distracted driving and the crashes it can cause.

Car accidents can cause serious injuries. If you’ve been injured in a car crash and need help dealing with your Michigan no-fault insurance or handling other issues related to your accident, the experienced car accident lawyers in Michigan at Lipton Law can help. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.


National Fire Prevention Week Focuses on Preventing Burn Injuries

By Lipton Law on October 19, 2011 - No comments

This year, National Fire Prevention Week was held between October 9 and 15, and agencies like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) participated in activities to help people protect themselves and their children from burn injuries. Severe injuries and deaths caused by burns remains a risk for young children especially, who often do not understand the risks involved in handling hot objects or being near sources of heat or flame.

According to Safe Kids USA, approximately 116,000 children in the U.S. are treated for burn injuries each year and nearly 500 children are killed. Young children are more likely to suffer scalding burns from hot liquids or steam, while older children are more likely to suffer burns from direct contact with a hot object, such as a lit firework or a heating unit.

Fireworks are a particular source of danger for children of all ages. In 2006, for instance, 2,304 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for burns related to fireworks like firecrackers and sparklers. Hot tap water and cigarette lighters are also involved in many burn injuries, especially in younger children. All U.S. states and the federal government now have regulations in place to govern how hot hot water in a water heater is allowed to get in order to help reduce the risk of burns from hot tap water, and the CPSC has created regulations for child-resistant lighters.

Burn injuries are notoriously painful, and they often require intensive specialized care in order to heal properly. If you or someone you love has been burned by a defective consumer product, the experienced Southfield product liability attorneys at Lipton Law can help. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.


Tips for Pedestrian Safety around Large Trucks

By Lipton Law on October 14, 2011 - No comments

In Metro Detroit and other cities, many people walk in order to get where they’re going. City streets are also frequently used by semi trucks and other large trucks making deliveries. Pedestrian-truck crashes can cause serious injury because pedestrians are difficult for a truck driver to see and have no protection against the damage a crash can cause.

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers the following tips for pedestrians on staying safe around large trucks:

Pay attention to walkways. Always use sidewalks and crosswalks when they are available, but be ready to move out of the way if you see a large truck, especially at an intersection. Semi trucks need more space than a passenger car in order to maneuver, and they may also ride up onto a sidewalk or curb while making a right turn. Be prepared to move if a large truck needs to get through.

Never assume a truck will stop. Large trucks need significantly more distance to stop than passenger vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles. Even if a truck driver sees you crossing the street, he or she may not be able to stop the truck in time to avoid hitting you. Let large trucks pass before you cross a street.

Take extra care around wide loads. Extra-wide or extra-long loads make a driver less likely to see you. They also need even more space to stop, back up and turn than an ordinary semi. If you see a wide load, stay well away from the truck to avoid a collision.

Large truck accidents can cause serious injury, especially to pedestrians. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident and need help, call the experienced Michigan truck accident attorneys at Lipton Law today. We can help you protect your legal rights and seek compensation from insurance companies and other parties. For a free consultation, call us today at 248-557-1688.


Does Your Car Insurance Policy Give You the Right Coverage?

By Lipton Law on October 12, 2011 - No comments

Most Michigan car accident costs are covered by the no-fault insurance policies of those involved in the crash. Since no-fault insurance plays such a big role in these all-too-common accidents, it’s important to know whether or not you have sufficient coverage for your needs.

Michigan no-fault insurance law requires drivers to carry at least $20,000 in insurance benefits. These benefits cover the costs of an accident, including medical bills. Michigan law also limits the kind of car accident cases that may be filed in court to the most serious cases of permanent disfigurement, disability, or death.

No-fault insurance benefits typically cover three major categories: personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, property damage protection, and residual liability protection, a “catch-all” that protects drivers against being sued by others involved in the accident. Although coverage in case of an accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver isn’t always included in an automobile insurance policy, it’s wise to consider adding such coverage, especially if you plan to drive in states other than Michigan where auto insurance may not be required.

To help Michigan drivers understand their auto insurance policies and get the coverage they need, experienced Southfield no-fault insurance attorney Jody Lipton is offering a free class at the Community House in Birmingham. The class, called “Crash Course,” will be held on October 18 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, or for a free consultation after a Michigan car accident, contact Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688.


MIOSHA Offers Tips for Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents

By Lipton Law on October 10, 2011 - No comments

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is in charge of overseeing safety in workplaces and enforcing safety standards. According to MIOSHA, one of the largest hazards in any Michigan manufacturing workplace comes from dangerous conditions that may cause a slip and fall accident.

Although MIOSHA offers the following tips for workplace safety, these tips for avoiding a slip and fall accident can apply to all businesses, homes and pedestrians navigating Michigan streets, sidewalks and parking lots.

