Did a mechanical error cause your truck accident? Do you need help proving what happened so you can hold the right person or company responsible? The Michigan Mechanical Error Accident Lawyers at Lee Steinberg Law Firm are here to help.
Most types of mechanical errors are preventable so long as drivers properly maintain their vehicles. With this in mind, Michigan traffic accident victims can work with a lawyer to reveal what happened and place the responsibility where it belongs.
A study of more than 2 million U.S. auto crashes found that mechanical failures were a factor in about 2% of all accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls mechanical problems “critical pre-crash events” that threaten the safety of our nation’s roads.
Here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we’re the traffic accident experts who care about helping you recover from your crash. We’ve represented injured victims for more than 40 years, fighting to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
If you were in a road accident that involved a mechanical error and want to understand your legal options, please contact the Michigan Mechanical Error Accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm. Call 1-800-LEE-FREE today for a free and confidential consultation about your crash.
A mechanical error/failure is anything in a vehicle’s equipment or operation that creates a dangerous situation on the road. Some failures are unexpected, like a nail on the pavement that causes a sudden tire blowout, and some failures arise when a vehicle isn’t maintained properly, like a crash due to a vehicle having old, bald tires.
Routine maintenance can prevent many types of vehicle performance failures. For example, most vehicle manufacturers recommend oil changes every 3,000 to 10,000 miles and an inspection by a qualified auto mechanic at least every 12 months.
Trucking companies face strict rules for performing routine truck fleet maintenance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires interstate trucking companies to inspect and repair all vehicles to keep them in safe and proper condition at all times.
Here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, our Michigan mechanical error accident lawyers see a wide variety of auto accidents due to mechanical problems. Injured people reach out to us for help understanding what happened and putting the blame where it belongs. Below are some of the most common types of mechanical failures in Michigan traffic accidents.
Brake failures are some of the most common contributors to big rig accidents according to the FMCSA. The federal government requires weekly vehicle tests plus routine brake maintenance, but some companies fail to follow the rules and set the stage for dangerous accidents.
You may have a valid claim against a trucking company or independent trucker for causing your accident. There could even be a case against a truck or brake manufacturer that failed to design a product that was safe to use on the road.
Steering problems can come from broken, worn, or improperly installed parts, low or empty fluids, and driving errors. Any failure in the steering system can leave the driver unable to control their vehicle well enough to avoid an accident.
The responsible party could be the vehicle’s driver, the auto manufacturer, a trucker, a trucking company, or an auto repair shop. In the case of a trucking company, there might be business habits that contributed to the steering system failure, like overloading trucks or allowing unbalanced loads.
An engine problem is a nightmare on the road that can cause a vehicle to swerve, stop abruptly, or even catch on fire. Everyone is at risk, including people inside of the vehicle and others on the road.
Transmission wear and tear occurs naturally over time but is accelerated by unsafe maintenance practices. For example, an overloaded semi-trailer that frequently travels on steep inclines could wear through its transmission more quickly than normal. This could lead to a transmission failure that causes the truck to drive out of control.
Big trucks have front, rear, and side guards that are designed to protect trucks in crashes and prevent other vehicles from becoming wedged underneath them. When the guards are in place and installed correctly, they help truckers avoid dangerous underride accidents.
Too often, truck undercarriage guards are installed improperly or are missing altogether. They can even detach from the truck completely during driving and slam into other cars on the road.
While vehicle tires don’t necessarily have mechanical parts, they’re still prone to equipment failures. Tires can also fail due to other vehicle operation problems that put pressure on the tires and cause them to leak or blow.
When a tire blowout happens on the road, everyone nearby is at risk. A big truck will lean heavily on the blown-out tire, pulling the truck to the side and increasing the risk of a swerve, crash, or rollover.
After a crash, the vehicle’s tires can be inspected for wear and tread marks that reveal whether maintenance was an issue with the tires’ integrity. Plus, the entire vehicle can be examined to see whether issues like tire overinflation or underinflation or vehicle overloading set off the blowout and caused the accident.
Driver error plays a role in 94% of all road crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are 2,800 to 3,500 distracted driving fatalities plus over 400,000 injuries every year due to distracted driving.
When someone is too distracted to drive safely, they won’t notice or react to mechanical errors that put other people on the road at risk. Unfortunately, there’s ample evidence that Michigan drivers don’t take distracted driving seriously.
Even the smallest failure can cause a huge accident. Essential auto features like headlights, windshield wipers, brake lights, and turn signals help protect everyone on the road.
This is especially true for big trucks that spend long hours on the road and carry enormous loads. One mechanical failure in the truck’s lighting system could set off a catastrophic accident.
Having burned-out headlights is particularly dangerous. When drivers can’t see what’s coming up ahead of them, they can’t react to changing road conditions – and other drivers can’t see them either.
Windshield wipers don’t seem like a big deal until the moment you need them. What if there’s a sudden thunderstorm or a mud puddle splashes up and obscures the windshield? Being unable to see due to worn or missing wipers could cause the driver to sideswipe another car or smash into a line of stopped traffic.
Brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals are just as vital to a vehicle’s safe operation. They’re the only way for drivers to signal their intentions to others on the road. Something as simple as a burned-out turn signal could set off an accident.
Most drivers will never see a truck trailer detachment because they’re thankfully rare. When they happen, however, they’re terrifying. A truck’s entire load can detach from the cab or spill over the side of the trailer and create a massive obstacle in the road.
Big rigs carry huge loads of up to 80,000 pounds under federal law. Under certain circumstances, they can even carry up to 164,000 pounds in Michigan. Imagine this kind of load coming loose from a truck and blocking the entire highway or spilling explosive chemicals all over the roadway. Load detachments also cause dangerous jackknife collisions and rollovers.
