Key Points of This Article:
- Driving accidents that occur on the way to your favorite summer getaway can potentially trigger severe injuries and sometimes fatal outcomes for drivers and passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians.
- Avoid the mess of being involved in an accident this summer by driving slower, remaining alert and extra cautious, and know the steps to take if involved in a crash no matter where you may be traveling.
- No one should have to pay the price for accident injuries caused by another driver, and the injured will need all the facts to prove negligence.
- If you have been in an accident this summer and have any questions about how insurance coverage works when traveling out-of-state, how to gather evidence, or what legal options you have to make a personal injury claim against a negligent driver, the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. can help.
Watch Out for These Summer Road Trip Hazards and Avoid a Car Accident
Since COVID-19 and Michigan’s stay-at-home order has left families indoors for much of 2020, there is no doubt that many are ready for a weekend road trip or a family outing to their favorite summer destination. And while there might be fewer cars on the road yet, Michigan State Police have reported a rise in drivers who speed, fail to stop at intersections and stop signs, and are distracted or impaired. Just as well, vehicles that have not been maintained, extra loads like campers and boats crowding lane space, bottleneck traffic zones, and new road construction hazards are common causes of accidents in Michigan each summer in these popular destination communities.
- Ann Arbor, Midland, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Manistee, Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac, and Ypsilanti serve as quick weekend getaways to Michiganders.
- The highest number of summertime accidents in Michigan are found in the densely populated tourist counties of Oakland, Kent, Macomb, Ottawa, and Washtenaw.
- Beach towns like Grand Haven, Holland, South Haven, St. Joseph, Muskegon, and Saugatuck and the upper peninsula tend to have more high-speed crashes and motorcycle-related accidents.
- Neighboring communities in Ohio, Indiana, Milwaukee and northern Wisconsin, and Chicago are popular and accessible out-of-state stops for Michiganders, according to MLive.
It’s an excellent time to review a list of common scenarios related to summer auto accidents that the lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have recently noticed.
As you travel to your destination, you are caught in a fender-bender, and the adrenalin has caused you to forget what to do next.
Following a car accident, it is important to follow these steps:
- Check for injuries and seek medical attention if necessary.
- If you are able, safely get out of harm’s way to avoid a secondary accident.
- Call the police. In the days and weeks following the collision, your statement and witness statements will be needed for reporting, insurance, or legal purposes.
- Use your smartphone to gather the information that might be needed later, including taking notes, pictures, and videos of vehicle damage and license plates, injuries, and the scene. What you provide can be used by legal teams and police to provide the evidence needed to support crash injury claims.
- If you can leave the scene on your own, visit an urgent care center or schedule time to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Whatever the setting may be, make sure you tell them about any pain and discomfort you are having and have it documented in your medical record. And remember, car accident injuries may sometimes pop up days or even weeks after a crash.
- Call your insurance company, review your policy, and ask questions to understand what is not covered. You may need to challenge coverage and liability as some Michigan car insurance carriers have a history of aggressively denying claims and refusing to pay Michigan No-Fault benefits.
- Call a Michigan car, motorcycle, and truck accident attorney at 1-800-LEE-FREE for expert legal assistance.
Special note about COVID-19 and social distancing after a Michigan car or truck accident: If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone in your household has been infected, and in quarantine, it’s important to let the 911 operator know this. As you conversate with first responders at the scene, maintain the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation of 6 feet of distance from others. If you have a mask, please wear it or use a cloth covering. Try texting or emailing each other’s contact information and avoid shaking hands.
We have more help on this topic here: Five Things to Do If Involved in A Motor Vehicle Accident and Safe Physical Distancing Reminders
You are on a family road trip out-of-state and get into a car accident. And, now you are wondering if your insurance still covers you?
