The Elia & Ponto Law Firm
At Michigan car accident lawyer, we comprehend the devastation an injury can carry the accident sufferer and their family. Our firm is ready to help victims of car accidents, semi-truck accidents, and motorcycle collisions and Michigan pedestrian accident as well as those who need help with Michigan social security disability. Contact our Michigan car accident lawyer today!
January 14, 2021
Michigan Faces an Increase in Fatal Car Accidents In 2020 Despite the Decrease in Traffic.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, it was reasonable to assume that there would be a significant decrease in traffic and fatal car accidents. Unfortunately, that was not entirely the case. Although traffic decreased, especially in the light of Stay-at-Home orders, as well as the increase in remote work, schooling, and other activities, the reports of auto accidents in Michigan increased. In fact, there were more fatal motor accidents reported in 2020 than in 2019, despite a decline in traffic on Michigan roads.
A Detroit Free Press article reported that 701 people died in auto-related accidents in the first nine months of 2020 while 689 died in the same period in 2019. These statistics, which were provided by the Michigan State Police, demonstrated that even with a decline in Michigan traffic, more fatal accidents have occurred.
These statistics regarding fatalities are shocking, especially since traffic was down by 60% during the first few months of the year in comparison to 2019. Currently, the traffic rate (which is now at 19%) is expected to rise – suggesting the number of fatalities will also continue to increase.
Michigan’s Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
In order to minimize traffic-related accidents during these particularly difficult times, it is important that drivers understand and follow the laws of Michigan. Understanding what might cause a fatal car accident can help to prevent one from occurring.
The three most common causes of fatal car accidents, according to the Michigan State Police, include…
- Not using seatbelts
Many drivers see an empty or sparsely trafficked road as an opportunity to drive above the posted speed limit. This has been particularly evident throughout Michigan freeways, where several motorists have received speeding tickets for driving over 100mph. However, no matter how empty a road may be, drivers should never exceed the speed limit.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities are caused by speeding. When speeding, a driver has less reaction time and stopping distance. Even the most attentive and alert driver may crash, especially if another vehicle suddenly stops or unexpectedly merges into their lane. These accidents tend to have forceful impacts, resulting in severe injuries and/or death.
Tailgating occurs when one vehicle drives closely behind another vehicle while not leaving sufficient distance to stop without causing a collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly. Tailgating can have catastrophic consequences. For instance, a small vehicle could be pulled under a large vehicle such as a semi-truck if it is unable to stop in time, especially when the vehicle at fault is traveling at high speeds.
High speeds, along with additional factors, such as weather conditions, greatly increase the severity of accidents due to insufficient stopping distances. In order to prevent accidents, drivers must slow down & maintaining enough space between vehicles to prevent tailgating accidents.
In Michigan, it is against the law to not wear a seat belt in the front seat of a car.
Failure to wear a seatbelt is an easy and, unfortunately, common way for drivers and/or passengers to be involved in a fatal accident. According to a Michigan State Police spokesperson, Michigan typically has a high rate of seatbelt compliance, however, this was still a common cause of death in 2020.
How Michigan Drivers Can Further Prevent Avoidable Accident Deaths?
Reports indicate that more than 37,000 fatalities have occurred on U.S. highways every year. In addition, 90% of those fatal crashes are due to preventable driver behavior. The statewide safety campaign known as Toward Zero Deaths, created by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), was designed to address dangerous driving behaviors in an effort to reduce those numbers of traffic-related deaths.
Unfortunately, accidents occur each day – however, there are various measures you can take in order to further avoid such devastating situations. Simple yet effective ways to reduce the number of car accidents include driving within the speed limit, always wearing a seatbelt, whether in the front or rear seats of the vehicle and leaving enough stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Have You or A Loved One Been Involved in a Serious Auto-Accident in Michigan?
It is extremely important to contact a knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer, especially in the case of serious and/or life-threatening car accident injuries. Car accident lawyers are specialized in their field and have a strong knowledge of state law. Such skillful experience can increase a victim’s chances of getting rightfully compensated to assist with medical bills, lost wages, and more.
For more information, contact the lawyers at Elia & Ponto for a free consultation!
November 4, 2020
Michigan – Deer-Related Accidents – Important Information and Facts to Know
Deer, like many animals, are a pleasant sight when kept in their natural habitat. However, when venturing onto roads, deer can become extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, most drivers have very little time to react when these animals suddenly emerge onto the road or highway – especially because of their fast speeds. The risk of deer-related vehicle accidents is currently on the rise as the population of deer in Michigan increases. For this reason, it is crucial to know the following information regarding deer-car accident protocols and what you and your loved ones can do to ensure additional safety.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a deer-related auto accident in Michigan and have any questions or concerns, contact Elia & Ponto for further information.
