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Ann Arbor Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Truck stopping distances can increase risk of car accidents

If Michiganders get nervous when they drive near semi-trucks, they are not alone. These big rigs can be intimidating, primarily because their massive size can cause immense devastation when they are involved in an accident. Due to the risk associated with these vehicles, truckers obtain education and training to better prepare them to drive them safely. Unfortunately, some of the finer points of safe driving are often forgotten.

Amongst them is the fact that semi-trucks take significantly longer to come to a safe stop. The reason for this is mere weight of the vehicle. Whereas a passenger vehicle may weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, a semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This means that a car traveling at 40 miles per hour will need 124 feet to safely come to a stop. A semi-truck traveling at the same speed will need 169 feet. When traveling at 65 miles per hour, a car will take 316 feet to stop compared to 525 feet for a semi-truck. That's nearly the length of a football field in difference.

The costs associated with caring for a spinal cord injury

Injuries suffered in a car accident or as the result of medical malpractice can fall anywhere on the spectrum of severity. Some victims are fortunate enough to walk away from their accident with little more than a few bumps and bruises and a story to tell. Other victims though, suffer serious injuries that leave them with extensive pain and emotional turmoil. Far too often, these individuals are left with a disability. Not only does this take away one's ability to live his or her normal life, but it can also be excruciatingly expensive.

This is especially true for those who suffer a spinal cord injury. For example, those who suffer the loss of any motor function as a result of a spinal cord injury can expect to pay nearly $350,000 in their first year for medical and rehabilitative costs alone. Those with tetraplegia can wind up paying anywhere from approximately $770,000 to more than $1 million for their first year of care.

For young drivers, blind spots are critical

Young drivers have quite a bit to learn when they first get behind the wheel. Not only are they supposed to actively incorporate the rules of the road, they must understand the importance of safety regulations (both written and unwritten). An example is the need to check one’s blind spot. Indeed, it may be a foreign concept for a new driver, but if this simple step is missed, it could spell disaster.

So when driving a car for the first time, the following steps can help to get your bearings and reduce the possibility of an accident.

Distracted Walking Becomes a Deadly Problem

It has become more dangerous than ever to go for a walk in urban areas, and pedestrians themselves are partly to blame.

A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that 5,984 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. last year. That total is about the same as in 2016, which itself marked a 9 percent increase from 2015. In the past four years, pedestrian deaths have increased nearly 20 percent.

Could an extra hour of sleep prevent serious car accidents?

Our society faces chronic stress and sleep deprivation. Every morning, we turn off our alarms well before our bodies are ready and hit the ground running. After filling up a large coffee mug, we jump in the car and drive to the office, to the gym or to drop children off at school. But could missing out on your body's preferred seven hours of sleep be more serious than yawning fits and a dependence on caffeine?

Decoding your injury symptoms days after an accident

After the crash, you were able to walk it off. Perhaps you gained a few scratches and dinged your vehicle, but for the most part you thought you were perfectly fine. However, a few days or weeks after the accident, you started to notice aches and pains that weren't there before.

It's common for accident injuries to have delayed symptoms. Although you only now feel different, the injuries could still be extremely serious. Pay close attention to a few symptoms that could reveal a much bigger problem.

Why truck accidents are more likely to cause serious injuries

Any type of motor vehicle accident can potentially cause a wide range of physical and emotional trauma. For several reasons, when a big rig is involved, accidents are more likely to result in a high level of damage.

Many of the reasons truck accidents tend to be more serious involve some innate characteristics of large trucks. Their mass, which can amount to over 80,000 pounds, creates a correspondingly greater impact. This same increased mass, in addition to their length and size, also increases braking time and thus the likelihood that the truck will still be traveling at a high speed at the time of the crash.

How wrongful death lawsuits work in Michigan

When a loved one dies due to another person's negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate. While this type of claim has a lot in common with personal injury cases, some aspects may differ significantly.

While no amount of money can make up for what happened, filing a claim may be the only way to hold responsible the people or companies whose negligence went so far as to cause a person's death. When the victim left behind dependent family members, pursuing this claim can be a matter of vital importance.

Car accident injuries and their impact

Many people assume that most of the car accidents they see on the roads in Michigan are minor fender benders. Little do they realize that many of those accidents involve people who sustained severe and catastrophic injuries. As common as motor vehicle wrecks are, it is important for motorists to become familiar with the types of injuries they could sustain and how they can impact their lives. 

Here is a brief overview on some of the injuries that car accident victims may incur. 

When should you seek a second opinion?

Major medical diagnoses are life-changing events, which is why it can be surprising when people discover how rare it actually is to seek out a second opinion following the announcement of such a diagnosis-or the exclusion of it. In fact, there was a Gallup survey of Americans in the mid-2000s that covered 5,000 contributors and found that just about half reported never seeking a second opinion at all.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC
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Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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