Michigan Truck Accident Attorneys
When people talk about “truck accidents“, they’re referring to the big 18-wheeler trucks, sometimes called tractor-trailers, big rigs, or semi-trucks, which weigh over 10,000 pounds, and can even weigh over 80,000 pounds. Smaller trucks are treated as ordinary vehicles and any accidents they’re involved in are standard auto accidents. If you’ve been involved in such an accident, lose no time in contacting good Michigan truck accident attorneys.
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The large commercial trucks are another category of vehicle, and one that can inflict enormous harm when involved in road accidents. There’s been an increase in the number of tractor-trailers on Michigan roads, which has led to a corresponding increase in the number of accidents involving those trucks, many of them fatal.
Types of truck accidents
There are a number of categories of accidents involving large trucks, such as:
- Jack-knifed trailer trucks
- Center line crossovers causing collisions
- Broadside collisions
- Hit and run accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Lane-change collisions
- Other vehicles sliding underneath the big truck
- Slow-moving trucks causing rear-end collisions
The first step
The first step is to determine what type of case you may have. Besides the trucking company itself, the accident may involve:
Any of these groups may have been guilty of negligence, and research is required to discover who might share responsibility for the accident.
State and Federal rules
When an 18-wheeler is involved in a road accident, extra State and Federal rules apply. They concern such things as:
- The amount of time spent on the road by the truck driver
- Safety requirements
- Maintenance of the vehicle
Besides the exact circumstances of the truck accident, there will be a lot of other relevant and important information to gather if a lawsuit is to be brought, such as:
- The maintenance of that truck
- The driving record of the truck operator
- The recent driving hours of the truck operator
- The accident record of the company that owns the truck
Trucking companies are required to keep records of these things.
Some of the things the trucker/trucking company may be found guilty of are:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver error
- Driver intoxication
- Unsafe vehicle operation
- Large, unstable loads
- Defective equipment
- Equipment failure
- Failure to maintain current inspection standards
Michigan’s No Fault law
In Michigan, most motor vehicle drivers have to buy ‘first party’ insurance. It covers medical and rehabilitation costs if you’re injured, whether as a driver or a passenger. Under the No Fault law, the driver is also responsible for certain costs, regardless of whose fault the truck accident was.
No-fault auto insurance is widely misunderstood, so if you’re in an accident, contact an experienced Michigan truck accident lawyer to learn how the relevant Michigan law looks at fault, and how fault or no-fault laws may affect your right to obtain redress for your injuries.
Contact your insurance company
We don’t necessarily know right away whose fault a truck accident was, since there may have been more than one contributing cause. So whether or not you think you were at fault in the accident, notify your insurance company.
They can not only pay for repairs on your vehicle, but also start pursuing the other driver(s) for redress.
Don’t struggle alone with the trucking company agent
When there’s a truck involved in an accident, the trucking company will often send a representative to the scene, to try and limit the company’s liability. These representatives are skilled at confronting accident victims and take advantage of the shakiness or shock people often experience.
Never sign anything without consulting a truck accident attorney. Your first concern should be your own and your passenger(s) health status. By all means take photos of the scene if you can (and it’s a good idea to carry a camera in your vehicle for this purpose, even just a disposable camera). Try to obtain names and phone numbers from any witnesses. And take notes while things are fresh in your mind.
The Michigan truck accident attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates have successfully represented thousands of injured people and collected millions of dollars on their behalf. We are strong advocates for the injured and tough negotiators with the insurance industry. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.