TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN MICHIGAN
Accidents with commercial trucks involve a very different set of issues than normal automobile accidents. The truck accident personal injury attorneys of Haque Legal understand the specific nuances involved in semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents. Our Michigan truck accident lawyers have the resources necessary to pursue your case. Truck accident cases can be costly to pursue and to properly investigate; having the necessary resources to handle these tasks is essential—we do!
Top 10 Truck Accident Factors
According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the following ten factors are ranked in order of most common after analyzing hundreds of potential factors involved in a truck accident.
- Brake problems
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Inadequate surveillance
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Required to stop before the crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
Our experienced attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your crash and build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Michigan Trucking Accidents
Large commercial trucks are common across the State of Michigan as they are used to transport goods and materials for businesses. We rely on big rigs to deliver everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. But unfortunately, these mammoth vehicles can also be very dangerous. Every day in Michigan, there are nearly 11 serious crashes involving commercial trucks. And because of the size and weight of these vehicles, accidents involving trucks are often much more dangerous or fatal than your typical car accident.
$1,300,000 Insurance Benefits
The client lost control of their vehicle and crashed into a tree. As a result, they suffered a traumatic brain injury, herniated discs, lost wages, attendant care, replacement services, and ongoing case management.
$1,000,000 Personal Injury
The client suffered a brain injury, spinal disc injuries requiring surgery, knee replacement, severe and permanent disfigurement.
$650,000 Car Accident
A hit-and-run driver rear-ended the client. The client needed two spinal surgeries, post-operative physical therapy, injections, lost wages, and attendant care.
CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Just like every other type of vehicle, semi-truck drivers are sometimes the cause of accidents and sometimes the victims. In addition to the normal dangers found on the road, such as distracted drivers and speeding, truck drivers also often have to face the danger of fatigue that can set in after long shifts at the wheel. This is because truck drivers are often paid by the load, so to make more money, they must make more deliveries. This can only be accomplished by driving for longer periods of time. This lack of rest is regulated by different governing agencies, but these rules are not always followed.
In addition to the danger of a truck driver’s own negligence, the vehicle itself can create a danger to other drivers. Sometimes trucks are loaded improperly or are not adequately inspected before the driver begins their route. Mechanical breakdowns during operation can lead to loss of control over what is often a 40-ton vehicle. Sometimes, poorly loaded freight can fall from the truck and damage unsuspecting motorists. These are just some of the unique issues facing commercial trucks.
The magnitude of an automobile accident involving a semi tractor-trailer truck is another variable in these types of cases. The sheer size and weight of these large commercial vehicles increase the danger of wrongful death and serious bodily injury to anyone involved in a truck accident (including the truck driver). Commercial vehicle accidents often result in traumatic brain injuries, broken appendages, and bone fractures, serious damage to the neck and back, and neurological damage.
Reach out to us to schedule your free, confidential consultation and get more information.
NEGLIGENT MAINTENANCE AND HIRING CLAIMS
Trucking cases are generally very complex based on a bevy of state and federal laws that sometimes conflict with one another. We often retain experts to determine whether the trucking company utilized faulty equipment or was negligent in maintaining the truck itself.
Haque Legal truck accident attorneys examine the following:
- Were the tires defective, retread, or unevenly worn?
- Were the brakes, axles, hitches, and a variety of other parts working and checked routinely?
- Were the maintenance logs complete, updated, and in accordance with both state and federal statutes?
In regards to negligent hiring and retention claims, we will examine the employment history of the driver and determine whether such an individual was properly trained and experienced in operating a semi-truck or commercial vehicle. There are federal and state provisions concerning the due diligence that must be applied by the trucking company in examining the driver’s safety history and criminal record. Trucking outfits can face massive liability for failing to adhere to such safety provisions.
EXPOSURE OF THE BROKER
A broker is an entity that arranges for the transportation and/or movement of cargo by a motor carrier such as a semi-truck. The broker simply brings together the truckers and the company that is attempting to ship goods. Brokers utilize computer tracking software and data to monitor the movement of goods and the trucks they have brought in to handle the task.
In analyzing the liability of a broker, Haque Legal Michigan truck accident lawyers look at:
- Did they do their duty? Whether the broker has acted in accordance with their duty to inspect the motor carrier/truck, inspected the safety history of the truck and drivers with whom they have contracted with.
- Where are they in control? How much control the broker exercise over the truck and the driver. This can be investigated by inspecting the dispatch records, and whether the broker monitored and reviewed trip records or notes. Did the broker approve the receipts and bill of lading changes?
If you have lost someone due to a truck accident, contact our firm onlinetoday to learn how to move forward with a case.
THE TOOLS NEEDED FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE
As we’ve mentioned, litigating a truck accident to the fullest extent can be a daunting and expensive prospect. Many lawyers and law firms encounter difficulty in properly handling a trucking case, due to the expenses associated with retaining expert witnesses. An accident involving a semi-truck must be thoroughly investigated. This investigation can be quite expensive. The first essential step performed by a truck accident lawyer is to have an opportunity to analyze the truck in its’ post-accident condition. We want our expert to review the black box data which provides a wealth of information on how the truck was being operated at the time of the wreck. Many lawyers either skip this process or handle the investigation on a shoestring budget. To demonstrate negligent maintenance and operation of a truck, we must diligently look into all aspects relating to the big rig itself. A thorough, diligent investigation of a tractor-trailer accident is expensive. There is no way around it. A cheap investigation results in the lawyer leaving money on the table at the time of settlement. At Haque Legal, our truck accident attorneys have the experience and resources in place to try a commercial vehicle collision case properly.
