A serious car accident injury that sends you to the hospital is bad enough, but at least you can rely on proper and competent medical treatment. Or can you? According to a study by the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research, the Center for Injury Research, and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital – maybe not.
Levels 1 and 2 trauma centers in the United States are judged to provide the best treatment for patients who are severely injured. However, it was found that one out of every three patients was treated at a lower level trauma center or at some other medical facility. Of these “under triaged” patients, 40% or more of them actually suffered traumatic brain injury.
Why are so many car accident victims undiagnosed? According to a study by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma, the problem includes:
Distance. Millions of Americans live miles away from a level 1 or 2 trauma treatment facility.
Decision making. It is not always evident to the patient and/or family that a person has suffered traumatic brain injury, so he or she may go undiagnosed or underdiagnosed.
Training. Not all medical personnel have the training that is required to treat traumatic brain injury.
Space and money. Not all U.S. hospitals and trauma centers have the facility to treat traumatic brain injury cases.
Patients as well as family members are urged to seek medical advice if they do not understand the treatment being applied and the reasons for it. Patients as well as family members should also seek advice from an attorney who has experience with trauma cases. An experienced attorney can provide free consultations or may have information concerning the tests that may be offered to the patient and the reasons for them.
In addition, if you have any concerns with how the patient or the case is being treated, contact an experienced failure to diagnose attorney from Michigan Legal Center who can help you seek a settlement for both the accident and the patient. An experienced auto accident attorney can help make sure that any medical care is covered in a financial settlement. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Making the decision regarding whether or not to testify at your trial is a challenge. Your Michigan DUI lawyer will advise you to carefully consider and weigh the many factors involved in the decision. You cannot be compelled to give testimony at your trial. However, if you do decide to testify, you automatically give the prosecution cross-examination rights; it therefore may be in your best interests not to testify.
On the flip side, jurors want to hear your testimony and sometimes draw adverse conclusions when a DUI defendant chooses not to take the stand. The jurors will have been instructed to presume innocence, which means that legally, they cannot infer anything from your decision to testify or not, but your Michigan DUI lawyer will tell you that this is something jurors find difficult to follow.
Why Jurors Need to Hear Your Testimony
Jurors want to hear a credible explanation from you regarding the many questions that arise during a trial. Why were intoxication symptoms claimed to have been observed by the arresting officer? Why does it appear that the blood test or breathalyzer results are over the legal limit? Sometimes, the defendant is the sole witness to everycircumstance and event that happened during, before and after the arrest. It thus often happens that the only witness available to the defense is the defendant.
Potential Legal Ramifications of Testifying
Some jurisdictions do not allow the defense counsel to make opening statements if counsel is not presenting any evidence. As previously mentioned, the defendant’s testimony is often counsel’s only evidence. Therefore, the case will be reduced to the officer’s word against the defendant’s, or the test results against the defendant’s word.
If you decide to testify, your Michigan DUI lawyer will inform you that an expert may be needed to clarify your statements concerning your consumption of alcohol. For instance, you may state that over a time period of three hours, you consumed 4 beers. Will the jury realize that the subsequent test result of .15 presents a contradiction in the evidence? Expert testimony is needed to explain that the consumption pattern you described would give a test number lower than the allowed limit. Without expert testimony, the jury may think that a .15 test result can be produced by 4 beers consumed over a period or three hours.
DUI cases can be difficult and complex. If you would like to consult a knowledgeable Michigan DUI lawyer regarding whether or not you should take the stand at your trial, please contact the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates at 800-961-8477.
There are a variety of field sobriety tests that law enforcement can administer in a DUI stopover to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest the individual for drunk driving. However, not all of these tests are reliable. A Michigan DUI lawyer with experience may be able to successfully defend the accuracy of the majority of these field sobriety tests and have the DUI case dismissed or the charges reduced.
Three Standard Tests Used By Law Enforcement
Studies funded by the Department of Transportation have concluded that there are three major field sobriety tests that yield the most reliable and effective results in detecting whether an individual is drunk and should be arrested on DUI charges. These three “standardized” tests include:
Studies show that the other field sobriety tests are simply too unreliable and can easily be disputed by a Michigan DUI lawyer to prevent or overturn a DUI conviction.
Use of the “Other” Field Sobriety Tests
Despite the overwhelming evidence against the use of the “other” field sobriety tests (that is, any other test than the three standardized tests mentioned above), some law enforcement agencies still continue to use whatever tests they prefer. The majority of the “other” field sobriety tests, such as the ability to recite the alphabet or the ability to write out statements in front of the officer, are very unreliable because they do not accurately reflect alcohol impairment and can be improperly administered. Furthermore, these tests are largely unfamiliar to most individuals performing them and are not in any way standardized, making them more difficult to perform.
If the arresting officer used one of these non-standardized tests to determine whether you were impaired and ultimately arrested you for drunk driving, your Michigan DUI lawyer will most likely be able to prove its lack of accuracy and have the evidence dismissed.
