Why You Should Work With a Truck Accident Lawyer in Michigan
Michigan retailers rely on the trucks to deliver their wares and package them when we order them online. Even though these trucks are necessary for our business and our personal needs, we may not always consider the safety risks they pose.
In 2019, large truck accidents in Michigan increased 6.7% from the previous year. An accident involving a big truck and a personal passenger vehicle may result in catastrophic damage and even death.
Having fewer heavy trucks is not feasible. Yet, the right truck accident lawyers can protect the rights of those injured in accidents involving trucks and ensure they receive compensation for their losses.
Most Common Truck Types Involved in Crashes
Many people believe pickup trucks and large SUVs are trucks, but truck accidents refer to collisions involving larger commercial vehicles.
A commercial vehicle is a motor vehicle used to transport passengers for hire, a truck built or used to transport goods, wares, or merchandise, or a vehicle used to tow other vehicles that are not constructed to carry a load independently or any part of the weight of a vehicle or load being drawn.
Lawyers refer to truck accidents as accidents that involve big commercial trucks.
What Your Lawyer Can Do After Your Michigan Truck Accident
You will receive immediate assistance from our truck accident lawyers. We’ll collect vital evidence and interview witnesses. Also, we can help you file for compensation through no-fault insurance and negotiate with your insurer. You can count on us to get you the settlement you deserve after a personal injury. A wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the survivors of the accident with the insurance company if there is a fatality. If necessary, we will also represent you in court.
Truck Accidents Are Costly
If you or a family member have been injured in a collision with a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle, you need attorneys who understand the complexities of the rules and regulations regarding trucks, have expertise in gathering evidence and are familiar with the subtleties of insurance coverage. You need all the information and expertise at your disposal after recovering from a truck accident.
Serious Injuries Caused in a Truck Accident
Although car accidents can cause serious injuries, truck accidents are far more likely to cause catastrophic injuries. Many variables are involved in truck accidents, but some that may be caused by trucks and truck drivers include:
Cargo and Items Falling from Trucks
In a 4-year period, the AAA identified road debris as a factor in over 200,000 crashes. In one-third of these crashes, unsecured cargo fell from a cargo truck or van, resulting in 500 deaths and 39,000 injuries.
Both drivers and their employers have the responsibility of ensuring cargo is loaded and secured correctly. The failure of steel traps, wedges, tie-downs, or webbing may allow freighters to come free and crash on the road. Unscrupulous operators sometimes stack too much on a truck and overload it. The truck may become out of balance and knock or knife.
Hazardous Material Spills
In Michigan, hazardous materials such as gasoline and oil are delivered every day. Anyone responsible for loading and unloading these materials into trucks has a duty to do so safely. This task is often delegated to the truck driver or other employees of the transportation company.
Whenever these trucks are on the road, it’s imperative they are properly loaded to avoid the hazardous goods leaking and endangering other drivers. Anyone injured when these trucks fail to handle hazardous materials properly may have grounds for a legal case.
Failure to Maintain Trucks Properly
A truck accident involves many variables, but it can be difficult to determine who is to blame when parts of the truck are faulty or defective and cause a collision. A truck company may be held liable for failing to maintain the truck or neglecting to obtain an inspection. If the driver was responsible for the upkeep of their truck, they could also be held accountable.
When Should I Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
Get in touch with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident. There may be injuries that require recovery time, but if you wait too long to contact a lawyer, key evidence can be lost, affecting your case and its outcome.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will collect and preserve key evidence, such as traffic camera footage or any proof that the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol, prescription medications, or drugs. Your lawyer can talk with witnesses to get their stories and provide more important evidence on your behalf.
A lawyer can answer your questions about the legal process and help you navigate the claims process for the best chance of compensation.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
According to the Michigan statute of limitations, you have three years from the date of the accident to sue the truck driver and company. Minors at the time of the collision have until their 19th birthday. If the insurance company does not pay the claims, the injured victim has one year to file for no-fault benefits.
How Trucking Companies Fight Lawsuits and What to Look for in a Lawyer to Challenge Them
It is common for trucking companies to hire legal teams to represent them when held responsible for accidents. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, build your case, protect your legal rights and get a fair settlement.