SEMI DRIVER FATIGUE CONTRIBUTES TO ACCIDENTS
The most common act of negligence that a driver can commit is driving while they are tired. Driver fatigue sadly results in thousands of unfortunate and senseless accidents on American roads each year. In the context of truck drivers, the potential for catastrophe is all too real when fatigue becomes an issue.
Federal trucking laws, known as Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, govern:
- The amount of time a driver can be on the road for a single stretch;
- How much time must be taken off between shifts; and
- How many hours they can log during a specific week.
It’s not at all uncommon for drivers to falsify their driving logs in order to be able to drive for more time. In fact, many trucking companies imply or expressly request their drivers to falsify records. Sadly, many trucking outfits place unrealistic scheduling demands on their drivers, and sleep deprivation is often a common result.
Many factors result in truck driver fatigue:
- Long stretches of night driving.
- Irregular schedules with little routine.
- Unhealthy eating on the go.
- Loading and unloading cargo in between trips.
The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that fatigue plays a role in excess of 30% of trucking accidents.
WE LOVE OUR CLIENTS
In every case, we take on, our priority is always to exceed your needs and expectations. We look at the big picture, so we can achieve the highest level of client satisfaction and client results possible.
Because we choose to work as a team, our clients benefit from our deep-rooted connections within the community and the strength of our networking power.
We are committed to the community that we serve and are always finding new ways to get involved and partner with nonprofits within Michigan.
DAMAGES FROM A TRUCK ACCIDENT
Just like after a car accident or any other catastrophe, a person injured during a truck accident is entitled to seek recovery for their damages so that their life can be restored as close to possible to its original state before the accident.
Truck accident claims can pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Surgery and other medical treatment costs
- Rehabilitation fees and procedures
- Nursing home care costs
- Lost income during the incident
- Loss of earning capacity in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In certain cases, the injured victim’s family may seek compensation for loss of consortium, which means that their spouse or parent can no longer provide the same level of companionship they could before the accident.
Punitive damages, in certain extreme situations, may also be available if the driver or company acted in a way that intended to cause harm (“bad faith”) or in a way that they should have known would have caused harm. Punitive damages are meant to punish a company financially, like a fine, to discourage them from acting in a similar way in the future. It should be noted though that punitive damages are often dramatically lowered by judges and rarely covered by insurance policies.
Truck Accident Settlement
Seeking the appropriate medical care after a commercial vehicle accident is vital to protecting your health but can lead to a mountain of medical bills. To pay for these bills, accident victims often accept extremely low settlement offers from insurance companies trying to quickly close the case. It’s important to remember that the insurance companies are looking to settle your 18-wheeler accident for as little money as they possibly can, all for the sake of profit.
Make sure you are aware of your rights if you are the victim of a collision involving a commercial vehicle. Whether you are the truck driver, or another motorist unfortunate enough to fall victim to a serious semi-truck crash, you have the right to recover from your injuries.
The trial attorneys at Haque Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, MI, specialize in personal injury law and have years of experience with all types of automobile accident claims. Our reputation for aggressively representing our clients to the insurance carriers is evident in our everyday diligent work toward maximizing our clients’ settlement offers. Rest assured, at Haque Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, MI, your truck accident case will be handled with the utmost importance. You will never be pressured to take an unreasonable settlement offer, as our lawyers are ready and willing to take the case as far as necessary when the insurance carrier fails to take the proper course of action and make a fair offer.
POTENTIAL DEFENDANTS IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE
Since big rig accidents often cause very serious injuries–often significantly more serious than typical car accidents–it is important to identify every party who was potentially responsible in order to get the injured victim the compensation they will need to cover their current and future damages.
The list of parties potentially responsible for a serious commercial truck accident extends far beyond the driver. Liability for a commercial truck accident could include the driver’s employer, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, third-party contractors, and the insurance companies who hold the policies for each of the aforementioned.
Truckers often work within many different business relationships. They may work directly for the company they are delivering for; or they may be an independent contractor, simply hauling the goods for the company that owns the cargo. If the driver works directly for the trucking or shipping company, then that company may be liable for any negligence that led to the truck accident. In order to prove that this is the case, the injury victim’s attorney would need to prove that the accident occurred while the driver was driving directly for that company.
When a truck driver works independently–meaning they own their own truck and simply accept short-term contracts to haul a set amount of cargo from one destination to the other–the victim’s attorney would need to investigate how much oversight the contracting company exercised over the driver, and thus how much responsibility they have for the accident and injuries.
Determining which parties have some blame in the situation is important because as we mentioned, each of these entities likely will carry separate insurance policies that could potentially all payout separate amounts. The help of a truck accident lawyer helps ensure a semi-truck accident victim gets as much money as possible to rebuild their shattered life.
CONTACT A MICHIGAN TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER AT HAQUE LEGAL
Haque Legal works with several automobile accident investigators who will break down and reconstruct the accident scene. Whether your crash involved driver error, faulty mechanical equipment, or improper loading techniques, our truck accident investigators will get to the bottom of what caused the collision that injured you.
If you are the victim of an accident involving a commercial truck or are a driver, the truck accident lawyers at Haque Legal are committed to maximizing your recovery.