Practice Areas

For over a decade, Allaben & Bandeen has provided strong and effective legal representation to clients across Michigan. Our law firm in Grand Rapids, MI represents clients in a number of practice areas including accident law, personal injury, serious injury, dog bites, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, no-fault cases, construction accidents, product liability and more. We also handle divorce and child custody cases. Our attorneys have 60+ years of combined experience and work hard to keep our clients informed throughout every phase of their case.

We are dedicated to addressing all of your questions and concerns regarding your case. We have extensive litigation experience for cases involving:

Family Law

Our attorneys understand every divorce is different. Our team will take the time to get to know your situation, and understand the issues related to your case. Divorce and custody matters in Michigan are governed by various statutes. The three most important statutes are: the Divorce Act; the Child Custody Act; and, the Support and Visitation Enforcement Act. Our attorneys will take the time to explain Michigan divorce law and how it applies to your situation. They work to provide you with accurate information that helps you explore your options and strengthen your case.

The purposes of the divorce system in Michigan (as established by the statutes/acts enacted by the Michigan Legislature) are: the equitable division of marital property and debts; and, the granting of custody (legal and physical) and parenting time in accordance with the “best interests of the child” standard. We will answer your questions and educate you on your legal rights and responsibilities.

Child custody is a daunting issue for parents to encounter. It can be emotional, frightening, and overwhelming. Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients realistically and sensitively work out the details of their custody agreement and parenting plan.

Custody is based on and determined by the “best interests of the child” standard. Together with you, we will help you develop a custody agreement that meets both you and your child’s needs. At Allaben & Bandeen, we are experienced and skilled at handling child custody cases and helping the courts determine what type of custody agreement serves the child’s best interests. We will discuss and defend your right to both legal and physical custody of your child.

There are many factors the Court takes into account regarding equitable division of marital property. This includes: the parties’ age, necessities and circumstances, health, earning abilities, and more. The conduct by one or both parties that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage—infidelity, substance abuse, domestic abuse and so on—is also taken into account. The number of years the parties were married is also a significant factor in determining property division issues.

In addition to child support, the Courts have the authority to award spousal support. This type of support is awarded typically when the parties have been married for many years and the income and earning ability of one spouse is substantially greater than the income and earning ability of the other spouse. We will take the time to examine the parties’ incomes and expenses, and explain the likelihood of a recovery. We will help you determine which avenue to take in obtaining an income stream for you.

If custody of a minor child is governed by a court order, neither parents can change the legal residence of the child to a location that is more than 100 miles from the child’s legal residence at the time of the court decision. If you need to make amendments to your custody agreement, you deserve to work with an experienced attorney to resolve these complex matters. Any child support and parenting time issues are handled by the Friend of the Court for the county in which the child resides.

Personal Injury Law

Of course, immediately following an accident, you should make sure all those involved are medically attended to as soon as possible. You should immediately contact the police and paramedics, if necessary.

You should also obtain the name, address, driver’s license number, and plate numbers of all individuals and vehicles either involved in the accident or that witnessed any part of the accident. You should obtain insurance company information from all other drivers or owners of other vehicles involved.

You should also note how the accident occurred, the direction and location of the vehicles, and whether anyone was issued a citation or ticket. Names of the responding police and rescue agencies is also important. You should then notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible.

When you or a loved one receives medical treatment, you put trust in your provider and medical staff to keep your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, carelessness, lack of judgment, and medical errors can lead to a breach of this trust. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a misdiagnosis, unexplained illness, or other form of medical malpractice, our attorneys are here to help.

Pursuing a medical malpractice suit can be a complicated and costly legal process. It requires expertise and resources and an attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation. In Michigan, there are many procedural roadblocks placed in front of injured individuals. Our team will work with you to discuss your rights and whether or not you have a viable medical malpractice claim. We know medical malpractice and personal injury cases are about more than compensation. They involve fighting for justice.

In every industry, there are certain safety measures in place to ensure you and you co-workers are safe and do not get injured on the job. In certain fields such as trucking and construction, there are added risks. Unfortunately, some employers fail to uphold these standards, which can lead to increased risk of injury in the workplace.

Workers’ Compensation claims are governed by the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. This act has undergone amendments and revisions in recent years, and these changes make it more difficult for injured workers to pursue workers’ compensation claims. In order to successfully pursue this type of case, you need strong, experienced legal representation. Our team will work with you to navigate the complexities of Michigan Workers’ Compensation laws.

Michigan’s No-Fault Law provides extremely valuable benefits to which you are entitled if you are involved in an auto related incident and injured. These include allowable expenses, including reimbursement for medical costs, wage loss, replacement services, attendant care, and mileage reimbursement.

It is important to immediately contact your auto insurer and fill out a No-Fault Application and forward it to the carrier. You have one (1) year from the date of the accident within which to file the Application for No-Fault Benefits. If any particular medical bill or item of attendant care, replacement services, mileage or any wage loss is not reimbursed or your auto insurance company denies it, you must file suit within one (1) year from the date that individual expense was incurred. If you do not take these steps within the given time periods, you may lose all rights to your No-Fault Benefits or reimbursement for the particular items.