There Could Be Multiple Factors in Truck Accidents
There are many reasons why trucks are involved in accidents, including faulty parts or inadequate maintenance. A collision with another car or witness may complicate matters further. Truck accident investigations are more complex and time-consuming than vehicular accident investigations because it takes longer to determine who was at fault.
They Use Rapid Response Teams
Trucking companies employ rapid response teams that arrive within hours after a truck accident, with the objective of minimizing evidence, delaying legal investigations, and avoiding accountability. A trucking company in Michigan may destroy potential proof of negligence if they don’t get notification from an attorney that they need to preserve evidence related to the case.
They Will Try to Delay Your Claim
A commercial truck is maintained by various companies, and their involvement in the accident should be investigated extensively. The multiple parties involved may try to place blame on one another, delaying your claims process.
A truck driver’s insurance company may offer to settle your case soon after the accident is reported. However, these settlement offers are often inadequate to fully compensate you for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages while you recover.
If a negligent trucking company or your insurance company tries to take advantage of you or delay compensation, your attorney can intervene to protect your rights.
How Much Are Michigan Truck Accident Settlements?
Due to the unique nature of each case, attorneys and insurance companies consider many factors when determining how much the settlement should be. You will be able to reach the best settlement with the help of your attorney.
I Was at Fault in an Accident With a Michigan Truck. What Do I Do?
Many factors influence a truck accident, and determining who was at fault is complex.
In Michigan, the comparative fault system stipulates that you cannot claim non economic damages if you are at least 51% at fault for the accident. If it is less than that, you may be eligible for non-economic damages for pain and suffering even when you are at fault.
Your level of responsibility matters, and your truck accident lawyers will work with you on the next steps for filing your claim.
Can My Michigan Truck Accident Case Pay For My Vehicle?
A truck accident often results in severe vehicle damage. You will likely want to have your car repaired if you were in one of these accidents. Your insurance coverage for property damage and collision will most likely cover this, so be sure to read your insurance policy. Nevertheless, per Michigan law, in cases where insurance does not cover the deductible, you are entitled to up to $3,000 in mini-tort coverage.
What Compensation Can I Get From a Trucking Accident?
It depends on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries, how long they last, whether they require surgery, and the duration of those injuries. Insurance policies of those involved will also impact compensation.
In Michigan, you must have a threshold injury case (against the wrongdoer driver and owner of the truck) before you can claim third-party pain and suffering compensation. A threshold injury is one that impairs bodily function or causes disfigurement.
Contact Our Experienced Michigan Trucking Accident Attorneys
The experienced legal team at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you if you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident in Michigan. Our expert truck accident attorneys can preserve evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and seek evidence to prove negligence. Our attorneys will keep you informed and answer any questions you have throughout the legal process.
Clients rely on us to act quickly and protect them from exploitation by insurance providers and trucking companies. As a result, we make the legal process as easy for our clients as possible so that you can focus on recovering both physically and mentally following a truck accident.
For a free consultation, call our truck accident attorneys at 1-866-Mich Law (866- 642-4529) to begin working on your claim. Your questions and concerns around your truck accident claim will be addressed by our attorneys, who will ensure you understand your legal rights.
What if the victim is unable to file a lawsuit as soon as possible?
Often, truck accidents leave victims with severe injuries, in comas, or incapacitated. As 97% of people killed in truck accidents in the U.S. were in passenger vehicles in 2019, wrongful death is also a common issue. In this regard, a wrongful death case may need to be pursued by a family member of the deceased.
Does experience matter in a truck accident lawyer?
When hiring an attorney for your case, the experience they bring is essential. In particular, serious accidents involving large commercial vehicles require a highly nuanced legal process involving evidence, multiple parties, and specialized regulations. Having a trucking accident lawyer examine these complexities and assist you in crafting a winning strategy can be very helpful.
What should I ask a truck accident lawyer?
You may ask your attorney about judicial processes, truck injury laws, and settlement processes in the initial consultation. Also, ask the attorney if they will handle your case personally and what settlements they have won in cases similar to yours.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.