man with old back injury after car accident

Aggravating an Old Injury in a Car Accident

No matter what type of car accident you find yourself involved in, it can be very frightening – not to mention extremely inconvenient. But what can make the experience even less opportune is when you find yourself aggravating a prior injury that you’ve worked to improve. Whether you are recovering from a small surgery that had started to heal or have worked hard to get back to yourself after a previous accident, re-injuring part of your body is frustrating.

Imagine that you have suffered from serious back pain after giving birth to your daughter 8 years ago. Then you find yourself in a car accident in which you have been rear-ended. Now your back pain is worse than ever before. Now you are going to require surgery and physical therapy to help decrease the pain and increase your quality of life. Why should you be left to pay for these medical costs? The answer is you shouldn’t.

Insurance Companies Have Conflicting Interests

When you have been injured in a car accident you will probably file a claim with your insurance company so that they can cover your medical bills and lost wages while you recover. Unfortunately though, insurance companies often try to get out of paying for injury costs in which the injury is related to a pre-existing condition. 

Insurance companies are just that – companies. To stay in business they must be able to make money. Therefore paying you for your injury – or paying you enough for your injury – is not conducive to their prosperity. Insurance companies will often claim that your injury was not a result of the crash since it was present beforehand. However, under Michigan state law, insurance companies may still be liable for accident-related expenses even if these injuries are related to a pre-existing condition. As long as it can be shown that the accident aggravated/exacerbated your pre-existing injury, your accident-related injuries are still compensable.

Benefits to Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

While nothing prevents you from bringing a claim on your own, you will have a much better chance of receiving optimal compensation when represented by a personal injury attorney. He or she can help to:

  • Collect evidence to demonstrate how your injury has been made worse by your accident
  • Demonstrate that you are following all medical treatments from your treating physician 
  • Look over any settlement offers provided to you by your insurance company (insurance companies will often try to pay you less than what you deserve)

Whether your injury is brand new or you have aggravated an old injury, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. You should not be made to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes.

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. will fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured (and will continue to endure). We will gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the best outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

police at drunk driving scene

Motorcycle Crashes with Motor Vehicles

There’s nothing quite like riding your motorcycle on a beautiful day with all the freedom in the world. As warm weather quickly approaches, more and more motorcyclists will be gearing up for the road. But while these rides can be relaxing and enjoyable, they can also result in serious injury or even prove fatal. 

While operating any motor vehicle has its own risks, motorcycles have even more. In fact, fatal accidents on motorcycles occur 28 times more often than in cars. In fact, crashes between a motorcycle and another motor vehicle make up more than 50% of deaths from motorcycle accident. Motorcycles do not offer as much occupant protection as do motor vehicles, and motor vehicles are heavier and bulkier than motorcycles. Therefore, motorcyclist struck by motor vehicles can result in a variety of serious injuries, including:

When a motorcyclists is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, most often the driver of the motor vehicle is to blame. This is usually due to the motor vehicle driver failing to see the motorcyclists due to the motocycle’s smaller profile. Other common causes of motorcyclist crashes include:

  • Being hit from behind;
  • Lane splitting;
  • Blind spots;
  • Cars and trucks turning left; and
  • Distracted driving

Protecting Yourself from Severe Injury

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to completely eradicate the chance of suffering injuries in a motorcycle crash with another vehicle. However, you can reduce the likelihood of injury and the severity of injury by wearing the proper safety gear. This includes eye protection, durable gloves, proper footwear, leather pants and jackets, and most importantly, a helmet. 

Helmets can often be the difference between life and death. Wearing a helmet is 29% effective at preventing death and 67% effective at preventing a traumatic brain injury. Those who fail to wear a helmet are 40% more likely to die from a head injury.

But even those who wear the right safety gear can still suffer injury or even die in a motorcycle crash with a drunk driver. 

What Can I Recover?

Those who have suffered a serious injury or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for their losses. These damages that may be recovered help with:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Personal attendant care
  • Noneconomic damages (i.e., pain and suffering damages)
  • Loss of consortium (for spouses)
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Each claim is different and depends upon the specific facts of your case. But working with a qualified accident attorney can help to set you up for the best outcome. 