Getting involved in a car accident is a scary experience for most, and if you are far away from home when it happens, anxiety and confusion can quickly set in. But stay comforted in knowing that if you or someone you are traveling with become injured in a car crash while out-of-state, and assuming you have Michigan No-Fault PIP coverage, your policy will cover your claim for medical bills paid and lost wages. It is also good to speak with a Michigan car accident lawyer about options if coverage is not available.
Because people are in their vehicle longer than usual during most road trips, reminders about car seat and seat belt safety, distractions, motorcycles and pedestrians, and the risk of driving drowsy remain important.
- An average of three children younger than 12-years-of-age are killed in traffic crashes every day. And one-third of the children killed are not buckled up. Be sure children are in the correct child seat and all passengers are buckled throughout your trip. Never leave your child (or pets) alone in a car, especially during warmer months.
- A growing number of distracted driving accidents are caused each year by electronic devices such as cell phones, mostly from drivers who are texting or using the internet when they should be focused on the road. Leave the cell phone use to passengers.
- Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are less protected than people in vehicles, making them vulnerable roadway users at higher risk of injury in a collision. Always be on the lookout for other motorists and pedestrians.
- To avoid becoming a drowsy driver, adopt a healthy sleep routine and recognize those sleepiness symptoms, such as inattentiveness and lane drifting. These are a few warning signs to tell you it is time to pull over and rest or change drivers.
Wherever you decide to go this summer, do your best to drive safely, don’t rush, and be extra careful. Michigan is a beautiful place to enjoy your summer!
Michigan Auto Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, you or your family may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. toll-free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free, no-risk consultation.
Video Transcript 1
I mean, it’s funny. I’ve got two little kids, we’re taking a road trip pretty soon, we’re going to Grand Haven and we go to Grand Haven and Lake Michigan area almost every summer. Because there’s less cars on the road, but people are driving like crazy right now. You just have to be careful. I have seen more speeding than I think I’ve ever seen ever in my life here in Michigan, which is saying something because we’re a state that likes to drive our cards really fast. I am seeing people who aren’t using their blinkers, who aren’t stopping fully at stop signs, who are running red lights. It seems like everybody’s in a big hurry to get what they need to do done. So just be extra careful.
When you’re going on the road trip, I know we all want to get to that cottage, or that house, that beach, but just take your time. It’ll be there. You’ve got your little ones in the car. You’ve got family members in the car. We all want to get there in one piece, just drive safely, drive slow and just be extra careful this summer as we go to our different destinations.
Video Transcript 2
Getting involved in a car accident is scary always, especially when you’re so far away from home. What you should do pretty much the same thing you would do, even if you were injured close to home, call 911. And make sure some local law enforcement is there to get names and information of everybody who’s involved. You should exchange information with the other cars and the other individuals involved in the wreck. Get their first and last name, phone numbers, insurance information, if possible. With our smartphones now, it’s so easy to take photos, I would take photographs of the license plates as well as the other vehicles involved. So you can have as a permanent record, what the vehicle damage was not only for your car, but the other cars because this is probably the only time you’re ever going to see these other vehicles involved.
And you want to get the license plate numbers in case someone gives you a fake information, a fake phone number. Wait for the police to come, make sure you give your side of the story. And if you’re not feeling well, go to a local hospital. The worst thing you could do is make a small problem or a problem that you don’t think you have medically 10 times worse because you didn’t want it to interfere with your vacation. I’ve seen that with clients in the past that they’ve made something that could have been nipped in the bud pretty early a significant problem later on that they ended up treating for months and months when they really didn’t have to do that. They just saw a hospital. What’s interesting is if you’re injured out of state, your no fault policy will still cover you, your Michigan no fault policy.
So you can still get your medical bills paid, lost wages, make sure you contact your insurance company, following the car wreck. So they know what’s going on, get a claim number. And then that claim number can be used to get your bills paid, get lost wages, assuming you have a Michigan no fault PIP coverage. So it is very similar. I know it can be scary, but you got to do the same things you would do, even if you were injured right around the corner from your house.