We read in newspapers or see on local or national television news stories of catastrophic crashes involving large trucks. The crashes are unfortunate, exposing the danger of large trucks on our roads and the importance of enforcement of safety restrictions and regulations on trucking companies.
Accidents involving large trucks cause serious injuries and death on our roadways every year. These crashes are serious, and devastating. Get educated on how these accidents happen, and what to do if you, a family member, or friend are injured in a crash with a commercial trucking vehicle. Seek help from experienced attorneys who know the safety rules for commercial trucking to ensure the injured receive fair and just reimbursement for harms and losses.
Truck crashes are rising. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports:
There are state and federal safety rules for commercial trucks. Safety rules include:
If you, a family member, or a friend is injured in a trucking crash, the question of what actually caused the crash is complex and more challenging than an automobile traffic accident. There are complex relationships between truck drivers, trucking companies, and owners of trucks requiring careful research and investigation. Determining the cause for a trucking accident, and the relationships among the persons and entities related to the truck are critical for pursuing a claim.
Common causes of trucking accidents include:
Unlike an automobile accident, several parties may be held liable in a trucking crash. They may include:
Trucking Crashes vs. Auto Accidents
A truck crash involves a truck weighing over 10,000 pounds. Trucks that exceed this weight limit (besides the typical semi-trailers) include gravel trucks, snowplows, garbage trucks, or dump trucks.
In Michigan, we operate under the no-fault insurance system. The no-fault system means drivers involved in an accident, whether at fault or not, can collect insurance benefits (PIP benefits) from their own insurance company. No-fault applies in accidents involving trucks, but many other issues are involved and seek professional advice regarding additional issues such as different insurance policies, the independent status of truck drivers, and the location of trucking companies or entities with ownership interests in the truck.
First party claim
Individuals involved in a trucking crash in Michigan with the proper automobile insurance may file a first party claim against their own insurance company. A first party claim is to recover expenses (also known as no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) benefits) which include:
Third party claim
Besides first party benefits, those involved in a trucking accident may file a third party claim against the at-fault driver or other parties involved in the crash, alleging negligence. A third party claim may recover damages for pain and suffering. In Michigan, one can pursue pain and suffering damages if injuries of the person meet the statutory injury-minimum thresholds of: (1) death, (2) permanent serious disfigurement, or (3) serious impairment of body function. An experienced truck crash attorney can help you determine if injuries of you or a loved one are severe enough under Michigan law.
Federal regulations dictate that trucking companies have accident insurance of $750,000 or more. To limit liability and reduce the settlements and verdicts, trucking companies and insurance companies often employ large defense law firms with rapid response teams to arrive on the scene of a trucking crash. These defense teams often arrive less than an hour after a crash, and with one goal: minimize damaging evidence by hampering the investigation.
For an injured person, retaining the right attorney quickly can help you overcome the dishonest defense tactics employed by rapid response teams and defense lawyers for trucking companies.
After a truck crash, there are important steps immediately and in the weeks after the crash. An attorney protects you and ensures critical information is gathered and evidence preserved.
Immediately after a crash, you should:
If you or anyone you know was injured in a trucking crash, contact Buchanan & Buchanan law firm for the advice of its experienced trucking crash attorneys. We understand your frustration and will start a full investigation to determine the cause of the crash and who is responsible to reimburse you for the injuries. Buchanan and Buchanan offers an exclusive, No Fee Promise. If we don’t win, then you don’t pay.