Blind spot accidents are an ever-present danger on Michigan’s roads. Every vehicle has blind spots, especially big rigs with long semi-trailers.
Have you ever had another vehicle momentarily disappear from your sight as it slid into your blind spot? This experience is particularly common for truckers who spend hours on the road, rolling across Detroit and Michigan’s highways with enormous blind spots around their vehicles.
Here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we’re Michigan blind spot truck accident experts. For more than 40 years, we’ve represented injured people who were hurt in blind spot multi-vehicle accidents, chain-reaction truck crashes, and more.
To learn more about your legal options, please contact the Michigan blind spot truck accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm. Call 1-800-LEE-FREE today for a free and confidential consultation.
What is a Blind Spot Truck Accident?
Blind spot accidents typically occur when one vehicle moves into an area that’s invisible to another driver due to the positions of mirrors, vehicle frames, and other obstructions. Although truck drivers are supposed to check their blind spots before making lane changes and other movements in traffic, they don’t always do so and accidents happen.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 800,000 blind spot accidents every year, and one of the top causes is driver distraction. In some cases, the driver completely fails to check their blind spot. In other cases, the collision is what the NHTSA calls a “looked but did not see” crash.
A driver can be paying attention in traffic and still set off a blind spot accident. For example, they might be distracted by another driver’s aggressive lane changes and swerve into someone in their blind spot. Or they might become confused in a construction area and not realize someone is in their blind spot, merging into their lane.
Blind spot accidents are frequently associated with big tractor-trailers because these trucks have huge blind spots. The average big rig has four large zones of blind spot space extending 30 to 50 feet around the truck’s body.
What Causes Michigan Blind Spot Trucking Accidents?
It’s important to understand that driver error is a factor in 94% of all road crashes. After a blind spot truck crash, the person who caused it might think, “It was just a mistake!”
NHTSA research shows 41% of all vehicle crashes involve driver recognition errors, like blind spot crashes where people fail to recognize that someone is in their blind spot. Also, 33% of accidents involve decision-making errors and another 11% occur due to operation/performance errors where people try to adjust their driving but fail to do so quickly enough.
These crashes also arise due to sudden and unexpected circumstances that are hard to explain until a post-crash investigation occurs. For example, a blind spot truck collision might happen because a trucker is experiencing poor road conditions, flying debris, or a truck with a blown-out tire.
Plus, distracted driving is a type of negligent driving that contributes to many blind spot accidents. Drivers are distracted by passengers, pets, food, texting, navigation apps, and much more. Even professional big-rig drivers can easily be distracted by the in-cab features and apps that are required for their work.
Right now on our nation’s roads, there are about 2,800 to 3,500 distracted driving deaths per year plus over 400,000 annual injuries. This means every day in the U.S. 8 people die due to distracted driving – and not just drivers! Pedestrians, scooter riders, and many others die due to distracted driving, too.
Here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we’ve found that all of the following factors are top contributors to Michigan blind spot truck accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Exceeding the posted speed limit
- DUI and DWI, meaning driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy driving
- Bad weather and slick roads
- Old, cracked, and degraded road surfaces
- Truck equipment, component, and maintenance failures
- Collisions with wildlife
Avoiding Blind Spot Truck Collisions in Michigan
Many blind spot truck collisions are avoidable and can be averted by safe, cautious driving. Here are some tips for preventing blind spot truck accidents while you drive:
- Other drivers shouldn’t hover in blind spots, especially those of big commercial trucks.
- Make passes quickly and don’t linger in someone’s blind spot.
- Pass on the left, not the right.
- After a pass, don’t dart into another lane unexpectedly.
- Stay away from other drivers who move erratically or aggressively.
- Don’t tailgate.
Many newer trucks have built-in blind spot detectors and alarms. These features are an enormous help in preventing blind spot truck accidents, but it’s important not to over-rely on them. Built-in blind spot detection features should be used in addition to checking your blind spot, not instead of checking it.
How Do Blind Spot Trucking Accidents Work With Michigan’s No-Fault Law?
If you’re an injured victim of a blind spot truck accident in Michigan, you’re entitled to protections known as first-party benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Law. Every motorist in Michigan must hold this insurance, including truckers.
By starting a no-fault insurance claim, you could cover your medical costs and lost wages, regardless of fault. Vehicle repairs are not usually covered.
There are three main parts to one of these claims:
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Personal property protection (PPI)
- Residual liability insurance (bodily injury and property damage)
Michigan PIP protection pays for your reasonably necessary medical expenses. The limit depends on the amount of PIP coverage purchased. This means the car insurance company is responsible for paying hospital and doctor bills. In addition, you can claim 85% of your lost wages for up to three years.
