Experienced Michigan Truck Accident Attorneys Fighting For The Rights Of Injured Clients
Every year, accidents involving semi trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, delivery trucks and other massive commercial vehicles injure and kill thousands of Americans. For victims of these accidents, the road to recovery can be long, complicated and filled with many challenges – but you don’t have to go it alone. At Bahrie Law, PLLC, we have been representing victims of serious truck accidents throughout the entire state of Michigan for more than 40 years.
Throughout our decades in practice, we have successfully secured millions of dollars on behalf of the injured and the surviving families of those wrongfully killed. We understand what you are going through and are here to provide the compassionate, dedicated and personalized guidance you need.
On this page, we’ve provided answers to commonly asked questions about trucking accidents. To discuss your own case in a free initial consultation, contact our attorneys at 888-473-1289. We do not collect any fees unless we win your case.
How do large truck accidents happen?
Although the majority of truck drivers are highly skilled, extensively trained professionals, they can still make the same mistakes as any other motorist on the road. Truck drivers are also not immune from acting negligently or recklessly behind the wheel. But truck driver negligence is not the only cause of commercial vehicle accidents. In fact, third-party negligence frequently plays a role in these collisions.
Some of the leading causes of large truck and commercial vehicle accidents include:
- Truck driver error and negligence: Examples of truck driver error and negligence include distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving, road rage, and traffic law violations.
- Hours-of-service violations: When truckers drive beyond the legally permitted number of hours, they are at risk of driving fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel.
- Cargo problems: Overloaded and improperly loaded trucks can lead to fishtailing, jackknifing and other serious truck accidents.
- Poor truck maintenance: Improper or inadequate truck maintenance (including reporting issues for repair) can have disastrous consequences.
- Vehicle/road defects: Truck defects, such as defective tires or braking systems, as well as poorly designed or constructed roads can lead to serious accidents.
- Negligent trucking company practices: Examples of negligent trucking company practices include failure to conduct background checks, inadequate training and more.
- Third-party negligence: Sometimes, the careless or wrongful conduct of another motorist or third party contributes to or causes a truck accident.
Depending on the specific details of your situation, you may be able to recover compensation after an accident through your own no-fault coverage, or you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the truck driver, the trucking company, a parts manufacturer or another third party. Our skilled lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options.
How do truck accident claims work in Michigan?
Generally speaking, truck accident cases are far more complex than standard car accident claims. Specifically, the state’s no-fault system can quickly become very complicated when the accident for which you are seeking compensation involved a commercial entity.
Because all drivers in Michigan are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, truck accident victims can often seek financial restitution for their damages, such as medical bills and lost income, by filing a claim with their own insurance providers. However, it may also be possible and appropriate to file a third-party truck accident claim against a negligent party. Third-party claims are essentially personal injury claims that are filed against those liable for your damages.
To file a third-party claim, you will need to prove several elements, including but possibly not limited to the following:
- Another person or party owed you a duty of care
- That person or party breached the duty of care
- The breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of your injuries
- You suffered damages, including excess medical losses and/or noneconomic damages
Determining who is liable for your damages in a third-party truck accident claim can be very difficult. The truck driver may have caused the accident but his or her employer, the trucking company may be liable. If the truck driver was classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee, they may be individually liable. In some cases, a manufacturer, another motorist, or some other third party could be partially or solely responsible for your damages.
Should I hire an attorney after being injured in a truck accident?
Due to the immense complexity of these types of cases, it is critical that you work with an experienced truck accident attorney. In addition to helping you navigate the no-fault system, determine liability and/or file a third-party claim, your attorney can evaluate the true, full cost of your injuries, including the extent of your pain and suffering, future medical care needs, and lifetime lost income. From there, your attorney can build a powerful case aimed at securing maximum compensation for you.
At Bahrie Law, PLLC, we fight tirelessly for victims of serious truck accidents and commercial vehicle collisions. We are well-versed in state and federal trucking regulations, as well as the local court system. Our team is highly respected for our commitment to our clients, along with our compassionate-yet-aggressive approach to advocacy.
How common are truck accidents in Michigan?
Specific data changes annually, but there are typically more than 10,000 accidents involving trucks each year in Michigan, resulting in dozens of deaths and thousands of injuries.
Based on the number of truck accidents, the most dangerous places in Michigan are Wayne County, Oakland County, Kent County and Macomb County. It should come as no surprise that truck accidents tend to be the most common and most severe in areas with a high volume of highway truck traffic. By contrast, rural areas see far fewer truck collisions.
What is the statute of limitations for pursuing compensation after a truck accident in Michigan?
Your time to file a truck accident lawsuit in Michigan is limited to three years from the date of the crash (or the date of death if filing a wrongful death claim). It is in your best interests to act quickly and to consult an attorney, for reasons that we explain in greater detail below.
What compensation may I be entitled to receive?
In legal speak, the term “damages” refers to money owed for harms and losses suffered. After a trucking accident, you may be entitled to damages that include:
- Medical bills (present and future)
- Lost wages (due to being unable to work, temporarily or permanently)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disability and costs associated with adapting to it
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage and loss
If you lost someone you love in a trucking accident, our attorneys can help you pursue additional damages in a wrongful death claim. These may include funeral and burial expenses, loss of lifetime earnings (for the deceased), loss of companionship, medical bills leading up to the victim’s death and more.
What steps should I take following a truck accident to help build my case?
Realistically, you likely cannot take much, if any action, at the scene of the crash. This is because trucking accidents often result in serious or catastrophic injuries, and most victims leave the site in an ambulance.
If you are able to communicate and take action at the crash site, it is important to contribute to the details of the police report, take down the information about the truck and truck driver, take pictures of the crash scene and get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
Once everyone is medically stable, the best thing you can do to build your case is to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as reasonably possible. Trucking companies and insurers aggressively defend truck accident cases, and they often have representatives on the scene within hours. They will have a head start in investigating the crash and taking control of evidence.
You need a lawyer who will quickly but thoroughly investigate the accident to prove that the truck driver and trucking company were at fault. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that evidence will disappear and memories will fade.
What injuries are common in a truck accident?
When they are not fatal, truck accidents commonly result in catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck, back and spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis and permanent disability
- Broken bones and fractures
- Burn injuries
- Crushed limbs
It almost goes without saying that such extensive injuries will exceed the limits of your PIP coverage. Therefore, you’ll need to seek additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Our Lansing And Detroit Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help – Contact Us Today
Bahrie Law, PLLC, has offices in Lansing and Metro Detroit, and we serve clients throughout Michigan. Reach out to our truck accident lawyers today to learn how we can help you get back on your feet and fight for the justice you deserve.