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Truck Accident Attorneys

For many of us, driving next to a semi-truck or large tractor-trailer on a busy highway can be a bit nerve-wracking. Semi-truck accidents can cause major damage – a fact that you know all too well if you have been injured in a truck accident. What’s more, dealing with a truck accident claim can be an exhausting and time-consuming process for the victim.

Nevertheless, the good news is – if you have been injured in a Michigan truck accident, you don’t need to handle it alone. The help of the experienced Michigan truck accident lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm can be just what you and your family need to get back on your feet.

We are prepared to go the distance for our clients and our team is here for you 24/7.

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What to do After a Truck Accident

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Truck accidents can be especially disastrous. The immediate physical damage can be very serious, and there may be extensive and long-lasting damages to your financial and physical health.

These aftereffects can be persistent and come with a hefty price tag. Thus, adequate and just compensation is essential for getting your life back on track.

You will need enough compensation to cover immediate and future losses and costs. But trying to determine a fair settlement is no easy task, perhaps especially when you are recovering from severe injuries.

However, hiring experienced truck accident lawyers can make all the difference in your life. We can examine all the crucial information about your accident, look down the road, and see the long-term financial implications to make sure you receive all you’re entitled to.

In short, while you concentrate on healing, our truck accident lawyers can vigorously work on safeguarding your financial interests.

Trusted and Recommended

I’d like to thank Mr. Morse and the entire staff for the wonderful job they all did in bringing me such a large settlement. I will recommend this law firm to any and all who may inquire about the matters of personal injury. I’d like to thank Julie and Debbie for all their calls and contributing work, and JoAnn. God bless you all.

Larry A.

Every person I was in contact with made me feel like I was important. The accident changed my life in a second. What do you do? Who can help you? I have no income now. Huge medical bills. Mike got on it within days. It was a true comfort to have them all backing me up.

Lisa H.

“Trisha was great at answering all of my questions. I didn’t waste any time and just went with the best. The haven’t managed to build such a reputable brand for no apparent reason, obviously they do a great job for their clients.”

Mike C.

Michigan Truck Accident Statistics

All Michigan law enforcement offices must submit qualifying crash reports to the Michigan State Police. These are compiled in the State Police Traffic Crash Reporting System.


The resulting statewide crash report summary for 2022 shows the following truck accident data:

  • 15,802 total traffic accidents on Michigan roads

  • 105 Michigan traffic fatalities

When Traffic Accidents Are Most Likely To Occur


Not all times on the road are created equal. Accidents are more likely at certain times of the day, week, and year. For example, November had the most traffic accidents of any month in 2022, with 1,513 crashes. In contrast, only 1,142 reported accidents on Michigan roads occurred in March 2022.


November was the month with the most truck accidents. There were 1,513 reported truck accidents in June 2022. Despite hazardous winter road conditions, there were only 1,436 crashes in February and 1,379 in January 2022.

More accidents occur on Fridays than on any other day of the week. In 2022, 3,039 accidents occurred on Fridays. Weekend days saw fewer crashes than weekdays. There were 560 accidents on Sundays and 999 on Saturdays.


Additional accident timing information includes:

  • The most dangerous time on Michigan roadways is between 3 pm and 6 pm, with 3,229 accidents reported during those hours in 2022. 

  • The fewest accidents 588 occurred between 3 am and 6 am. 

  • Truck accidents are most likely to occur between 6 pm and 9 pm. In 2022, there were 1,075 truck accidents during these hours. 

  • The fewest truck crashes happen between 3 am and 6 am. In 2022, there were 588 crashes during those hours. 

Truck accident statistics
Truck accident statistics
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Truck Accident FAQ

What can a Michigan truck accident lawyer do for me?

A lawyer can help you understand your rights after a truck accident in addition to negotiating with your insurance company and/or the negligent truck driver (as well as their employer and their insurance company) on your behalf and providing representation if your case goes to court.

Insurance companies do not want to pay you anything beyond the bare minimum and they will employ every trick that they know to protect their own interests. Experienced lawyers like those at the Mike Morse Law Firm understand how these businesses operate and will fight to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

For more information on how a truck accident attorney can help you, check out this article.

How much does it cost to hire a truck accident attorney?

At the Mike Morse Law Firm, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay us no money until we win your case. We only get paid when you receive your settlement check.

What should I do after a truck accident?

