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Five Steps You Must Take After a Dog Bite in the Blue Water Area

Whether it’s our children getting together with other neighborhood kids to play street hockey, hosting a barbecue with family and friends, or just taking a walk or jog, there’s no doubt that we enjoy our outdoor activities here in Michigan.

Unfortunately, if an aggressive dog gets loose and bites you or a family member or friend, this innocent playfulness can quickly turn from fun to traumatizing. Dog bites can cause severe injuries and emotional trauma that can last a lifetime.

And, even more frustrating, dog bites are a serious problem that—with just a little bit of extra care by a homeowner—often could be stopped before they happen.

If your family was impacted by a serious Blue Water area dog bite, here are five critical steps you must take:

  1. Seek immediate medical care. Dog bites can quickly become infected, and they may be worse than they appear on the surface. Seeking medical care immediately helps you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible.
  2. Find the dog that bit you. It is important to know which dog bit you. By finding the aggressive dog, you can protect your family and your neighbors from future dog bite attacks. This is also critical with regard to filing a claim against the homeowners’ insurance of the owners of the dog.
  3. Report the dog bite. If you were the victim of a southeast Michigan dog bite, you need to let the authorities know right away. This can also help protect other people and innocent children from being hurt by getting the dog into safe handling right away.
  4. Take pictures to document the injuries. Pictures can help your case significantly. Take pictures of all of the damage the dog did so that you can document what happened in the attack. This is critical to your case.
  5. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, you should contact a trusted dog bite lawyer right away. Filing a dog bite claim is a complex process, but with help from a dog bite lawyer, you can file the necessary claim to get the compensation you need and deserve.

By filing a claim, not only do you get the compensation you need to cover your high medical costs, but you also help prevent any future dog attacks. With help from a Blue Water area dog bite lawyer, you can be confident that you get the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at 810-966-9467 to learn more about what you need to do to file a dog bite claim in Michigan.

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How a Thumb Michigan Car Accident Lawyer Helps You

Five Reasons to Work With a Skilled Southeast Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer

In Michigan, you may not always need a lawyer to handle your car accident claim. However, it is important to know how a lawyer can help you so that you do not jeopardize losing valuable compensation in your settlement.

After being hurt in a Thumb car accident, it is common to think that the other driver’s insurance company will cover your costs completely. However, in Michigan, it’s different. In fact, you may need to file three separate claims to receive full compensation:

  • The first claim you file will be for your Michigan no-fault insurance benefits. 
  • After that, you may file a third-party claim against the negligent driver for pain and suffering.  
  • You may also file a separate claim for vehicle damage.  

Understanding the complexities of filing these claims can be difficult. Here are a few of the ways having a lawyer on your side can help.

  1. Your attorney can speak to the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance adjuster assigned to your case lives and breathes car accident claims. He knows how to find ways to lower what you receive after an accident. A Thumb car crash attorney also knows how to avoid falling victim to these tricks so that you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
  2. Your lawyer helps you understand your rights. It is important to know that you are not alone in filing your claim. With help from a lawyer, you can understand what you are entitled to receive after a crash. This can help you sleep better at night and have confidence that your claim is being handled in the best way possible.
  3. Your attorney can find additional pockets of money. In many cases, there is money available to you that you may not realize you have coming. Working with a lawyer, you can find these additional sources of money so that you avoid paying for the mistakes of another driver.
  4. Your lawyer can show the other driver was liable. Liability claims are complex, especially in Michigan. With a lawyer on your side, you can focus on getting better instead of proving fault so that you can get compensation.
  5. Your lawyer helps you avoid paying for someone else’s negligence. You risk having to pay the price because of someone else’s bad decision. With help from a lawyer, you lower that risk and increase your chances at getting the compensation you need.

We know how overwhelming a car accident in the Blue Water area can be. We are here to answer your questions and clarify your situation, There is no charge for your first consultation, so call a Port Huron car accident attorney at Winston McGlynn to get the answers you need to move forward confidently in your claim.

