Nearly 4,000 people are killed in semi-truck accidents each year, amounting to eleven deaths in day in the United States. In addition, there are 100,000 injuries related to truck accidents annually. Though the number of fatalities each year has decreased over the past several years, the incredible danger posed to others on the road remains a serious concern.
Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg are Michigan truck accident experts, including wrongful death cases. We have represented truck accident victims for over 40 years. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck crash, we will fight to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve under the law.
Truck Accidents Cause Serious Injury
The average car in the United States weights around 5,000 pounds. By contrast, the maximum legal weight for a semi-truck is 80,000 pounds, raising the stakes in a vehicle accident substantially. Fatalities are much more common in truck accidents than in accidents involving only cars for a few reasons. The most notable is the sheer difference in weight and power. Another reason for the disparity is the height of a truck and the likelihood of a car being crushed underneath the truck in the case of a collision. In addition to a high risk of death, truck accidents can cause severe injury, including:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Amputation Injuries
- Severe Burns, Scarring, or Disfigurement
- Back Injury
- Neck Injury
- Broken Bones
- Internal Organ Damage
Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
The top three reasons for semi-truck accidents are driver fatigue, poor or problematic truck maintenance, and distracted driving. Despite changes to regulations on trucker’s driving and rest hours, tired truck drivers remain the most common danger to other vehicles and people. Other major causes of truck accidents include drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, brake failure, overloaded trailers, jack-knifing, driver error, wide turns, poor conditions and/or visibility, tire blowouts, failure to yield, broken warning devices and/or safety features, override accidents (where a car is forced under the trailer of a semi), and a lack of driver training.
Truck Accidents and Michigan No-Fault Law
Regardless of the cause, victims of truck accidents are entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, also known as first-party benefits, under Michigan No-Fault Law. These benefits cover reasonably necessary accident-related medical expenses, up to three years of lost wages, replacement services (to cover household chores or childcare the victim can no longer complete) attendant care such as in-home nursing, medical mileage, and vehicle and/or home modifications.
Third-party claims are also available to victims if the other driver was at-fault. These claims are for pain and suffering damages and can be quite significant in truck accident cases due to the large commercial insurance policies carried by most trucking companies. With the possibility of large settlements, the insurance providers for trucking companies fight aggressively to limit a victim’s compensation. For this reason, it is advisable and reasonable to retain a lawyer as soon as possible after being injured in a truck accident.
When someone is killed in a truck accident, surviving family members often file a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation received from a wrongful death suit can include costs for funeral and burial, medical costs, lost wages, and pain, suffering, and loss of companionship for the survivors.
Contact Us Now About Your Truck Accident
Working with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve can be frustrating and confusing. We can help. Please call Lee Free and speak to our truck accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your truck accident case.