Take a moment to evaluate your surroundings and find a safe place away from traffic from which to call 911. Law enforcement officers are equipped to provide first aid and will arrange other emergency services if they are necessary. Try to move your vehicle away from traffic flow if it is possible and safe to do so as this will give emergency vehicles easier access to the crash site.

Take pictures and exchange necessary identifying information such as your name, address, telephone number, and insurance details with the other drivers involved. Asking for contact information of witnesses is wise as well, as they may be able to provide testimony in your case.

Call your insurance company so that they can begin working with you to address the accident and the damages done as soon as possible.

See a doctor, even if you believe you are unharmed. Injuries from truck accidents don’t always appear immediately after the crash. An examination by a medical professional can identify any issues and give you peace of mind.

Call a lawyer. Having an experienced professional to guide you through the legal process is invaluable and can help you win higher compensation than the lowball offer insurance companies want you to accept.

How long do I have to file a claim after a truck accident in Michigan?

In Michigan, you have one year to notify your no-fault insurance carrier of an accident. Depending on the exact facts of your accident you may have more or less time to notify and/or sue other parties. However, even if you have one to three years before you are required to file suit, waiting may not be advisable. Trucking companies can also legally destroy important information logs that could help your case after a certain amount of time has passed. The best way to guarantee that you are aware of the best course of action is to call a lawyer who has experience handling Michigan truck accident cases as soon as possible.

How long does a Michigan truck accident case take?

There is no set timeline for truck accident lawsuits, though they tend to take between several months and a few years. Keep in mind that every case is different and the length of time is dependent on the cooperation of the insurance company, the presence of appeals, and whether the case goes to trial. Calling an experienced attorney that will move your case along at the right pace soon after the accident is the best way to receive your settlement as quickly as possible.

How much is my truck accident case worth?

Truck accident settlement amounts are dictated by a variety of factors including the extent of any injuries, damage to the vehicle, pain and suffering, as well as time missed at work. To receive an estimate of what monetary damages you could be paid after your truck accident, check out our Settlement Calculator. Insurance companies will often offer you much less than what you may be entitled to. It is essential that you speak with an attorney in order to be sure you are getting the settlement you deserve.

What injuries are commonly found after a truck accident?

Whiplash, concussion, broken bones, herniated discs, skin lacerations, burns, and joint issues are all common in victims of truck accidents. In addition to physical injuries, those who have been involved in crashes often suffer from anxiety and other mental health troubles as a result of the accident.

If you were injured in a truck accident, it is wise to seek medical attention. A healthcare provider will be able to both care and a report of your injuries that can be used if you choose to pursue legal action.

Should I contact a lawyer if no one was injured in the truck accident?

Contacting a lawyer after a truck accident, even if no one was injured, is very often a wise course of action. Lawyers can help you deal with insurance and trucking companies who don’t want to pay you what you’re owed as well as create documentation that can help you protect yourself if another party decides to file a lawsuit. Additionally, if your vehicle was damaged in an accident, a lawyer can help you navigate suing for property damage.

Am I eligible for pain and suffering damages?

Pain and suffering damages are a type of non-economic damages meant to address an injured person’s physical and emotional suffering. Those with serious injuries that were not at-fault for their accident may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Insurance companies do not want to pay victims for this intangible damage. Hiring an experienced lawyer that will gather medical documentation and witness testimony is vital in building your case.

Should I call law enforcement to report an accident?

It is highly advisable to call local law enforcement after a truck accident in Michigan. In addition to providing first aid and other forms or practical help, police will file a report of the accident. A police report contains identifying information and a description of the crash that may be helpful if you decided to file a lawsuit. Additionally, in some cases you may be legally obligated to report the accident.

When should I contact my insurance company?

You should call your insurance company immediately after a truck accident to report any damage to your vehicle or injuries to your person. Reporting any injuries early is essential if you intend to apply for no-fault benefits, as insurance companies may try to deny the existence of any injuries not reported in a timely manner. Your insurance company may also be able to help you arrange repairs for your vehicle. It is important to remember, however, that your insurance company wants to pay you the lowest amount of damages possible and to be careful with how you approach them. An auto accident attorney can help guide you through these interactions and safeguard your rights.

How should I deal with an insurance adjuster after a truck accident?

