Theories of Liability
Under Michigan No-Fault law, your own insurance will cover things like medical care, wage loss for three years, and in-home care if you need it – regardless of who was at fault for the crash. You may not need a lawyer to get these benefits, but your insurer may fight against your claim or refuse to pay for certain expenses. Let us take on that fight for you.
If you were significantly hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver, we will identify who is liable for your injuries. This may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck
- The cargo loader
- Independent subcontractors
- A parts manufacturer
- Another motorist
Time Is Important in a Truck Accident
Experience counts regarding proving negligence and recovering compensation in a truck accident claim. The investigation process in a truck accident is far more complex when compared to investigating a car crash. When massive trucks tangle with passenger vehicles, damages are often more widespread and devastating.
The window of opportunity for preserving valuable evidence begins to close at the moment of the accident. Some evidence is generally documented at the scene in the official police report and possibly in any photographs of the crash site. But details such as the time the incident was reported, the position of the vehicles, the direction of travel, and the weather conditions are only the tip of the iceberg in a complete and thorough truck accident investigation.
Most of the valuable evidence used in proving liability belongs to the trucking company. Federal and state regulations apply to the trucking industry and require them to keep certain documentation for specific periods of time. This includes:
- GPS tracking data
- Black box information
- Dashboard cameras
- Dispatch information
- Maintenance and inspection records
- The driver’s daily logs
- Cargo loading data
Your attorney will send a written request to the trucking company instructing them to keep all of this valuable information, ensuring that you are able to prove your case.
Collision reconstruction uses an in-depth scientific approach, combining engineering and physics principles to help determine the cause of an accident and who was at fault. Investigators consider factors such as the size and weight of each vehicle, speed of the vehicles, the weather and road conditions, skid marks, average reaction times, and more to understand how the crash occurred.
Gruel Mills has a network of skilled accident reconstructionists who can help prove your case. If the at-fault driver does not tell the truth, accident reconstructionists can use science to prove what really happened and thus ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Some Questions We Frequently Hear From Prospective Truck Accident Clients
How Long Do I Have to File a Tractor Trailer Accident Lawsuit?
In Michigan, the statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the injury for a personal injury suit. You may have extra time in a wrongful death action depending on when a personal representative is appointed to represent the decedent’s estate. Claims for benefits to your own insurer, however, have much shorter deadlines and should be filed as soon as possible, or within the first year after the crash.
The insurance carrier from the trucking company called me; what should I do?
If you have hired an attorney, tell the caller that you have legal representation and to contact your attorney going forward. An insurer should not be contacting you directly if they know you have an attorney.
I might have been in the truck’s blind spot. Will that hurt my case?
Although there are significant blind spots on tractor-trailers, drivers are trained on how to deal with these blind spots and must change lanes cautiously. Regardless of whether you were driving in a blind spot, you may have a valid claim.
Truck Accident Injuries Can Change Your Life
A truck accident can force you to change your life plans and long-term goals. Debilitating injuries such as spinal cord damage, brain injury, traumatic amputations, and severe burns will often leave a victim facing:
- Lifelong care needs from others
- Confinement to a wheelchair
- Impaired cognitive function
- Loss of a limb
- Permanent disfigurement
If you are facing this type of devastating injury because of a truck driver’s negligent actions, you need an experienced attorney fighting for you to get the compensation you will need to adjust to life with new limitations. Call the Gruel Mills team today for your no-cost consultation.
Predictable Causes of Truck Accidents In Grand Rapids
Despite strict federal and state regulations, some in the trucking industry try to incentivize the fast delivery of goods over safety. Large trucks also present unique hazards on the roads. A fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 65 miles per hour needs almost the length of two football fields to stop, so rear-end collisions are common. Semi-tractor trailers are prone to jackknife on wet or icy roads, due to poor road conditions, or as a result of sudden braking. Semi-tractor trailers can also rollover due to excessive speeds on sharp turns, unbalanced loads, high winds, or hitting an object such as a curb or debris.
Some other likely causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Reckless driving
- Impaired driving
- Untrained drivers
- Unfamiliar routes
- Unrealistic time constraints
- Negligent hiring practices
- Hours of service violations
- Mechanical failure
- Road construction
- Overloaded cargo
- Employer negligence
If You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer? Choose Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC
There are many moving parts to a legal claim arising from a truck accident. These cases can get quite complicated, and whether you get the maximum possible compensation often depends on the skill and expertise of the law firm representing you.
At Gruel Mills, we remain focused on doing what is right for every client. Throughout our 35-plus years of practice, we have proudly earned the reputation for providing clients with attentive and personalized service. Whether a truck accident claim settles out of court or is heard by a judge or jury ultimately remains the client’s choice. We want you to recover full compensation, and we want you to be comfortable with your decision. Our legal team is well-versed in negotiation and litigation.
After a serious truck accident, you need a lawyer you can trust to ensure you receive the benefits and compensation you deserve. Our team has successfully guided thousands of Grand Rapids families through the legal process of truck accident settlements and trials. We understand the laws and regulations of the trucking industry and know how to clearly and concisely present your case to insurance adjusters, judges, and juries. Reach out to a Grand Rapids personal injury lawyer.
We stand firm in our dedication to transparency, integrity, and professionalism. We believe that being a lawyer is a privilege, and we take our responsibilities seriously. We are here to listen; call us and let us know how we can serve you.
Call us today at (616) 235-5500 or write to us using our contact page, and we’ll start with your free consultation.
Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman PLLC – Grand Rapids Office
Campau Square Plaza Building
99 Monroe Ave NW #800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 235-5500
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