Cell Phones: A Leading Cause Of Distracted Driving Accidents

Police officers throughout Michigan are stepping up traffic enforcement in an effort to draw increased attention to risky driving behaviors — particularly cell phone use — and help curb distracted driving accidents.

What is distracted driving? It is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from operating the vehicle. It includes using a cell phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers and messing with a vehicle’s radio, entertainment or navigation system.

Cell Phones And Distracted Driving Accidents

Cell phones are a leading cause of distracted driving accidents and car accident injuries in Michigan. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety ...

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The Dangers Of Semi-Truck Driver Fatigue

The arrest of a truck driver who traveled from Washington State to Massachusetts without any sleep recently made national headlines, leading to increasing concerns about the dangers of semi-truck driver fatigue.

Semi-truck drivers are usually paid based on miles, which is why they often attempt to travel long distances in short periods of time. Federal trucking regulations, however, limit the number of hours a driver can travel within a 24-hour period. Federal rules also mandate when, and for how long, a semi-truck driver must take breaks.

But despite federal regulations, semi-truck driver fatigue continues to be one of the common ...

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Michigan Sets Insurance Requirements For Uber, Lyft Drivers

For several years, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have been operating in Michigan without any statewide regulation, leading to auto insurance coverage concerns, as well as liability insurance questions, in the event a driver is involved in an accident.

But all this changed on March 21, 2017, when Public Acts 345, 346, 347 and 348 went into effect.

What do these new laws do? They basically create a framework under which ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, must conduct business in Michigan.

New Michigan Ride-Sharing Laws

Under the new laws, ride-sharing companies must register with the ...

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Attorney Jim Graves Represents Plaintiffs In Nassar-MSU Sexual Assault Scandal

Jim Graves of the Sinas Dramis Law Firm is representing several female plaintiffs in the ongoing sexual assault scandal against Larry Nassar and Michigan State University. All the plaintiffs claim they were sexually abused by Nassar while he was a team physician at MSU.

Nassar, of Holt, worked as a team doctor at MSU for nearly 20 years and with USA Gymnastics for almost 30 years. Since last fall, more than 100 women and girls have come forward, alleging that Nassar sexually abused them while he was employed at MSU.

Plaintiff Jane AAA Doe alleges in a complaint filed March ...

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Michigan Auto Accident Deaths Jump 19% Since 2014

2016 may have been the deadliest year in nine years for people traveling the nation’s roadways, based on preliminary data from the National Safety Council. The early numbers also show an increase in Michigan auto accident deaths: there were 1,064 fatalities on the state’s roads in 2016, compared to 893 deaths in 2014 — an increase of 19 percent over the two-year period.

The NSC reports that, in 2016, some 40,200 people across the country died in auto accidents. It’s the first time in nine years that the annual death toll has exceeded ...

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Jim Graves Named 2017 “Leader In The Law”

Jim Graves has been named a 2017 “Leader in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, a statewide legal publication.

“Leaders in the Law” are chosen for their significant accomplishments in law practice; outstanding contributions to the practice of law; leadership in improving the justice system; improving the legal community and their communities at large; and setting an example for other attorneys.

“It is truly an honor, and humbling, to be recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly with this award,” Jim says.

Jim, a shareholder at Sinas Dramis, focuses his practice on plaintiffs’ personal injury, wrongful death and auto no-fault law. ...

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Extending Michigan’s “One-Year-Back Rule” Will Help Reduce No-Fault Litigation

By Stephen H. Sinas

As the Legislature debates revising the Auto No-Fault Insurance Act, there is one simple change that will vastly improve the no-fault system: extending Michigan’s “one-year-back rule.” If people have more time to resolve payment disputes with their auto insurance companies, it will help reduce unnecessary no-fault litigation.

The one-year-back rule in MCL 500.3145 says that, for any medical expense unpaid by a no-fault insurance company, if a lawsuit is not filed against the insurance company within one year from the date the medical service was rendered, the insurance company will never have to pay the ...

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Can Victims Of Michigan Semi-Truck Crashes Get No-Fault Benefits?

Persons involved in a Michigan semi-truck accident frequently have catastrophic injuries and require lifetime care, resulting in mounting medical bills. Given this, does auto no-fault apply to Michigan semi-truck crashes?

Semi-truck crashes are some of the deadliest accidents on the roadways. In 2016, nearly 12,000 heavy trucks and buses were in collisions on Michigan highways. Nationwide, studies show that 98 percent of semi-truck crashes result in at least one fatality — and about 86 percent of these deaths are not the semi-truck driver.

To help reduce fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier ...

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Nursing Home Contracts Can No Longer Require The Arbitration Of Disputes

For decades, nursing home contracts have included mandatory arbitration clauses, often without the knowledge of patients and their families. These clauses required that claims against a nursing home be resolved through a private arbitration process, rather than through a traditional court proceeding.

A new federal rule, however, now says that nursing home contracts can no longer require the arbitration of disputes. This includes claims for nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence.

The rule applies to all nursing homes that receive federal funding — which most do — and was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human ...

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What Is “Reasonable Proof” Under The Michigan No-Fault Act?

Since being enacted more than 40 years ago, the Michigan No-Fault Act has been rather difficult to understand and apply. But despite the Act’s overall complexities, there are some no-fault concepts that have retained their elegant simplicity — and one of these is “reasonable proof.”

Under the Michigan No-Fault Act, an insurance company is required to pay personal protection insurance (PIP) claims within 30 days of receiving “reasonable proof of the fact and of the amount of loss sustained.” If an insurer fails to do this, it is liable for 12% annual penalty interest.

Liability for penalty interest is strict ...

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