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How to Overcome a Michigan Social Security Disability Denial

Five Reasons You Should Appeal a Michigan Social Security Denial

You filled out your application to the best of your ability, included as much information as possible, and still you received a denial. Michigan Social Security disability denials happen all too often. People in need of income to live are denied valuable benefits because of a minor error in their application. People who paid into the Social Security system are denied money when they need it.

  1. If you were denied, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are still options to help you receive the money you deserve. Here are five reasons you should not hesitate to file an appeal.
  2. Many appeals are approved. Appeals work! Our experience is that our clients’ benefits are frequently approved after reconsideration. If you receive another denial of Michigan Social Security, you can take your case before a judge and appeal again. When you work with a Social Security lawyer to help with your appeal, you are more likely to be approved.
  3. The Social Security Administration may not have understood the full extent of your disability. You live with your disability day in and day out, but the SSA does not fully know how your disability impacts your daily life unless it is made very clear in the application. In an appeal, you get another opportunity to show how limited you are by your disability.
  4. You can get help on your appeal. Feeling overwhelmed looking at the paperwork you need to file to appeal? There’s help available. Fortunately, you can seek guidance from a skilled Social Security disability lawyer to fill out your paperwork fully and accurately to increase your opportunity of approval.
  5. Appealing is free. You don’t have to pay to appeal your Social Security disability denial in Michigan. Even when you work with a lawyer, you only pay if your application is approved.

You deserve money for the system you paid into. If you paid into the Social Security system for long enough, you deserve to receive compensation when you need it. You are not asking for something for free, you are requesting money that you paid in throughout your years in the workforce.

Filing an appeal can be overwhelming. Working with a Michigan Social Security disability lawyer can help you navigate the paperwork and answer all of the questions in a way that will maximize your chances of approval. Call us today at 866-424-5063 to learn how we can help you with your appeal.

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Understanding the Three Parts of Your Thumb Car Accident Claim

Unlike many other states, a Michigan car accident can leave you to file three claims.

With each of these claims comes even more confusion and uncertainty. Many people wonder if they are getting the full amount they are entitled to. Sometimes, people wonder if they are filing a claim unnecessarily. In some cases, car accident victims are unaware that they have an insurance policy that can provide them with the compensation they need to cover the full cost of the accident.

With so much confusion added to an already difficult situation, it is important to take each claim one at a time. Here are the three claims that may arise for you out of your accident.

  • No-Fault Claim: Michigan is a no-fault state. This is supposed to be user-friendly, offering you straightforward benefits without hassle. Under this claim, you are supposed to receive wage loss reimbursement, coverage for medical expenses, and anything needed to ease your care and recovery—all paid for by your own insurance carrier. Unfortunately, this rarely works out in as friendly of a way as it was designed to, and many times the insurance company denies the whole claim, or a portion of the claim.
  • Bodily Injury Claim: This claim is meant to cover serious injuries. In Michigan, you must suffer serious impairment or a serious permanent disfigurement to make this type of claim.
  • Underinsured Motorist Benefits: Many people do not realize that they have this option. Uninsured motorist insurance covers you if someone that does not have insurance strikes you. This is intended to cover the full cost of the damages caused in your accident.

Understanding the various claims and what you are entitled to can be overwhelming. Call a Blue Water area car accident lawyer from Winston & Damman to get the answers and guidance you need. Even if you do not need legal representation, we are happy to work with you to help you understand your car accident and get the best results possible.

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Fireworks and The 4th of July in Michigan - The Key Things to Keep in Mind

With the 4th of July weekend upon us, folks in St. Clair County and throughout our great state will no doubt be firing up the barbecues, jumping in swimming pools, watching community fireworks shows, and in many cases, probably setting off a few fireworks of their own. Ever since the Michigan legislature passed a revamped fireworks law in 2011 that eased restrictions on personal use of many types of airborne fireworks, there's been a great deal of debate about whether the increased noise and risk of injury is really worth it. There's also been a lot of confusion about what the law allows and what is still restricted. 

