Accidents with a commercial truck, such as a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, often cause serious injuries that can be life-changing or even fatal. These accidents often affect the victim and his or her loved ones emotionally, physically and financially.
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At Jay Trucks and Associates, we understand you may feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. We have more than 30 years of experience helping Michigan injury victims by aggressively pursuing maximum compensation on their behalf.
We have a proven track record that includes a $2,000,000 settlement for a victim who suffered a catastrophic injury, a $208,000 recovery for a 58 year old truck driver that suffered neck and back injuries, and $90,000 for a 46 year old truck driver that sustained a back injury.
Our founder, Jay Trucks is currently an active member of the Michigan Association for Justice and American Trial Lawyers Association.
The Clare truck accident lawyers at our law firm welcome the opportunity to learn the details of your accident and determine whether you may have grounds for a case. Our initial consultation is completely free. If we represent you, there are also no upfront fees since we do not get paid unless we are first successful in recovering damages for you.
Complete our Case Evaluation Form today.
How Do I Know if I May Have a Truck Crash Case?
If you are a victim of a truck accident, it is important that you contact a Clare truck accident attorney as soon as possible. At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are well-versed in the differences between Michigan semi-truck accidents and car crashes, and we are prepared to help you navigate the confusing truck accident legal process, if you have a case.
Some of the major ways that truck collisions differ from car accidents include:
- Commercial trucks are bound by both federal and state laws on things like mandatory insurance coverage, logbooks and record-keeping of things like hours behind the wheel and cargo being carried and required record retention periods.
- There may be multiple liable parties, not just the driver:
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Trailer owner
- Manufacturer of the truck
- Maker of the trailer
- Service/maintenance company
- Company that leased the trailer
- The broker
- Shipping company
- Cargo-loading company
- Retailers (if parts supplied were defective and contributed to the crash)
- There are typically multiple insurance policies that may apply after a truck accident
- Because of a commercial truck’s size and weight, there is a greater force at impact and, typically, a higher risk for serious, catastrophic injuries or death
Have question? We have answers. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
What Is The Value of My Case?
Every motor vehicle accident is unique, so it is difficult to give you a specific monetary value without learning more about what happened and the injuries you suffered.
You may be eligible for first-party no-fault insurance benefits from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage:
- Medical expenses – Policies issued or renewed before July 1, 2020 provide unlimited coverage for related medical expenses. Drivers who purchase or renew policies after that date must choose their amount of coverage, under the No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform Law:
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- Unlimited coverage
- $50,000 (if you are enrolled in Medicaid)
- Zero coverage if you fully opt out (with a qualifying health insurance plan)
- A portion of lost wages (up to 85 percent of your former income) for up to three years
- Replacement services, up to $20 per day for up to three years to use to hire someone to help with tasks such as housekeeping or yardwork that you cannot do because of your injuries
Compensation may also be available through a third-party insurance claim filed with the other entities responsible for the truck or its cargo. For instance, the driver may have primary liability insurance to pay for damages suffered by crash victims. If you are hit by a truck with no trailer attached, you may be able to file a claim for compensation with a bobtail insurance policy.
Can Hiring a Lawyer Benefit My Truck Accident Case?
Our firm handles complex personal injury cases on a regular basis, and we have been doing so for over 30 years. We understand Michigan’s complex insurance laws, including the No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform Law.
There are many other benefits to working with our trusted attorneys. If you hire us, we are prepared to:
- Fully investigate your accident
- Pursue claims against all liable parties, such as the truck driver and truck owner, to hold them financially accountable for your injuries
- Communicate with the insurance companies and all third parties
- Protect your legal rights and best interests throughout the legal process
- Keep you informed about your claim
Those who hire experienced attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not
Learn more by calling us at (800) 762-8623.
Is There A Deadline for Filing My Michigan Truck Accident Claim?
There are multiple deadlines to be aware of in a Michigan truck accident claim:
Inform Your Insurance Company
Insurance companies typically have a deadline telling policyholders how much time they are given to report a claim. Sometimes that deadline may be vague, but it is better to file with your insurance company immediately rather risk being denied the ability to obtain benefits.