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle versus motor vehicle accident, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured (and will continue to endure). We will gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. We’ll help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

guy taking care of motorcycle

At-Home Motorcycle Care to Keep You Safe

Unfortunately, we can’t always prevent motorcycle accidents. No matter what you do you can’t control another person. However, there are some things that you can do at home that can actually help protect you. The proper motorcycle maintenance not only ensures that your motorcycle is in good condition, but can also help to prevent crashes.

Here are key parts of your bike to examine in order to ensure you will be safe. 

1. Look at your tires, wheels, and brakes.

Before each ride, it’s important to look at your tires, wheels, and brakes for their wear and tread depth. Take a look at the air pressure in your tires and add air if it is necessary. Test your brakes to ensure that they are working properly. 

2. Check and confirm that your controls are working properly. 

While you may not be able to fix controls if they aren’t working, it’s likely that you’ll still be able to identify the problem on your own. Before each ride ensure that your throttle, cables, hoses, levels and pedals, and handlebars are working properly. When in doubt about your ability to replace or fix something, seek professional help from a local repair shop. Also, check to be sure that your mirrors are clean and not cracked. 

3. Ensure that your lights and electric features are in order. 

The lights on your bike and headlamp are extremely important. That’s why you should check them before each ride. If the bulb is merely burned out, you can change it at home. A professional can handle electrical issues, such as insulation coming off of wires (unless you know what you are doing).

4. Always check your oil and fluid levels before a ride. 

As with a car, ensuring that you have enough oil and other fluids is essential before a ride. If necessary, top off anything that needs it before your ride. After your ride, look to see if there are any leaks. You can determine this by looking for any drops that are coming off through cracks. 

5. Examine your frame and suspension before and after each ride.

Before each ride take a look at the frame, suspension, belt/chain, and fasteners on your bike. While you may have an idea of what to do if a part must be replaced, you can always allow a professional to do it for you if you are at all uncertain. This ensures that it is done properly. 

While there is certainly a lot to examine on your bike before and after each ride, it shouldn’t take you that long. It can also be the difference between being safe and becoming seriously injured. 

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

While these practices may help to prevent motorcycle crashes, such crashes are certain to still occur. Often times, these crashes are due to motor vehicle drivers’ failure to see motorcycles. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation. The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. will fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured (and will continue to endure). We will gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

medical records

What to Do if an Insurance Company Requests Your Medical Records

It’s normal to feel very overwhelmed after being injured in an accident. You may find yourself in a lot of pain and discomfort, temporarily unable to work, and buried beneath a pile of medical bills. Therefore, it may be extremely tempting to do whatever you can to receive the money that you deserve. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are aware of this and will try to use it to their advantage. Insurance adjusters will often ask for copies of all of your medical records, saying that they are necessary to verify the injuries you’ve suffered. However, there is often another reason for this request. 

Other Reasons for Obtaining Your Records

Insurance companies do need to confirm that you have actually suffered the injuries you’ve claimed. However, insurance adjusters will often look through your medical records for any information that can be used against your current claim. In other words, they will closely look over your medical history and try to find previous injuries or accidents that could explain your current injuries. For example, if you suffered a back injury in a previous accident seven years ago but are now claiming a back injury as a result of a car accident, it’s likely that the insurance company will try to pin your current back pain on your previous back injury. That way, the insurance company can try to devalue your claim or deny it altogether.

Do not get discouraged if your insurance company tells you that you are not entitled to benefits because of a pre-existing condition. This is a common insurance company tactic. By pointing to previous injuries/accidents, insurers try to argue that you are not entitled to the compensation that you have requested – or at least that you are not entitled to as much compensation. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to prevent your insurer from obtaining your previous medical records. That’s because your prior medical history is relevant in any personal injury claim/lawsuit. The good news is that the law recognizes that pre-existing conditions typically make a person more susceptible to trauma. See Model Civil Jury Instruction 50.10. So, under Michigan law, you will still be entitled to compensation if your previous injury is aggravated by a recent motor vehicle accident. Therefore, it is always best to be truthful and honest regarding any pre-existing medical conditions.

