Finding the Best Truck Accident Lawyers in Michigan
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks pose numerous dangers on the road, and major injuries and financial costs can result from accidents caused by trucks.
A truck accident case can involve multiple negligent parties, such as the trucking company and their insurance company, and an in-depth understanding of federal regulations. Many trucking companies have insurance carriers and a team of lawyers available to represent them in court.
An experienced truck accident lawyer from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you or a loved one involved in a trucking accident. Having a lawyer on your side can ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve by negotiating with the insurance company, reviewing your medical expenses and other pieces of evidence, and building your claim.
National Truck Crash Statistics
Truck accidents have experienced an increase over the past few years due to driver error. They often take place on other roadways other than the interstate.
- The fatal accident rate for large trucks increased by 4% to 1.67 per 100 million miles.
- 97% of those killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a heavy truck were occupants in passenger cars.
- Saturday and Sunday accounted for 17% of large truck crash deaths in 2019, compared to 35% of non-large truck crashes.
- In 2019, the number of injured in large-truck accidents increased by 7%.
- According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the main factors in truck accidents are fatigue, speeding, and driving under the influence.
- 74.91% of truck accidents occur on non-interstate roadways compared with 25% on the interstate.
What are the Leading Causes of Truck Accidents?
The most common causes of truck accidents are driver fatigue, distracted driving, tire defects, speeding and overtaking, alcohol and drugs, poor driver training, inadequate maintenance, and improper cargo loading.
In addition, many crashes have been traced back to illegal, and therefore negligent, hiring practices by trucking companies. The trucking industry is experiencing a driver shortage, leading many companies to hire inexperienced or unqualified drivers or drivers with poor driving records. Companies who engage in unlawful hiring practices can be held liable in a truck accident if it is found they knew of prior history.
How Truck Accidents Are Different from Car Accidents
An experienced truck attorney is essential to your claim, as they can guide you through the complexities of the differences between a trucking accident and a car accident.
Trucks are heavier than motor vehicles
Truck accidents are even more brutal than car accidents, as the impact of a truck is far more significant than that of a car. Their size and weight make it more difficult to quickly stop the truck or turn in time. Large commercial trucks are statistically more likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities because they weigh at least 10,000 pounds.
Multiple-vehicle collisions caused by tractor-trailer vehicles can be even more serious. Tractor-trailer vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Truck accident injuries and damages are more severe and may even result in wrongful death.
Equipment failure can also be an issue when the trucking company or driver cannot perform checkups, leading to potential malfunctions.
There is more evidence to consider in truck accidents
Gathering witness statements, police reports, and other evidence is more cumbersome in truck accident cases than in car accident cases. Research and analysis of safety records, trucking logs, driver records, and black boxes are necessary.
A motor vehicle accident lawyer with experience handling a truck accident or truck accident lawsuit if you are involved in a collision. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. work closely with you to get you a truck accident settlement.
Truck Drivers and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry. FMCSA’s federal regulations aim to reduce crashes, fatalities, and injuries resulting from semi-trucks and buses.
It attempts to balance truck company safety with efficiency and outlines the minimum standards for anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle engaged in interstate commerce. FMCSA guidelines apply to everyone in the trucking chain, not just drivers but also managers, supervisors, and dispatchers.
Commercial truck drivers must be familiar with and comply with all regulations. When this does not happen, and a crash occurs, the driver and the company could face severe legal consequences.
Types of Truck Accident Lawsuits
There are various types of truck accident lawsuits and legal claims corresponding to this kind of accident. Most truck accident lawsuits involve either personal injury claims, property damage legal claims, or both.
The personal injury lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. are skilled at determining whether you have a personal injury claim because of a large truck accident.
Personal Injury Claims
A truck accident victim can file a personal injury lawsuit in which the truck driver or trucking company can be negligent in causing the accident. Personal injury cases can help victims recover lost wages and medical expenses and get fair compensation for injuries, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
Property Damage Claims
A semi-truck accident can result in significant damage to a vehicle or other property. The extent of likely property damage after a semi-truck accident makes it possible to file a property damage claim and a personal injury claim. Property damage claims can include the cost of repairs, loss of use, diminution in value, and personal property within the vehicle at the time of the collision.
How Compensation is Determined
Lawyers and insurance companies consider several factors in determining compensation following a truck accident. These include:
- The degree of the driver or injury victim’s negligence causing the crash.
- The seriousness of injuries, how these injuries have affected a person’s life, and whether they are permanent.
- Psychological, emotional, or other trauma.
- Type of medical treatment necessary following a crash.
- Loss of income or earning capacity.
- Insurance policy limits for the trucking company.
- Amount of property damage sustained.
- Whether there was a fatality involved can lead to a wrongful death claim.
Factors that Affect Truck Accident Claims
For your attorney to take legal action, they must first establish that the truck driver breached their duty to be reasonably careful and that the breach resulted in your injuries. If you can prove these injuries and any financial loss incurred, you can prove negligence.
- Negligence: Establishing negligence is critical in any truck accident claim. The responsible party involved in the crash may be negligent if they have broken road rules or have acted unreasonably in breaching their duty to other drivers on the road.
Therefore, a truck accident claim is determined by who was at fault. This can be the truck driver, the car driver, the manufacturer, the dispatcher, or anyone in the logistical chain of the trucking company.
- Liability: In a truck accident, the driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, a trucking company’s vendor, an independent contractor, and those responsible for highway maintenance or design can all be held liable.
- The severity of the injury: A truck accident can result in a wide range of severe injuries. The types of injuries include spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, amputation, and even wrongful death.