Remember, always check with your local municipality for specific laws that impact you, but in general, here are some of the keys to the Michigan fireworks law: 

  • Not all fireworks are legal. The 2011 law allowed for the use and sale of certain consumer fireworks without a permit, including fireworks such as: firecrackers, aerial shells not exceeding 1.75 inches in diameter, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and sky lanterns. Many "low-impact" fireworks such as large sparklers and smoke devices as well as novelty fireworks such as snakes, common sparklers and paper caps have been legal for many years.
  • The average Michigan citizen is restricted to using fireworks on the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday.
  • Using fireworks while under the influence of alcohol can lead to penalties ranging from a 30-day misdemeanor to a 15-year felony charge.
  • Using fireworks on someone else's property without their permission (that's considered the case even if your fireworks simply land on someone else's property without permission) is a civil infraction. 

In addition to knowing and understanding your local laws concerning fireworks usage, it's critically important to be aware of the following safety tips for fireworks provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays.
  • Always have an adult supervise all fireworks activities. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees. • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person. • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding it. 

Whether or not fireworks will be a part of your celebration, our office hopes that you and your family have a terrific 4th of July holiday weekend. Have fun and be safe!

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Two Recent Deaths Highlight the Need for Preventing St. Clair County Bicycle Accidents

 In the decade spanning 2004–2013, six bicyclists lost their lives in accidents involving motor vehicles in St. Clair County, and another 230 were injured, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Tragically, on May 26 and June 3, two bicyclists were killed within a mile of each other on a stretch of West Water Street in Port Huron Township.

Both victims were struck from behind between Westland Drive and Michigan Road. The motorist involved in the June 3rd crash was jailed briefly and later released. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash.

Authorities stated that this section of roadway does not have a history of being dangerous to travel, although they acknowledge that it is extremely busy, with many adjoining neighborhoods’ drivers emptying onto the roadway, and there’s not a lot of room for bicyclists and pedestrians. Some nearby residents reported that several streetlights were not functioning at the time of the accidents, rendering various stretches completely dark. Officials are investigating the matter.

To reduce bicyclist injuries and fatalities in Michigan, bicyclists need to be visible. Bikes should be fitted with reflectors and lights, and riders should wear bright colors and/or reflective gear, along with an approved safety helmet. Bicyclists should avoid riding on sidewalks, which endangers pedestrians and makes riders more difficult to see when entering intersections. Riders are subject to the same rules of the road as motorists.

Motorists need to be aware of their surroundings, follow traffic regulations, and realize that bicyclists have the same rights to the road as they do. Avoid drinking and driving, and eliminate cell phone use in any capacity while driving.

State and local government have their duties, too. For instance, roadways must be properly maintained to ensure safe travel, and adequate lighting should be provided in areas of heavy bicyclist and pedestrian usage.

Various legislative efforts are under way to improve bicyclist safety in Michigan. Expanded driver education, increased penalties for at-fault motorists, and mandatory minimum passing distances are all included in pending legislation.

If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a bicycling accident that was the fault of another, call our office for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation with one of our St. Clair County bike accident lawyers.

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Three Key Road Hazards that Cause Michigan Bicycle Accidents

With warmer weather finally here, bicyclists are getting out in droves and enjoying our local roads. And who can blame them? Biking is terrific exercise and can be a great way for families to enjoy the outdoors together. However, if you decide to go for a bike ride, it’s important that you make yourself aware of the potential dangers you may encounter, such as road hazards.