Michigan PPI involves property and pays up to $1 million in damage. It applies when a car or truck damages non-vehicular property, unless it’s a parked car. Consider PPI when there’s damage to your parked truck or car.
Residual liability insurance is a type of coverage that provides protection in case you or someone driving your car is at-fault for causing an accident that leads to injuries. The default coverage amount is $250,000 per person or $500,000 per accident. However, the lowest a person can choose to obtain in bodily injury is $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident.
There’s also another possibility to consider if the accident involved a death. Surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit here in Michigan. Compensation generally covers funeral and burial costs, medical bills that arose due to the person’s injuries, the family’s lost wages, and the enormous loss of companionship for the survivors.
Why a Michigan Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyer is Important
If you’re wondering whether you need a lawyer for your blind spot truck accident, here are some reasons to contact one as soon as possible. First, consider that these accidents are complicated and often involve numerous parties.
When your accident involves a trucking company, things get even more complicated. Whether you’re the trucker or someone hit by a trucker, you could get overwhelmed with all of the terminology involved and pressure from multiple parties. Your lawyer prevents you from accidentally doing or saying something to harm your case.
Plus, Michigan’s unique no-fault system is often confusing for first-time claimants. It’s important to have a lawyer by your side who can advise you on how no-fault accident claims work and how you can get the most out of your claim.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm can present your options, help you understand Michigan’s no-fault benefits after a blind spot truck accident, and assist you with your truck accident claim to ensure you’re pursuing the maximum benefits.
Common Injuries from Blind Spot Truck Accidents
Blind spot truck accidents can be fatal or cause significant bodily injuries. If a truck smashes into another vehicle, rolls over, or even catches fire as a result of the accident, you could have severe injuries to deal with.
- Broken bones
- Torn and stretched ligaments
- Hip and pelvic damage
- Burns and scars
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back injury
- Spinal injury
- Herniated and bulging discs
- Injuries to the joints, including a torn rotator cuff or knee/ACL
Also, consider your emotional injuries that involve psychological damage. Did you know traffic accidents are a leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? You could have emotional effects for years to come.
If you’re concerned about the cost of your medical treatments, this is another good reason to talk to a lawyer. The accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help you build a case for the impact of the accident on your life and family, increasing the odds of a positive outcome.
What Should I Do After a Michigan Blind Spot Truck Accident?
Your next steps after a truck accident can impact your health and financial stability. Here are the most important steps you should take after a blind spot truck accident.
- Call 911 if anyone is injured.
- Exchange information with the other driver and give basic info to the police.
- Notify the involved trucking company about the accident.
- Take photos and videos, if possible.
- Seek a medical evaluation after the crash, even if you don’t feel injured.
- Save all of your medical bills.
- Request a copy of the police report.
- Hire a qualified accident lawyer and refer questions to them.
Your outcome could depend on whether you choose an experienced and aggressive Michigan blind spot truck accident attorney. Insurance companies send accident experts to investigate and wrap up claims quickly. Don’t miss your chance to build a strong case.
What Damages are Available in My Blind Spot Truck Accident Case?
Detroit and Michigan truck accidents can cause massive losses if injured victims don’t handle their claims properly. But your total compensation could be huge if you handle it correctly and do things that maximize the amount you can claim.
Broadly speaking, your total damages include a sum of your economic and non-economic damages, meaning your monetary and non-monetary losses. Although truck repairs aren’t automatically covered in the state of Michigan, other economic damages usually are covered by an accident claim.
Your economic damages for a blind spot truck accident may include:
- Past medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Home therapy and rehabilitation bills
- Future therapy and medications
- Home modifications
- Medical equipment
- Lost wages/loss of earning capacity
Your non-economic damages can be challenging to prove but could be large and valuable. These are the non-monetary losses to your quality of life and your family’s well-being. Work with your lawyer to assess the full scope of these non-economic losses.
Your non-economic damages could include:
- Anxiety and depression from the accident
- Emotional distress
- Your loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- The loss of intimacy and companionship
- Pain and suffering
Make sure you place an adequate value on your deep suffering that’s directly attributable to the truck accident. Discuss it with your lawyer and give it the attention it deserves, because you’ll only have one shot at getting the compensation you deserve to heal and move forward with your life.
