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test drive crash liabilityWhat happens if you get into an accident while test driving a vehicle you are thinking of buying? Does the dealership have insurance to cover the damages? Is it possible that you could be held liable for a test drive car crash?

These are all great questions to ask and know the answers to before trying out any car at a dealership’s lot. At Jay Trucks, our experienced car crash lawyers in Grand Rapids are here to help. Call our firm today to find out if you could have a case after sustaining damages in a test drive collision.

Millions Recovered for Our Clients. 989-244-0356

What Insurance Covers Test Drive Crash Damages?

In most accidents, liability typically is covered by the insurance of the at-fault driver. However, since Michigan is a no-fault state, these types of claims are handled a little differently than for liability states. Dealerships are required to carry insurance on all of their vehicles. Often this insurance covers both theft and damages resulting from a crash during a test drive. This means that in most cases, unless you caused the crash, then:

Could You Be Held Liable for Any Damages?

That depends on whether or not you were at fault for the accident. Drivers still owe a duty of care whether they are test driving a car they want to buy or one that they already own. This means, for instance, that if you violate a traffic law during a test drive, you can still be ticketed. If you break the law while test driving and cause a crash, you could be liable for the damages.

Other times liability may come into question:

The majority rule, when it applies, states that if a salesperson goes with the potential buyer on the test drive, the dealership accepts liability. However, the opposite is also true. If the salesperson does not accompany you on a test drive, and a crash occurs, you could be liable.

Before taking any car on a test drive, make sure you find out what practices your state and the dealership follow. If asked to sign a liability waiver, be sure to read the small print. A dealership that wants your business may not enforce you signing the waiver if you are not comfortable with it. Regardless of what you decide, it is a good idea to contact your insurer before going car shopping. Find out how your auto insurance policy may or may not apply to a test drive car crash you or others may cause.

Is There Leniency for Test Driving an Unfamiliar Car?

There are no special laws that reduce liability for being unfamiliar with a vehicle you test drive. Before setting off, test drivers should take a minute to get familiar with the car and its settings.

For example, before test driving you should:

Taking these and other measures is what a reasonable person would do before leaving the lot. Trying to adjust settings in an unfamiliar car while also driving in real traffic is a bad idea. It is considered distracted driving behavior and it could easily lead to a crash.

Injured in a Test Drive Crash? Contact Jay Trucks to Get Legal Help You Can Trust

Car insurance often has a lot of fine print that the insurance company may hope you never read. Dealerships may also have exclusions and special rules to protect themselves in the event a test driver crashes their car.

If you are injured in a crash while test driving a car, Jay Trucks is prepared to help. Contact our law offices as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

We have been helping injured victims throughout Michigan for decades, recovering millions on their behalf. If you have a case and we represent you, there are no upfront costs. We take injury cases on contingency, so you only pay our fees if we are successful in getting compensation for you.

FREE Case Review. 989-244-0356

male driver in car looking upsetMichigan law requires all drivers in the state to have a license. Individuals who disobey this law and get involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving without a license may face serious penalties – including jail time. That said, can unlicensed drivers still get no-fault benefits if they are involved in a car crash? Does driving without a license automatically make someone liable for a crash?

At Jay Trucks, our knowledgeable vehicle accident lawyers in Flint have been handling car crash claims for decades, recovering millions in compensation for our clients. Call our law offices to learn about your legal options today. There is no cost or obligation for this meeting, and you can learn if you may have a valid claim.

Jay Trucks. A Law Firm You Can Trust. (800) 762-8623

No-Fault Benefits for Unlicensed Drivers Involved in a Crash

If you drove without a license and caused an accident, you will have some legal penalties to deal with, but you may be eligible to receive no-fault benefits. If you have valid insurance, you will likely be covered for your medical costs, lost wages and other no-fault benefits under your own policy. If someone else owned the vehicle you were driving, you may be able to seek no-fault benefits through their insurer. However, be aware that if you were driving the vehicle without the owner’s permission, you will not qualify to receive no-fault benefits.

Here are some common situations which, if they apply, disqualify individuals, licensed or not, injured or not, from receiving Michigan no-fault benefits after a crash:

Are Unlicensed Michigan Drivers Automatically Liable for a Crash?

Being unlicensed does not automatically make a driver liable for a car crash. Police and insurance adjusters will still need to investigate who caused the crash. It is, however, illegal. So why do people do it?