When an insurance adjuster contacts you, make sure you clarify what company they represent. Talking to your own no-fault provider or a property damage adjuster is usually fine, but you should never speak with the insurance adjuster of the at-fault driver. They are simply looking for a way out of paying a settlement and may use your words against you if you speak with them. If you war not sure who you are talking to or are uncomfortable with the questions you are asking, you are always best off talking to an attorney before answering questions.

What should I do if injuries show up after a truck accident?

It is very common for injuries not to show up immediately after a truck accident. The rush of adrenaline a victim experiences after being hit can block out pain only for it to arise later. If you are experiencing pain due to a truck accident, seeing a healthcare professional is the best way to receive proper treatment. Michigan law allows those injured in a truck accident three years to file a claim. Even if it has been a while since your accident, if you are suffering from an injury sustained in a truck crash, you should call an experienced lawyer as you may have a case.

What should I do if I have lost a loved one to a truck accident?

Losing a loved one to an unjust, preventable death is a great tragedy that can often be compounded by medical and funeral bills as well as loss of income. A Michigan wrongful death attorney can make sure that your family is informed of your rights and options as well as assist you in your pursuit of justice. Nothing can ever make a wrongful death right, but at the very least compensation can help ease the financial stress that often accompanies death.

More information on your options after losing a loved one to a wrongful death can be found in this article.

Who can I sue if I was hit by a truck?

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and or a third-party contractor may be liable.

Trucking companies are frequently liable for the negligence of their employees under Michigan law. You may additionally be able to sue the trucking company for poor maintenance, inadequate training, or falsifying information in order to let the driver drive longer than they should without a break or sleep.

If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure in the truck, the company may be at-fault for not having the truck properly inspected. The manufacturer of the part that failed may also be liable.

An experienced Michigan truck accident attorney can help you identify all the parties that are potentially liable in your suit in order to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Can I sue if I was hit by cargo that fell out of a truck?

Trucking companies and their drivers are responsible for securing their cargo safely in the vehicle or bed. If you were in an accident caused by fallen cargo–whether it caused you to swerve into another vehicle or the cargo hit you directly–the trucking company may be liable for damages.

How are truck accidents different from car accidents?

Truck accidents are incredibly dangerous due to the size and weight of the commercial vehicle involved. In these crashes, the cost of medical bills and property damage tend to be higher than in a typical car accident. Truckers also have the backing of big companies with larger insurance policies.

Federal law requires commercial trucks involved in interstate commerce to carry $750,000 of insurance for bodily injury and property damage. Many companies have even higher coverage and the insurance companies will do everything in their power to keep from paying it. Having a lawyer to help you deal with them can make the process less stressful and lead to a higher payout.

What is a truck underride accident?

Truck underride accidents occur when a car or other vehicle crashes into the trailer of a truck and slides underneath it. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires truck trailers to have rear-guards in order to prevent these dangerous collisions, aging or poorly maintained guards can still fail in an accident. Smaller vehicles can also slide under the side of a truck trailer when the truck is making a turn.

What are Common Damages of a Truck Accident?

A truck accident can cause a host of damages for the accident victim. Thankfully, Michigan law allows for victims of vehicle accidents to recover compensation for the losses they have experienced, whether physical, financial, or emotional.

Extensive property damage

An average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. So when a collision happens between a car and a truck that can weigh up to 30,000 pounds – or even more – there are often substantial damages sustained to the smaller vehicle.

Sometimes, though, the vehicle is not the only property damaged in a crash. Residents of homes that are close to the road may have a truck crash into their property, damaging their home, garage, and yard without even being involved in the accident. These losses can be claimed as well for compensation.

Severe physical injuries

Due to the nature of truck accidents, many truck accident victims suffer serious injuries. These can include:

If the injuries are severe enough, medical care may be given immediately following the crash, with an ambulance called or a trip to the hospital. However, a number of injuries may not be noticeable right away but can pose problems down the road.

It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have been in a truck accident. Even if you feel fine and do not believe you are injured, an examination by a medical professional can identify subtle injuries you may have sustained. The earlier these issues are diagnosed, the sooner treatment and recovery can begin.

Financial losses

After the accident, you likely face mounting financial expenses. For example, you may be required to take extended time off work for your physical and emotional recovery. Or, even if you are able to continue working, you may be limited in the hours or type of work you can perform.

Essential medical treatment and rehabilitation can be expensive as well. Medical bills for ambulatory or surgical care, prescription medication, and continued home care can begin to pile up after the accident. You may even need to make modifications to your home or vehicle during your recovery.