Steps to Take After a Commercial Truck Accident
If you are involved in a collision with a commercial truck, and you are in a condition to do so, these are the things you should do immediately:
- Call the police: Call the police following the truck accident. Request emergency assistance if you or other passengers are injured.
- Gather as much information from the crash scene as you can: Ask the truck driver for their contact information, including the name of their trucking company. You should note the truck’s license plate as this can assist your attorney in building a claim.
- Take video and photographic evidence of the accident scene: Get pictures of the crash scene, the vehicles involved, and the surrounding area. Your lawyer will use the photos you take to determine the extent of the accident and the liability in an accident.
- Keep all medical documentation: Whenever you receive medical treatment, keep a copy of your medical records and other sensitive information relevant to your case.
- Contact a truck accident attorney immediately: If you’re involved in a truck accident in Michigan, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
What is the Truck’s Black Box, and What Does it Track?
Like airplanes, trucks have a black box, an electronic recording device that tracks the driver’s driving time, also known as an Electronic Control Module (ECM) or Event Data Recorder (EDR).
Truck drivers must follow hours of service regulations, determining how long they’re allowed to be behind the wheel. The black box can also help determine the truck’s speed at the time of the accident, the driver’s actions, and comparisons between general truck activity and truck activity during the circumstances of the accident.
Black boxes are helpful when you need to file a claim for compensation after an accident. Your lawyer can use the black box as evidence in the aftermath of a truck crash, where a collision occurred because of fatigue or related factors. However, they will need a truck accident attorney with experience in demanding the recovery of the black box and who knows how to examine it.
Why You Should Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in Michigan
The truck accident lawyer handles all legal issues while seeking medical attention and repairing damages to your vehicle due to the collision. The lawyer can negotiate with your insurance company and, if necessary, go to court for you.
Review evidence from the truck accident
Tuck accidents involve not only serious injuries and vehicle damage. They can also result in long-term or permanent disability, pain and suffering, and loss of employment. A truck accident lawyer gathers and analyzes relevant information such as medical records, police reports, and testimony of witnesses to prove your case.
Explain federal regulations about the trucking industry
Since commercial drivers and their trucking companies must follow state and federal regulations, your lawyer can discuss how they affect your case. A skilled truck accident attorney can assist you with the legal complexities associated with this situation.
Talk to your insurance company
A lawyer will use all the substantial evidence to prove your claim is valid with the insurance company. Negotiation with an insurance adjuster can help you get compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage. Legal representation is available if you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident and cannot attend the hearing.
The knowledgeable team of lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. use their expertise to recover damages incurred due to the negligence of the truck driver or truck company. A personal injury attorney at our law firm can give you peace of mind, knowing that everything is being done to provide you with the maximum compensation possible.
How Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
The legal process for filing a personal injury or property damage claim due to a truck crash is complex, nuanced, and requires the legal services of an experienced legal team. An experienced lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you in the following process.
- Your lawyer reviews your case using all the evidence available. They investigate all the facts of the case, such as the specific circumstances of the accident, the truck driver’s background and history, and the trucking company’s record.
- The attorney establishes the cause of the accident and secures the truck’s black box, which provides hard evidence for your claims.
- We will also investigate how your case is interpreted in Michigan’s no-fault laws. The lawyer may need to review different insurance policies, the employment status of truck drivers, worker’s compensation, and the exact location of the trucking companies.
- They get involved in settlement negotiations with the multiple insurance companies involved in truck crash cases on your behalf. They communicate with the insurance companies of each party involved and the property damage entities at every step along the way.
- If necessary, your lawyer can represent you in court if we can’t come to a settlement with the liable party. We may also source expert witnesses to testify on your behalf to establish liability.
Choose to Work with a Truck Accident Lawyer from Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
If you were involved in a truck wreck and you sustained injuries or property damage as a result, then you have a case. Consult Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. immediately if you were involved in a trucking accident in Michigan.
Our track record of success means we can offer legal advice and inform you about your legal rights in the event of a truck accident. We can help evaluate and guide you through the steps to make a personal injury or property damage claim.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Is hiring an accident attorney worth it?
While you may feel like you can handle your claim alone, a truck accident lawyer has years of experience involving truck accident cases, which differ significantly from standard car accident cases. Handling your case on your own puts you at risk of facing legal representatives for major truck companies who are far more seasoned in arguing case particularities.
What if there is fault on my part for the truck accident in Michigan?
Multiple factors may contribute to a truck accident, resulting in shared liability. Michigan has a modified comparative fault rule, or 51% bar rule. If you are 51% at fault for an accident, you cannot recover non-economic or pain and suffering damages.
What should I know before hiring a truck accident lawyer?
Picking an attorney who has experience is essential for your case. Large commercial vehicle accidents, in particular, can be extremely complex and involve several parties, evidence, and specialized rules.
A truck accident lawyer can assess these difficulties and develop a legal defense strategy. They can give you peace of mind, knowing that everything possible is being done to provide you with the maximum compensation possible.
What percentage do truck accident lawyers take?
Most personal injury cases involve a “contingency fee,” which is deducted from the final truck accident settlement or damages award. This typically amounts to around a third of the settlement or award. If the case is unsuccessful, the attorney gets nothing.
Who are the best attorneys for truck accidents?
Trucking law is notoriously complex, considering the admixture of conflicting federal and state laws, multiple parties with conflicting claims involved, and multiple insurance companies for various steps of the legal process. If you file your case with us, you will be in safe and legal hands due to our expertise in trucking law and Michigan’s no-fault laws.
Disclaimer: The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel, and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.