First Party, No-Fault Insurance Benefits
Accident victims have exactly one year from the accident to file for no-fault benefits but filing immediately or within days is best. If you miss this deadline, it is unlikely you will not get an extension and you will lose your chance to obtain benefits. Some of the types of compensation you may be eligible for include:
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- Surgical interventions
- Prescription drugs
- In-patient hospital stays
Truck Accident Lawsuits
Michigan’s statute of limitations provides three years from either the date of the accident or injury to file a personal injury claim or three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in court.
If you are eligible to pursue a third-party truck accident claim and your attorney can establish negligence, there are non-economic damages he or she may be able to pursue that may not be available in an insurance claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of a spouse or other loved one
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
Although three years sounds like a long time, it is not. Truck accident claims take a lot of time to investigate - your attorney needs time to investigate not just the accident, but also any other third parties who may share liability.
There are multiple exceptions to the three-year rule that may require you to file significantly sooner, or later. We strongly recommend that you contact an attorney to find out what statute of limitations may apply in your situation.
Call Jay Trucks and Associates today: (800) 762-8623
Should I Take An Offer From An Insurance Company Before Talking To A Lawyer?
We do not recommend that you accept any offer from the insurance company until you speak with your lawyer. Insurance adjusters may sound like they are working on your behalf, but they are trained to sound friendly and helpful. In reality, their job is to make sure your claim has as little effect on company profits as possible.
Additionally, because it is a truck accident, there will likely be multiple types of insurance policies that you may be able to file a claim against for damages.
Having one of our experienced lawyers on your side can provide peace of mind so you can focus more on your recovery. We understand the many tactics an insurance provider may use to try and trick you into saying or doing something that could damage your claim or your credibility.
We can handle all communication with the insurance companies and other third parties, so you do not have to. We are prepared to protect the value of your claim through each step of the legal process.
Trucking Industry Laws That May Impact Your Claim
There are state and federal laws governing commercial trucking, regulating things like the number of consecutive hours drivers can be behind the wheel, the maximum weight a trailer can carry and securing cargo.
Commercial trucks are regulated at the federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and at the state level by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).
For instance, under FMCSA rules, drivers who are carrying property cannot drive more than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 straight hours. The Federal Highway Administration has a webpage explaining how to calculate the maximum allowable weight a commercial truck can carry on the Interstate Highway System.
MDOT also has regulations on the height and length of truck-tractors and semitrailers, including movement of oversize or overweight vehicles and the permits you may need.
Common Causes for Truck Accidents
Commercial vehicle operators drive a larger and heavier vehicle and therefore are charged with a greater duty to take precautions to prevent causing harm to other motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicycles that may be traveling on the road.
Truck collisions are often caused by driver negligence, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence
- Aggressive driving behavior
- Unbalanced or improperly loaded cargo
- Equipment malfunction
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Drivers in ill health
- Severe weather conditions
- Poor truck maintenance
- Drivers being unfamiliar with a route or local road construction
These and other forms of negligence can contribute to many types of truck accidents, some of the most common being:
- Underride crashes where the car slides under the trailer
- Jackknife collisions where the trailer swings out wide of the cab
- Rear-end crashes, which occur when a truck plows into the back of a car, possibly because the truck driver was tailgating
Frequently Seen Injuries Caused by Truck Collisions
There are a range of injuries that drivers and other vehicle occupants could suffer from a collision with a truck. Injuries from a Michigan truck accident could include:
- Third-degree burns
- Deep lacerations
- Whiplash or other neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe bruising
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Lost limbs
- Fractured bones
- Airbag injuries
If a car is smaller or the truck overturns on top of a car, injuries may be catastrophic or fatal.
Contact One of Our Knowledgeable Clare Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Our experienced attorneys are committed to helping you obtain compensation from the parties at fault for your accident, if we find you have a case. Over more than 30 years, we have obtained more than $500 million in compensation for our clients.
We have represented thousands of injured victims in Clare and throughout Michigan, and we are committed to aggressively pursuing the benefits and compensation you need. Read testimonials from other satisfied clients who used our services.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we charge zero upfront fees and only get paid if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. The initial consultation is also free and there is no obligation to take legal action.
Free consultation. No upfront fees. (800) 762-8623.