Lawyers for Truck Accident victims of Grand Rapids area

Until it happens to you until you and your family come face to face with the devastation of a collision with a big rig, delivery truck, cargo van, tractor trailer, moving van, or garbage truck you may not even imagine the financial responsibility or physical toll that someone else’s mistake can leave on you.

Until you are in one, you may not realize the legal complexities of such an accident or feel the enormous weight of the physical, financial, and emotional consequences. A truck accident in Grand Rapids can leave injured parties with expensive damages and ongoing medical issues.

At Gruel Mills, our lawyers proudly serve the Grand Rapids metropolitan area in holding trucking companies responsible when negligent practices lead to serious injury or death. The legal team at Gruel Mills has 35 years of legal experience taking on difficult car and truck injury claims for people in communities around Grand Rapids.

Truck accident claims involve multiple parties and insurance companies. Michigan’s confusing new no-fault laws make truck accident claims even harder for injured people to navigate. We know how to cut through all of that legal confusion and insurance company resistance to get you the compensation you need.

At Gruel Mills, our record speaks for itself.

We have recovered millions for our truck accident clients, including:

  • Truck accident – wrongful death – $4.2 million
  • Truck accident – wrongful death – $3.1 million
  • Truck accident – wrongful death – $1.9 million
  • Truck accident – closed head injury – $1.8 million

While only past results and no guarantee of future success, we feel these results show how hard and effectively we work for our clients. Please call us today to learn what our Grand Rapids truck accident lawyers can do to help you with your claim.

Table of Contents

Sharing the Road

Sharing the road with a truck is a common occurrence. We find them in our quiet suburban neighborhoods, our downtown city streets, and our highways and interstates. Trucks surround us every day, making us all vulnerable.

Trucks we find in residential communities

On any street in Grand Rapids, on any given day, one will encounter numerous delivery vans, postal service vehicles, moving trucks, emergency response trucks, garbage trucks, and tow trucks. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and our young children playing in the street are frequent victims of truck accidents.

Navigating a populated area with cars parked on the street, multiple driveways, crosswalks, and close to playgrounds and schools any driver may find these zones problematic, especially a truck or van driver.

Trucks we encounter in urban areas

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The land use and traffic density are different in urban areas. We often see cement and dump trucks in and around our many construction sites. Regularly, automobile transport trailers deliver new vehicles to the dozens of car dealerships in Grand Rapids

Freight trucks are ever-present, and truck accidents are common at busy and dangerous intersections. Recent data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent organization dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries, reports pedestrian, bicyclist, and intersection deaths are more common in urban areas.

The Grand Rapids Business Journal reports, according to data sourced from the Michigan State Police, that one of the most dangerous intersections in Michigan is right here in Grand Rapids. The intersection at U.S. 131 and Wealthy Street ranks eighth.

Dangerous trucks on the highways

The average semi-truck weighs in at about 80,000 pounds. It may surprise some to know Michigan has the nation’s highest gross truck weight regulation. Some of the large commercial trucks on our highways legally weigh 164,000 pounds—twice the national limit! These heavy trucks primarily transport metal, petroleum, lumber, fertilizer, milk, and crops. When a passenger car or a motorcycle is in a truck accident, expect catastrophic injuries.

“The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for Michigan’s nearly 10,000-mile state highway system, comprising all M, I, and US-routes. It is the backbone of Michigan’s 120,000-mile highway, road and street network.” – Michigan Department of Transportation

If you want to discuss your trucking accident case with an experienced Grand Rapids truck accident attorney, call us today.

Local Attorney for Truck Accident near Grand Rapids, MI area

Theories of Liability

Before you can get to liability, you must contend with your own insurance company’s no-fault coverage. You might not think you’d need a lawyer for that, but your PIP provider can fight just as hard against your claim as any at-fault party’s insurer. Let us take on that fight for you.

Then, we can deal with the multiple layers of liability in a truck versus motor vehicle accident, which 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. 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. Because federal and state regulations apply to the trucking industry, certain documentation must be retained for specific amounts of time but not forever.

Unless a plaintiff’s attorney formally requests the preservation of evidence, we may lose valuable information such as:

  • GPS tracking data
  • Black box information
  • Dashboard cameras
  • Dispatch information
  • Maintenance and inspection records
  • The driver’s daily logs
  • Cargo loading data

Level the playing field Gruel Mills is among the most trusted legal resources in the nation. We have earned our reputation with decades of prestigious cases and complex suits. Our attorneys understand how to hold truck companies accountable. If it is not your fault, you should not pay for it.

Accident Reconstruction

Reconstruction uses an in-depth scientific approach, combining engineering and physics principles,  to help determine the cause of an accident and who may be at fault.

