Perhaps it's because I am a Miami native who never even saw snow until my twenties. More likely it's because I once witnessed a Hummer spin out on the ice and slide into the ditch. Either way, I'm not ashamed to say it: When on the road, I fear Michigan's unpredictable winter weather.
Which is why I now by live this maxim: In icy conditions, 'the weather is my speed limit'. And ever since, to the annoyance of countless motorists unlucky enough to be locked in behind me on icy roads, I think nothing of puttering along at 20 miles per hour or less, even on the interstate. Now, not horn blasts, nor flashing high-beams nor even threatening and obscene hand gestures can dissuade me from my simple mission: To get there. Alive. In one piece.
Neither the Detroit Free Press nor the Traverse City Record Eagle newspapers commented on who was at fault in the personal injury accident which killed Jeffrey Zaslow, 53, a West Bloomfield author and Detroit Metro-based Wall Street Journal contributor.
Zaslow was married to Fox 2 Detroit TV news anchor Sherry Margolis. The couple had three daughters. Reports state only that Zaslow's vehicle slid on ice and collided with a truck. The site of the fatal crash was Antrim County, 160 miles northwest of Lansing.
But the blog isn't really concerned with fault in this case. The blog's only point is this: Slow down, Michigan.
Moreover, regardless of fault, even if the victim himself is ultimately deemed responsible for the crash, a little known automobile no-fault insurance statute entitles the victim's dependents to a substantial amount of money.
Sadly, however, the provision is frequently overlooked by the bereaved and distracted survivors. And even more frequently -- it's never even mentioned by the insurance carrier. Accordingly, the victims' dependents rarely receive their due.
That lapse is a result of two common assumptions: First, most people and even most lawyers are unaware that this benefit is available through the victim's own insurance policy, even if the victim is deemed to be at fault. Second: The average Joe is unaware that the insurance companies play by different rules than the rest of us. In fact, the insurance industry has cajoled our lawmakers in Lansing to pass a special law which slashes the amount of time that we have to submit the related and required application for benefits. Miss that deadline and the claim is barred forever.
And that is precisely why, even in a case where the injured party may himself be at fault, the survivors should not hesitate to contact a Southfield personal injury lawyer or a Detroit Metro insurance lawyer to ensure that their rights are fully protected.
Best Selling Metro Detroit Author Jeffrey Zaslow Killed In Car Crash, February 11, 2012, Detroit Free Press