Truck Accident Lawyers in Flint, MI
The trucking industry is an important part of our economy in Flint, MI. We rely on truck drivers to import and export goods to and from our city. We appreciate the valuable service that they provide. But if you’ve ever been involved in an accident involving a semi or large truck, you know how dangerous large commercial vehicles can be. Overworked, distracted, and reckless, Michigan truck drivers can cause serious injury or death to those who are forced to share the road with them.
A standard size passenger vehicle usually weighs between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds, while semis and tractor-trailers may weigh up to 80,000 pounds when carrying a full load. When you consider the sheer size and weight of these massive vehicles, it’s easy to see the reason why Michigan truck accident victims are often left with life-altering injuries. Truck drivers may come out of their accidents unscathed while the passengers of the standard-size vehicle are left with years of pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Flint, Michigan, truck accident, contact Mike Morse Law Firm today. Our personal injury lawyers can answer all your questions about Michigan truck accidents and explain your legal rights to you. Contact us at 855-MIKE-WINS to schedule an initial free consultation or email us anytime. Our law office charges NO FEES until we win your case!
Common Causes of Michigan Truck Accidents
Call them what you will: semis, big-rigs, tractor-trailers, or 18-wheelers. There are quite a few things that can go wrong when you’re operating a vehicle of that size. In addition, large trucks are often loaded down with heavy cargo, including explosives or hazardous material. If something goes wrong, a massive collision could occur and perhaps involve multiple vehicles.
There are many different causes of Michigan truck accidents. Some occur for the same reasons as car accidents while others are unique to large trucks. Consider the following reasons why a trucking accident may occur.
Michigan truck drivers may travel thousands of miles every week, working long hours with demanding schedules. Trucking companies often expect their employees to deliver cargo within an unreasonable amount of time, forcing drivers to forgo needed sleep and drive for long stretches of time. Poor weather conditions or getting stuck in traffic might put a Michigan driver behind schedule, forcing him or her to continue driving instead of stopping to rest.
The government has put laws and regulations into place regarding how long a truck driver is supposed to go without sleep or rest. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established hours of service regulations in an effort to protect truck drivers and those they share the road with. The goal is to keep drivers awake and alert while they are behind the wheel.
The following are some regulations put in place by the FMCSA:
- A driver may drive for a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- A 30-minute break is required after having driven for 8 hours
- A driver can be behind the wheel a maximum of 70 hours a week
- After a 70 hour workweek, a driver must take a minimum of 34 hours off
Both Michigan truck drivers and the companies that they work for have been guilty of resisting these laws. Truck drivers may claim that they’re used to going on just a few hours of sleep and that it doesn’t affect how they drive. Meanwhile, trucking companies may feel that they won’t see a high enough profit if they follow these regulations.
A Michigan rollover accident typically occurs when a semi is maneuvering a curve in the road or turns suddenly. The truck driver may lose control of the vehicle and start sliding sideways, while the high center of gravity of the truck causes the load to continue traveling in one direction, making the truck lean and topple over. Also, as the truckload is sliding sideways, any obstacle in its path, such as a curb, guardrail, or vehicle, can trigger a rollover.
There are four major driver errors that can cause rollovers:
- Speed: A driver misjudging the speed at which he can safely maneuver a curve in the road, speeding to pass a seemingly slow driver, or purposely breaking the law by speeding due to being behind schedule are all common contributing factors to Michigan rollover truck accidents.
- Truck driver inattention: After long hours spent behind the wheel, truck drivers passing through Flint, MI, may become drowsy or let their minds wander. Not paying attention, a driver may allow the truck to veer out of the lane, then overcorrect to stay on the road, triggering a rollover.
- Improper loading: In this case, the fault may not lie with the driver, who does not usually load the truck. Sometimes Michigan drivers haul sealed loads, which means they can’t perform pre-check inspections. If the cargo isn’t properly loaded, a load shift may occur and cause a rollover.
