Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer
Michigan 18 Wheeler Attorneys
Because of the serious damage that commercial vehicles can cause when they collide with smaller vehicles, truck drivers and their employers must adhere to strict operating and maintenance rules.
When these drivers or their employers choose to ignore these regulations, they can put your life at risk.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a serious commercial trucking accident in Michigan, it’s critical to act promptly. Negligent trucking companies and their insurers will work on building their defense right away, and so should you.
At Lipton Law, our Michigan car accident lawyers will fight back with an effective legal plan.
When it comes to Michigan truck accidents, the statistics are staggering. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year. Nearly 5,000 truck accident victims are killed in truck accidents every year. And in 98 percent of these situations, the driver of the passenger vehicle involved in the accident is the one who is killed.
Call us today at 248-557-1688 for a free consultation.
Michigan Truck Accident FAQs
There are hundreds of different types of trucks on American roads, all ranging in size and function. But the most common types are:
- An 18 wheeler, also known as a Big Rig or a semi truck
- Cement trucks
- Car transporters
- Refrigerator trucks
- Emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire trucks
- Highway maintenance trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Logging trucks
- Garbage trucks
These types of trucks can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds which makes them very dangerous during a truck crash.
The most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Truckers driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor truck maintenance or repair
- Aged or improperly inflated tires
- Trucker distracted driving due to cellphone use or other factors
- Trucking company oversight or negligence
- Overloaded trucks
Many truck accidents are caused by truck driver negligence, which basically means that the truck driver failed to take proper care while driving.
The answer to this question almost entirely depends on the specifics of a truck accident. A Michigan truck accident lawyer will examine all the details of your case and help you determine who exactly is at fault. However, the parties most commonly involved in truck accident cases are the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Manufacturers of broken truck parts
- People or companies who loaded the truck
- Insurance companies
- Shipper who hired the truck company
- Other drivers on the roads
Unfortunately, many truck accident victims suffer serious life altering injuries. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries
- Seat belt injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Wrongful death
If a lawsuit does follow a Michigan truck accident, the accident victim may be able to recover more damages that aren’t included in the no fault insurance plan. These damages could include (but aren’t limited to):
- All medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Nursing home care costs
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Rehabilitation fees
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity for future
- Loss of consortium
Truck accident victims must file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident according to Michigan law. If the driver involved was a minor, they must file a lawsuit within one year of their 18th birthday.
Michigan 18 Wheeler Attorney for No Fault Insurance
Michigan law requires all drivers to have no fault insurance which will pay for medical bills, lost wages, and the other driver’s property damage regardless of who caused the auto accident. This no fault insurance policy has three parts: Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Property Protection (PPI), and Residual Liability Insurance.
If you’re a Michigan resident and you find yourself in any kind of auto accident, PIP will pay all medical bills for the injuries sustained in your accident with no limit. For up to three years, PIP will also pay up to 85% of the salary you would have made if you hadn’t been injured. Lastly, PIP provides Michigan residents with up to $20 a day to take care of household chores that you may not be able to perform yourself due to your serious injuries. An accident victim can use this money to pay a maid for household chores and pay a neighbor to mow the lawn.
This part of the no fault insurance plan will pay up to $1 million dollars for other people’s property damage, but not your own. For example, if you crash and damage someone else’s car, fence, or house, PPI will take care of those costs.
This part of the no fault insurance will protect Michigan residents from being sued after an auto accident for the most part. There are a few exceptions. You can still be sued if:
- You’re at fault for an accident that resulted in a death, a serious injury, or a permanent disability.
- You get into a crash involving a driver who doesn’t live in Michigan and whose car isn’t registered in Michigan.
- A crash involving you and another driver happens in a different state
- You are more than 50% responsible for a crash which causes damage to another person’s car that won’t be paid for with insurance.
How Much Will my Michigan No Fault Insurance Pay if I’m Responsible for a Crash?
If you’re a Michigan resident, your no fault insurance may cover this much if you’re at fault for an accident:
- $10,000 if property is damaged in another state
- $20,000 if someone if seriously injured or killed
- $40,000 if multiple people are seriously injured or killed
Is Michigan a Modified Comparative Fault State?
23 states follow the 51% bar rule, also known as modified comparative fault. Michigan is one of those 23 states. Basically, this means that if an auto or truck driver is more than 51% at fault for a truck accident, then that driver can’t recover damages. However if a driver is less than 50% at fault, they can recover damages but they would be reduced by degree of fault. For example, if a truck driver is 70% at fault for a truck accident, that means the other driver would be 30% at fault. So the victim’s recovery would be reduced by 30%, or $300,000, if the jury returned a $1 million verdict.
Does Modified Comparative Negligence Affect No Fault PIP Insurance in Michigan?
When it comes to no fault insurance benefits, this modified comparative negligence rule doesn’t apply in Michigan because they are paid regardless of who caused the auto or truck accident. In other words, even if a person is completely responsible for causing an accident, this fact will not affect their ability to claim no fault PIP compensation. Basically, the modified comparative negligence law mostly comes into play when car damage, extra medical bills, and extra lost wages benefits aren’t covered by the no fault insurance benefits.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Truck Accident Case in Michigan?
Occasionally, truck accidents can take several months or years to settle compared to other types of accidents. This is partially because trucks are often large commercial vehicles. Truck accidents can also take a long time to settle because of accident severity, liability investigation, insurance coverage, medical treatments, and settlement negotiations.
In a catastrophic truck crash that results in life altering injuries, investigation and documentation may take several months. Therefore, it could take several months or even years to settle a truck accident case.
In every vehicle accident case, it’s crucial to figure out who is at fault. However, liability investigations can take longer for commercial trucks specifically because the truck driver, the truck company, and other parties could all be at fault.
It‘s necessary to establish total coverage with all drivers’ insurance companies. This can take some time because coverage may differ depending on the type of vehicle and the type of cargo.
Many truck accident lawyers will recommend that an accident victim waits until all medical treatments are complete before settling a truck accident claim. This way, the accident victim will know the total cost of their medical bills so they can seek appropriate damages.
All of the previously listed factors will help truck accident lawyers determine how much you’re owed in damages. A fair settlement amount can take a lot of time and deliberation to establish.
Call an Experienced Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Truck crashes can happen in a matter of moments, but the injuries they cause can last months or years. A person involved in a tractor-trailer accident may suffer broken bones, a head injury, paralysis or even death.
Our attorneys are eager to help you hold negligent parties liable and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call our Southfield office today at 248-557-1688 to begin developing your legal strategy. An experienced Michigan truck accident attorney will offer a free consultation to all trucking accident victims and their loved ones.