You deserve compensation for your financial losses due to lost wages and medical bills.

Emotional damages

Many of the damages suffered after a truck accident are difficult to measure financially. Truck accident victims often experience immense pain and suffering after the accident, including emotional stress or even PTSD.

The personal injury suffered could be severe enough to result in a permanent disability or disfigurement, including a loss of limb. Even though these emotional damages are not easily measured, they are very real damages that deserve compensation.

Working with a Michigan truck accident lawyer at our firm can ensure your emotional damages are considered in your settlement. With over $1 billion won for our clients, our legal team has the experience and resources necessary to fight for you and represent your interests.

Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?

Trucks are large vehicles; their sheer size and weight can cause extensive damage even in what seems like a minor accident. Some may assume a truck accident is minor when there are no visible injuries and limited property damage has been inflicted. Yet, you should remember that some injuries may not be evident at first.

In time, you may need to see a doctor for your injuries, possibly resulting in time off work and mounting medical bills. Even if you feel fine after an accident, you must get a medical check-up as soon as possible and keep an eye on any symptoms that may appear.

Whether you were in a minor or major truck accident, it is advisable to seek counsel from an experienced lawyer to find out what your rights are. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced truck attorneys to discuss your case details. We can give you an honest evaluation of your case to help you make an informed decision on your truck accident case.

How Long Does a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?

Among the most dangerous types of vehicle accidents that drivers may experience are truck accidents. Not only can they be more dangerous, but they can also be more complicated from a legal standpoint. Consequently, truck accidents may take longer to settle than car accidents in general.

For instance, many truck drivers do not own the truck they drive. The vehicle could be owned by a trucking company – so there may be more than one responsible party legally involved.

These are just a few of the many factors involved in a truck accident claim. They may complicate the process of reaching a settlement, but you can still be successful.

With skillful and knowledgeable lawyers on your side, a truck accident case could reach a settlement in a few months. However, when there is a mountain of complex issues ahead of you, it could take much longer.

What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Truck Accident?

Everything that happens after the accident can either safeguard or jeopardize your rights. To protect yourself after a truck accident, it is important to ensure the safety of anyone injured in the accident and call 911 as soon as possible.

When the police get to the accident scene, they will be able to assist all those involved and officially document the incident. All necessary information will be included in the police report, which can serve as supporting evidence for your case.

The following steps will help you later on if you decide to file a personal injury claim for your injuries:

Check for injuries and call emergency services

  • Refrain from apologizing or admitting fault as this can affect your chances of compensation
  • Document the accident by taking photos, videos, and collecting witness statements
  • Seek medical attention even if you feel fine at the time
  • Keep track of expenses and medical reports
  • Contact a truck accident lawyer for legal advice
  • Notify your insurance company

What Happens If the At-fault Party Does Not Have Truck Insurance?

Filing a claim with your personal insurance company

If the at-fault party is uninsured, you might be able to file a claim with your own insurer. This is possible if you hold uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protection.

Filing a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver’s company

If the truck driver doesn’t have insurance, you may be able to seek compensation via his or her employer or truck company. If the company is found to be at fault for the accident, you could seek compensation by filing a claim with their insurance company.

Alternatively, a truck accident lawyer can explore the option of filing a lawsuit against the driver personally or the employer on your behalf.

Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Responsible in a Truck Accident?

There is no doubt that a truck accident can be more complex legally than a regular car accident. More than one party can be connected to the truck and liable for the collision.

First of all, a truck driver may not own the truck he is operating. A trucking company may own the truck, while a third party might be responsible for the load being transported.

It can be difficult to ascertain what caused the accident. However, once the reason is pinpointed, it could still be puzzling to determine who is accountable or whether more than one party is responsible.

Was negligence on the part of a single person, such as the driver, the cause? If the driver is responsible, did the trucking company pressure the driver to proceed carelessly to meet deadlines? Or did something similar occur with the loaders of the cargo so they loaded it wrong?

It is crucial to reach an answer to these questions and many more to determine whether the truck driver, trucking company, or a third party is to blame.

Why Are Truck Accident Claims Unique?

Two main factors make truck accidents unique: the size of the truck and the fact that it is a commercial vehicle.

First of all, the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers mean that many Michigan truck accidents result in serious damage. With these types of serious injuries or financial losses in the millions, working with a Michigan truck accident lawyer becomes even more essential than a regular motor vehicle collision.