Because bikes are fairly unstable and have thin tires (especially road bikes), they tend to be susceptible to accidents caused by road hazards, some of which can include:

  • Potholes – Potholes, the scourge of Michigan roads in the springtime, are typically caused by either poor repair work done by public works crews of local municipalities or simply as a result of long-term wear and tear that has caused the road to crack, crumble and become unstable in certain spots.
  • Sewer grates – A dangerous situation can occur if sewer grates along the side of the road run in the same direction as traffic, since it can be very easy for cyclists to wedge a tire between the grates if they have to ride over them. In recent years many cities and counties have improved the design of sewer grates in their communities or changed the direction the gates run, but there still are many dangerous grates on our roads.
  • Railroad or trolley tracks – In much the same manner as sewer grates, the direction that rails or tracks run is a key element in determining how safe or unsafe they are. If they run with traffic or if they angle or curve across the roadway, they have the potential to create a serious road hazard for cyclists. Tracks that run perpendicular to the roadway tend to not be as dangerous.

In some instances, a local government, public entity or municipality can be held responsible for injuries to cyclists caused by road hazards. For that to happen, though, a number of factors will have to be taken into consideration, such as how long the hazard existed on the roadway and whether or not any steps were taken to reduce or eliminate the danger, or to properly warn cyclists of the danger.

Bottom line -- if you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, you should contact our office to speak with an experienced Michigan bike accident injury attorney to discuss your situation. We’ll answer your questions and help you navigate any potential claim.

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The Application Process: How to Document Your Disability in Michigan

When you apply for Social Security in Michigan, you will need to submit paperwork that outlines what your disability is, what you have done to try to treat it, and how it impacts your daily life. Documenting a disability in Michigan requires you to submit the right paperwork, test results, statements, and more.

Here is a checklist of some of the top things you will want to do when you submit your Michigan Social Security disability application:

  • Complete all of the required forms. This may seem obvious, but it is important that you fill out all of the required forms. Make sure each field requested is described in detail to eliminate confusion.
  • Provide medical records. Medical records, including doctor statements, test results, and diagnoses show the person reviewing your application that you have a disability and show the extent of your disability.
  • Keep a journal. Recording all of your symptoms on a daily basis can be very helpful to the person reviewing your application. This allows him to see the regular impact your disability has on your job and quality of life.
  • Statements from third parties. Third-party statements can be very powerful in your application. With statements from coworkers or friends, you can add testimony to your disability showing how it impacts your work environment and daily living.

There is a lot that goes into documenting a disability in Michigan. To be sure you provide all of the documentation needed to ensure you maximize your opportunity for approval, talk to a Michigan disability attorney first. With our help, you can be confident in the application you submit. Call us today at 866-424-5063 to learn more about how we can help you.

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Top Situations to Avoid to Prevent a Dog Attack in Southeast Michigan

Many people in Michigan own dogs as pets. They love them like they’re family. Because of this, some pet owners can easily lose sight of their dog’s aggression, and try to brush it off as the animal being playful. This puts you, your family, and others in the neighborhood at risk of a dog attack in Southeast Michigan.

Often, children are the ones who are hurt in a dog attack. That is because small children see animals as playful, and have a hard time distinguishing a dangerous situation until it is too late.

To help prevent you or your children from being seriously hurt in a dog attack in the future, there are a few tips to be aware of.

  • Never approach an irritable or jealous dog
  • Never approach a dog that may feel threatened
  • Never threaten a dog, its family, or its territory
  • Never cross the line to invade a dog’s territory
  • Never approach a dog that appears anxious or overly excited

In Michigan, it is the owner’s responsibility to control his dog. This is especially true if the dog has a prior history of being aggressive toward other animals or people. If the owner does not maintain proper control over his animal, and the dog bites you or your child, you may be entitled to compensation from the homeowners’ insurance policy.

After a serious southeast Michigan dog attack, it is critical that you put a Port Huron dog attack lawyer on your side to fight for your fair recovery. With help from an experienced attorney at Winston & Damman, you can get the help you need every step of the way to help maximize how much you and your family receive in damages. Call us today at 810-966-9467 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how having a lawyer on your side can help your family, and help protect your neighborhood from future attacks.

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