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

Unfortunately, many insurance companies will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the law when working with them. It’s extremely important that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney if your insurance company has denied payment of benefits because of any pre-existing medical conditions. Attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to deal with this insurance tactic.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about speaking with an insurance company and tackling the legalities of your situation. The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. will fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured and will continue to endure. We will gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. We’ll help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

What to Know About Bad Weather Accidents in Michigan

Michigan isn’t exactly known for its kind weather. With frigid temperatures, substantial snowfall, and plenty of icy roadways, there is a lot with which to be concerned. When there is inclement weather it can greatly impact the safety of those driving on the road. That’s why it’s no surprise that many accidents in Michigan occur amid these conditions. Here’s what to know about bad weather accidents in Michigan.

What is the Responsibility of a Driver?

All drivers must operate their vehicles with the same amount of care that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would do. Therefore when considering whether or not a driver has been negligent during inclement weather, you must examine how a reasonable person would have acted in the same or similar inclement weather. In other words, what may be considered reasonable on a clear, summer day may not be considered reasonable during a winter snowstorm. 

When a driver fails to exude the same degree of care that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would, he or she can be considered negligent. Therefore if his or her negligence causes injury to another person and/or property, he or she can be held liable. 

Types of Driver Negligence Leading to Bad Weather Accidents

There are a variety of types of driver negligence that can lead to accidents during inclement weather (e.g. heavy rain, snow, hail, icy roads, winds, fog, etc.). Such types include:

  • Ignoring hazardous conditions
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely/tailgating
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to properly maintain the vehicle
  • Failing to use headlights when needed
  • Failing to stop at an intersection, traffic light (when red) or stop sign
  • Failing to yield

When someone has been involved in a bad weather accident, the injuries and property damage can be quite substantial. These damages can result in severe financial loss. Some injuries may prevent the victim from being able to work and therefore earn a living. This is often only compounded by the fact that medical bills can cost an exorbitant amount of money. 

Luckily, Michigan generally allows those who have been injured in a car accident to recover for both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include:

  • Medical costs;
  • Lost income;
  • Personal attendant care; and
  • Replacement services (known as the household chores benefit).

Noneconomic damages compensate for pain and suffering resulting from your accident-related injuries. If you’re married, your spouse may also have a claim for the loss of your services, known as a loss of consortium claim.

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

While some bad weather accidents are pretty cut and dry, others are much more complex, often requiring intensive analysis and extensive evidence. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Michigan personal injury attorney. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bad weather accident, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured (and will continue to endure). We will gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. We’ll help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

man helping woman with tire on the road

3 Tips for Staying Safe While Assisting Another Driver in Need

For many of us, it’s difficult to see another driver in distress and not want to do something to help. Often drivers will stop to assist with a bad car accident, only to be hit by another car and seriously injured – if not killed. So how can you help another driver while still protecting yourself? Here are 3 tips for staying safe while assisting another driver in need.

1. Do NOT approach the vehicle from the driver’s side. 

Although it may be instinctual to want to go straight to the injured driver, it’s imperative that you do not approach their vehicle from the driver’s side if the car is on the right shoulder of the road. This is because doing so makes you much more likely to be hit by another driver who doesn’t see you until it’s too late. For the same reason, you should try to refrain from parking on a sharp curve, hill, or other landscape that can make it difficult for you to be seen from further away. 

2. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for your own safety.

When you are trying to help another driver, the last thing that you – and they – need is to injure yourself. One way to protect yourself from harm is by dressing in the appropriate outerwear. This may include wearing shoes with proper traction or a warm jacket in frigid temperatures. It may also be in your best interest to store a glow-in-the-dark vest in your glove compartment to make yourself more visible in dark or inclement conditions. 