Second, truck accident cases are complex because these involve commercial vehicles with special insurance. The regulations surrounding semi-truck insurance policies are different from those for passenger vehicles. What’s more, both the trucking company and the insurance company have an incentive to avoid responsibility for the crash and find ways to deny the claim.

Hiring a truck accident attorney who is well-versed in Michigan law and the unique aspects of your truck accident case is the best way to maximize your results.

What is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident?

Truck accident settlements can vary from thousands to millions of dollars depending on the circumstances of each case. Settlements are made by either negotiating with an insurance company or taking the decision to court, where the final amount will be determined.

Many deciding factors must be considered when calculating a settlement amount, including the following:

  1. Liability
  2. Types of injuries
  3. Extent of damages
  4. Insurance policy coverage 

No two accidents are the same. An experienced truck accident lawyer understands how personal injury law will apply in your case and how much you can claim. It will be his or her goal to advocate for your rights and seek the maximum amount available.

Victims of truck accidents can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

Do You Have to Go to Court for a Truck Accident?

While most cases are settled out of court, some do go to trial. If you have been injured in a truck accident and you want to recover damages for your losses, there are two possible ways to do that: by settlement negotiations or by filing a lawsuit with the courts.

Settlement negotiations

Pre-litigation is the legal process that happens before a lawsuit is filed. Evidence is collected to establish who was at fault and to calculate the extent of the damages. This is the basis for negotiations with the insurance company. If both parties can agree on a fair settlement amount, you do not have to go to court.

File a lawsuit with the courts

If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, then your lawyer can proceed with filing a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit can be a lengthy process, but it may be the best way to recover the maximum amount of compensation available. Your lawyer will present your case to the court and a judge or jury will decide on the outcome and the amount of compensation if awarded.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The State of Michigan imposes a 2-year time limit for filing a lawsuit starting from the date of the accident.

It is crucial to submit your documents on time, as failure to meet the deadline will result in your case being denied. If the statute of limitations has passed, this usually means you will be prohibited from seeking any compensation for your injuries.

If you are filing a claim against a government entity or employee, Indiana law requires you to file a tort claim notice within 180 days of the incident, notifying the party that you intend to file a lawsuit against them.

There may be exceptions in your case, but don’t leave starting on your claim too long! Talk to a qualified attorney to find out how much time is remaining to file your truck accident lawsuit.

How Does Driver Fatigue Cause Truck Accidents?

For many adults, getting enough sleep is an unattainable goal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. Some tired and worn-out people, though, must get behind the wheel for work or to accomplish errands.

First of all, the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers mean that many Michigan truck accidents result in serious damage. With these types of serious injuries or financial losses in the millions, working with a Michigan truck accident lawyer becomes even more essential than a regular motor vehicle collision.

Truck drivers, for instance, may try to “push through” being tired for many reasons. For one, they may face unrealistic deadlines and pressure from trucking companies, encouraging them to hurry and drive while lacking sleep.

However, driving without sufficient sleep is extremely dangerous. Research shows that a fatigued driver may drive similar to someone who is drunk in some cases.

A drowsy truck driver can have a diminished attention span and may react slowly to changing road conditions. He or she could even fall asleep at the wheel.

Clearly, the chance of truck accidents greatly increases when truckers continue driving despite safety risks. At the same time, though, the tired driver of an average-sized car could also inattentively pass under or collide with a truck. Either way, the consequences can be devastating.

How Negligence is Established in a Truck Accident

The results of a truck driver’s incorrect decision could be devastating and easy to see. However, determining whether the truck driver was negligent some time after the accident can be much more difficult.

Was the truck driver distracted? Or did something occur that made it impossible for him to react appropriately? Knowing where to look for the evidence is crucial to finding the answer.

Just as with car accidents, human error is often the cause of truck accidents. It could be that a truck driver failed to take necessary, safe actions, or he could have been multitasking rather than sufficiently focusing on driving.

Skilled lawyers ask the right questions to analyze the facts and circumstances of a truck accident carefully. In doing so, they can ascertain whether negligence was involved and who is at fault.

What Are The Different Types of Truck Accidents?

Truck drivers drive long distances at various times of the day, delivering heavy loads throughout the country. According to the American Trucking Association, trucks transported an estimated 10.23 billion tons of freight across the nation in 2020. Carrying heavy loads on rural and interstate roads comes with its fair share of risk, especially when other factors, such as fatigue or speeding, come into play.

