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Michigan Truck Accident Attorney

Fully-loaded large trucks weigh at least 80,000 pounds and carry large amounts of highly-flammable diesel fuel. When these massive vehicles crash, they often cause catastrophic injuries, such as serious burns and spine injuries. Substantial compensation is available, but quick action is necessary.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, call the Buchanan Firm today for a free consultation. Since so much is at stake, only the most experienced Michigan truck accident lawyers should deal with your claim. The team at Buchanan Firm has the legal and medical expertise you need for a successful recovery. Our on-staff medical professionals evaluate the medical aspects of your claim, and our truck accident attorneys in Grand Rapids fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Causes Truck Crashes?

Before delving into truck accident causes, it is important to discuss the high duty of care that these operators have under Michigan law.

Truck drivers, Uber drivers, and other commercial operators are common carriers in Michigan. They have a higher duty of care than noncommercial drivers. For example, noncommercial drivers must stop on red and go on green. But before commercial operators move forward, they must ensure that the intersection is clear.

The higher duty of care makes it easier for a Grand Rapids personal injury attorney to establish negligence or a lack of care. This process usually involves ordinary negligence or negligence per se. Fatigued driving, which is a serious problem in this area, is a good example.

Michigan has very strict HOS (Hours of Service) rules which include requirements like mandatory rest periods. If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) violated the HOS rules, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages as a matter of law.

Additionally, many truckers drive early in the morning or late at night. Regardless of how much rest they had the previous night, most people are naturally drowsy during these times. Any fatigued driving, whether or not it is consistent with the HOS rules, is arguably a violation of the duty of care. So, ordinary negligence applies in these situations. If the breach of care substantially causes a crash, the tortfeasor is liable for damages.

Generally, these damages include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.  Speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Grand Rapids to learn what damages are recoverable in your unique case.

Evidence in Truck Crash Claims

To obtain these damages, the victim/plaintiff must establish negligence, or negligence per se, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Some potential sources include:

  • Police Accident Report: The incident report is often a key piece of evidence. But in many truck crash claims, because of the victim’s catastrophic injuries, the report only includes the tortfeasor’s side of the story, since the victim was unable to give a statement.
  • Medical Records: Doctor bills, treatment notes, and other such records establish the extent of the injury. Due to privacy laws, many individuals have a hard time obtaining these records. But an experienced Michigan truck accident attorney typically only need to pick up the phone.
  • Electronic Logging Device: The ELD automatically records HOS data. So, it is almost impossible for insurance company lawyers to successfully challenge this evidence in court. But an attorney must act quickly to obtain this data, or the insurance company may “accidentally” destroy it.

The driver’s Safety Measurement System report may be critical as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps track of things like substance abuse, traffic tickets, crash history, HOS compliance, and other crash-related matters. The SMS report is basically an interstate driving record.

Contact a Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer

Large truck crash victims have several legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced truck collision lawyer in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. You have a limited amount of time to act.