Allowable expenses reimburse you for your medical costs for medical treatment reasonably necessary and caused by your auto accident related injuries. Typically, you look to your health insurer first for payment of your medical bills, and any unpaid bills or bill balances would then be covered by your auto insurance in most circumstances. However, the actual language of your health and auto insurance policies control. Special care must be taken if your health insurance policy is an ERISA health plan under Federal law.

Benefits are paid when you need personal care due to your injuries, such as assistance with bathing, eating, dressing, and other personal care.

Benefits are 85 percent of any gross wages lost as a result of your injuries up to a statutory monthly maximum that is adjusted every year.

Pays up to $20 a day for any services or household chores that you previously did for yourself, but now cannot do because of your injuries, and where you hire someone else to do them for you or a family member performs the services.

This is to cover your transportation costs to doctor’s offices, hospitals, physical therapy centers, and to other medical treaters.

A detailed record of your attendant care, replacement services, and mileage reimbursement should be kept and then submitted periodically to the appropriate auto insurance company. Medical bills should be forwarded to your auto insurer directly from your medical treaters, and any unpaid bills or bill balances that you received, you should immediately send to your auto insurer.

The medical expense benefit is a lifetime benefit. Reimbursement for wage loss and replacement services only extends three (3) years from the date of the accident.

This includes job retraining or vocational rehabilitation and modifications to your home in the event of spinal or other injuries. A $1,750 benefit for funeral and burial costs is also allowed.

It is very important that you speak with an attorney knowledgeable in Michigan’s No-Fault Law as soon as possible.

A person may qualify for non-economic damages, depending on the seriousness of auto accident related injuries. These damages include mental anguish, pain and suffering, fright, mental anguish, mortification, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and denial of social pleasures and enjoyment, among others. These damages are claimed against the negligent or partially negligent driver or owner of the vehicle that caused, in whole or in part, the auto accident. Not every injury is serious enough to warrant a claim against the negligent party.

Now, the law indicates that before a person can successfully maintain the non-economic damages claim against the negligent party, an injured person must suffer death, serious impairment of body function, or serious and permanent disfigurement. To prove a serious impairment of body function, the injured person must sustain an objectively manifested impairment that generally affects the person’s ability to lead his or her normal life.

It is very important to speak with an attorney knowledgeable in Michigan No-Fault Law as soon as possible following an accident.

Before you settle a non-economics claim, you should consult an attorney knowledgeable in Michigan No-Fault Law. In addition to the non-economic damages, you may also be able to claim economic damages against an at fault party if you suffered wage loss or other No-Fault benefits beyond the three year limit. In addition, settling a non-economics damages claim may cause you to lose entitlement to underinsured coverage. This is because your insurance carrier must first give you permission to settle with an at-fault party if you are going to claim underinsured benefits.

Underinsured and uninsured coverages are now generally offered by all major auto insurance providers. Uninsured coverage is optional coverage and is not mandated by Michigan law. If you are involved in an auto accident with an uninsured party, you may be able to claim third party liability damages against your own auto insurer, if you have uninsured coverage. If your injuries are worth more than the insurance coverage of the at fault party, you may be able to make an underinsured coverage claim against your own auto insurer. For instance, if your injuries are worth $200,000 and the at fault party in your accident only has $20,000 limits (which are the minimum allowed in Michigan), then you could claim an additional $180,000 against your own insurer.

Again, it is very important not to settle a non-economic damages claim against an at fault party without first consulting with a knowledgeable attorney and specifically determining first whether any underinsured coverage is available.

If you are a property owner, you are required to maintain and ensure the safety of your premises. This protects both you and your visitors. If a property owner fails to maintain their property and it results in injury or fatalities, it can result in a premise liability suit. If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property because of improper maintenance, we are here to help. Our attorneys have the experience to handle both commercial and residential premise liability suits, and the skills to handle to various factors that go into this type of case.

This area of law has become much more difficult in recent years due to the “Open and Obvious” rule. This rule dictates if a hazard or defect could have been discovered upon casual inspection, there is a good chance a judge or jury will find it to be Open and Obvious, and you will likely lose your case. Our attorneys specialize in Slip/Trip and Fall law. We will give you the best chance at overcoming this unjust rule. We have extensive experience in premises liability law and have had excellent success in prevailing for our clients.

To schedule a free consultation or learn more about our law practice in Grand Rapids, MI please contact us today at 616-464-1561. We are proud to represent clients throughout Michigan and will work with you to achieve the results you deserve.


Disclaimer:

The above information should not be specifically relied upon to make legal decisions. There are always exceptions depending on the facts and circumstances of a person’s particular case. This web site is an advertisement for legal services. The information is not intended as legal advice. Please contact Allaben & Bandeen for a free consultation.