When an accident investigator, or deconstructionist factors in the size and weight of each vehicle, combined with the weather and road conditions, we may gain valuable insight into:

  • The speed at the point of impact
  • At what point each vehicle accelerated or decelerated
  • Steering and braking information

At Gruel Mills, we have the resources to utilize accident reconstructionists, life planning professionals, accountants, economists, and expert medical witnesses to capture the full impact of a victim’s economic and non-economic losses as we pursue maximum compensation.

Some Questions We Frequently Hear From Prospective Truck Accident Clients

How Long Do I Have to File a Tractor Trailer Accident Lawsuit?

Except in rare cases, in Michigan, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury for a personal injury lawsuit, and three years from the date of death in a wrongful death claim.

The insurance carrier from the trucking company called me; what should I do?

Say nothing. You are under no obligation to give any information to the trucking company’s insurer. Anything you say the carrier may use to reduce or deny a settlement offer. Always protect your rights and have your attorney deal with the insurance company.

I might have been in the truck’s blind spot. Will that hurt my case?

Although there are significant blind spots on all sides of a tractor-trailer, the truck driver trains clear to blind spots and change lanes cautiously. Regardless of whether you were driving in a blind spot, you may have a valid claim,

A tire tread from the truck in front of me flew off and hit my windshield. I swerved off the road and was injured. May I still file a claim?

The truck driver and/or the trucking company are required to maintain the vehicle properly this includes the integrity of the tires. If the companies’ maintenance records are deficient or do not definitively indicate timely tire inspections and maintenance, yes, you may still be able to file a claim. Additionally, you may hold the tire manufacturer liable for a defective tire.

In times of adversity, our legal team is here for Grand Rapids truck accident victims and their families. When you have questions, you need answers. We are a powerful force ready to work for you.

Truck Accident Injuries Can Change Your Life

Life plans and long-term goals can irrevocably change following a truck accident.

Debilitating injuries such as spinal cord damage, brain injury, traumatic amputations, and severe burns will often leave a victim facing:

  • A lifelong dependence on others
  • Confinement to a wheelchair
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Loss of a limb
  • Permanent disfigurement

Is this happening to you because of another’s negligent actions— or a lack of action? If so, you need an experienced Grand Rapids truck injury law firm fighting for all the compensation you deserve. Call the award-winning Gruel Mills team today for your no-cost consultation.

Compensation Goes Beyond Medical Bills

There is a distinct difference between covering medical costs and compensating accident victims for the full value of their losses. Never overlook the financial impact of lost workplace opportunities and household productivity costs. An injured person will likely need help with household responsibilities like childcare, housekeeping, cooking, cleaning, and lawn maintenance.

Permanent disabilities often mean modifications to the home to accommodate medical equipment and the need for alternative means of transportation. If you cannot work for an extended period, you may miss opportunities for advancement in the workplace and lose benefits.

Predictable Causes of Truck Accidents In Grand Rapids

Despite strict federal and state regulations, the powers that be in the trucking industry are sometimes known for incentivizing the fast delivery of goods.

Some predictable causes of truck accidents include:

  • Speeding.
  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving and road rage
  • Reckless driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Untrained drivers
  • Unfamiliar routes
  • Unrealistic time constraints
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Fatigue
  • Hours of service violations
  • Mechanical failure
  • Road construction
  • Overloaded cargo
  • Employer negligence

All Truck Accidents Are Unique

The common types of accidents are:

Rear-end accidents

A fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 65 miles per hour needs almost the length of two football fields to stop.

Jackknife

A truck may jackknife when it loses traction with the road surface.

A rollover

Excessive speeds in sharp turns can cause a truck to roll over.

T-bone

A T-Bone or side swipe accident is often the result of a truck driver failing to yield the right of way, running a red light, or making an improper left turn.

If You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer? Choose Gruel Mills

Scott R. Melton is a Truck Accident Lawyer in Grand Rapids, MI area
Scott R. Melton, Truck Accident Lawyer in Grand Rapids

There are many moving parts to a truck accident. These cases can get quite complicated, and the maximum possible compensation often depends on the skill and expertise of the law firm representing the plaintiff.

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 and 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 local experienced 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.

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 claim consultation.

Gruel Mills – Grand Rapids Office

Campau Square Plaza Building
99 Monroe Ave NW #800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: (616) 235-5500

Client Testimonial

“Gruel Mills is made up of wonderful, honest attorneys who truly care about their clients. I have many friends who have worked with William Azkoul and Thomas Behm, and have been extremely pleased with the amount of care and professionalism they exhibited. Would highly recommend!” – Christina D.

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