Large, heavy semi-trucks require increased stopping time and tip more easily due to winds or incorrect loading. Their size can cause extensive bodily injury and property damage, making truck accidents notoriously dangerous and even deadly.
Truck drivers and trucking companies often face pressure and unrealistic expectations regarding how much driving they should do daily. However, they are still subject to federal regulations. When they ignore these regulations in an attempt to meet or exceed their work deadlines, the drivers around them are in danger.
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, call a Bloomfield Hills truck accident attorney from Michigan Injury Lawyers to determine who you can hold responsible for your injuries.
- About Michigan Injury Lawyers
- Establishing Damages after a Truck Accident
- Do Federal Trucking Laws and Regulations Impact My Injury Claim?
- How Long Do Truck Accident Lawsuits Take?
- Bloomfield Hills Truck Accident FAQs
- Who Can I Hold Liable for My Truck Accident?
- Do You Have Costly Injuries from a Crash? Contact a Bloomfield Hills Truck Accident Lawyer Today
About Michigan Injury Lawyers
Since 2008, the personal injury attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers have been serving those in Bloomfield Hills and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys have decades of combined experience successfully representing clients like yourself.
We aren’t afraid to stand up to large trucking companies or their insurance carriers when obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our firm is known for taking cases to trial when the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to settle for what our clients deserve.
If you need a Bloomfield Hills truck accident attorney to navigate an injury claim's confusing and overwhelming process, look no further than the skilled attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers.
Establishing Damages after a Truck Accident
After an accident, the liable party must make the victim whole again. They can't undo the physical, financial, or emotional damage they have caused. However, they can pay the victim monetary compensation for their financial losses.
Damages are largely what determine a truck accident victim’s compensation.
Economic damages depend on the actual costs or financial losses incurred from the accident and can include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Disability accommodations
- Live-in care or nursing home care
- Medical equipment
- Rehabilitation and therapies
- Lost wages and earnings
- Damaged or destroyed property
- Transportation and travel costs to medical appointments
- Legal expenses and attorney’s fees
Specific damages and the amounts injured parties receive for them will vary from one accident case to the next. For example, a more severe truck accident that causes catastrophic injuries will pay a victim more compensation.
Non-economic or general damages are more difficult to value but no less critical. They usually include physical and psychological damage.
These damages can include:
- Future lost income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Psychological distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Depression and anxiety
- Lost quality of life
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of opportunities
- Scarring and disfigurement
When you meet with a Bloomfield Hills truck accident lawyer, they will help you determine the damages specific to your case and their value. Their job is to stand up for your rights, advocating for you so that you can get full and fair compensation for your injuries. Sometimes this is done through a successfully negotiated settlement. Other times, it requires presenting your case to a judge or jury.
Either way, our Bloomfield Hills truck accident attorneys aren’t afraid to face large truck companies, their insurance companies, or their legal teams.
Do Federal Trucking Laws and Regulations Impact My Injury Claim?
Commercial trucks are inherently far more dangerous than regular passenger vehicles. Weighing up to 80,000 pounds, a carelessly operated big rig can cause severe destruction in seconds. Due to their substantial safety risks, trucking companies and drivers are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
The FMCSA issues and enforces rules that govern safety issues for trucks, truckers, and their carriers. They provide minimum standards for the trucking industry. Violating these trucking laws causes many large truck accidents.
Some of the most important safety rules for the trucking industry include:
Hours of Service
Everyone knows that driving on the highways while tired or distracted is a bad idea, especially if you are behind the wheel of a big rig. Hours of service rules aim to keep tired and distracted truckers off the road and reduce accidents caused by driver error. The FMCSA limits the number of hours truck drivers can drive before needing to stop.
Truck drivers must rest for a specific time before they can get back on the road again. Unfortunately, truck drivers often ignore the rules to deliver or pick up loads on time, leading to driver error and truck accidents.
A Bloomfield Hills truck accident lawyer can determine if a truck driver was driving longer than allowed or without the required rest.
Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair
A trucking company is responsible for maintaining its trucks in good working condition. The safety regulations provide for minimum standards to ensure that trucks are in a reasonably safe condition while they are on the road. Big rigs experience a lot of wear and tear due to their size and the miles they travel, which demands frequent inspections and maintenance. Common parts like tires and brakes can fail and cause significant accidents.
Under FMCSA regulations, trucking companies must perform regular maintenance, and truck drivers must inspect their vehicles and report any safety concerns to their company. Again, drivers sometimes ignore these rules because of tight deadlines or budget concerns. Poorly maintained trucks are a common theme in many accident cases.
Truckers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a commercial truck. But simply obtaining a CDL is a bare minimum. A trucking company is responsible for ensuring that any truck driver they employ is safe and qualified for the commercial vehicle they are driving.