Sometimes the Michigan driver himself is not to blame for the accident, but a malfunction on the truck is the cause of the crash. A truck has more parts than a car, which means there are more opportunities for things to go wrong. For example, tractor-trailers and other large trucks usually are stopped by using air brakes. When the air brakes malfunction or fail completely an 80,000 lb vehicle becomes a serious hazard on the highway and causes a deadly truck accident.
Michigan trucks should be regularly maintained to ensure that they are roadworthy. It is the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure that all of their trucks and equipment are thoroughly inspected before each route.
Maintenance issues that might affect trucking safety include:
- Tire blowouts due to wear or tear
- Transmission failure
- Defective steering
- Tow hitch
- Unsecured loads
It is more challenging to navigate a turn in a tractor-trailer or other large truck than it is in a standard-size vehicle. Part of a Michigan semi driver’s training teaches him or her how to make wide turns even in complex situations. When drivers don’t properly execute these turns, serious truck accidents occur.
The following are some scenarios that lead to wide-turn accidents in Flint, Michigan:
- Turn signals: Michigan semi-truck drivers should use their turn signals at least 100 feet in advance of a turn. This informs the other drivers on the road that they intend to change lanes or turn and gives the other vehicles on the road the time needed to move out of the way and stay clear of the semis blind spots.
- Swinging into traffic: A Michigan truck driver attempting to navigate a right turn may go too far to the left and strike an oncoming vehicle.
- Blind spots: A semi-truck has a much larger blind spot than a standard size vehicle. Since there are blind spots to the right, left, and rear of the truck a driver needs to carefully check his surroundings before changing lanes or turning. Failure to do so could result in a serious Michigan trucking accident.
- Driver error: At times, Michigan drivers simply miscalculated how much space they need to execute a turn. In a situation where driver error was the cause of the accident, the insurance company of the truck owners should be the ones responsible for the payment of damages.
If a truck driver poorly executing a wrong turn was the cause of your accident, contact our law firm today. The Flint personal injury lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm have a vast knowledge of Michigan truck accident law. Our truck accident lawyers will work hard to ensure you are compensated for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Contact a Michigan attorney in our law office today by calling 855-MIKE-WINS.
Why You Need an Attorney After a Michigan Trucking Accident
After your Flint, MI, trucking accident, you may be suffering from physical and emotional trauma. Truck accident victims are often left feeling overwhelmed and helpless as medical bills begin to mount before a settlement is reached.
Let the truck accident lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm put their expertise to work for you. Once a Michigan accident attorney from our law office has taken on your case, he or she will fight to get you the financial compensation that you are due. We will thoroughly investigate your case, file all necessary claim documents, and handle negotiations with the insurance company.
One of the biggest challenges a person will face when building an accident case is identifying the cause of the crash and determining who is at fault and financially liable. A claim may need to be filed against the driver, the trucking company, an equipment manager, or another party and sometimes multiple parties may be at fault. A Michigan personal injury attorney can be extremely helpful when a guilty party isn’t easy to identify.
Our law office will work to determine fault by:
- Speaking to witnesses
- Checking driver’s logs
- Hiring accident reconstructionists
- Examining maintenance logs
- Asking for the information on the trucks blackbox
The experienced Michigan accident lawyers with Mike Morse Law Firm care about their clients. We are Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm and have over 25 years of experience serving the residents of Michigan. We fight hard to protect our clients’ rights according to the law since justice isn’t just about money – it’s about peace of mind.
What Evidence Will a Flint, Michigan Attorney Gather After a Semi-Truck Accident?
The damage and injuries that truck accidents cause are often traumatic. Many semi-truck accident victims don’t survive, and those who do are often left with devastating life-altering injuries. Survivors of a semi accident may need years of medical treatment including rehabilitation and therapy. A Michigan accident attorney can help ensure that you receive the financial compensation needed to obtain the top medical care that you or your injured loved one deserves.
An essential part of establishing a solid truck accident case is gathering evidence, both to build your case and to submit to the insurance company. It’s best to begin gathering evidence as soon as possible after the accident. Dishonest Michigan trucking companies may misfile or destroy any evidence linking them to the accident. Meanwhile, other companies are simply negligent and don’t obey the law by filling proper log books or keeping maintenance records.