Actions to Take After A Deer-Car Accident
If an individual unexpectedly hits a deer with a vehicle, the following steps are considered to be the best procedure:
- If the driver and/or any passengers within the vehicle are hurt, call for an ambulance.
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Do not approach the deer and/or attempt to move – even if the deer seems dead. Injured or distressed deer can still be extremely dangerous.
- If possible, pull to the side of the road and turn on the vehicle’s hazard lights while you wait for the law enforcement to arrive.
- Document the accident and any related damage by taking pictures of the vehicle, deer, road and surrounding area – only if this can be done safely. Documentation of injuries (via photos or written notes) should also be taken.
- If any witnesses to the accident are present, ask them to state what they saw to the authorities and exchange contact information.
Michigan Deer-Related Car Accident Facts (2019)
Although the extent of the damage may vary depending on the accident, the results of the deer-car collisions may be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Having a better understanding of recent facts can help individuals and their loved ones to understand the seriousness of this type of accident. Below are various reports of deer-related accidents in Michigan during 2019.
- In comparison to 2018, Michigan had an increase of 2,067 deer-related crashes; totaling to 55,531 deer-car collisions
- Among these collisions, 12 resulted in fatalities – 8 of which involved motorcyclists
- As a result of these deer-related car accidents, another 1,265 individuals were injured
- 54,254 victim’s sustained damages to their vehicle.
- A total of 33,036 of these accidents occurred most commonly on local streets, while the remaining reports occurred on interstate highways and State routes
- 13,702 of these accidents occurred between 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.; including six of the previously mentioned fatalities
Important Facts to Know About Deer
While this information may not apply to every accident, understanding these common facts about deer may help drivers to know when to be particularly alert.
- Deer are most active during dawn and sunset
- Deer are easy to startle; therefore, unexpected sights and sounds can cause them to move quickly and unpredictably. This includes headlights and/or car horns
- Deer typically travel in groups and in single file lines when crossing a roadway. If you see one, anticipate others being nearby
Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to be completely preventative with any accidents. Nevertheless, there are a number of tips that can help you and your loved ones to be pre-cautious and help to avoid hitting a deer in the future.
- Drivers should be sober and alert once behind the wheel
- Be extremely cautious – especially during both the Spring and Fall; this is when deer are more abundant in their habitats
- Carefully drive in areas where deer cross signs are posted
- Reduce your speed if you see one deer attempting to cross a road – typically several others may be close behind
- During dawn and dusk hours deer are more likely to travel – so remain alert while driving
- Avoid flashing high-beam headlights or honk your horn to deter deer as this may likely startle them
What If A Deer Suddenly Cuts in Front My Vehicle?
When a deer suddenly runs in front of a vehicle it can cause panic for the driver. Their first instinct may be to swerve; however, it is important to understand that this may be a more dangerous reaction. In fact, this can lead to an even worse accident if the driver hits another car or a fixed object. Harsh swerves may also cause the vehicle to roll over.
These important steps should be followed when a deer crash seems unavoidable:
- Do not swerve
- Firmly apply the brakes
- Keep the steering wheel steady
- Maintain in your lane
- Bring the vehicle to a controlled stop
Deer-Car Accident Coverage and Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance
Michigan is a No-Fault State, which means that, regardless of whether the individual involved in the car accident was at fault or contributed to the accident, their car insurance will cover the costs. The coverage of No-Fault insurance policies varies depending on the type of accident as well as the provisions of the No-Fault policy. We recommend that individuals contact their insurance companies to obtain more information about their coverage.
Talk to one of our qualified lawyers at Elia & Ponto if you or a loved one have been injured in a deer-related accident, as you may be entitled to benefits and compensation.
Medical Expenses for Deer-Related Car Accidents
If you or your loved one are injured in a deer car accident, the medical expenses will be paid in accordance with the level of personal injury protection (PIP) that you have chosen. This may vary from person to person. All reasonable and necessary medical services required after the accident shall be covered where the individual has unlimited medical benefits. Such coverage typically includes rehabilitative therapies, medical transportation expenses, and attendant care.
Regardless of your level of PIP medical coverage, PIP benefits may also compensate for lost wages and replacement services for up to three (3) years. Time may, however, be limited. To determine your eligibility, you should speak to one of our lawyers immediately.
