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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

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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

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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.

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Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes, former Rep. Jim Howell: No Fault reforms are not “Pure Michigan”

For Howell, the dangers in Speaker Bolger’s “Substitute for HB 4612″ are personal: His son has brain injury from a catastrophic car accident

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State Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes (D-Saginaw) and former State Rep. Jim Howell (Saginaw County) have been outspoken about their opposition to recent No Fault “reform” proposals. And for Mr. Howell, it’s personal.

His son, Sam Howell was in a car crash in February 2005 that put him in a coma for more than a year. He had a 3% chance of survival. Sam cannot walk on his own. He has a traumatic brain injury that affects how he communicates with people.

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Bills would increase Michigan speed limit to 80 miles per hour, endanger construction workers

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Speed kills. But apparently some Michigan lawmakers don’t care. Sen. Casperson (R-Alger) and Sen. Pappageorge (R-Berkley) have released a package of bills (SB 895-898) that would allow drivers to speed up to 80 miles per hour.

I explain why this is a dangerous idea below.  What I truly don’t understand is why the bill seeks to increase speeds in construction zones.  As an attorney who has helped the families of construction workers killed by speeding motorists, there seems no debate about the dangers of construction zones. But SB 896 would make them even more dangerous.

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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
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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:

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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.

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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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