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Trucking Accidents: Catastrophic, Complex Collisions

Blur image of an old commercial truck flipped over outside the road - Muth Law, PC

Michigan Lawyers With the Experience, Expertise, and Resources to Handle the Most Complex Trucking Accident Case

When an 18-wheeler or other large commercial vehicle collides with a car or bicycle, the results are almost always catastrophic.

Collisions involving commercial vehicles often result in serious, catastrophic injuries, including:

  • Wrongful death
  • Brain damage
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Head, neck, and back injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Disc herniations
  • Loss of consciousness

Injuries suffered in a collision involving a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle often require extensive and costly medical treatment. Getting fair compensation for those injuries requires an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about the unique nature of handling a trucking accident case.

Trucking Accidents Are More Than Just a Big Car Crash  

Crashes involving trucks like 18-wheelers, construction equipment, and other commercial vehicles are significantly different than accidents involving two cars. The most obvious, of course, is that a truck or other commercial vehicle is substantially larger than a car. The size difference often accounts for the severity of injuries sustained in trucking accidents.

Trucking accidents are also different from a two-car-collision because trucking companies have enormous resources that they deploy immediately after learning that there was a collision. All of these resources are intended to minimize the risk that the trucking company will be found liable, and reduce the amount of compensation that an injured person and their family will receive.

Because of the significant difference in resources between a single driver and a trucking company, it’s important that you hire an experienced Michigan truck accident attorney as quickly after a trucking accident as possible.

A Michigan truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex set of laws that govern the trucking industry and secure the compensation that you and your family need and deserve after tragedy strikes.

FMCSA Provides Special Guidelines that Trucking Companies Must Follow

Because of the dangers posed by large commercial vehicles, the trucking industry is governed by a special set of regulations and laws that do not apply to ordinary motorists. The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), which has issued safety guidelines that trucking companies must follow. The FMCSA also requires that trucking companies carry commercial liability insurance policies to provide funds to compensate victims in the event of a tragic car crash.

Commercial liability policies often have different rules and regulations than a personal insurance carrier. That is why it is so important that you hire an experienced trucking accident attorney if you or someone you care about was injured in a crash involving a truck or other commercial vehicle.

Holding Corporations Responsible for Trucking Accidents

Despite the hazards posed by 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles, some trucking companies place profits ahead of people and make decisions that pose unnecessary risks to motorists. When corporate decisions injure Michigan motorists, those corporations can and should be held responsible.

There may be multiple entities that bear responsibility in a trucking accident. These include the trucking company and the individual driver (sometimes known as an “owner-operator”), as well as brokers and shippers and the owners of the trailers.

The shipper is responsible for making sure the trucking company is properly licensed and insured, and has a good safety record. The shipper can be held liable for errors in loading the cargo, such as improperly securing a load or overloading a trailer. The shipper might also be liable for allowing a carrier to violate FMCSA regulations. FMCSA violations may include overloading a truck, setting a delivery schedule that forces a driver to violate hours of service regulations, letting a truck remain on the road despite equipment failures, and distracted driving or driving under the influence by truck drivers.

A broker makes arrangements between a shipper and a trucking company and can be held liable for the negligence of the trucking company it hired. Brokers can be held liable for their role in choosing a trucking company if the trucking company had a poor safety record or a history or accidents.

An experienced trucking accident attorney will investigate the contracts between all of these entities to determine each party’s responsibility for transporting the load, and how they may be responsible for the events that caused the crash.  

Because there are so many different corporate entities involved in the trucking industry, your trucking accident lawyer will likely identify multiple defendants, all of whom should carry an insurance policy that covers catastrophic losses caused by a trucking crash.

Someone who was injured in a Michigan trucking accident may be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic damages compensate an injury victim for medical bills incurred to treat injuries sustained in the crash, and lost wages due to past and future missed time from work.
  • Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses caused by a trucking accident and include things like lost time with family, a changed relationship between spouses and other family members, and the pain and suffering associated with injuries sustained in the crash.

Trucking Accidents Almost Always Require Expert Testimony

To successfully pursue a claim for injuries suffered in a trucking accident you will almost certainly need to retain the services of multiple experts. Expert testimony is often necessary to establish that the injuries were caused by the trucking accident. Expert testimony is also useful to establish liability on the part of the trucking company.

In some cases an accident reconstructionist is hired to analyze evidence from the scene of a crash. An accident reconstructionist will analyze evidence available at the scene of the collision, often starting with the location of the vehicles. In addition, an accident reconstructionist will analyze “black box”data, vehicle damage, weather, and injuries to the people involved. The accident reconstructionist will be able to offer evidence concerning vehicle speeds, the severity of the collision, what the drivers were doing in the moments leading up to the crash, and other factors that could have contributed to the crash.

At Muth Law we regularly work with accident reconstructionists and other experts to help our clients obtain the compensation that they and their families need and deserve.

In most cases, Muth Law will advance the costs associated with retaining these experts, and will deduct these expenses from any settlement. We handle all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee, which means that we don’t get paid unless we recover money for you.   

Call Muth Law Today, Free Consultations, 734-481-8800

If you or someone you care about was injured in a trucking crash, it’s important that you hire an experienced trucking accident attorney as quickly as possible.

At Muth Law, we have the experience, expertise, and resources to handle your trucking accident case, and will work tirelessly to secure the financial compensation that you and your family need and deserve.

We invite you to learn more about the Muth Law attorneys, the Muth Law Promise, our proven record of success, and the clients we serve.

Contact Muth Law today to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 734-481-8800, email info@muthlawpc.com, or complete our online form.

Categories: Trucking Accidents