Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Michigan Auto Accident Blog

Pedestrian fatalities increase

Michigan residents may be interested to learn that, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2016 was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1996. The data shows that approximately 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in 2016.

There was a 12 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2006 and 2015, even though the number of traffic fatalities decreased during the same period. In 2015, there were 35,092 traffic fatalities while there were 5,376 pedestrian fatalities, meaning pedestrian fatalities accounted for about 15 percent of all auto-related fatalities during that year. Part of the reason for this trend may be that vehicle safety has improved significantly over the last decade, meaning more people are surviving car accidents. On the other hand, pedestrian survivability has not improved.

Crash leaves 5 dead in Michigan

A two-car collision left five dead and three critically injured in Oceola Township on May 9. The crash resulted in one vehicle overturning and the other vehicle bursting into flames.

According to Michigan State Police, the nighttime incident took place at the intersection of M-59 and Argentine Road. A car driven by a 22-year-old Fenton man ran a stop sign on Argentine Road then crashed into another vehicle at the intersection.

Device may identify drivers distracted by phones

Michigan motorists who use their phones while driving and cause crashes as a result may be more easily identified if a tool known as the "textalyzer" comes into widespread use by law enforcement. Inspired by the Breathalyzer, the textalyzer can be attached to a phone. In just a few moments, it can identify the last actions of the driver on the phone, such as texting or swiping on apps, and whether that action was hands-free.

While most states have laws against texting and driving and using cellphones in other ways that may be distracting, these laws can be difficult to enforce. Drivers who cause accidents may not be truthful about how it happened. The man who formed the advocacy group that developed the device lost his son in an accident with a driver who was texting. The driver first said he had dozed off. Police could not examine the phone without a search warrant, and it took the father six months to get the phone records in a subpoena. However, even those do not necessarily indicate when a person is browsing online or using email.

3-vehicle wreck leaves 1 dead, 3 injured

A Michigan woman is dead following a three-car crash in Easton Township on the afternoon of April 25. An adult and two children involved in the accident suffered injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. According to the report, the accident happened shortly after 1:30 p.m. just outside of Ionia as a 70-year-old Ionia man driving a southbound Chevy Suburban on N. State Road smashed into to the back of a Ford Fusion, which was stopped as the driver, a 71-year old woman, was waiting to turn left. The impact forced the Fusion into the opposite lane and into the path of a Jeep Cherokee, killing the Fusion driver.

Rescue personnel who arrived at the scene took several injured passengers in the Jeep to local hospitals. None of their injuries were fatal, as reported. The driver of the Jeep, a 29-year-old man from Ionia, did not report any injuries and was not taken to the hospital.

How does a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit work?

When a loved one dies in a car accident, it is hard to go on. For many families, ensuing financial difficulties compound the emotional devastation. Michigan law entitles surviving spouses and children, as well as other dependents, to file suit to recover damages for wrongful death.

To prove wrongful death, you need to show the other driver actually caused the fatal accident and acted negligently. Here, negligence means failing to comply with ordinary standards of driving. While some accidents happen because of a driver's intoxication or other clearly illegal behavior, a wrongful death suit is a civil case. Thus, you can recover even if the driver was not charged with or convicted of a crime.

Car accidents can also cause mental health injuries

Auto accidents are among one of the most frequent causes of injury in Michigan and across the United States. The injuries caused by car accidents include visible damage, including broken bones and head wounds. However, auto accidents can also cause emotional and mental health injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

The violence and destruction caused by auto accidents and especially those accompanied by severe injuries or even death could certainly cause PTSD for accident victims. However, there is a limited time in which to file claims for compensation for personal injuries caused by an auto accident. It can be more difficult to bring forward a claim for a mental health injury like PTSD than for physical illnesses. Mental health injuries can take longer to diagnose and are frequently diagnosed some period of time after an accident or related incident.

Filing a lawsuit after a tailgating accident

Drivers in Michigan and around the country are expected to remain a safe distance behind the vehicles in front of them, and they may face both civil and criminal sanctions when collisions are caused by tailgating. While criminal charges are unlikely to be filed in connection with this kind of crash unless road users were injured or killed, the traffic citations commonly handed out to tailgating drivers may be used to establish liability in car accident lawsuits.

Road users who suffer injury, loss or damage in accidents that they were partly responsible for causing may still pursue civil remedies in Michigan, but the damages they are able to recover will be adjusted to reflect their degree of culpability. When accidents have been caused by vehicles following too closely, tailgating drivers often accuse the driver they rear-ended of making abrupt or unexpected maneuvers.

What drivers owe pedestrians on the road

In our last post, we highlighted how warmer weather will usher in a wave of motorcycles on the road and how drivers will have to “re-learn” how to share the road. Warmer temperatures also will bring more foot traffic to our streets.

More people will walk during the morning hours (especially students going to class) ride their bikes and taking morning runs. As such, drivers must pay more attention to pedestrians and use reasonable care in looking out for them.

Using a QDRO in a divorce

Michigan couples who are getting a divorce might need to divide a retirement account. This process usually requires something known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The QDRO is a complex financial document that should not be rushed through. People might want to hire a certified divorce financial analyst to walk them through the document and their choices to make sure they are getting a fair deal.

Ideally, a QDRO can facilitate an efficient transfer of funds at minimal cost. How much of the retirement account each person gets may vary depending on their own or a judge's decision. For example, a couple might decide that one will get the 401(k), which is worth $225,000, and the other will get the house, which is fully paid for and worth $200,000. While it may appear that the person with the retirement account has more money, this does not take into account that people cannot withdraw 401(k) funds penalty-free until they are least 59 1/2 years old.

Drivers must start seeing motorcycles again

Yesterday’s warm spring day is taste of things to come as Old Man Winter is ushered away. For motorcycle riders, these chance warm days are highly anticipated, but the reality is that there are still a number of chilly days (especially mornings) that lie ahead before summer comes.

More motorcycles will appear on Michigan roads as the weather gets better. As this occurs, there is something to the old adage “start seeing motorcycles.” So drivers essentially have to re-learn how to share the road. The good news is that many drivers will take heed and act responsibly. The bad news is that all it takes is one driver to be irresponsible to change a motorcycle rider’s life forever.

Email Us For A Response

Contact Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Kline Legal Group P.L.C.
483 Little Lake Drive, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Phone: 734-249-6100
Fax: 734-302-7222
Map & Directions

Contact Our Office

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy