Lawyers for Truck Accident victims of Grand Rapids area

Every day, passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists share the road with semi tractor-trailer “big rigs,” delivery trucks, cargo vans, moving trucks, garbage trucks, U-Hauls, and other utility vehicles. These types of vehicles are necessary for modern life, but require special skills to drive and they can present significant dangers to others if they are not driven with care. These vehicles have large blind spots, take much longer to stop due to their weight, may be carrying dangerous or unsecured cargo, and can jackknife or tip over.

If you or your family are involved in a collision with these types of trucks, you will understand the devastation that can result from a collision with a large truck. Collisions involving semi trucks or other utility vehicles often cause enormous physical, financial, and emotional consequences. Because of the frequently complex laws, business arrangements, and insurance policies governing these vehicles, getting legal recourse for someone else’s mistake can be complicated and difficult.

At Gruel Mills, our lawyers proudly serve West Michigan in holding trucking companies responsible when negligent practices lead to serious injury or death. The legal team at Gruel Mills has more than 35 years of experience taking on difficult car and truck injury claims for people in communities around Grand Rapids and throughout the state. 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 we can’t guarantee any particular outcome for your case, 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 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 in these areas.

All drivers, but especially truck and van drivers, must pay particular attention to  navigate these populated areas with cars parked on the street, multiple driveways, crosswalks, and school zones.

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. Businesses, manufacturers, and other industries are served by freight trucks and delivery vehicles, which may need to maneuver into tight spaces to make deliveries.

Dangerous trucks on the highways

A semi-truck attached to an empty trailer weighs in at about 35,000 pounds. Fully loaded semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds in most places under federal regulations. This is twenty times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. Yet, Michigan has an even higher limit for gross truck weights, allowing trucks to weigh up to 164,000 pounds. This is the highest truck weight limit in the country. These heavy trucks primarily transport metal, petroleum, lumber, fertilizer, milk, and crops. Given the sheer size disparity, catastrophic injuries are to be expected when a passenger car or a motorcycle is in an accident with a semi truck and trailer.

Local Attorney for Truck Accident near Grand Rapids, MI area

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.

Accident Reconstruction

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:

  • 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

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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