Due to their large size and weight, commercial trucks often cause deadly or serious, life-altering injuries when they crash into smaller passenger vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a truck, consulting with an experienced lawyer can be an important part of the recovery process.
I’m very pleased with the work from Todd and his staff. They were always very helpful and always answered my questions. Very satisfied.
– L. Doyle
Jay Trucks & Associates has been protecting the rights of injury victims and their families for more than 30 years. We have recovered over $500 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Some of these include a $2,000,000 recovery for a victim who sustained catastrophic injuries in accident with a County Road Commission truck and a $1,950,000 recovery for the estate of a victim who suffered fatal injuries in an accident with a propane truck.
We understand how to build a strong truck accident case and charge no upfront fees if we handle your claim. Contact a Grand Rapids truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to move forward if you have a case and no upfront fee if we represent you. We do not get paid unless you do.
Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Do I Have a Viable Case for Compensation?
If you have been harmed in an accident with a commercial truck, such as a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, box truck, garbage truck, dump truck, flatbed or a cement truck, negligence may have played a role.
There are several things that need to be taken into consideration to assess whether you may have a viable case for compensation. In a free legal consultation, our attorneys are prepared to examine your circumstances and evaluate the potential legal options available to you.
Negligence claims must prove four elements in court:
- The other side owed you legal duty to act in a reasonable manner to prevent you from harm.
- The other side breached that duty by not acting as a reasonable person would have.
- The other side’s actions or inactions caused your injury and it would not have otherwise occurred.
- The other side’s breach caused you to suffer damages, such as medical care or property damage.
Proving negligence can be complicated, especially in truck accident cases where multiple parties could be at fault. That is why it is important to call a licensed Grand Rapids truck accident lawyer to see if you may have a case.
Free Consultation. No upfront fees. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
How Much Could My Case Be Worth?
Since no two motor vehicle accidents are the same, the value of your case will depend on factors unique to your situation, such as the extent of your injuries, required medical treatment and your recovery time.
Through your personal injury protection (PIP) car insurance coverage, you may be eligible to recover damages for economic losses. Also known as first-party no-fault insurance benefits, PIP coverage could help pay for the following:
Policies issued or renewed before July 1, 2020 provide unlimited coverage for medical expenses. Drivers purchasing or renewing policies after that date must select the amount of coverage they want. This is in accordance with Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance reform law. Coverage options include:
- Unlimited medical coverage
- Up to $500,000 in coverage
- Up to $250,000 in coverage
- $50,000 for Medicaid recipients
- No coverage if enrolled in a qualified health plan
Medical expenses could include the cost of surgery, hospital stays, prescription medications and ongoing care like physical therapy.
Portion of Lost Wages
For missed time at work due to the injuries you suffered, you may be able to obtain up to 85 percent of your former income for up to a three-year period.
Household Replacement Services
If your injuries are severe enough that you cannot complete household tasks, you may be able to obtain up to $20 per day for up to a three-year period to hire someone to help clean the house, do lawn care, pick up groceries, take care of children and other related tasks.
There are other forms of compensation that may be available in a truck accident case. Our attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation not available from an insurance claim, such as pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life and lost companionship.
Learn more about truck accident compensation by scheduling a free consultation with a member of our legal team. There is no risk in calling us.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Injuries?
Most truck accident cases require a detailed investigation to determine what happened and how. A complete review of the evidence may indicate one or more individuals or entities liable for your injuries, such as:
- Truck driver – The truck driver is generally found at fault after an accident due to negligent behavior, such as tailgating, speeding, driving while distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Truck owner – The owner of the truck who may sometimes also be the driver could be held accountable for an accident caused by improper maintenance. Truck owners are responsible for making sure that a vehicle is safe to operate by conducting routine maintenance and inspections.
- Trucking company – Trucking companies are responsible for their trucks and truck drivers. They could be liable for inadequate hiring and training practices, such as employing a driver with driving infractions and may cut corners to save money on vehicle maintenance and inspection requirements.
- Truck manufacturer and parts makers – Some truck accidents are caused by the vehicle or one of its parts failing, such as a tire blowout, brake failure, steering issues, or another maintenance problem. When this happens, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts could be liable for a defective product.
- Cargo or loading company – Carriers often work as contractors to ship cargo for other companies. They are responsible for properly loading and securing cargo. When cargo shifts or other problems with the cargo cause an accident, each party involved with the cargo could be held accountable.
Determining liability can be difficult without the help of a qualified Grand Rapids truck accident attorney on your side. We know how to investigate these types of cases and gather the necessary evidence to prove fault.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Does Hiring a Lawyer Help My Case?
It is important that you seek legal representation if you have been involved in a truck accident. Generally, injury victims recover more compensation with the services of a lawyer than those without one.
Our legal team at Jay Trucks & Associates has decades of experience handling many different motor vehicle accident cases. Should you have a case and we represent you, our lawyers are prepared to review police reports, analyze medical records, interview witnesses, and consult with experts to recreate the accident scene. This includes collecting the following forms of evidence:
- The truck driver’s logbook and driving records
- The driving history of the truck and trailer
- Vehicle maintenance and inspection records
- Records of possible violations of state and federal laws
- Records of previous arrests
We also know how insurance companies operate following these kinds of accidents. An insurer’s goal is to pay out as little as possible for each claim to save themselves money. They are trained to elicit certain responses from you to get you to sound guilty, less truthful or contradictory. That is why hiring a lawyer could be beneficial. We can handle the insurance company on your behalf, and we have the resources to help pursue maximum compensation for you.
Contact Jay Trucks & Associates to see how we may be able to help. (800) 762-8623.
Deadline to Take Legal Action for a Michigan Truck Accident
There are several deadlines when it comes to taking legal action for a Michigan truck accident. The insurance company will have a certain time limit to file a claim to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Truck Accident Case – $175,000 Recovered
For a truck driver that suffered a right femur injury in a collision.
To seek first-party no-fault insurance benefits, victims generally have one year from the accident to file. Benefits could include medical bills incurred and will likely incur in the future, lost wages, surgery, physical therapy, medications, etc. Failure to file within the year will likely result in losing the right to pursue these benefits.
Another option if denied compensation is to file a lawsuit. Most truck accident victims have three years from the date of the accident to bring a personal injury lawsuit forward or three years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit forward. This is in accordance with the statute of limitations in Michigan. Failure to file within either three-year deadline will also likely result in a court dismissal.
Not sure which deadline applies to your situation? Call a Grand Rapids truck accident attorney.
Trucking Laws and Regulations That May Apply to You
The trucking industry in Michigan is governed by state and federal law. Every truck driver traveling in and out of the state must follow many trucking regulations. Our legal team is prepared to help determine if a violation of state and federal laws may have contributed to or caused the accident that led to your injuries.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have specific truck insurance requirements. Liability insurance coverage is mandatory, while physical damage truck insurance and bobtail coverage are optional but can provided added protection in an accident.
The MDOT requires truck drivers traveling within the state to have a certain amount of liability insurance. The amount depends on the freight or cargo being carried and where it is being carried to.
- Trucks transporting household goods must have no less than $300,000 in coverage
- Trucks transporting general freight must have no less than $750,000 in coverage
- Trucks transporting oil must have no less than $1,000,000 in coverage
- Trucks transporting hazardous materials must have no less than $5,000,0000
Drivers traveling outside state lines must abide by federal truck insurance regulations. Commercial trucks are required to have between $750,000 and $5,000,000 in liability insurance depending on the cargo being transported. It could go down to $300,000 for non-hazardous cargo in a truck weighing less than 10,001 lbs.
Legal Load Limits
The overall width of a commercial vehicle statewide varies between 96 to 102 inches. The standard height of a truck cannot be more than 13 feet and 6 inches and the length of a single truck including the load cannot be more than 53 feet. The maximum gross weight for commercial vehicles in Michigan is 80,000 lbs. or less.
Hours of Service Rules
The FMCSA restricts the number of hours (known as hours of service rules), that a truck driver can operate his or her vehicle in an effort to prevent drivers from becoming fatigued traveling on the roadway every day. This includes not driving more than 11 hours after being on duty for 10 consecutive days.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Federal law also requires trucking companies to properly test truck drivers for drug and alcohol use. Drivers must be tested during the hiring process and over the course of their employment, including but not limited to:
- Accidents involving serious, life-altering injuries or fatalities
- Reasonable suspicion of a driver being under the influence
- Returning to work after previously testing positive
Truck accident cases require in-depth knowledge and understanding of state and federal trucking laws and regulations. A reputable Grand Rapids truck accident lawyer from our firm is ready to help if you have a case.
Why Truck Accidents Often Happen
Truck accidents most commonly happen due to:
- Driver fatigue
- Truck driver error
- Failure to check for blind spots
- Loose or unsecured cargo
- Equipment malfunction
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Speeding or other reckless behavior
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while distracted
- Loss of control of the vehicle
- Lack of routine inspections
- Lack of vehicle maintenance
Negligence can lead to many different accidents, such as underride collisions, jackknife accidents, rollovers, rear-end crashes and T-bone collisions.
Once you have sought medical attention for any injuries, we recommend seeking legal help as soon as possible. The claims process to pursue compensation for your damages can be complex and time-consuming and hiring a lawyer may benefit you.
Discuss Your Claim with a Grand Rapids Truck Accident Lawyer
For over three decades, Jay Trucks & Associates has been protecting injury victims’ rights, recovering millions in compensation on behalf of our clients in the Grand Rapids area, Kent County and across Michigan state.
Our founding partner Jay F. Trucks is a member of both the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and American Trial Lawyers Association, organizations dedicated to promoting a fair and effective justice system.
Contact our firm to request a consultation completely free of charge. There is no risk or obligation to move forward and no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we help you obtain compensation.
We are available to take your call (800) 762-8623.