Truck drivers are responsible for hauling the goods we need each day. While their tasks are far from easy, it is still their job to move product across Michigan in a responsible, safe manner without jeopardizing the lives of other motorists.
Whether it is due to distracted driving or operating while under the influence, truck accidents happen every day across America—the statistics don’t lie. Many do not make the news, while others are written and discussed candidly. If you or your loved one have been on the receiving end of an unwarranted truck accident that led to bodily injury or death, Michigan Injury Lawyers is here to help.
With one phone call, you can schedule a consultation with an attorney at no cost. If you are in or around Lansing, and need immediate legal assistance in your truck wreck, call Michigan Injury Lawyers today.
NOTE: Michigan’s new motor vehicle insurance laws can raise a host of questions about who is liable to you for injuries in a truck accident. Is it your no-fault insurance? Is it the trucker’s insurance company? How about the trucking company that may have negligently hired or supervised the trucker, or placed unrealistic expectations on him or her? As the huge changes to our insurance coverage requirements roll out, we’re ready to answer those questions for you, so call Michigan Injury Lawyers today.
What to Know About Fault in Truck Accidents
Drivers and passengers injured intruck accidents are undoubtedly feeling physical pain, but also find the whole situation confusing and overwhelming. Where did my driving skills fail me? What was the truck driver doing—or thinking? These questions linger long after the injuries heal.
In many Lansing truck accidents, however, these issues don’t come into play. Under Michigan law, you must carry no-fault insurance, so liability and negligence aren’t a matter of contention. You simply file a claim with your insurance company.
Just because it’s your insurance company, however, doesn’t make it more willing to part with a fair settlement. It will still want to boost its profits by charging more in premiums than it pays out in settlements. You will want our lawyers to file your claim and fight for a fair payout.
When fault is at issue, assigning liability for truck accidents often points a person in numerous directions, with a thorough investigation needed to uncover the person or entity behind the unspeakable pain victims are experiencing. There are times when unveiling the responsible party is a multistep process, however.
To determine who may be responsible for an otherwise avoidable incident, consider following these next steps:
Truckers must know trucking laws and how they apply to their particular state, whether loaded or empty. From performing maintenance on the vehicles to driving thousands of miles weekly, truck drivers are often overworked, sometimes with little rest.
Delivery and pickup schedules can be quite rigorous, causing fatigue to settle in after a period of time. From there, any number of tragic situations can arise, namely devastating accidents. Besides fatigue, truck drivers may cause accidents due to:
- Disregarding posted speeds, signs and traffic lights;
- Driving longer than federal laws allow;
- Various alcohol or drug use while driving;
- Drowsy driving;
- Texting or watching computer screens for new loads while driving;
- Not addressing known medical issues before they become severe; and
- Going too fast during inclement weather.
Should drivers be found not responsible, or only partially responsible, Michigan Injury Lawyers will look at the trucking company that employs them or owns the vehicle, as well.
Because of the risk involved with hauling goods across the country, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place that force trucking companies to hire qualified drivers, or if they are inexperienced, to train drivers according to state and federal regulations. Once hired, drivers and the semis they operate are the sole responsibility of the carrier. Accidents caused by driver inexperience, drug use, or violations of service hours could be civil liabilities of the carrier.
Trucking companies often push their drivers beyond their limits since there is little money to be made with idle trucks. Poor driver due diligence is another factor that causes accidents that should have been avoided during the application process.
When trucks and drivers are compliant, another entity that may be responsible for an accident is the outsourced freight company.
Third-Party Freight Handlers
Trucking companies often outsource some or all of their loading work to companies that specialize in proper loading and weight balancing. They will load the trucks, compare the bill of lading with what is actually on the truck, and haul the goods on to its destination. While this job seems simple, employees of the freight handling company may neglectfully load trailers, creating an imbalanced trailer.
The mostcommon truck accident injuries occur when semis tip over before skidding down the freeway and hitting other cars. Loading companies would then be responsible for causing undue injuries to others.
If the load does not have weight distribution issues, the attorneys may then look at the vehicle or part manufacturers.
Manufacturers of Truck Components
Substandard truck components often find their way onto finished semis when they roll off the production line. When trucks endure heavy use, the defective parts will affect other engine components, causing failure at high speeds. That failure could cause drivers to inadvertently lose their ability to handle a loaded semi, wreaking havoc on other drivers with the potential for numerous fatalities.
Truck accident attorneys will not rule out negligent manufacturing, as it is more common than people realize. Not long ago,Cummins recalled 500,000 trucks—some of them commercial—due to emissions issues. Tire recalls, brake system failures, and transmission failures are other well-documented problems responsible for numerous highway and interstate accidents.
If the parts are fine, the attorney will scour back through the list of potential at-fault parties to determine where things went wrong.
Our firm works hard to make sure victims are properly compensated for accidents when truck driver negligence or trucking company oversight is at issue. Victims will work with a Lansing truck accident lawyer that will walk them through the process from start to finish, including what steps must be taken to recover lost income after an accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today With Our Truck Accident Lawyers
Roughly five people lose their lives each day on Michigan roadways, with one of those deaths involving large trucks. Truck driver negligence may be the common denominator in many accidents, but do not discount the fault of trucking companies, outsourced loaders, and parts manufacturers.
You were in a truck accident, and your life will never be the same. Someone is liable—maybe your PIP carrier, maybe another party—but fear of fighting for a fair settlement prevents you from taking immediate action.
We understand. You have the right to seek counsel to help hold the responsible insurance company liable for the accident that changed your life.
For an immediate consultation at no charge, contact Michigan Injury Lawyers today at (517) 435-9370 or through our online contact form. We never charge fees until your case settles, and we treat every client like family. Substantial compensation is possible in truck accident cases, but you must take action now.