Due to the size, weight, and power of large trucks, accidents involving these immense vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries for any motorist on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report for large truck crashes in 2019, of the 159,000 people injured, some 69 percent (110,000 people) were occupants of other vehicles.

There are many different types of truck accidents that can arise for a variety of reasons. Common truck accidents include:

  • Jackknife accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Truck rollovers
  • Side-swipe accidents
  • Blindspot collisions
  • T-bone accidents
  • Tire blowouts
  • Wide turn accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Underride accidents
  • Lost load accidents

What are the common truck accident causes?

Generally, the majority of truck accidents are caused by driver error – that of either the truck operator or another involved driver. All motorists have a responsibility to drive in a way that does not cause harm to others. While there are many reasons an accident may occur, negligence seems to be a frequent factor found among truck accident cases.

It only takes a moment of inattentiveness for a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle and cause a devastating crash. Truck drivers sometimes speed to meet unrealistic delivery expectations, but they may become distracted by the use of a cell phone.

Or the driver may unwisely work beyond the allowed hours of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations which refers to the maximum amount of time a driver is permitted to be on duty to help the driver stay awake and alert.

Common causes of truck accidents include the following:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Improper cargo loading
  • Driving under the influence
  • Poor truck maintenance
  • Tire blowouts
  • Aggressive driving
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Bad weather

What are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Michigan?

Driver negligence

For a truck driver, following the rules of the road is all the more important. When a truck driver fails to follow safe driving practices, the results can be catastrophic for everyone involved.

Some examples of driver negligence that can cause an accident include:

  • Distracted driving: As with anyone, truck drivers can become distracted when using their phones or other electronics while driving. They may also be receiving communication from the office or other drivers while on the road. The increased risk involved when distracted by a phone has led to mobile phone use being restricted for commercial drivers in Michigan.
  • Failure to yield: When a truck driver fails to stop at a stop sign or any other road signal, it can be difficult for another driver to react quickly enough to avoid an accident.
  • Unsafe lane change: Large commercial trucks often have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. This can make it harder for truck drivers to see smaller vehicles in the next lane, leading to unsafe lane changes that can cause an accident.

In order to hold a commercial driving license, training is required to ensure drivers know and understand safety regulations and safe driving practices. Despite this mandatory training, mistakes and carelessness still cause accidents. A truck accident lawyer can investigate to uncover any negligent actions that led to the crash.

Overworked drivers

Trucking companies may put pressure on their drivers to meet tight delivery times. Unexpected delays, road work, or inclement weather can result in a driver being behind schedule. As a result, truck drivers may feel the pressure to work long hours without rest, despite the laws in place to reduce and prevent driver fatigue.

For example, Michigan truck drivers can only drive for 11 hours at a time and must take 10 consecutive hours off-duty between driving periods. There is also a limit of 60-70 hours worked in a 7-8 day period. Most drivers are expected to keep a detailed logbook to ensure they are following the regulations surrounding on-duty and off-duty hours.

Overworked drivers behind the wheel with little rest pose a hazard to everyone around them. As stated by the American Sleep Association, driving while sleepy leads to drivers being less alert, making poor decisions, and having slower reaction times. Coupling these risks with a large, powerful vehicle can lead to tragic consequences.

A truck accident lawyer can carefully examine logbooks and compile all necessary evidence to determine whether the truck driver was compliant with the driving regulations or not.

Poorly maintained vehicles

Michigan laws also stipulate standards for vehicle maintenance that must be followed by both drivers and trucking companies. These regulations include standards for various truck parts and protocols, including:

  • Mudflaps
  • Vehicle size and weight
  • Brakes
  • Safety devices
  • Weight and axle load
  • Cargo securement
  • Reflective tape

With a large vehicle comes many parts to maintain and keep in working order.

Unfortunately, even a seemingly small detail that is overlooked can lead to big problems.

An experienced Michigan truck accident lawyer knows what to look for in the aftermath of an accident to prove liability. If you have suffered personal injury after an accident with a tractor-trailer or any other large commercial truck, you need a reliable truck accident attorney who can offer the help you need. A free consultation with the team at Mike Morse Law Firm can help you understand your legal options after an accident.