Evidence that your attorney may gather for your case includes:
- The trucker’s driving records: Before hiring a new driver, a Michigan trucking company should look at a potential employee’s previous employment, criminal, and driving records. If he or she has a pattern of negligent behavior, that person should not be behind the wheel of a large truck.
- Data from the Electronic Onboarding Recording Device (EOBR): These are black boxes similar to those used in airplanes. They record data about a truck’s performance, speed, and location. These can be invaluable in proving what happened in the moments leading up to the crash. Your lawyer can send a letter to the trucking company requesting the data found on the EOBR, making it against the law for them to delete anything on it.
- Video surveillance: A Michigan accident attorney can request the video footage from any businesses that have security cameras in the area that possibly recorded the accident. If there were any traffic cameras in the area, that footage can also be requested.
- Legal records: Trucking companies in Michigan have federal and state regulations that they are required by law to comply with. A truck accident lawyer can investigate and find out if a company has any past violation in their record. If they have a history of breaking the law in any way, this can be useful information in your case.
- Cell phone records: Phone calls and texting are all-too-common forms of distracted driving that can lead to serious accidents. A truck driver may not readily admit that he or she broke the law by using the phone while driving, but a lawyer can request cell phone records for the time of the accident. If the records show that the trucker was on the phone or sent a text around the time the accident occurred, this can help establish fault.
What is a Spoliation Letter?
After taking your Flint, MI, truck accident case, one of the first steps that your lawyer likely will take is to send a spoliation letter to the trucking company that was involved in the accident. A spoliation letter is a formal request that any evidence relevant to an accident be preserved for the case. This letter may even specify particular evidence to preserve.
The primary purpose of a spoliation letter is to warn the trucking company against tampering, hiding, or destroying evidence. The more specific the spoliation letter is, the greater the chance that the opposing party will be punished by a court of law if they are found guilty of destroying the evidence requested.
For example, if an accident occurs and the truck driver is saying that he lost control of the semi because the brakes weren’t working properly, an attorney might send a spoliation letter requesting that the maintenance reports, inspection records, and repair records be preserved.
There are some Michigan truck accident cases that won’t necessitate a spoliation letter; it depends on the circumstances surrounding the collision. A Flint truck accident lawyer will be able to determine whether this step is needed to preserve evidence.
Compensation You Can Get After a Michigan Truck Accident
Truck accidents in Flint, Michigan, can leave victims with severe injuries that permanently alter their lives. The lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm know that after a semi accident, nothing can completely compensate for your loss. However, we can fight to get you the financial compensation that you need during your recovery. We will work out a settlement with the insurance company while you focus on your health and your family.
After our law office reviews your case, we will determine what parties are liable and what damages you may be due. Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident, we may seek compensation on your behalf for:
- Medical treatment
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Property damage
- Loss of wages past and future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
Why Entrust Your Case to Mike Morse Law Firm
The members of Mike Morse Law Firm understand that after your Flint, MI, truck accident, there are many different law firms that you could entrust your case to. But why not consult with Michigan’s largest personal injury firm before making your final decision?
We have extensive resources, and our top-rated lawyers are knowledgeable in Michigan law and experienced in handling truck accident cases. Overall, we have won over $1.5 billion dollars for our clients. Our compassionate lawyers care about their clients and want to ensure that Flint continues to be a safe place to drive.
The attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm go the distance for their clients. We will visit you in the hospital if needed, file all paperwork with the insurance company, and provide open and honest answers to all of your questions. Our goal is to make this process easy for you.
Michigan law only allows a specified time that you may file a claim or a truck accident, so don’t delay in contacting an attorney. If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed in a Michigan truck accident you need a law firm on your side that you can trust.
Contact our law office at 855-MIKE-WINS or email us. The attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm work on a contingency fee basis. This means NO FEES until you receive a settlement!
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