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Traverse City Truck Accident Lawyer

Commercial vehicle accidents can cause serious, sometimes life-altering injuries. In addition to weeks, months or even years of recovery, injury victims and their families may have to face long-term financial instability, along with the physical pain and emotional trauma. At Jay Trucks and Associates, helping injured victims in Grand Traverse County, Kent County and throughout Michigan has been our number one priority for over 30 years. We want you to be able to focus on your recovery and have the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced attorney on your side.

I’m happy with the way my case was handled. Very patient and professional.
- J. Corwin

Our Traverse City truck accident lawyers have a proven history of success, recovering over $500 million in compensation for our clients. This includes a $2 million recovery for a Michigan traffic crash victim who suffered catastrophic injuries. Our firm’s founder is Jay Trucks, who currently holds active membership with the Michigan Association for Justice and American Trial Lawyers Association.

Our initial consultations cost you nothing, giving you a chance to learn if your case has merit and discuss your legal options. If we represent you, there are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs. You only pay our fees if we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.

Call today: (800) 762-8623

Do I Have a Valid Truck Crash Case?

If your truck accident was caused by the negligence of another, you may well have a claim. However, crashes with a commercial vehicle are more complicated than car wrecks because they may involve:

  • More than one insurance company
  • Multiple liable parties, including:
    • Truck driver
    • Truck company or owner
    • Trailer owner
    • Truck manufacturer
    • Service/maintenance provider
    • Truck or trailer leasing company
    • Federal and state laws regulating hours behind the wheel, how the cargo is loaded and carried, mandatory retention periods for logbooks and other records, and more

We strongly recommend that you contact a Traverse City truck accident attorney soon after your accident. During your free initial truck crash consultation, we can review the factors that may have contributed to your accident to help us determine whether you may have a claim.

Complete our Case Evaluation form to get started.

How Much Is a Truck Accident Case Worth?

No two cases are the same, so we need to review the facts of your case to calculate what it may be worth. However, there are many factors that contribute to the overall value of a claim, including the type and severity of your injuries, the extent of medical care you will require and the length of your recovery time.

You may be able to recover different forms of compensation through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance:

Medical Costs

Insurance policies purchased prior to the auto insurance reform law that took effect July 1, 2020 automatically have unlimited PIP, or first-party no-fault insurance coverage, for your medical bills. The amount of coverage under PIP policies going forward will be determined by how much a driver chooses to purchase. Under Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance reform law, the coverage options are:

  • Unlimited PIP coverage
  • $500,000 maximum coverage
  • $250,000 maximum coverage
  • $50,000 maximum for those with Medicaid
  • No coverage if enrolled in a qualifying health plan

Covered medical treatments might include things like surgeries, in-patient hospital stays, prescriptions related to your injuries, future medical care that may be required, such as physical therapy, medical devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair.

Covered Lost Wages

If you are unable to work while recovering, your PIP coverage may also provide 85 percent of your previous wages for up to three years from the date of your accident.

Household Replacement Services

If your injuries are so severe that you are no longer able to do normal daily tasks, such as cleaning your house, shopping for groceries, yard work or other household activities, your no-fault insurance will also provide up to $20 per day to hire someone to help you for a maximum of three years.

Additional forms of compensation may include:

  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life if you are unable to enjoy your favorite activities
  • Loss of consortium; loss of companionship if your injuries have affected your relationship with your spouse or partner

Learn about other types of compensation that may apply if you have a case: (800) 762-8623

How Can an Attorney Benefit My Case?

Personal injury claims that are handled by lawyers typically result in more compensation for the injured victim than for those who do not have legal representation.

Our experienced Traverse City truck accident lawyers understand the complex insurance laws in Michigan, including the No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform Law and the many trucking regulations, both federal and state, that may impact your claim.

Other benefits of retaining an experienced attorney include:

  • A thorough investigation of the accident
  • Gathering evidence to strengthen your claim, including prior history of the truck driver, vehicle service records, truck driver’s logbooks and more
  • Protecting your best interests and legal rights throughout the life of your case
  • Communicating with insurance companies and all third parties on your behalf
  • Keeping you well-informed about the status of your claim

Does Michigan Have a Deadline for Filing a Truck Accident Claim?

In Michigan, there are multiple deadlines that could apply to a truck crash claim. Insurance companies usually have deadlines, so it is important to contact a lawyer right away to help you file a claim to avoid missing the deadline for your claim.