There are many reasons individuals may get behind the wheel without a license, such as if the person:

Unlicensed Drivers Face Stiff Penalties

Drivers who get behind the wheel without a license face harsh penalties. Michigan has some of the toughest consequences in the country for drivers who are unlicensed. If you are a first offender, you may get off lightly. For example, if you drove not realizing that your license had recently lapsed. Even in that situation, you can still expect to get a ticket, a hefty fine and a mandatory court appearance. Repeat offenders, such as drivers whose licenses were previously suspended or revoked for various reasons, can expect stiffer penalties, such as those who:

The Experienced Attorneys at Jay Trucks Are Ready to Protect Your Rights

At Jay Trucks, we are ready to help victims injured because of another’s negligence. If you are having problems obtaining your no-fault benefits after a motor vehicle accident, contact our law offices today. We provide a free first-time case review to help injured victims understand their rights and potential legal options.

While you are not obligated to hire our firm after this initial consultation, if we do represent you, your case is in experienced hands. We have recovered millions for our clients, including $2 million for a 43-year-old victim who suffered catastrophic injuries in a car crash.

Get started today by calling our law offices to schedule your free case review.

We are here to help. Ph: (800) 762-8623

crash investigators looking at vehicle damageMotor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate and mostly preventable cause of serious injuries and fatalities. Statistically, most collisions are down to driver errors and motorists who disobey traffic safety laws. Speeding is a common traffic violation and one of the leading factors in crashes, contributing to a third of the fatalities.

Negligent drivers who speed put not just their own life at risk, but also others on the road.  If you suffered serious injuries in a crash caused by a speeding driver, you may be eligible for damages outside of your no-fault injury benefits. At Jay Trucks, our Grand Rapids vehicle crash lawyers are ready to help you learn about your legal options at no risk to you.

FREE Case Review. Ph: (800) 762-8623

Strong Evidence That is Hard to Ignore

After a traffic accident, people may not realize the types of strong evidence a crash scene may reveal. Accident investigators know what to look for to help them learn what might have caused the crash. Solid evidence that is hard to ignore may include:

Police Report

Officers are trained to investigate accident scenes, observe the evidence and take statements from witnesses before writing up the accident report. Police reports often contain vehicle diagrams, observed vehicle damage, and other relevant facts about the crash. If the other driver gets a ticket for speeding, that will also be included in the police report.

Unfortunately, not every crash will have a witness or camera footage to help provide more information about what happened. Even a police report, if no ticket was issued, may not always indicate whether the at-fault party was speeding. So what else can help provide the evidence you need to prove that the at-fault party’s speeding helped cause your crash?

Examining Physical Evidence From the Crash Scene

After a motor vehicle accident, crash investigators will examine the scene to try to figure out the cause. If the at-fault driver was speeding, there may be evidence at the scene that proves it, even without video footage, eyewitnesses or traffic citations.

Important physical evidence at a crash scene may include:

Vehicle Damage

Vehicle damage reveals a lot about the speed at which a car was hit, as well as how fast the vehicle that hit it may have been going. This information is useful because the speed of a car when it crashes not only makes a huge difference in the amount of damage to a vehicle, but also its occupants.

Collision Ratings

Manufacturers have collision ratings for their vehicles. These ratings detail the expected damage to a vehicle at different speeds. This information tells investigators even more about the speed a vehicle may have been going before colliding with another vehicle.

Road Debris

At impact, pieces of the vehicles involved in a crash may get knocked off and sent flying into the road. How far this road debris goes – if it remains undisturbed – can be telling. Higher rates of speed result in more force at impact. The harder a car is hit, the further any vehicle parts will travel after coming loose.

Fresh Skid Marks

Speed affects your vehicle’s braking time. The faster a vehicle is going, the longer it will take it to fully stop after applying the brakes. Therefore, fresh skid marks help accident investigators to learn more about how fast a vehicle was going prior to impact. Skid marks that are longer and deeper indicate a vehicle was speeding because it took them more time to stop.

Contact Our Firm for Legal Help You Can Trust

Why leave your injury claim to chance? The team of legal professionals at our firm has been handling many different types of car crash claims for decades. We have a strong and proven track record, recovering millions on behalf of our clients.

At Jay Trucks, your Michigan car crash case is important to us, and we are ready to work tirelessly to recover maximum compensation for you.

Get started today with a free case review. We are ready to assist you with your no-fault injury claim. We are also prepared to help you seek a third-party liability claim if you meet the state’s injury threshold.

