Some trucks on the highway weigh more than 80,000 pounds. The sheer size and weight of a truck makes it common for a crash to result in catastrophic injuries or a tragic death. Even when a truck is empty, it requires more room to stop compared to a passenger car, and if a truck driver is inattentive for even a moment, a serious collision can occur. If you are involved in a truck accident, it is important for your attorney to investigate all of the parties who may be responsible. These may include not only the truck driver but also the trucking company and manufacturers or suppliers that provide defective parts. You should consult the Detroit truck accident attorneys at Feldheim & Wilenkin to explore your options. Our injury attorneys have 60 years of experience guiding victims through each step of the legal process.Seeking Damages through a Negligence Claim
In Michigan, there is a no-fault insurance system in which drivers are required to have insurance with no-fault PIP benefits. They are not able to sue another driver unless they sustain certain significant injuries. The no-fault system applies in a truck accident case. However, in case of substantial injuries or wrongful death, accident victims can potentially pursue a first-party claim with their own insurance to recover medical expenses, medical mileage, and replacement services, and they can also file a third-party claim for pain and suffering against the other parties involved on grounds of negligence.
The truck driver must have acted carelessly in some way to hold him or her responsible. To prevail on a claim of negligence against the truck driver, you need to establish the truck driver's duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. In many cases, the trucking company is also at fault. Trucking companies in Michigan are required to carry insurance limits of at least $750,000. Others at fault may be manufacturers, employers, shippers, and those that load the truck.
Michigan has adopted the federal government's commercial truck driving laws, promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These rules and regulations govern weight, cargo, licensing, alcohol and drug testing, background checks, hours of service, repairs, and inspections. For example, under the FMCSA, each truck driver needs to keep a log book of the hours he or she works and any problems with the truck, driving conditions, or weather. The log book details the truck driver's activity over a 24-hour period. The truck driver's employer needs to make sure the log books are accurate. In some cases, truck drivers falsify these log books or keep two sets of books, and it is important to have an attorney who has the dedication to find out the truth.
If a trucking company does not make sure that its employee keeps accurate books, it may be liable under a theory of negligent supervision. If the trucking company (or driver) has failed to follow the adopted FMCSA regulations, it may be liable under a theory of negligence per se, which may make it easier to recover pain and suffering damages.Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Detroit
At Feldheim & Wilenkin, we represent injured people across Michigan. Our Detroit truck accident lawyers are dedicated to asserting the rights of victims against those who have harmed them. We represent people in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties, as well as throughout the state of Michigan. Call our car accident attorneys at 248.737.0700 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation.