The Path To Recovery: Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been recently injured during a truck accident, a lawyer might be able to help you recover compensation for all the expenses you are currently facing by filing a lawsuit.  Truck Accident lawsuit are usually very complex considering what is at stake.  Our attorneys have the experience and results to win large truck accident cases in both verdicts and settlements.

In a typical truck accident case, the lawsuits are usually filed against the trucking company and against your own insurance company; not the driver himself.  Your own insurance company is responsible for paying “1st Party” benefits under Michigan No-Fault Law and you will have to sue the trucking company for “third party” benefits.  Most of the trucking companies are well funded and have a dedicated legal team whose sole purpose is to minimize the payments in lawsuits exactly like yours.  For this reason, it’s important to hire an attorney who has successfully taken on large businesses and insurance companies that have a large amount of resources.  At The Clark Law Office, our attorneys have won multiple $300,000+ truck accident claims and we are well versed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations that could affect your claim.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?

If you’ve been injured, there are a number of responsible parties that might be liable for your losses including the truck driver, the driver’s employer, and your own insurance company.  Truck companies and insurance companies don’t commonly admit to any type of fault or liability as you can imagine!  In fact, they commonly deny claims where it is obvious their fault.  An attorney can help establish fault for the truck crash, collect additional evidence that will strengthen your claim, and help make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve from the responsible parties.

Get The Compensation You Deserve!

Our experienced Michigan truck accident lawyers have obtained substantial verdicts and settlements for victims of trucking accidents.

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Both the trucking company and the insurance company involved will start a detailed investigation immediately following the truck accident.  They routinely deal with these types of incidents and they know how to make things look favorable for themselves.  They already have in place a set of procedures or guidelines that are designed to limit their financial exposure.  They will probably take witness statements, photograph the truck accident scene, and examine all vehicles involved in order to determine the amount of damage as a result of the accident.  Sometimes the State Police will also conduct an investigation which is usually favorable for your accident claim.  We understand that the cards are stacked against you in truck accident cases, but we will stand up and fight by your side.  At The Clark Law Office, our attorneys will closely work with industry experts and assist in completing the investigations.  We will:

  • Collect and review any available camera footage from the scene
  • Take witness interviews
  • Examine police reports and any other accident reports
  • Review and analyze all medical records related to the accident
  • Talk to and interview medical staff that was present in your treatment
  • Hire and consult experts for accident reconstruction and to recreate the scene

There are many parties that could be held accountable or liable for the injuries sustained in a serious truck accident.  Some of these liable parties could include:

  • The driver of the truck
  • The employer of the truck driver
  • The truck owner
  • The company leasing the truck
  • The leasing company owner
  • The owner of the trailer (if applicable)
  • The company leasing the trailer
  • The manufacturers of the actual truck, trailer, or accessories

Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling and winning complex truck accident cases.  We know and understand how to determine the party that may be liable for your injuries.  This is a crucial step for any accident case.  To determine the liable parties for your lawsuit, our attorneys will investigate the following:

  • All driving logs and records including any stops for weigh-ins
  • The party which had control and ownership of the truck-trailer
  • Previous driving history of both the truck and/or trailer
  • All maintenance records for the truck and/or trailer
  • Possible violations of state or federal law driving regulations
  • Criminal history and records including convictions
  • Possible manufacturing defects

The cost of treating your injuries will likely be very high, but fortunately current Michigan No-Fault Law will cover all of your medical expenses, wage loss, replacement services, and medical mileage.  In order to collect additional compensation, we will have to file an additional “3rd party” lawsuit against the responsible party.  If you have lost a loved one during the accident, you might have a legitimate wrongful death suit that should be filed.  There are many complexities in truck accident cases and you need an extremely qualified lawyer to ensure that you get the financial compensation that you deserve.

Truck Accident Lawsuits

Injuries that are related truck accidents are usually severe and include brain damage, permanent disfigurement, spinal cord damage, cuts, paralysis, broken bones, and in some instances death.  Michigan No-Fault Benefits should provided compensation for your medical expenses, but you do have the ability to pursue further compensation if you pass the injury threshold or it can proven there was a defect in the truck or one of it’s components.  The 3 types of truck accidents include the following:

Negligence

This is the most common lawsuit in the State of Michigan for truck accident outside of medical expenses and it’s based on the truck driver’s negligence.  Here are some of the most common indicators of negligence by a truck driver:

  • Overall lack of driving experience with a truck
  • Taking large sized trucks on very narrow roads
  • Overweight and overloaded trucks
  • Failing to realize another car in blind spot
  • Not obeying traffic laws
  • Failing to stop at weigh stations that are required by law
  • Drowsy or tired driving without enough breaks

In order to be successful in a trucking negligence lawsuit, you will need to prove that the person driving the truck had a “duty of care” to the other drivers and vehicle on the road, that the driver failed to follow this duty through some negligent action, that an actual injury was sustained, and that the driver’s breach of duty is what caused the injury.