A firm you can trust. Ph: (800) 762-8623

car with a smashed rear endRear-end collisions are very common, often best-known for causing minor fender benders. When a tailing driver hits the back of another vehicle, even at a low speed, the sudden and violent collision can cause a whiplash injury. However, if a tailing driver is speeding at the time of impact, it can lead to more life-altering damages – even death.

Learn more about the serious injuries caused by rear-end crashes and how to protect yourself if a negligent driver rear-ends your car.

Our car accident lawyers in Flint are ready to help accident victims recover compensation for damages sustained in a rear-end crash. Learn if you may have a case by calling our law offices 24/7. There is no cost for this meeting and no obligation to file a claim.

Serious Injuries That Are Caused by Rear-End Crashes

There are multiple injuries that victims can sustain in a rear-end crash, especially if the at-fault party was speeding at impact.

Whiplash Injuries

Frequently, accident victims may sustain a whiplash injury in this type of crash. The rear-end impact throws a victim’s head and neck into a sudden back-and-forth “whip-like” motion. This violent motion, even at a low-speed impact, can cause injury to various muscles, ligaments and nerves in a victim’s head and neck.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are about three million new traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that occur in the U.S. each year. This often-misunderstood injury causes an additional 5 million or more Americans to suffer from some level of permanent TBI-related disability.

In a rear-end collision, a TBI can occur if the victim’s head strikes a hard object within the vehicle. The severity of the injury depends on the speed the other driver was going upon impact.

TBIs cause the brain to hit against the side of the victim’s skull. This motion can result in a life-altering injury, temporary or permanent disability, even death. Some of the symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Lack of coordination
  • Reduced vision or hearing

Spinal Injuries

There are many severe spinal injuries that can result from your car being struck from behind, including:

Seek Immediate Medical Attention – Even if the Accident Seemed Minor

After any crash, victims may experience a period of shock. Their adrenalin is pumping, causing them to be less aware of any pain or other symptoms. If a victim does not see blood or bruising, he or she may believe no injury occurred. Unfortunately, the risk of a more serious or fatal outcome is very real if you do not get immediate medical care, such as for:

  • Serious head injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Retinal tears
  • Hearing loss

Seeking medical attention right away after a crash is critical to protecting your health. Be sure to provide the doctor with helpful details that can help him or her better understand how you were hurt. Important information could include:

In addition to protecting your health, getting examined by a doctor immediately helps to protect the value of any future claim. Delaying even a few hours gives the insurance company room to argue that your injuries could have occurred in some other way.

Injured in a Rear-End Crash? Our Attorneys Are Ready to Help

If you suffered injuries after a rear-end accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to seek excess damages in addition to your no-fault benefits claim. Find out if you have a case at no cost to you. There is no obligation to move forward with a claim. If we do represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front or while we work on your case. We only collect our fees if we recover compensation for you.

Free Case Review. Ph: (800) 762-8623

picture of a work zone signWork zone motor vehicle crashes cause thousands of injuries and fatalities across the U.S. every year. While road work is a common part of our lives, many get impatient in the slower-moving traffic. This is especially true during warmer months when a lot of necessary repairs and upgrades are taking place.

No matter what state you may live in, construction and road workers face incredibly high risks for serious injuries due to reckless or inattentive drivers. In Michigan, the penalties these negligent drivers face for breaking the law is severe.

Read below how you can help avoid causing a serious accident, protect our road workers in Michigan and yourself from legal troubles. If another driver’s careless behavior causes you to suffer harm, our car accident lawyers in Grand Rapids are here to help.

Millions Recovered. No Upfront Costs. (800) 762-8623

What Exactly is a Work Zone in Michigan?

A work zone is an area along a local street or highway where roadwork is being done. To help ensure the safety of both workers and motorists, this work necessitates the need for detours and slower speeds. Work zones are marked in many ways, such as by:

  • Flashing lights to let you know how traffic is being redirected
  • Bright orange barriers
  • Channeling devices
  • Flaggers
  • Pavement markings
  • Work vehicles
  • Signs alerting you about an upcoming work zone (i.e., Road Work Ahead, Flaggers Ahead)

The safety of the people who work in these areas are largely dependent on the care you and other motorists take as you drive past.

