Truck Crash Lawyer in Michigan
Although automobiles are generally safer than in decades past, the momentum gained by semi trailers on highways or even rural roads can be dangerous.
Truck companies train their drivers to practice defensive driving methods and be aware of their blind spots. However, commercial drivers are more accident-prone when they are pressured to work long hours. Laws dictate the number of hours tractor trailer drivers can be on the road, but sadly, the federal government does not strongly enforce these regulations.
The legal issues surrounding Michigan truck accidents are complex, and proving liability can be difficult. Although Michigan no-fault laws provide generous medical bill coverage, they only require insurance to cover up to three years of lost wages, and you may need much more if you’ve been seriously injured and disabled.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, contact a Michigan truck accident attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. An experienced auto accident attorney at our law firm can advise you of your next steps.
Accidents Caused by Trucks
Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, which means they naturally do much more damage in a collision. Even minor collisions between trucks and cars may have serious consequences, especially if the car is small and lightweight.
Even when truck companies train their drivers well, sometimes drivers neglect their training or make mistakes due to fatigue. When truck accidents occur, the combination of mass and speed can lead to:
- Traffic backed up for hours
- Destruction of overpasses and other infrastructure, costing thousands of dollars to fix
- Loss of human life, permanent disability, or long-term disability
Although airbags and other car safety features have reduced the number of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in recent years, semi truck accidents remain a major issue. Even the best car safety features cannot adequately protect occupants from broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious injuries.
No matter how good your driving record is, a truck could hit your vehicle. You deserve the most compensation possible for your injuries, especially if the accident was not your fault.
Unfortunately, proving responsibility in an accident is difficult. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, then you need the services of a truck accident lawyer in Michigan in order to win the most compensation possible for your medical bills and pain and suffering.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents occur because of highway design faults, truck driver error, and other drivers’ failure to maintain proper following distance. Some causes are predictable; others are not. The result is always predictable, though – the sheer mass of a truck traveling 40 mph. or faster creates havoc.
Highway speeds aren’t the only contributing factor to accidents. On two-lane roads, a truck driver has no place to go if cut-off or momentarily distracted. Accidents on smaller roads can also cause significant property damage, especially if the driver was speeding or if weather conditions cause loss of control.
Federal transportation laws do little to ensure that logbooks are kept appropriately and that commercial carriers make their drivers get the rest they need between trips. More often than not, the needless tragedy will occur because a trucking company kept the driver on the road longer hours without the required breaks to satisfy business demands.
That’s why it’s important to understand your legal options after an accident. You may be able to hold a trucking company accountable for their recklessness, potentially preventing future accidents.
Steps to Take After an Accident
When tragedy occurs due to a truck accident, the family members suffering from the serious injury or loss of a loved one should take action. After securing immediate medical attention, victims should seek out an attorney because justice not sought equals justice denied.
Keep records of the accident victim’s medical documents and police reports, and avoid signing any paperwork until you have talked to an experienced Michigan attorney specializing in truck accident law. Also, make sure to get contact information from any witnesses who may need to testify later. Any statements you make to your insurance company could impact your chances of winning in court, so contact a lawyer as soon as you are safe to avoid hurting your case.
Under Michigan law, the statute of limitations sets the length of time you have to file a lawsuit in a truck accident case. If you fail to file a lawsuit within that period, you may forever be denied justice.
Once you’ve filed a lawsuit, it may still take months to settle. If your case has to go to trial, it may even take years. An experienced Michigan truck accident lawyer at our law firm can navigate the court system and reduce the overall amount of time it takes to win. However, you still need to take action as soon as possible to get the financial relief you need.
Hiring a Lawyer
Getting an experienced truck crash lawyer in Michigan is the best way to ensure success when filing a claim. When you hire a lawyer, the benefits include legal knowledge, logistical support, and more free time to spend supporting your family as the case progresses.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses due to personal injuries, disabilities, and death. Our law firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but bases its practice on representing individuals and families.
Our team is dedicated to supporting you as you seek justice after your truck accident case. Call us at 866-MICH-LAW for a confidential no-obligation consultation to learn more about how to file a claim.
Making highways safer
Michigan must adopt an aggressive program to widen two-lane highways throughout areas to make high-speed travel safer for all. Law enforcement officials must regulate our highways to enforce speed limits rather than tolerating drivers traveling 80 m.p.h. or higher.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates has gone on record as a truck crash lawyer in Michigan and an advocate for actions such as these to reduce the number of car-truck collisions after representing the family of a 5-year-old boy who was killed when a semi-tractor truck struck from behind a vehicle being driven by his mother.
Paving construction to widen our two-lane highways or at least provide for more left-turn flare lanes, increased speed enforcement on two-lane highways, and stricter enforcement of truck driver’s driving time limits can prevent deaths. Human life is so valuable that we must make these efforts.
A settlement was reached for $1,300,000 in a wrongful death civil lawsuit. Earlier the truck driver had been found criminally negligent and was imprisoned for 18 months in his home on an electronic tether.
“As counsel for the plaintiff, I cannot be at ease with the finding of criminal neglect or with the wrongful death civil settlement,” says Terry Cochran, attorney and senior partner of Cochran, Kroll & Associates in Livonia, Michigan.
“I cannot rest at peace because I know with certainty that before the year ends someone else will needlessly die somewhere on a highway. I am certain of this because federal officials, state and county governments, and law enforcement won’t take any actions beyond the civil and criminal judgments recorded. None of us should be at peace until certain actions are taken.”
If a truck driver makes a mistake, adds Cochran, it is very hard to correct because of the mass and size of a truck. “Most truck drivers are good drivers who drive defensively and are qualified and trained to be good drivers,” says Cochran. “But only a single driver error in a lifetime of driving can have tragic results. If you are involved in a truck accident it will be serious. If you are driving and see a truck behaving erratically, call the state police who will come out and check driver’s log.”
The hazard of fatigue
More often than not, the needless tragedy will occur because a trucking company kept the driver on the road longer hours without the required breaks to satisfy business demands. On two-lane roads a truck driver has no place to go if cut-off or momentarily distracted because of fatigue.
When tragedy does occur when a car and truck collide – and tragedy is inevitable – the family suffering loss of a loved one should take action so that the courts, local and county governments, and law enforcement officials are held accountable by the family’s legal representative. Victims should seek out an attorney because justice not sought equals justice denied.
Statutes of limitation limit the length of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within that time period you may forever be denied the justice due you. If you have been injured in a truck accident and believe that you have a case, it is critical that you seek legal help quickly.
If you believe you are a victim, let Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.