But regardless of what test is used, whether these “other” tests or the three “standardized” field sobriety tests, a good Michigan DUI lawyer should look at the facts surrounding the administration of the test to determine whether it accurately reflected whether in fact you were properly arrested for a DUI.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed three standardized field sobriety tests designed to indicate impaired driving. However, the results of these tests do not lead to an automatic DUI conviction. This is precisely why it is so important to hire a Michigan DUI lawyer to challenge and beat the test results – there is always a chance to avoid a DUI conviction.
Below is an overview of the three standardized field sobriety tests and what a good lawyer needs to look for to suppress or challenge the results during a DUI trial.
The two standard coordination field sobriety tests include the one-leg-stand and the walk straight line test. These are very sensitive tests that must be administered under specific circumstance in order for the results to be reliable. In order to determine whether these two tests produced reliable results, a Michigan DUI lawyer will need to examine both the conditions under which the test was administered and the defendant’s own physical coordination. These coordination tests are difficult for even a sober person to pass, let alone a person who has consumed some alcohol.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is one where the officer moves an object (like a pen) back and forth in front of somebody, watching how their eyes track the object. In determining whether a horizontal gaze nystagmus field sobriety tests was properly administered, the defendant must first be evaluated for naturally occurring nystagmus – in other words, if your eyesight is less than perfect, the test results may be contested. The Michigan DUI lawyer will generally test for this during the initial interview in his office. This will provide a baseline to determine if the officer properly administered the test and whether the results should be prevented at trial.
For more information about the specific field sobriety test that led to your DUI arrest and the methods of challenging the results, contact the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates at 800-961-8477 to schedule a consultation with a Michigan DUI lawyer. The first consultation is always free, and the sooner you receive qualified legal advice, the better-prepared you will be for your DUI trial.
Though slurred speech has widely been considered a sign of impairment, research shows the characterization of a person’s speech actually may be more subjective. A study looked at people’s ability of speech during different levels of alcohol intoxication. If you are arrested and charged, your DUI attorney in Michigan will assess the evidence in your case, including whether you had slurred speech, to determine how to construct the most effective defense.
A DUI Lawyer in Michigan on the Study
During the study, the participants were asked to speak during a learning phase, when they were sober and at four Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels. Participants showed speech changes as alcohol increased, but the patterns couldn’t be considered universal because about 20 percent showed no negative changes.
Also, the impact of intoxicated speech was evaluated to determine whether listeners could detect which things were said while a person was under the influence. The participants were asked to make a number of controlled utterances at various simulated alcohol levels, including times when they were actually intoxicated. Those who listened rated the participants more drunk when sober but simulating drunkenness. In a second study, as a DUI lawyer in Michigan will tell you, 61 percent of the time listeners found that the participants sounded less drunk than they were.
Another Study Discussed by a DUI Lawyer in Michigan
In another study, however, audio recordings were made of men uttering sentences both while sober and intoxicated. The listeners were then asked to assess the two sentences and decide which was said while the person drunk. It was found that there were definite changes to speech between those sober and those under the influence.
As a DUI attorney in Michigan will explain, as reflected by such discrepancies in interpreting results, researchers don’t agree that slurred speech is evidence of intoxication, especially at low alcohol levels.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Michigan for Assistance
Research shows slurred speech is not always an indication of intoxication. If you were arrested and charged with DUI and have questions, call a DUI attorney in Michigan at the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates at 800-961-8477.
As a rule, field sobriety tests aren’t as dependable as blood or urine tests for determining the level of alcohol in your system. However, you could still fail a field test and end up in jail. That’s when you need to reach out to a Michigan DUI defense attorney to figure out your next step.
Types of Sobriety Field Tests The classic types of sobriety field test that most of us are familiar with are those in which one is asked to walk a straight line or alternately touching an index finger to the nose. Other forms of field sobriety testing include:
Picking up dropped coins
Reciting the alphabet or counting backwards from 100
Keeping balanced on one leg
Horizontal nystagmus test
As opposed to blood or urine testing, the interpretation of field sobriety tests are left up to the arresting officer. This means that they are very subjective. Your Michigan DUI defense attorney will assess the tests given to you to find a way of attacking their results in court.
Recreating the Tests with Your Michigan DUI Defense Attorney Your Michigan DUI defense attorney may ask you to recreate the field sobriety tests as they were administered. This will help your attorney establish the foundation of your physical abilities. Your Michigan DUI defense lawyer will then compare those results with those found at the scene of your arrest.What was the weather like that night? Was there a smooth, flat surface where the test was conducted? When your Michigan DUI defense attorney collects all of that information he will be able to formulate your defense. All of this springs from those initial field sobriety tests. Can you trust those results? Perhaps not, but you can certainly trust a qualified Michigan DUI defense lawyer.
Call a Michigan DUI Defense Attorney A conviction for DUI can seriously impair your ability to obtain certain kinds of employment, and may even lead to jail time. The Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates can help. Call 800-961-8477 to arrange a meeting to discuss your case.