For example, a truck driver with known drug or alcohol problems shouldn't have permission to drive a commercial vehicle. Some trucking companies may turn a blind eye to an unsafe or unqualified truck driver when short on qualified ones. They may also hire inexperienced drivers and not provide them with the training they need to be as safe as possible on the road.
HazMat, oversized loads, and longer-than-normal tractor trailers require special training plus a CDL.
As with driver qualifications, it can be easy for trucking companies to cut corners or turn a blind eye to safety regulations when there is a shortage of qualified and trained drivers. As such, they may have hired truck drivers who lack the qualifications to drive a specific vehicle but put them on the road anyway.
How Long Do Truck Accident Lawsuits Take?
Truck accident lawsuits can take years if contested, but many cases settle before trial. Most truck accident cases typically follow a three-part legal process: investigation, negotiation, and trial.
The trucking company’s insurance carrier usually sends investigators to the accident scene as soon as they learn of the crash. It’s the investigator’s job to gather evidence and interview witnesses to help defend the insurance company against personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. However, these investigators work for the insurance company, not the victims.
After an accident with a commercial truck, contact a Bloomfield Hills truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will collect evidence on your behalf and build your case. Don't speak with the insurance company's investigators until you have spoken with an attorney. You might accidentally or unknowingly say something detrimental to your claim.
Remember that the truck driver's insurance company makes money by paying as little as possible to truck accident victims. Victims without legal representation might accept a quick settlement worth only a fraction of their total claim because they don't understand the actual value of their damages.
An insurance adjuster might tell a victim that the company "accepts responsibility" for the accident. But once settlement talks begin, the insurance company may backtrack and not pay for anything related to the accident. Sometimes, the insurance company will only accept responsibility to stop the victim from contacting a truck accident attorney.
Hiring a truck accident attorney will help you or your loved one get paid what you deserve, not just what the insurance company offers to settle your claim for. If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, never let an insurance company convince you not to hire legal representation; you deserve someone fighting in your corner. Never forget that the trucking company and its insurer are not in your corner.
A trucking company and its insurance carrier will typically settle a case before going to trial and defending themselves before a jury.
However, in cases involving serious injuries or wrongful death, going to trial—or at least threatening to go to trial—may get injured victims just compensation. Filing a lawsuit frequently makes insurance companies rethink what they should pay accident victims during settlement negotiations.
While the trials themselves are relatively short, truck accident litigation can last several years, depending on if there are contentious issues like liability or the value of damages. During this time, the lawyers collect and analyze evidence and might debate legal issues in court before the trial occurs.
While it may seem like a long process, the potential benefit of waiting for the victim suffering possibly life-changing injuries can be huge. An experienced Bloomfield Hills truck accident attorney can help you evaluate the pros and cons of settling early, filing a lawsuit, and going to trial— ultimately leaving the decision up to you.
Bloomfield Hills Truck Accident FAQs
What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents in Bloomfield Hills?
Countless factors can lead to a semi-truck crash in this state. Some are the result of negligent truck drivers. In contrast, others might be the fault of other drivers on the road, municipalities, or even the trucking company or trucker’s employer.
However, driver errors are Michigan's most common cause of tractor-trailer truck crashes. According to FMCSA, driver error causes 88 percent of truck-related crashes.
These include accidents caused by drivers who:
- Fail to check blind spots before switching lanes
- Are confused or distracted
- Abuse alcohol or prescription or recreational drugs
- Failed to take their federally mandated rest breaks
If these negligent truck drivers cause an accident, our experienced Bloomfield Hills truck accident attorneys can help hold them liable for the damages they cause to others.
Who Can I Hold Liable for My Truck Accident?
You can hold multiple parties at fault, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company or employees responsible for loading the truck
- The truck’s manufacturer
- Manufacturers of the truck’s parts
- Other drivers on the road
- Government entities—for example, if negligence or improperly functioning lights left roads in a dangerous condition
- Your personal injury protection policy.
Depending on your accident, these parties can also share fault. Your attorney will investigate your accident thoroughly to ensure they hold each liable party accountable for your injuries and thereby maximizing your compensation.
Do You Have Costly Injuries from a Crash? Contact a Bloomfield Hills Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Truck accident victims often sustain severe, catastrophic, or life-threatening injuries. If this happened to you or a family member, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from a Bloomfield Hills personal injury attorney today. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at (313) 438-4357 or contact us online.
"Michigan Injury Lawyers fought for my best interest, helped me understand throughout the process and was very patient with my many questions. I have nothing but good things to say about this firm! I feel as though my case was handled professionally and with the utmost care. If you needed to let them know about something urgent, they responded quickly and updated me within the day or the following morning. Nothing but good things to say!" -Shaun N. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Read more of our Google reviews.
Bloomfield Hills Office Location
2525 S Telegraph Rd, Ste 100,
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302