Product Liability

You may have a viable product liability lawsuit if a defect in the truck or any of the truck components helped cause the accident.  You will need to prove that the manufacturer of the truck or component was negligent by showing:

  • The truck was defective or a component was “unreasonably dangerous”
  • The operation of the truck was done as the manufacture intends
  • There has been no performance issues with the truck since the actual purchase

Wrongful Death

In many instances, truck accidents are so catastrophic that one of the victims does not survive.  In some of these cases, the family of the deceased might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one in order to recover compensation.  The idea of a wrongful death claim is based on that the family must prove the same facts as the victim would have.  Our attorneys can help family members receive both economic and non-economic damages for the loss of their family member.

What Financial Compensation Can Be Recovered?

Financial compensation is usually put into two main categories which include economic and non-economic damages.  While some states also allow punitive damages to punish the liable party, Michigan does not allow you to sue for punitive damages.  Economic damages are meant to compensate the victim injured in the accident or their family for monetary losses.  Since Michigan is a no-fault state, all of the economic damages will be paid by your own insurance company which include:

  • Medical Costs – This covers the expenses for all medical bills related to the injury
  • Medical Mileage – You can get reimbursed for the miles you travel to medical appointments.
  • Loss of wages – If you are unable to work, this will cover the money to replace your income.
  • Attendant Care – You are entitled to nursing care in your home if required.
  • Replacement Services – This includes help with regular chores, services, and even child-care.
  • Home modifications – If you have a disabling injury and need changes to your home, this is covered.
  • Automobile modifications – This also covers any modifications to your vehicle if required.

Non-Economic damages are meant to provide compensation to the injured victim and/or their loved ones for non-economic and intangible losses which include:

  • Pain and Suffering – This type of financial compensation is for the actual physical that you had to endure as a result of the various injuries sustained during the accident.  The severity of the injury, how much pain you endured, and how long the pain lasted will all effect the calculation of this award.
  • Mental Anguish – Victims can also be compensated for emotional suffering.  Truck accidents specifically can be catastrophic and can cause grief, anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and many other mental issues to those involved.  In order to collect pain and suffering in Michigan you will need to prove “serious impairment.”  Usually passing this “serious impairment definition requires a physical injury, but there is an exception.  According Michigan Jury instructions “The operation of the mind and of the nervous system are body functions.  Mental or emotional injury which is caused by physical injury or mental or emotional injury not caused by physical injury but which results in physical symptoms may be a serious impairment of a body function.
  • Loss of Consortium – This type of compensation is meant for the uninjured spouse.  It covers loss of marital benefits which can include companionship, sexual relations, comfort, and affection.

What Are The Top 10 Causes of Michigan Truck Accidents?

  • Fatigued or tired truck drivers more than allowed without rest
  • Alcohol or drug use while driving
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Improper loading of the Semi or Truck
  • Lack of training for the truck driver
  • Unsafe safety systems including lights, reflectors, mirrors, and warning devices
  • Running off the Road
  • Improperly maintained truck tires
  • Trucks that are oversized
  • Poor driving conditions

Michigan Truck Accident Statistics

There were 12,486 accidents in the State of Michigan that involved a CDL Truck or Bus according to Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.  This includes commercial vehicle groups A-C along with other trucks.  Essentially, this statistic includes trucks that weigh over 10,000 pounds.  While trucks only account for 2.4% of all accidents in the state, they do account for 8% of the fatalities.  There were 2,191 truck accidents during 2015 and there were 567 injuries reported.

No Fee Unless You Win For All Truck Accident Cases

If you were involved in a truck accident, contact an attorney as soon as you can.  Trucking companies and insurance companies have already started the investigation and you need someone on your side advocating for you.  There is a limited amount of time to file a truck accident lawsuit in the State of Michigan.  Contact us today at 517-347-6900 to learn how our attorneys can help you.  There is absolutely no cost unless your case is won!

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