Medical bills of an injured passenger will be covered under the provisions of their own No-Fault policies or other health insurance policies. Uninsured passengers may apply for reimbursement under the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP).
Vehicle Damage Coverage for Deer-Related Accidents
Vehicle owners are not required to carry collision insurance under the Michigan No-Fault laws. Therefore, if a vehicle has been damaged, the cost of repairs will depend on the individual’s insurance policy. In the event that the motorist does not have collision coverage, they shall be liable for the costs of repair.
What If Another Vehicle Was Involved in the Deer-Related Accident?
The above rules for No-Fault medical coverage apply regardless of how many cars are involved – however, if you are injured and another driver is at fault then additional compensation may be obtainable.
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, may be recovered by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, in addition to reimbursements for medical expenses that exceed the benefits of personal injury protection (PIP). Furthermore, compensation for the portion of your lost wages and/or replacement services that were not covered by the PIP benefits may also be available.
Can Drivers Be Ticketed for Hitting a Deer?
Every accident is unique – so whether a driver gets a ticket for hitting a deer is dependent on the circumstances. If the driver followed the driving laws (including the speed limit) and was unable to stop in time to avoid the deer, they most likely will not receive a ticket. However, if the driver was violating a traffic law at the time of the accident then they may be ticketed and subjected to other penalties. This also applied to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs – the driver could be charged with a misdemeanor.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a deer-related auto accident you may be entitled to compensation. For a free consultation, contact our lawyers at Elia & Ponto today! We are standing by to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
October 7, 2020
Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
Every auto accident is unique and affects every victim differently. While reactions following an accident may vary from person to person, understanding what is normal and what is not is extremely important in terms of injuries. When an individual sustains multiple injuries, those injuries may also worsen one another, causing deterioration and a longer recovery prognosis.
Awareness of symptoms, especially when there is a need for medical attention if and when symptoms appear, can be lifesaving. This not only increases the chances of achieving the best possible recovery, but also reduces the likelihood of permanent, life-altering injuries. Unfortunately, delayed auto accident injuries and symptoms occur quite frequently. This typically occurs when one injury (such as neck pain or back injury) causes radiation to the arm or leg or when an injury is overshadowed by other more obvious injuries and symptoms.
Obtaining prompt medical care will help to establish a clear temporal relationship that can prove that injuries sustained have been caused by an accident and prevent roadside disputes when dealing with insurance. It can be beneficial when seeking additional treatment for injuries that were delayed and did not appear immediately after the accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. For more information, contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer at Elia & Ponto today!
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common types of injuries that follow after an auto accident. The force of a collision may put stress on the body in ways that it was not designed to absorb, which in turn causes pain; the most common symptom of soft tissue injury.
The pain may be isolated at the point of injury, or it may radiate down your limbs. If the pain radiates down the arms or legs, it may be an indication of whiplash or disc damage. Individuals may seek additional medical attention if the pain continues to interfere with day-to-day activities or lasts more than a few weeks.
Common treatment for soft tissue injuries include:
- Chiropractic care
- Epidural steroid injections
- Ice or heat treatment
- Massage therapy
- Pain relievers
- Physical therapy
The broken bones are typically easier to identify. The broken bones or fractures usually cause intense pain at the injured area and are accompanied by bruising and swelling. Medical attention should be sought immediately to avoid permanent damage. To determine whether the bone is broken, doctors will perform x-rays. The treatment protocols are dependent on the location and severity of your break.
Common treatments for broken bones include:
- Cast: stabilizes the bone and prevent further injury
- Traction: realigns the bones
- Brace: allows some movement of the injured area
- Pins/Screws: holds the bones in place until surgery
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The term traumatic brain injury (TBI) may sound intimidating, however, it is a common injury. These brain injuries are caused by an outside trauma, such as a fall or car accident. Despite being common, these injuries are still serious. If you or a loved one believe you may have hit your head during an accident, medical attention should be sought immediately.
Common symptoms of a TBI include:
- Changes in mood
- Sleep problems
Symptoms of TBI that could indicate the need for immediate medical attention:
- Balance problems
- Continuous headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Slurred speech
Although spinal cord injuries are more common in serious accidents, minor injuries are still possible. Similarly, to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries occur as a result of penetrating injury or trauma to the neck or back.
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries may result in paralysis – even though some individuals do not experience symptoms immediately. While these injuries are generally permanent, some patients may regain some movement.
