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Grand Rapids Personal Injury Blog

Settling out of court with a trucking company

In the wake of a commercial truck accident, the victim may hold the trucking company liable for injuries, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and more. There are several ways to go about doing this, though. The victim could go through a prolonged trial in civil court, or he or she could consider settling out of court. Under civil law in Michigan, victims can strive for an informal settlement through various methods of alternative dispute resolution.

These methods include negotiations, mediation, and arbitration. ADR can prove beneficial for both parties since it creates a confidential environment and encourages a candid approach to discussions about the accident. Victims may find the trucking company's representatives to be less defensive and more open to hearing them out, and neither of them will be required to make admissions of fault.

Autonomous vehicles may have human weaknesses

Much of the developing technology related to autonomous vehicles is driven by the potential of enhanced safety. In fact, some self-driving car manufacturers in Michigan dream of a future without car accidents. At the same time, others are concerned that autonomous vehicles may have problematic decision-making capacities. One notable professor argues that the greatest risk to the safety of autonomous vehicles is the involvement of human beings in developing the technology.

The professor, who teaches computer science at Arizona State University, spoke in response to the first recorded pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle, which took place in March. The professor said that major technology corporations currently investing in autonomous vehicle technologies are generally seeking to replicate a human-like driving experience in order to foster greater comfort for potential passengers and clients. At the same time, he noted, seeking to replicate the human experience can also introduce flaws that mirror those of human drivers.

What to know about the next International Roadcheck

The International Roadcheck is a three-day inspection spree that occurs once a year across North America. Commercial truck drivers and bus drivers in Michigan should know that the next roadcheck will take place from June 5 to June 7 because it applies to them. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which conducts the event, inspected 63,000 buses and commercial trucks last year; that's an average of 15 vehicles every minute.

Among those 63,000 drivers, 15,000 were issued out-of-service orders. 80 percent were due to violations of vehicle-related guidelines, such as those regulating cargo securement and cargo weight. 20 percent were due to non-compliance with driver guidelines, with hours-of-service violations being the most frequently cited. The CVSA has stated that hours-of-service compliance is the new focus of this year's International Roadcheck.

The symptoms of soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue refers to muscles, ligaments and tendons. Unfortunately, these non-bony parts of the body can be easily torn, strained, sprained or bruised through sudden, jolting movements of the body. That's why Michigan drivers who have been in car accidents should know about the symptoms of soft tissue injuries.

It's important to understand that these injuries are difficult to diagnose and cannot be found on X-rays. Furthermore, the symptoms may appear days after an accident. The most common symptoms, which are aches, pain and swelling, could even be considered too general for doctors to pinpoint their origins.

NGA publishes report on improving U.S. road safety

The National Governors Association recently published a report that address the declining road safety conditions throughout Michigan and the rest of America. Billed as a "road map" for state governors, it provides various strategies for improving traffic safety.

This comes at a crucial time as U.S. road conditions are lagging behind those of many other developed nations. Furthermore, the once-decreasing trend in traffic fatalities has now been reversed. In 2016, 37,461 people died in traffic accidents in the U.S. This amounted to a 5.6 percent increase over the previous year.

After the crash: catastrophic injuries

We’ve all heard the news stories. There’s a major crash on I-96 with two people killed and three sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Imagine for a moment one of those injured people is a family member. It’s devastating to think about. A spinal cord injury may keep them from ever walking again—through no fault of their own. There’s a long road to recovery ahead after enduring multiple surgeries and hospital stays. There will be no shortage of medical bills.

14-year-old Kieran W. was on her way to a soccer tournament when a semi-truck broadsided her family's station wagon. Kieran was critically injured, including head trauma, fractured pelvis, lacerated spleen and a punctured lung. Kieran woke up from her coma with left-sided paralysis. She spent the next few months in rehab learning how to redo the basics like eating, walking and talking before being released home in a wheelchair. Kieran had a traumatic brain injury.

What is the penalty in Michigan for texting while driving?

In our last post, we talked about self-driving and autonomous vehicles, and how these vehicles are poised to change the way we think about getting from point A to point B. Self-driving cars will also dramatically change safety out on the roads, as these vehicles are supposed to cut down on the number of accidents that occur by significant numbers. If that does happen, they will be a massive breakthrough.

However, there is an underlying point about self-driving cars that needs to be made. Human error contributes to so many accidents out on the road, and in recent years, distracted driving has been a major contributor to human errors behind the wheel. People are choosing to take their attention off the road -- while driving at speeds that can cause serious accidents -- and placing it on their cell phones. It is madness.

Self-driving car technology is already available

Road safety advocates say that autonomous vehicles could one day virtually eliminate motor vehicle accidents in Michigan and around the country. While cars lacking steering wheels and pedals may still be several years away from dealer showrooms, the research being done by companies like Google, Tesla and Volvo is already preventing crashes and saving lives. Even modestly priced cars, SUVs and pickup trucks are now available with systems that watch blind spots, prevent skids and can actually brake or steer automatically in emergency situations, but some experts worry that having this kind of technology at their disposal could encourage drivers to act recklessly.

Most safety groups support autonomous vehicle technology and point out that seat belts were once subjected to the same kind of criticism. The annual death toll on the nation's roads has soared in recent years due in large part to an epidemic of cellphone use and distracted driving, and studies suggest that even more road users would be losing their lives each year if accident avoidance systems had not been introduced.

Brain injury resulting from car crashes

The number one cause of traumatic brain injury is automobile accidents. And while these kinds of injuries can be extremely frustrating to recover from, and expensive to treat, many people ignore the signs that something significant has occurred to them.

Example: You are a passenger in a friend’s car. Sitting at an intersection your car is struck from behind by an SUV going 30 mph. The collision causes your head to strike the dashboard area.

Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Truck Involved Accident

It can be quite a hassle to deal with your insurance company after a truck-involved accident. It can be equally difficult to deal with the insurance company that has insured the person who rammed into your truck. You should understand that taking the ultimate step to contact your insurance company following a truck accident is very crucial in any state. When you fail to contact them, you may end up incurring huge premiums, or they may end up taking a more melodramatic decision against you which may include withdrawing from insuring you. Despite the underlying importance of contacting them after any truck accident, you should proceed to do so after contacting truck accident attorneys to run sufficiently represent you.


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