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Brain injury victim didn’t need positive CT scan to win auto case

Centrone V. Stoddard reaffirms that pain and suffering damages require ‘objectively manifested impairment,’ not ‘injury,’ as courts had previously wrongfully held

brain injury case

Imagine if nearly every brain injury claim in Michigan was wiped out.  If hundreds of people who suffer very serious brain injuries were turned away from the courts and were unable to ever seek redress from the people who caused life-altering injuries to them.

We just came precariously close to this.  Far closer than most people, including the entire brain injury community and most of the personal injury attorneys in this state realize.

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Can a future with driverless cars save 1.2 million lives a year?

Striking the balance between protecting an emerging technology that promises to save millions of lives, and compensating victims when driverless cars crash


Worldwide, approximately 1.2 million people die every year in car and truck accidents, according to the World Health Organization.  Of that number, approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people are killed every year in automobile accidents in the United States.

Driverless cars — also called self-driving cars, autonomous cars, robotic cars  and Google cars – are vehicles that drive themselves. They have new advanced technology that enable them to  navigate without a human driver.

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Do drivers who speed in construction work zones deserve more lenient penalties?

Michigan senators want to reduce points on driving records for speeders who endanger workers and other drivers with (SB 895-898). Why?

Yesterday, I wrote about a recent, dangerous package of Senate bills (SB 895-898) that would allow drivers to go faster in construction work zones.  These bills would also raise speed limits to up to 80 miles per hour.

Rightly so, Michigan imposes serious  penalties on drivers who endanger construction workers by speeding in work zones. Under existing Michigan law, if a driver gets caught speeding in a “work zone” on a Michigan highway, the driver could get between three and five points on her driving record.

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New bills would let drivers speed in work zones

road workerPicture in your mind a construction worker near the bright orange cones.  Imagine him working in the hot sun, fixing roads this summer.

Now imagine drivers whizzing by him at speeds  of up to 70 miles per hour.

This will be the new reality for far too many construction workers if a dangerous and ill-advised package of bills (SB 895-898) becomes law. These bills would  revamp Michigan’s speed limit laws.

They will mean speeding big rigs – as trucks would be able to legally drive 10 miles an hour faster – and more people being killed in truck accidents. And they will mean more construction workers being seriously injured and killed as they’re picked off by cars driving at faster speeds through work zones.

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Why higher speed limits for trucks will kill more people: Physics

Michigan’s proposed new law to increase speed limits for large commercial trucks and buses is a very dangerous idea

speed limit trucks

Yesterday, I wrote about the perilous Senate Bills 895-898, which would allow  trucks and buses to speed up to 70 miles per hour – up 10 mph from the current law.

Speed kills. It’s not just a catchy safety phrase. It’s science. And it’s a hard fact that I see in many of the truck accident cases that I’ve litigated as an attorney who practices in this area of law.

Posted in Michigan Truck Accidents | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Speed kills. With big trucks and buses, speed annihilates.

Senate bills 895-898 would allow  trucks and buses to speed up to 70 miles per hour – up 10 mph from the current law

speed limit trucks

We’ve all been there. Watching in our rear-view mirror as a big 80,000-pound, fully-loaded commercial truck is barreling down the road. We’ve all had that sickening feeling in our stomachs as we watch the tractor trailer loom larger and larger behind us.

Posted in Michigan Truck Accidents | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

MDOT to improve a Holland truck stop that’s host to 70 crashes — and recently killed a teacher

Why does it take 70 West Michigan accidents near the Tulip City Truck Stop with people being injured and killed, before MDOT acts?

Joshua Hoppe

Holland Teacher Joshua Hoppe was killed at the dangerous truck stop.

Too late in the game, important safety improvements are coming to a Holland, Michigan truck stop, after a local teacher named Joshua Hoppe was killed in an accident with a commercial truck.

The Department of Transportation has recently released recommendations from a long-term study of M-40 near the Tulip City Truck Stop, which includes adding roundabouts and a median, between Waverly and 52nd Street, according to an article on, “Truck stop to improve safety after teacher died.”

Posted in Michigan Truck Accidents | Leave a comment

Michael Alfano wins our Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship

U of GA student survived a serious crash and is now an aspiring law school student


Michael Alfano of Georgia wants to be one of the good injury attorneys. The aspiring law school student is ready to take his experience recovering from a serious car accident with a bad attorney – and make it right by doing for others.

Michael is the second winner of our annual Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship.  Our attorneys have been helping people injured in automobile accidents in Michigan for more than 60 years.  We started this scholarship for students who have had to overcome life-changing obstacles caused by auto accidents.

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Part II: What’s so bad about capping No Fault benefits?

My response as an insurance attorney helping car accident victims

Attorney Steven Gursten Michigan Auto Law

Those who disagree with me often accuse me of bias. Perhaps this is true. After all, I help the people who depend on No Fault. For nearly 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the consequences of what happens to people and their families after serious automobile accidents. And as President of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association for the last two years, I’ve traveled around the nation educating lawyers who handle car accident litigation; so I’ve been able to compare Michigan to many other states.

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What’s so bad about capping No Fault PIP benefits?

Plenty! No guarantee of savings for consumers; financial ruin for injured; higher health insurance; taxpayer burden; more lawsuits

pip benefit cuts

It’s a fair question.  What’s so bad about capping No Fault PIP?  And as an insurance lawyer, it’s a question I hear often.

A recent question on Michigan Auto Law’s Facebook page reminded me that I’ve never answered this question on this blog.  Essentially, the question was what’s so wrong about capping No Fault PIP and medical benefits at $10,000 or $50,000 in this state.

Posted in Michigan No Fault Benefits, Michigan No Fault Insurance, Michigan No Fault Law | Tagged , , | Leave a comment