3. Leave a good amount of room between your vehicle and theirs. 

When you are trying to help someone else who has been involved in a car accident, you may not know exactly what happened to the vehicle, nor might you know how the vehicle will respond as a result of the accident. That’s why it’s always in your best interest to leave a good amount of room between your vehicle and the other. This way, if the vehicle behaves unexpectedly, you will be more distanced. 

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or while helping another person, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured (and will continue to endure). We will gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. We’ll help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

pedestrian at crosswalk

What Should a Pedestrian Do After Being Hit by a Car?

While crashes between two cars can result in little to no damage, others can be deadly. But when an accident occurs between a car and a pedestrian, there is much more at risk. One of the leading causes of accidents between cars and pedestrians is inattentive drivers. Pedestrians who are hit by cars generally experience a severe physical, emotional, and financial injury.

While it may be the last thing on your mind at the time, how you proceed following being hit by a car can greatly affect your ability to receive the damages you deserve. Here are important steps to follow if a car hits you in order to recover your damages.

Call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately. 

After you have been involved in an accident, the most important thing to do is to call 9-1-1 immediately. It’s imperative that you call for police and an ambulance. 

Ensuring a Police Report is made is important, as it can provide a lot of information to help with any insurance claim. It’s important that the EMTs check you out and you go to the hospital – even if you feel fine. This is because injuries can be internal and you could be suffering a serious injury internally without your knowledge. Also, some injuries may take a period of time to show up and having a hospital record can help your claim.

Obtain the driver’s contact information.

If you are seriously injured it’s important that you don’t move around. But if you are physically able to, it’s extremely important to collect the name, phone number, and insurance information of the driver who hit you. While the driver should never leave the scene of the accident, they still sometimes do. That’s why collecting this information should be done as soon as possible. If you are taken from the scene to seek immediate medical attention, it’s important that you designate a trusted family member or friend to collect this information on your behalf. 

Report the accident to your insurance company. 

Should you find that the driver who hit you is either uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. This will depend on whether you obtained uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage when you obtained your insurance policy. If you do have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, make a claim as soon as possible. Don’t forget to do this, as delaying can make things much more difficult for you.

Call a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney.

Finally, another extremely important step to take is to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney who is experienced negotiating with insurance companies. He or she can help you to get the compensation to which you are entitled. 

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one was a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, it can have a major impact on just about every aspect of your life. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured and will continue to endure. We can help you to gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. We’ll help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

wrong way sign

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Wrong-Way Drivers?

As a driver, few things are scarier than seeing another driver speeding towards you, going the wrong direction. Unfortunately, wrong-way drivers are often responsible for car accidents that result in severe injury or even death. 

So while you can’t do anything to prevent another driver from going the wrong way down a street, you can be pro-active when it comes to defending against one. The way to do this is first to understand a bit about the prevalence of these wrong-way accidents.

The Impact of Wrong-Way Drivers

A majority of wrong-way drivers are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Those who are not are often distracted, rushing, and mistake the exit of a road or highway for an entrance. Although police officers that see wrong-way drivers will attempt to get their attention and stop them, they aren’t always successful. These wrong-way accidents are responsible for killing 300 to 400 people each year in the United States.

Always Be Proactive

To be proactive against wrong-way drivers is important that you follow a few different steps:

  • Be sure to drive in the right lane whenever you are not passing someone. Since most drivers (including those going the wrong way) believe that they are staying in the right lane too, they are actually in the left lane, just driving the wrong direction.
  • Always keep an eye on the surroundings and drivers around you – including those in the distance. 
  • Should you see a driver going the wrong way, immediately call 9-1-1 and inform them of the vehicle, its location, and the direction it’s driving. This can help to prevent a fatal collision. 

In an effort to reduce the number of wrong-way accidents, Michigan, along with some other states, has created and implemented warning systems along off-ramps in an effort to get the driver’s attention before a crash occurs. 

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a wrong-way driver, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. We understand the seriousness of your injury and the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that you have endured and will continue to endure. We can help you to gather the necessary evidence and build a case to help you receive the most optimal outcome. We’ll help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!