To help protect you from injury in a slip and fall, MIOSHA offers the following tips:

  • Keep floors, walkways and outdoor sidewalks free of litter and debris. Notify owners or custodians about litter and debris in businesses or public places.
  • Keep walking surfaces level. In the home, fix sagging or uneven floors promptly to help prevent tripping. Sidewalks damaged by frost or tree roots should also be fixed.
  • Keep walkways clean and dry as much as possible and notify property owners if a spill or ice and snow are making walkways treacherous.
  • If you have to cross an area that may be slippery, take short, careful steps. Try to step straight down rather than sliding or shuffling your feet.
  • If you fall, try to let your body go limp and keep your head and arms tucked in. If possible, roll or slide with the fall.

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injury and can be caused by hazards that you may not see until you fall. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced Michigan slip and fall injury attorneys at Lipton Law. Call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free consultation.


Despite Recalls, Drop-Side Cribs Still Sold in Some Metro Detroit Stores

By Lipton Law on October 6, 2011 - No comments

After several reports of injury and 32 deaths caused by drop-side cribs since 2000, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has banned the sale of drop-side cribs in the United States. The agency also passed tough new crib safety regulations. Despite the ban on sales, however, some people in Metro Detroit are still offering drop-side cribs, according to a recent news report from WXYZ.

The CPSC regulations that ban drop-side crib sales don’t just affect stores and businesses, they also ban individual owners from selling these cribs. A quick search of the popular Internet classified ads site Craigslist, however, revealed over a dozen ads offering drop-side cribs for sale in Metro Detroit cities including Plymouth, Romeo, Royal Oak and Westland.

WXYZ notified the sellers who had posted the Craigslist ads that it was now illegal to sell the cribs, which surprised many of them. Most of the sellers were parents whose children had outgrown the drop-side cribs and did not realize it was now illegal to sell the cribs. Some parents were frustrated that the CPSC advised throwing away the cribs, which are often expensive, rather than selling or donating them.

Product recalls that target dangerous children’s products can be especially frightening for a parent. If your child has been injured by a recalled toy or other product, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Southfield product recall attorneys at Lipton Law. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free consultation.


Risk of Listeria Contamination Leads to Michigan Salmon Recall

By Lipton Law on October 4, 2011 - No comments

Vita Food Products, Inc., a distributor of various food products, recently issued a recall of 8,088 packages of ready-to-eat salmon sold in Meijer stores throughout Michigan. The salmon has been recalled due to a risk of contamination by Listeria bacteria, according to a recent news report from MyFox Detroit.

Listeria is a bacterium that can cause serious infections, which may be fatal to children, elderly people, and those with compromised immune systems. The infection may also cause miscarriages or stillbirths in pregnant women. Symptoms of Listeria infection include: fever, headache, nausea, stiffness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Anyone who has experienced these symptoms after eating the packaged salmon, or any other food product, should seek medical attention as soon as possible and preserve the package or any leftover food in case testing is necessary.

The recalled salmon is sold in 4-ounce packages and is labeled with the name “Vita Classic Premium Sliced Smoked Atlantic Nova Salmon.” The sell-by date and code on the package read “DEC 15 2011 01961B.” Consumers who have packages of this salmon can call Vita Foods at 1-800-989-8482 for information.

Products are usually recalled because a defect could cause serious injury, and food recalls are no exception. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Michigan product recall attorneys at Lipton Law to learn more about your legal rights and options. For a free consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.


State and Industry Work Together to Prevent Premises Liability Accidents

By Lipton Law on October 3, 2011 - No comments

The law of “premises liability” in Michigan covers accidents that cause injury or death as a result of a dangerous condition on a property. Slip and fall accidents are a common type of premises liability accidents, but injuries can also be caused by exposed utilities, badly-lit stairways or other areas, or any other condition that makes navigating the property dangerous. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) works with employers through the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) to reduce the number of dangerous conditions on workplace premises, keeping workers safer.

The MVPP works by giving companies the tools they need to maximize safety and minimize workplace accidents related to dangerous conditions on the premises. Companies that meet MIOSHA’s stringent safety requirements for at least three years running are awarded membership in the “Michigan Stars” program, which recognizes their commitment to safety. Companies that have the ability to meet MIOSHA requirements within three years and want to join the MVPP to help them meet that goal are added to the “Rising Stars” program. Michigan Star companies may mentor Rising-Star companies to help them meet all of MIOSHA’s premises safety requirements.

Workplace accidents are often covered by workers’ compensation insurance in Michigan, but slip and fall and other premises liability accidents may not be covered at all. If you’ve been injured by a dangerous condition on a Michigan property, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Michigan premises liability attorneys at Lipton Law to discuss your legal rights and options. Call us at (248) 557-1688 for a free consultation.