Many highways and interstates that cross our state, with commuters using them to reach their places of employment, and vacationers using them to reach any number of destinations, including Petoskey.
Big trucks also share the same Petoskey-area roadways with cars. When they cause accidents, the end result is often catastrophic, or in certain cases, life-ending.
Michigan Injury Lawyers have seen their fair share of truck accidents in Petoskey and surrounding areas, and know how to fight the big trucking companies to get every penny you and your loved ones deserve. Contact our firm immediately to schedule a consultation.
NOTE: Did you know that Michigan will soon change the amount of no-fault insurance that drivers can purchase? That can drastically change how to pursue compensation after a truck accident. Our lawyers, however, are fully prepared to help our clients, whether our investigation shows that we need to pursue a claim against your own PIP policy, or against a trucker or trucking company, or both. Call us today—we’re ready to help you.
Types of Truck Accidents Michigan Injury Lawyers Handles
Eighteen-wheeled tractor-trailers are not the only culprits of accidents in Michigan. In fact, you will find that others who share the road qualify as trucks, including:
- Cement mixing trucks;
- Dump trucks;
- Moving vans;
- Towing vehicles;
- Farming implements;
- Large trucks carrying flammable liquids;
- Combines that get too far into the roadway when plowing;
- City maintenance trucks and snow plows; and
- Backhoes that travel down the roadway from one work site to another.
Regardless of vehicle size, Michigan Injury Lawyers will hold the party accountable for their role in your accident. Our team will zealously fight the trucking company claims, and will fight even harder when government-owned trucks are to blame.
What Victims Should Do After a Truck Accident in Petoskey
Most people don’t know what to do after an accident and improvise their way through the situation. Others are unconscious and cannot do much of anything. Those who pass away at the scene or afterward receive little justice unless their families pursue litigation.
Everyone involved in accidents should:
- Never leave the scene until cleared by law enforcement and medical personnel;
- Be a good Samaritan and help others who can be safely moved away from vehicles;
- Document everything they see, even with a video camera on their cell phone;
- Be 100 percent truthful with police when discussing the accident; and, most of all,
- Never talk to an insurer. To best preserve your right to the most money you deserve for your accident, have your truck accident lawyer speak to any insurers for you.
These steps are not all encompassing, but they should give you a good idea of the basic elements of your case.
How Truck Injuries Compare to Other Vehicle Injuries
Injuries sustained in any vehicle accident are serious regardless of how large or small the offending vehicle. The same investigation will ensue, victims will find themselves in need of urgent care more often than not, and an attorney will be retained to assure fair compensation is given to their clients.
When personal injury claims involve commercially insured vehicles, significant differences may determine how to litigate the accident, what insurance companies are potentially liable, whether fault is even necessary to prove, and how much victims are entitled to. In more serious cases, we can represent the families of deceased victims.
Potential for Multiple Liable Parties
Often, you’ll pursue compensation against your own PIP insurance company, and fault isn’t at issue. Even though you’ve paid the premiums, your car insurance isn’t any happier to pay on claims than another driver’s. That’s where our lawyers can help you get your insurance company to pay what it owes you.
Sometimes, however, fault does come into play, and you need to pursue compensation from another party’s insurance company.
If that happens, your truck accident lawyer will investigate to see if the other driver logged too many hours, was under the influence, or was distracted for whatever reason.
But what happens if the truck driver wasn’t directly at fault? Is that fathomable?
As an indirect party to the accident, truck drivers may be indirectly involved by virtue of:
- Poor maintenance. This can contribute to tire blowouts and a myriad of other vehicle control issues. This could lead to an accident with a passenger car—even after the driver performed their pre-trip walkthrough;
- Manufacturer recalls. If part recalls weren’t addressed before putting the commercial truck on the road could contribute to accidents, both the manufacturer and trucking company could be at fault;
- Bad trailers. These could easily contribute to accidents.
Personal injury attorneys tend to evaluate the entire accident and collect data from the appropriate parties that caused the accident. Sometimes that ends up being one party, or sometimes more.
Monetary Damages Tend to Run Higher
Accident claims in passenger vehicle accidents where another passenger car or light truck is involved can only pay out specific amounts. Oftentimes, it’s very, very little compared to the damage done. Some states cap PIP claims, while others allow victims to collect every penny—and beyond—their accident is worth.
In commercial vehicle accidents, claims can reach seven to nine figures depending on the number of parties injured, if a wrongful death occurred, and numerous other factors. It’s nothing for survivors of small collisions with commercial trucks to receive high-five to low-six figure settlements.
Wrongful Death Is More Likely to Happen
The amount of force produced by an 18-wheeled truck transporting 80,000 pounds of cargo traveling 60 miles an hour is astonishing (somewhere north of 5,000,000 Newtons). That force calculation assumes the semi will hit an inanimate object with enough force to stop it.
Small passenger cars, in general, may not stop that fully loaded semi, but if it collides with that semi only generating 49,000 Newtons of its own, expect nothing less than catastrophe.
Weight, road conditions, and other factors will also contribute to the seriousness of a truck accident.
Our Petoskey Truck Accident Lawyers Fight Big Insurance Companies
Injuries, vehicle repairs, hospital bills, wage loss and potential loss of consortium claims in vehicle accidents will never share similar numbers. This fact is irrespective of the vehicles involved.
Your car accident attorney fights for as much as you deserve. Most times, they’re able to settle far above the pittance victims are offered directly by the insurance company to put the claim to bed.
Whether a commercial vehicle or passenger car, one party or 20, few car accidents have happy endings. If litigated thoroughly, however, victims like yourself or someone you know may receive compensation for needless suffering, unwarranted medical bills, lost income, and more.
Contact a Petoskey truck accident attorney at Michigan Injury Lawyers today at (231) 649-2720 to begin your claim.