First-Party, No-Fault Insurance Claims

Injured claimants typically have up to one year from the date of the truck crash to file. Failing to file your claim within that time period will disqualify you from pursuing compensation under your PIP coverage.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

You may have a valid case for a personal injury lawsuit if negligence led to the truck crash that caused your injuries. Michigan’s statute of limitations gives injured victims just three years from the date of the accident, or in the event of a wrongful death claim three years from the date of death, to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Three years is not as long as it sounds, because your attorney will need ample time to investigate your accident, gather evidence, speak to witnesses and negotiate your settlement. If you miss your filing deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case and bar you from the opportunity to recover any damages.

Our Traverse City truck accident lawyers are available to review the details of your accident, determine what deadline may apply in your situation and answer your legal questions.

Our firm is available to answer your chat or your phone call 24/7: (800) 762-8623

Are There Any Trucking Laws That Apply to My Claim?

Michigan truck drivers, and out-of-state truck drivers, must follow both federal and state regulations. We are prepared to determine whether there was any violation of one or more of these laws that may have caused your accident.

Mandatory Insurance Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have various requirements for truck insurance. For example, a truck driver must have liability coverage. Other coverages may include property damage and bobtail coverage.

MDOT also has requirements for liability coverage for other drivers who travel through the state, but the amount of coverage is dependent on the type of cargo being transported, as well as its final destination.

Some examples of MDOT’s minimum mandatory liability coverage:

  • A minimum coverage of $300,000 is required for trucks transporting household goods
  • General freight carriers require a minimum coverage of $750,000
  • Oil carriers requires a minimum coverage of $1,000,000
  • Hazardous material carriers require a minimum coverage of $5,000,000

Truck drivers who go beyond state lines must adhere to other federal truck insurance regulations. This includes liability insurance coverage with limits between $750,000 and $1,000,000. Again, the amount of coverage is dependent on the type of cargo. Coverage for non-hazardous cargo could be considerably less - $300,000.

Legal Maximum Load Limits

In addition to meeting federal and state insurance requirements, truck drivers, owners and trucking companies are also required to abide by the legal load and size limits. Michigan’s maximum commercial vehicle gross weight limit is 80,000 pounds. Other statewide limitations include:

  • Overall width of between 96 and 102 inches
  • Maximum height of 13 feet, 6 inches
  • Maximum allowed length of a single truck is 53 feet

Hours of Service Requirements

Truck drivers are required to follow federal hours of service regulations. These FMCSA rules are intended to help prevent drivers from operating their vehicles in an impaired or fatigued state.

Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing

Trucking companies are required by federal law to regularly test their drivers for both alcohol and drug use. Initially, this testing must happen prior to being hired and whenever the employer thinks it necessary, but also at other specific times, such as:

  • If there is reasonable suspicion that a driver is operating impaired or under the influence
  • After any accident involving a death or serious injury
  • At the time an employee returns to work after previous testing was positive for drugs or alcohol

There are many other regulations at the federal or state level that could apply to your claim, which is why having an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to represent you could benefit your claim.

Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?

Truck crashes caused by another’s negligence commonly happen for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Operator error
  • Driver impaired due to fatigue
  • Truck driver operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Distracted driving
  • Tailgating, excessive speeding or other aggressive driving behavior
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Improperly secured cargo
  • Failure to do proper vehicle inspections or maintenance
  • Truck driver lost control of the vehicle
  • Insufficient driver training

Driver error and negligence are often the cause of preventable jackknife collisions, rollover accidents, rear-end crashes, underride accidents and T-bone crashes.

Contact a Trusted Traverse City Truck Accident Attorney Today

There are many important reasons to hire one of our qualified lawyers to handle your case. Our legal team at Jay Trucks and Associates has decades of experience handling complex accident claims, and we have recovered millions in compensation for the injured clients we have represented.

We are prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf, if you have a valid case. We encourage you to read what other satisfied clients have said, including one client’s comment, “My case was falling apart. Jay Trucks rescued me and helped me with everything I needed.” 

We are available to take your call and schedule your free initial case review anytime, day or night. We take personal injury claims on contingency, which means simply, no upfront costs for you to hire us. We get paid nothing unless we achieve a successful recovery for you.

Jay Trucks and Associates.
We are prepared to help. (800) 762-8623