What to Expect in Michigan if You Speed Through a Work Zone

Michigan takes the safety of its road workers very seriously. If someone is caught speeding through a work zone area, penalties are severe and include:

Violators Who Injure or Kill a Worker Face Heavy Fines and Jail time

Reckless drivers who cause a work zone accident that injures or kills a road worker can expect:

Why is Michigan so tough on drivers in work zone areas? Because in 2019, the state’s Office of Highway Safety Planning revealed these sobering statistics:

How You Can Avoid Causing a Work Zone Crash

Keep informed about Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) current construction areas and avoid them whenever possible.

If you are unable to take a detour around a work zone, here are a few steps you can take to help keep you and others safer:

Sometimes accidents may happen despite our best efforts. If this occurs, it is critical that you move your car away from moving traffic, call 9-1-1 immediately, remain calm and stay at the scene. Failure to remain at the scene and call police can lead to a ticket, severe penalties and jail time.

Get Legal Help from an Experienced Attorney

At Jay Trucks, we have decades of experience helping injured road workers and other victims injured in work zone crashes.

If you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury because of a reckless driver in a work zone, we are prepared to help you hold the at-fault party accountable. We have recovered millions in compensation and are ready to fight to help you pursue a maximum recovery. There are no upfront costs if we represent you, and we only get paid our fee if we recover compensation for you.

Get your free case review. Call: (800) 762-8623

hands completing an accident reportIn Michigan, you are required by state law – MCL 257.622 – to report any accident that results in an injury, death or property damages that totals $1,000 or more. However, if there is little to no damage and no injuries, such as with a minor fender bender, you do not have to report the incident. Even in a minor fender bender, you may suffer injuries, which is why contacting the police for most accidents may benefit you.

Jay Trucks discusses police reports, including what information they contain, when you must file one and what you should do if you find your report contains one or more mistakes.

If you need legal help after a car accident, our knowledgeable lawyers are prepared to help. Call our firm to discuss your accident in the complimentary consultation we provide. Your questions are welcome, and there is no obligation if you decide not to move forward with a claim.

What Information is Included in a Police Report?

A police report supports your claim of the accident that occurred as well as the investigating officer’s observations regarding the crash.

Other important details include:

  • The date, location and approximate time of the accident
  • Names and contact details of those involved
  • Insurance details of all drivers
  • Contact information of any eyewitnesses
  • Description and location of vehicle damage
  • Diagram of the vehicles upon arriving at the scene
  • Initial statements from both the involved drivers and others who witnessed the crash
  • Any citations that were issued due to one or more traffic violations

When is a Police Report Needed?

You will need a copy of your police report for several reasons. Initially, when filing a claim for no-fault benefits, your insurer is likely to ask for a copy of the report. Providing them with this documentation may help to limit delays in getting your benefits started.

Your attorney will also need a copy of this report if you intend to pursue a lawsuit for additional damages, such as non-economic damages or excess economic damages. Your attorney can request this copy on his or her own as well, but if you provide this information up front, it can limit the delays in getting started with your potential case.

There are other times a police report is required by law, such as if a vehicle is brought in for repair with apparent damage from an accident. In this situation, the owner or manager of the repair shop must immediately notify the nearest police station or sheriff’s office. The report must include identifying information, such as the owner’s name and address, registration number and engine number.

What Can You Do if I Find an Error?

Police officers make mistakes, much like the rest of us, which means that errors on a police report can, and do, happen. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you order your accident report right away and then review it as soon as you receive it. The longer you wait to get and proof the report for accuracy, the harder it will be to correct any errors you may find.

If you do find one or more mistakes, you should take the following steps – without delay – to get them corrected:

How Do I Get a Copy of My Accident Report?

In most cases, you can request a copy of your report directly from the local law enforcement agency that responded to your accident.

If you prefer, you can also order a copy of your accident report online through the Michigan State Police Website. Reports on this site are provided by the Traffic Crash Purchasing System (TCPS). Please note that there is a $10 fee associated with this request. It takes two to three days for your report to become available, and if you do not have a case report number, you will be required to provide other identifying information.

Seek Legal Help From an Experienced Lawyer

Trying to figure out what you should do first after an accident can be difficult when you are trying to recover from your injuries and dealing with medical bills.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we believe you should be able to focus solely on your recovery. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to helping those injured due to the negligent acts of another. Contact our firm to seek legal help and learn more about how we may be able to help. Our representatives are available day or night to schedule your free legal consultation with one of our Grand Rapids car accident attorneys.

There is no obligation to pursue a claim, but if we represent you, you will not have any out-of-pocket costs to pay. We do not get paid for our services unless we recover compensation for you.

Free Consultation. Call: (800) 762-8623