Potential Liable Parties After a Michigan Truck Accident

When investigating a truck accident, it is important to properly identify all liable parties to ensure maximum compensation. At times, there may even be more than one party that contributed to the crash who should be held responsible for the damages caused.

Your truck accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate the truck crash to understand the circumstances and details that led to the accident. He or she can then identify all liable parties and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.

The trucking company

Sadly, there are trucking companies that are more concerned with profits than safety. As such, they may be tempted to skirt regulations in an effort to increase volume and company profits. This can be seen with safety violations, irregular or skipped vehicle maintenance, excessive driver working hours, or even irresponsible hiring practices.

Depending on the results of the investigation, a trucking company may be held liable for negligence by:

  • Failing to keep the vehicle in safe condition
  • Hiring unqualified or untrained drivers
  • Failing to comply with maximum on-duty hour regulations

A trucking company that ignores the safety standards set in place puts lives at risk. When their negligence or even willful disregard for safety leads to personal injury, a truck accident lawyer can ensure that the liable party is held accountable for their actions. Your lawyer can also investigate to determine whether the trucking company has any citations or complaints regarding previous safety violations.

The truck driver

Unsafe driving practices by the driver are also at the root of many truck accidents. A truck driver can be found liable if he or she was engaging in a number of negligent practices.

Negligent behavior on the part of the truck driver may include:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to follow company and government safety protocols
  • Failing to ensure loads are properly contained

The driver, trucking company, or insurance company may try to deny any wrongdoing in the accident, even when at fault. Your Michigan truck accident lawyer can gather evidence to prove which negligent actions of the driver were responsible for the truck crash.

The government agency

At times, an accident can be caused by road conditions or other hazards out of the driver’s control. Depending on the type of road, either state or local government agencies are responsible for making sure roadways are maintained so they are reasonably safe for travel. The state or local government may be liable for damages caused by poor maintenance.

Of course, pursuing legal action against a government agency is no easy task. If you believe that your Michigan truck accident was caused by government negligence, contact the team at Mike Morse Law Firm right away. After a free consultation to learn more about your truck accident case, a truck accident lawyer can defend your legal rights and pursue fair compensation for your damages.

The manufacturer

A mechanical or electrical defect with the truck or other vehicle may also lead to an accident. Some parts that may be defective include:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Headlights
  • Horn
  • Airbag

After a thorough investigation, your accident lawyer can determine whether a manufacturing issue played a role in the accident.

What Are The Truck Accidents Facts and Statistics In The US?

As one of the top countries for freight volume, there is no shortage of trucks on US roads. The United States has millions of trucks registered for commercial purposes. From pick-up trucks to semis, many of these trucks travel along Michigan highways and roads each day.

Truck classifications

The Federal Highway Administration classifies trucks into 8 categories:

  1. Class 1: Under 6,000 pounds (eg. small pick-up or minivan)
  2. Class 2: 6,000 to 10,000 pounds
  3. Class 3: 10,000 to 14,000 pounds (eg. minivan)
  4. Class 4: 14,000 to 16,000 pounds
  5. Class 5: 16,000 to 19,500 pounds (eg. delivery truck)
  6. Class 6: 19,500 to 26,000 pounds (eg. school bus)
  7. Class 7: 26,000 to 33,000 pounds
  8. Class 8: Over 33,000 pounds (eg. semi truck or tour bus)

Drivers who operate heavy-duty trucks (those in class 7 or 8) require a commercial driver’s license.

Truck accident statistics

Here are some statistics about truck accidents in the United States in 2019, according to Michigan state police and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety:

  • There were 16,604 Michigan accidents that involved either a truck or a bus
  • 291 bus/truck accidents in the state were related to drugs or alcohol
  • Nearly 828 bus/truck accidents occurred in Michigan construction zones
  • The majority of nationwide truck accidents happened on rural roads

Many organizations have been formed in an effort to increase road safety and reduce the number of trucking accidents. Yet, as seen by these statistics, tractor-trailer and semi-truck accidents continue to pose a major threat on the road.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please don’t hesitate to contact a truck accident lawyer with Mike Morse Law Firm for a free consultation. We can give you feedback on how best to pursue your case.

How Are Truck Accidents Unique?

Nearly every American driver knows the frustration of being stuck behind a big commercial truck in tight traffic. Their large frames can make it difficult to see the road and make informed decisions about your driving. Unfortunately, though, commercial trucks are capable of being much worse than a necessary nuisance. In an accident, a large truck can be a terrifying weapon.

