(248) 557-1688

2012 January Archive

Segway Riders: Pedestrians or Vehicles?

By Lipton Law on January 27, 2012 - No comments

The Segway is a two-wheeled electronic vehicle that has become increasingly popular with some groups ever since its introduction nearly ten years ago. Segway riders often take their Segways out for a spin, many of them using the same sidewalks, bike paths, and other travelways used by pedestrians, bicyclists, and even cars. But is a Segway a pedestrian thing, or is it more like a bicycle? To find out, we turned to the Michigan Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) “Sharing the Road” brochure for more information.

The Michigan DMV says that Segway riders must follow many of the same laws as bicyclists and moped riders. For instance, a person on a Segway must yield to a pedestrian, just like a bicyclist. If the Segway is going to be ridden at night, it must have at least as many of the same types of lights and reflectors used on bicycles. And, like bicyclists, Segway riders are expected never to try carrying bulky packages or other objects that interfere with their ability to balance or steer.

Like cars, Segways may be ridden on roads, as long as they obey all traffic laws – much like bicycles or motorcycles. Unlike cars and bicycles, however, Segways are only allowed on roads if the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less. If the speed limit is above 25 miles per hour, Segways must stay out of the road, though they can still use sidewalks.

Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents can both cause serious injuries, especially if a motor vehicle is involved in the crash. At Lipton Law, our experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those injured in these life-altering accidents. To learn more about your legal rights and options after an injury, call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free, confidential case evaluation.


Michigan Police Urge Drivers to Use Caution in Snowy Weather

By Lipton Law on January 25, 2012 - No comments

Michigan had an unseasonably warm winter through the end of 2011. Now that 2012 is here, however, the snowstorms are back – and so are increased risks for accidents, including sliding on snowy, icy, or slushy roads. To help avoid accidents and injuries this winter, police across Michigan are encouraging drivers to use caution, according to a recent article in the Muskegon Chronicle.

Northern Michigan counties, like Muskegon, were hit particularly hard by recent storms, but even communities on the eastern side of the state found themselves buried. When temperatures drop and snowstorms hit, it can become very difficult to see while driving. This increases the risk of an accident – not only with another vehicle, but also with a pedestrian, parked car, or an object like a lamppost, mailbox, or guardrail.

Many Michigan drivers assume that salt, sand, and de-icing chemicals used by state and local road crews will take care of any slippery snow and ice that might cause a crash. However, when temperatures dip too low, salt and chemicals can’t melt snow or ice effectively. The best thing to do for Michigan safe winter driving is slow down and keep extra space between yourself and any vehicles in front of you, according to the Michigan State Police. Even if you slip, you’ll have more room to right your vehicle – and a greater chance of avoiding a crash.

Car accidents can cause serious injuries. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Michigan, the experienced Southfield car accident injury attorneys at Lipton Law can help you and your loved ones with every stage of the post-accident process, from filing a no-fault insurance claim to seeking compensation, so that you can focus on recovery. For a free and confidential telephone consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.


Spinal Cord Injuries: The Numbers at a Glance

By Lipton Law on January 20, 2012 - No comments

Spinal cord injuries can cause serious impairment, including life-long disabilities. Researchers at the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, estimate that fewer than 1 percent of spinal cord injury sufferers ever make a full recovery. The numbers on spinal cord injuries nationwide paint an equally sobering picture:

  • About 12,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year in the United States, or about 40 cases per 1,000,000 people.
  • About 265,000 people now living in the United States live with spinal cord injuries.
  • Car accidents cause about 40 percent of spinal cord injuries each year. Another 28 percent are caused by slip and fall accidents, and violent encounters add another 17 percent. The remaining spinal cord injuries are caused by sports, other accidents, or unknown causes.
  • The average age of a spinal cord injury sufferer is 40.7 years, but spinal cord injuries can and do occur to people of any age.
  • Over half of those who suffer spinal cord injuries are typically employed when the injury occurs. Five years after injury, however, only 11.8 percent of those survivors have jobs. Twenty years later, the number is still only about 37 percent.

Even a mild spinal cord injury can permanently change your life and the lives of those close to you. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by another’s negligence, the dedicated Southfield personal injury lawyers at Lipton Law can help. Call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.


UM Student Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury After Cancer Center Slip and Fall

By Lipton Law on January 18, 2012 - No comments

A 20-year-old University of Michigan student suffered a critical traumatic brain injury recently when he fell from the roof of the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, according to a recent news report at AnnArbor.com.

According to investigators, the man was alone at the time of his accident. He appeared to have explored the third-story roof on part of the Cancer Center building before climbing down a utility ladder to a second-floor roof. As he attempted to climb down to a first-floor roof, he slipped from the ladder, falling 10 to 15 feet onto a glass overhang below. He hit his head severely during the fall and was taken to the university hospital in critical condition.

Investigators say that it appears the man got onto the Cancer Center’s roof from an adjacent parking structure, but they are not clear on why he was climbing down the outside of the building. He had been attending a party in the area, but police have not commented on whether or not he had any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time.

Slip and fall accidents always pose the risk of injury, including a head injury caused by hitting one’s head on the ground or another object. Traumatic brain injuries can cause severe, even life-long, disabilities. If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident, the experienced Michigan slip and fall accident attorneys at Lipton Law can help. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.