Damage to the spinal cord is an emergency condition; go to the emergency room immediately if you or a loved one experience any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs
- Digestion problem
- Extreme pain
- Loss or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of movement
Like physical injuries, mental health problems may arise following a car accident and should be equally recognized and treated. When mental health symptoms are attributed to other injuries that a person has suffered in an accident, they may go undiagnosed and untreated by doctors. These injuries should be taken seriously, as they may worsen if left untreated.
Common mental health problems following an accident include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
No physical injury should go unnoticed. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Michigan Auto Accident and have questions about physically injuries following an accident, contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer at Elia & Ponto today!
Read more blog posts here:
- What Does the Reformed 2019 No-Fault Law in Michigan Change for Detroit Drivers
- The Law & Your Travels – Tips for 2019 Holiday Season
- Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Automobile Mishap Claim
October 1, 2020
What Does the Reformed 2019 No-Fault Law in Michigan Change for Detroit Drivers
Everyone in Michigan is currently talking about the high auto insurance rates. Michigan has one of the highest premium prices in the country. The no-fault system proposed quite a few changes in front of legislation. These premiums in the no-fault system may be actually at fault. When the legislature passed a new Michigan No-Fault law, also known as Senate Bill 1, there were fundamental changes to insurance law. The No-Fault auto insurance reform will provide substantial benefits and changes to receive lower premium rates. This reform will have a significant impact on those who have an auto policy. The No-Fault insurance is required by law in Michigan for every car owner. Everyone must buy certain coverages in order to obtain a license plate. It is against the law to not have the specific required coverages and drive your car. A Michigan Car Accident lawyer at Elia & Ponto can help you understand these changes more clearly as well as help you with injuries you sustained from auto accidents in our state.
Vehicle owners in Michigan are most likely already aware of the No-Fault car insurance. This law entails that people only have limited options to pursue a claim. If you are injured in a car accident, you will need to turn to your own car insurance in order to get compensated. In a no-fault system, your personal injury protection pays for medical treatment and other losses. The system was originally created to cover the outrageous costs for people injured in an automobile accident.
How To Get Unlimited PIP From Someone Else’s Auto Policy
Personal Injury Protection may cover more than just the policyholder. The PIP benefits are available for more than just the driver. If you did not own an auto policy and were not a resident relative of an individual with an auto policy, and you were injured in an accident, you may be eligible for a PIP from other people’s policies. If you are not eligible for the claim, the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan could compensate you for the accident. The PIP covers you and your resident relatives but will no longer cover others. Michigan has made it more susceptible to sue others for medical bills. There are more lawsuits currently than before the reform existed.
Changes to the No-Fault Law:
Savings for Michigan drivers- The residents of Michigan have struggled with the high costs of auto insurance for decades. The new Michigan No-Fault law promised to lower the cost by at least 45% if they opt out of the PIP medical benefits. Although, all of these savings are only a small portion of your insurance bill. The PIP portion is approximately 35% to 44% of the total bill. For most people who struggle to pay this large bill, it may not make a significant difference.
Savings for insurance companies- The Michigan No-Fault law gives insurers the opportunity to avoid reducing their premium rates. In order for this to happen, insurers have to exemplify to the Insurance Commissioner proof that the mandatory rate reductions violate their rights. A violation of constitutional rights or giving the insurance company not enough capital will immediately opt them out of reducing their rates.
Higher liability- The Michigan auto insurance allows you to protect yourself legally if you are at fault in an accident. The liability limits have recently changed with the new No-Fault law. In the past, drivers used to be required to carry liability bodily injury insurance. The new law has increased the minimum liability to $50,000 to $100,000. Drivers are now able to choose how much coverage they need, as long as it meets the mandatory minimum.
No-Fault PIP choice- Drivers now have the option of following the No-Fault medical coverage levels. People are no longer required by law to purchase the PIP benefits.
No-Fault PIP benefits- Drivers are able to select to not maintain coverage by the No-Fault PIP benefits if they are covered by Medicare.
Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association- The MCCA is allowed to be liable for catastrophic injury benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Law. The drivers must have opted to maintain unlimited PIP medical benefits.
It used to be a more simple process to obtain compensation for unlimited medical bills from an accident. The system used to help those who had an outrageous bill from a catastrophic accident. People who did not have auto insurance were still eligible to gain medical coverage through other PIP. It is extremely important to make sure you have an exceeding amount of coverage. More drivers are getting sued and the MACP will not cover all of you costs. The unlimited PIP will no longer be there for you, get a personal health plan the cover your accident today!
August 25, 2020
Michigan’s law for suing for pain and suffering when in a car accident is complex. Michigan is one of the dozen states that practices a no-fault insurance system.