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Driver brutally attacked after hitting child in Detroit raises safety concern: Do you stop after a crash in a bad neighborhood?

Steve UtashI often write about the tragic consequences of hit and run accidents, and the prevalence of such accidents in Detroit  due to unlighted streets, uninsured drivers and first responders who often come at an extreme delay.

Yesterday, a 54-year-old man named Steven Utash  struck a 10-year-old boy with his pickup truck in Detroit.

But this man did the right thing. He didn’t hit the boy and run. He stopped to check on the boy at Morang and McKinney. But when he did stop and get out of his vehicle, he was brutally attacked and robbed by a crowd of about a dozen men, according to a recent story in The Detroit News, “Daughter of motorist beaten by crowd says family is ‘waiting for him to wake up.’

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My Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in Macomb County, Michigan for Car Accidents

Watch out for Cass Avenue and South Groesbeck Highway in Clinton Township, with a whopping 90 crashes

Cass Avenue and South Groesbeck in Clinton Township is Macomb County's most dangerous intersection.

Cass Avenue and South Groesbeck in Clinton Township is Macomb County’s most dangerous intersection.

Here’s my top 10 most dangerous intersections in Macomb County.   I define “dangerous” by the number of car accidents that have occurred at these intersections in 2013.  If you can, try to avoid them.  Hopefully we can all use a bit more care on these roads.

Here’s my  Top 10 Worst intersections in Macomb County, Michigan:

  1. Cass Avenue and South Groesbeck Highway, Clinton Township, 90 car accidents
Posted in Michigan Car Accidents | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Will my car insurance cover the pothole damage claim?

Argh! Another pothole damaged my car! Attorney answers how to make a claim for pothole damage

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The one problem with being an insurance lawyer is with this influx of potholes everywhere, people keep asking me what they can do about the flat tires and more serious car damage they’re causing.  I cannot remember it ever being this bad.  Some streets look like they’ve been carpet bombed after this record winter.

Mostly, people want to know if their insurance will cover a claim for pothole damage.

Today I’d like to share answers to some of the most common questions I’m getting about damage to cars caused by potholes.

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How do 3 different Michigan No Fault Insurance Reform plans compare?

Chart shows similarities and key differences between the “reform” plans backed by Gov. Snyder, House Speaker Bolger and Sen. Pappageorge

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This past month, Michigan’s No Fault insurance laws were in the cross hairs, with plans introduced to drastically change parts of it introduced by House Speaker Jase Bolger and Sen. John Pappageorge. I’ve put together an informative chart that compares the similarities and big differences between the different proposals (including the earlier plan strongly backed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Rep. Pete Lund).

The plans I compared include:

Posted in Michigan No Fault Benefits, Michigan No Fault Insurance, Michigan No Fault Law | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Is driving “high on pot” safer than driving sober?

New research challenges this safety myth that driving is safer when using  marijuana. There are real dangers.

driving on marijuana

Is driving under the influence of marijuana safe?

Is driving when you are high from smoking pot safer driver than if you are driving sober?

Many people think so. In fact, it has become an urban legend that people who smoke pot and drive are not only safe drivers, but that smoking pot and driving actually makes you a better driver. And, based on some of the responses I received on Twitter and Facebook from my last post about driving high on recreational or medical marijuana,  this urban legend is alive and well.  More than a few responses answered the question of, “Is it safe to drive after smoking pot?” with an emphatic “Yes.”

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Thoughts on the new commercial and ad campaign for 22not33.com

What’s the secret to getting clients a great settlement result?  It isn’t what you think

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I don’t advertise on television, and I never have.  Same with billboards, buses, phone books, and all the other places we often find lawyers’ faces these days.

Fortunately, the vast majority of my cases are referred to me by other lawyers, based upon my results and how I treat my clients. I’ve always found lawyer advertising regrettable. I believe that law is a noble profession, not a business. And unfortunately, the billboard wars and a lot of the less tasteful commercials that we see today, all lower the dignity of the legal profession in the eyes of the public.

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Is the Michigan Supreme Court biased in favor of insurance companies, against consumers and the injured?

New CPAN study shows auto insurers won 84% of major No Fault cases before Michigan’s highest court in last 10 years

MSC biased in favor of insurance companies

Attorneys who represent auto accident victims in this state have long suspected  that the deck is stacked against their clients  when they take their case before the Michigan Supreme Court.

Those suspicions are now confirmed, according to an excellent and timely new study by the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN),  “Analysis of Michigan Supreme Court cases decided under the Michigan No-Fault Act within the past 10 years.”

Significantly, here’s what CPAN found:

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

“Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program” under new No Fault “reform” plan

Not low cost and not a lot of coverage

Low Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program

The saying is: “You get what you pay for.”

With respect to the “Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program” proposed by House Speaker Jase Bolger and the House Republicans in their latest No Fault “reform” draft plan called Substitute for HB 4612, it’s probable that folks who buy into the low cost pilot program will not even be that lucky.

Here’s why  (the page numbers below refer to the full, 91-page draft bill):

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Our 2014 Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship Winner: Shaquana Snyder of Detroit, Michigan

From left: Attorneys Robert Raitt, Jordan Jones, Shaquana Snyder, attorneys Steven Gursten and Brandon Hewitt

From left: Attorneys Robert Raitt, Jordan Jones, Shaquana Snyder, attorneys Steven Gursten and Brandon Hewitt

Today I’d like to honor Shaquana Snyder of Detroit.

Shaquana is an intelligent and inspiring  first year law school student. And she is the 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 take great pride in helping good people. That’s why our attorneys started the scholarship for students who have had to overcome life-changing challenges and obstacles caused by auto accidents.

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Jury Bias: Teaching Lawyers How to Battle the Misperceptions of Tort “Deform”

Steve Gursten speaking at American Association for Justice webcast seminar on Thursday, March 27, 2014

Attorney Steven Gursten Michigan Auto Law

Sometimes attorneys – and especially injury attorneys thanks to 30 years of tort reform propaganda – lose a case before they even begin.

Ask people what they think of a personal injury lawyer and you’re more likely to get a response of  “ambulance chasing lawyers” than the champion for justice and the rights of the individual against powerful insurance companies and corporations.

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