Great Lakes Drownings Are Up, Says Study

By Lipton Law on January 16, 2012 - No comments

The number of people who drowned in the Great Lakes in 2011 increased over the number in 2010, according to a recent article in the Marquette Mining Journal.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project counted 87 lives lost by drowning in the Great Lakes last year, up from 74 the year before. However, some locations along the Great Lakes saw fewer drownings, thanks to increased community effort to prevent these deaths. For instance, Marquette managed to bring its 2011 drownings total to zero, with not a single life lost off the city’s shores.

Marquette attributes its success at eliminating Great Lakes drownings to the efforts of the community’s newly-created Water Safety Task Force, which took several steps to warn swimmers and improve safety on Marquette’s beaches. For instance, lifeguard stands were added on several beaches, and one lifeguard on a previously unpatrolled beach actually saved a swimmer in distress last season. Rip current warning buoys and signs were also added at another beach, the site of several 2010 drownings in which powerful rip currents prevented swimmers from returning to shore.

Michigan’s unparalleled access to the Great Lakes means that we also see far too many drownings each year. At Lipton Law, our experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping those who have been injured in water-related accidents, whether on the Great Lakes, an inland lake, or in a pool. If you’ve been injured on the water, call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free and confidential consultation.


Boy Killed, Girl Injured in Crash on Detroit’s East Side

By Lipton Law on January 12, 2012 - No comments

A two-car crash at Pinewood and Hoover on Detroit’s East Side recently left a two-year-old boy dead and an eight-year-old girl in critical condition, according to a recent news report from My Fox Detroit.

The two children were riding in the family car with their mother when it was hit by another vehicle. That vehicle’s driver, a 62-year-old Detroit-area resident, is being held by police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Police have not released details on the crash, but say that they suspect the older driver was driving drunk when the accident occurred.

The two-year-old lost his life in the crash. The eight-year-old suffered a broken neck and serious brain injuries and is currently in critical condition at a Detroit hospital. The hospital has not released any updates on her condition, but says that swelling in her brain is a serious concern.

According to at least one preliminary police report, it appears that neither of the children was secured in a child safety seat at the time of the crash. Michigan law requires children under 4 to ride in safety seats and children up to age 8 or four feet, nine inches tall to ride in booster seats. There is no word on whether the children were wearing seat belts when the accident occurred.

A serious accident can change the life of a family in an instant. At Lipton Law, our experienced Southfield car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping families through every step of the post-accident process, from dealing with the insurance companies to seeking compensation from anyone whose negligence may have caused injury. Call us today at (248) 557-1688 for a free and confidential discussion of your options after a crash.


Changes in Hours of Service Provisions Aims to Reduce Truck Accidents

By Lipton Law on January 9, 2012 - No comments

Among those who drive tractor-trailers for a living, getting enough rest can be difficult, especially when a load needs to be driven a great distance and get delivered on time. In order to reduce driver fatigue and cut down on the number of truck accidents fatigue causes, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has changed its Hours of Service regulations to require more rest for drivers.

The new provisions make several changes to the current rules. For instance, drivers are now limited to working a total of 70 hours every seven days, instead of the previous 82 hours. Drivers are still allowed to be behind the wheel for 11 hours at a time, but they must now take a 30-minute break at least once every eight hours.

Drivers can “restart” their counting of hours toward the 70-hour weekly and 11-hour daily limits by taking a break that is at least 34 hours long, but they must try to sleep during this time between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., which are the times when the human body is sleepiest, according to recent sleep research. They may only “restart” with a 34-hour break once per week, however.

When driver fatigue causes an accident, the results can be life-altering for anyone involved. At Lipton Law, our experienced Michigan truck accident lawyers can help you through every stage of the process after an accident to get you the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. To learn more about your legal rights and options after a crash, call Lipton Law today at (248) 557-1688.


CPSC Recalls Several Heating-Related Products

By Lipton Law on January 6, 2012 - No comments

For families in Michigan and elsewhere, winter weather often means turning on the space heater or turning up the thermostat. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued recalls for several different types of space heaters and an electric thermostat. These five products have all malfunctioned in ways that can cause fires or burns to people trying to use them.

  1. Meijer Touch Point Oscillating Ceramic Heaters. These space heaters, sold at Meijer stores in Michigan and other states, may short-circuit, creating a fire hazard.
  2. Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze & Comfort Essentials Heaters. Any of these types of space heaters may overheat, which can lead to fires, smoke output, or burns to people who touch the unit.
  3. Lasko Portable Electric Heaters. A connection in the base of the heater may short-circuit, melting the housing and exposing the electrical components. This can cause electrocution or fires.
  4. Honeywell Electric Baseboard and Fan Heater Thermostats. These thermostats can overheat or short out, causing them to become very hot and possibly burn anyone who touches them.
  5. GE Zoneline Air Conditioners and Heaters. A failure in the electrical system may start a fire.

Detailed descriptions of each of the recalled products and information about what to do if you have one of them is available at the CPSC’s website, cpsc.gov.

When we buy items for our homes, we feel reassured that these products will not cause serious injuries to us or our loved ones – and most of the time, we’re right. But when a manufacturer or seller offers a defective product for sale, its hidden defects can cause serious injuries. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, the experienced Southfield product liability attorneys at Lipton Law can help. For a free consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.