Helpful Blind Spot Truck Accident Resources:
Free case evaluation by phone: 1-800-LEE-FREE
Frequently Asked Questions About Blind Spot Truck Accident Cases
Below, we’ve answered many of the most basic and frequently asked questions about blind spot truck accidents. Please talk to your lawyer at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm for more specific advice.
Q: How long does a Michigan blind spot truck accident case typically take
A: Most of these truck accident cases take months to resolve, but you’re probably not looking at something that will take years. The trucking company will be eager to get things resolved and move forward. Generally speaking, arranging a settlement for a blind spot truck accident takes less time than litigating a case that goes all the way to court.
Michigan’s PIP benefits can also take some time to arrange. These cases are heavily investigated to prevent fraud and abuse of the system. It’s a good idea to be patient because the payout could be well worth it in the end.
Q: My doctor told me to wait before starting a legal claim. Should I wait?
A: No. From a legal perspective, it’s important to move forward and avoid missing legal deadlines. Your doctor has your health in mind, and you may indeed need quite a while to heal physically and emotionally from your injuries. But please don’t allow a doctor alone to give you an assessment of a legal situation with a blind spot truck accident.
Only your lawyer can give you a proper legal analysis of your rights after a blind spot truck accident. Keep in mind that doctors sometimes have mixed motivations like preserving their reputation with their hospital or avoiding bad publicity. By contrast, your lawyer is on your side.
Q: What if it’s taking a long time to heal from my blind spot truck accident?
A: Some injuries require a long recovery period, especially those from a catastrophic trucking accident. If your injuries are extensive or are taking a long time to heal, your lawyer might suggest speaking with your doctor and waiting until the point of maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which you’re healed or unlikely to get better, and it’s essential to reach it before moving forward with your case.
Q: What is the legal deadline for a blind spot truck accident claim?
A: Here in Michigan, we have a three-year statute of limitations for claiming bodily injury and other damages in vehicle accidents. But sometimes the timeframe is much shorter because medical bills and wage loss might need to be claimed within just one year. Don’t miss this essential deadline. Talk to your lawyer as soon as possible.
Q: What if my blind spot truck accident also involves a pedestrian, cyclist, or someone else?
A: Good news: You can still receive help from the Lee Steinberg Law Firm regardless of who the other party is and you’re likely to still be eligible to receive benefits through Michigan PIP and insurance. Sometimes people are wary of pursuing blind spot truck accident cases involving pedestrians, for example, but while a pedestrian has the right of way in a marked crosswalk, they aren’t automatically free of fault in all situations. Ask a traffic accident lawyer for insight.
Q: Did Michigan’s no-fault law change recently regarding blind spot truck accidents?
A: Michigan’s no-fault law is always changing, and the state publishes the new information online. The full language of the law is long and complicated, so contact the Lee Steinberg Law Firm for help understanding it. We stay current on traffic and trucking laws so we can provide insight that helps you make good decisions using current information.
Q: What if I’m not sure I can afford a lawyer for my blind spot truck accident case?
A: At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we take no fees until we win your case to give you time to arrange your finances. This also means the costs of your legal representation will come out of your award so you owe nothing until your case is over.
Please don’t avoid making a legal claim merely because you’re concerned about making a payment. We’re here to help you stay financially stable.
Q: What will a lawyer do to help my blind spot truck accident case?
A: Good question! An experienced Michigan blind spot truck accident lawyer understands the details of the law and can evaluate your situation to determine your best chances of success. That means your financial compensation is maximized. Plus, they help lower your stress at a difficult time in your life. Call 1-800-LEE-FREE for a free discussion about your options.
Things to Ask a Michigan Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyer
This is a very specific area of the law. Does your lawyer have what it takes to succeed? Interview various candidates and ask how their firm works. At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we welcome questions about truck accidents like:
- How long have you been a Michigan truck accident lawyer?
- Do you handle truck blind spot cases specifically?
- How is your reputation with Michigan judges and courts?
- How will you help me with a blind spot truck accident no-fault/PIP claim?
- Can you help me find evidence that backs up my blind spot truck accident case?
- How will you help me investigate what happened in the accident?
- What kinds of results have you gotten for blind spot truck accident clients in the past?
Here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we have solid credentials when it comes to representing large truck accident clients. We’ve been working in the Michigan law field for decades and we understand how challenging it is to be in your situation after an accident. We’ll be by your side as you pursue a successful outcome.
Please contact the Lee Steinberg Law Firm today at 1-800-LEE-FREE or use our free online consultation form to get in touch with a qualified, experienced blind spot truck accident lawyer nearest to you in Michigan. You will receive an evaluation of your case entirely free of charge.