Trucks Can Do More Damage

The mammoth size of commercial trucks enables them to cause catastrophic damage in a crash. Trucks as large as 80,000lbs are allowed to drive on interstate highways. This high mass level will mean that the force of any impacts these giant trucks make will be incredibly intense and possibly deadly. Commercial truck accidents caused 4,479 deaths in 2019, 82% of which were not occupants of the truck. These giant trucks can plow through smaller vehicles because of their size, often without any risk to the driver. The power of these vehicles is a large responsibility that is, unfortunately, neglected in some cases. Inadequate vehicle inspection, driving while exhausted, and neglecting to obey traffic laws by a commercial truck put every motorist on the road at risk, not just the truck driver. 

The physical shape of trucks may contribute to their high accident rates. Commercial trucks restrict both their own driver’s line of sight as well as that of other drivers. Everyone has been stuck behind a truck, unable to see if the light they are approaching is still green until it is too late to stop. Trucks need more room for turns, can make merging difficult, and have a large rear blind spot. While their large cargo containers are a key part of our country’s infrastructure, they can also present significant risks.

Some trucks may be dangerous because of their cargo as well as their design. Trucks carrying hazardous materials are subject to stricter regulations for public safety, but mistakes are always possible. If a truck driver is negligent in maintenance or operation of a vehicle carrying hazardous materials, they can cause horrific damage to other motorists as well as the environment. 

Cargo, even cargo that is not inherently hazardous, may also be dangerous if it is improperly secured. Flying debris or materials left in the road can cause damage to vehicles and their passengers.

Commercial Trucks Are Subject to Strict Regulation

Trucking companies are required to meet certain federal standards to use our country’s highways, but they do not always follow through on that requirement. In fact, some companies may even encourage their drivers to ignore these standards. For instance, truckers must take at least a 10-hour rest between driving periods (which are up to 14 hours with 11 hours of active driving time). But these breaks often mean lower efficiency, which companies do not like. In order to shorten delivery time, some dispatches may tell drivers to keep going beyond the legal limit—endangering the driver, the cargo, and other motorists. If you were hit by an exhausted truck driver, make sure you talk to a lawyer. They may be able to find logs that prove the truck driver was driving illegally which can help you win your case. 

Commercial trucks are also required to carry insurance with high coverage. Like all other motor vehicles in Michigan, commercial trucks are required to maintain No-Fault insurance, but they are also required to purchase additional policies. In Michigan, trucks are required to carry the following liability insurance:

  • $5 million if they carry hazardous materials
  • $1 million if they are transporting oil
  • $750,000 if they are carrying general freight
  • $300,000 if they are carrying household goods

Trucks that participate in interstate commerce are subject to some additional requirements.

Truck Accident Lawsuits Are More Complicated

Unfortunately, truck accident victims often have to deal with more difficult lawsuits in addition to more serious injuries. Because so many parties—such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer—are possibly liable for the accident, your lawyer will likely need to conduct an extensive investigation. Trucking companies and manufacturers will also have more resources to fight the lawsuit than the average citizen. Often, trucking companies specifically hire independent contractors to drive for them so that they will not be liable for any damages the driver incurs. However, if you can prove that the truck driver was operating as an employee, they may still share some of the fault. 

Because these cases can get so messy, having an experienced truck accident lawyer on your team is the best way to ensure the maximum recovery for damages in your case. When big companies get involved, lawsuits get more difficult to win. A good attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve after your accident.

In the days and weeks that follow a truck accident, it is common to feel anxious and overwhelmed. You deserve compensation for the pain and suffering you have suffered following your injuries, but the process to file a claim, communicate with insurance companies, and understand your legal options may feel like too much to handle alone.

That is why the team at Mike Morse Law Firm is here to help 24/7. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with legal representation they can rely on, and we are always ready to go the distance to help our clients.

Need answers? We are available to answer all the questions you may have, including information on your insurance policies, the statute of limitations for claims in Michigan, and whether or not you should file a lawsuit after your accident.

With over 25 years of experience in defending personal injury victims, we are well-versed in Michigan laws and have the resources and knowledge needed to fight for you. Let our local truck accident lawyers put their expertise to work for you and your family.

Call us today at 855-MIKE-WINS to talk with one of our truck accident lawyers in a free consultation. We are also available 24/7 by text at 833-898-6453.

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