There’s almost no limit to the types of collisions mechanical errors can cause. These unpredictable accidents can happen at any moment and leave people severely injured, which is why getting a hold of an experienced Michigan mechanical error accident lawyer quickly is important. Below is a list of common types of accidents that happen from mechanical failures.
A head-on collision is a risk when a vehicle swerves out of control due to a mechanical error. Two vehicles meet head-on and by that time, the drivers can do little to avoid a life-threatening crash.
When big semi-trailers are involved in head-on collisions, jackknifing is common. The truck folds into an angled, sliding mass of metal that can crush other vehicles in its path.
Mechanical errors often cause rear-end collisions when they involve braking and steering failures. A driver’s vehicle loses its ability to stop and maneuver correctly, leading to a rear-end crash and/or chain reaction rear-ending.
Steering problems sometimes cause sideswipes and side-impact collisions because they cause cars to swerve around wildly in traffic. Braking, engine, and transmission failures can also be culprits if they lead to t-bone crashes.
It’s a mistake to assume that a low-impact crash isn’t dangerous. A car moving at just 30 mph causes the same impact on the human body as falling out of a three-story building. This is why even minor mechanical failures can lead to major vehicle accidents.
When big, long tractor-trailers have mechanical errors, they’re more prone to rollovers than other types of vehicles. Semis, vans, SUVs, and extended-cab trucks are all at an elevated risk of rollovers due to mechanical failures.
After your accident, you’ll probably be wondering who could be at fault and who you can reasonably hold legally liable. While we can’t answer this question without speaking to you individually, below are some factors to keep in mind.
Truckers and trucking companies are highly regulated in the U.S. and can’t avoid accident claims as easily as others on the road. They’re expected to help provide a safe driving environment for everyone.
Mechanical errors still happen, though, and cause severe crashes on Michigan’s roads. Ultimately, truckers and trucking companies are often found to be at fault for crashes involving worn and neglected vehicle equipment.
Sometimes, it’s not only the equipment that’s at issue, but also the training. For example, consider a trucking company that failed to train its drivers to do equipment checks at regular intervals as required by state and federal laws. After a crash, this boils down to both a mechanical problem and a training problem.
Every component of a vehicle, down to the tiniest detail, was designed and manufactured by some company out there. A tiny piece like a motor arm that holds a windshield wiper to the body of the vehicle could fail and cause a crash.
Working with your lawyer, you might be able to hold a manufacturer liable for putting dangerous parts out in the marketplace. We can help you research recalls, legal cases, and other situations that show just how dangerous the mechanical error was.
If you try to hold a mechanic responsible for failing to maintain a vehicle correctly, they’ll probably try to avoid responsibility. You’ll need a lawyer’s help to hold them accountable, and there’s plenty of legal background to support such an action.
Mechanics who fail to follow proper standards of inspection and care – as well as shops that employ under-qualified mechanics – open themselves up to legal liability. If an auto tech failed to diagnose your vehicle correctly, didn’t do the work properly, or caused damage during the repair, you could have a strong case against them.
In Michigan traffic accidents, injured people are due first-party benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Law. This means no-fault insurance is required and every motorist must maintain a certain level of insurance in order to get vehicle plates.
Your no-fault insurance claim after an accident can cover many losses like medical costs and lost wages, but it doesn’t generally cover replacement or repair to property that was damaged. One bit of good news is that it doesn’t matter who is at fault to claim these benefits.
Michigan’s no-fault laws have changed over time. Click here to learn more about the state’s latest changes to no-fault laws and the detailed information you need to know after an accident.
Any basic Michigan no-fault insurance policy consists of three main parts: personal injury protection (PIP), personal property insurance (PPI), and residual liability insurance. Below is an explanation of what these mean.
Michigan PIP is what pays for all reasonably necessary medical expenses. There is no maximum limit, which comes as a relief for people with large medical bills. If you lost your income due to the accident, PIP will also cover up to 85% of that income for up to three years. It also provides value for the household chores you can no longer do, with some exceptions.
Michigan PPI is property coverage and pays up to $1 million in damages for harm to another person’s property, including buildings and surrounding property like bushes. It also takes care of damage that happens to parked vehicles with some limitations.
Michigan residual liability insurance is a special type of coverage that protects insured people from being sued unless a special situation applies. This coverage, broadly speaking, covers up to $20,000 for someone who is hurt or killed.
After a death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The compensation you can receive from a Michigan wrongful death suit can include costs for funeral/burial, medical bills, lost wages, loss of companionship for the survivors, and pain and suffering.
Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of information on this page? If so, the Lee Steinberg Law Firm is here to help you. Our Michigan mechanical error accident lawyers will explain your options and answer your questions about how the law works so you can use it to your best benefit.
The state of Michigan’s no-fault system is unusual and is often bewildering for people who have never made a claim. If you’re not originally from Michigan, you might be very confused about how it works. When you add this to the trauma of having an auto accident, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Reach out to the Michigan Mechanical Error Accident Lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm about using Michigan’s no-fault benefits, getting help filing an injury claim, and seeking the full and fair compensation you deserve under the law. No matter how difficult or complex your case is, we’ll work to get you the best possible results.
Stay at the scene of the accident. Call 911 for urgent assistance with injuries. Even if you do not feel injured right away after the crash, make your health a priority and seek medical treatment from a doctor or hospital.
Save your medical bills and begin a paper trail about your crash. Exchange information with the other driver and provide the basic information they need. If someone asks detailed questions, these questions should be referred to your lawyer.
Request a copy of the police report. Typically, Michigan state police or another agency will investigate the crash, interview witnesses, review the accident scene, take photographs, and capture this information in a report. Request a copy of the police report.
Take photographs and video of the accident scene as soon as possible before this valuable information is lost. Note skid marks, debris, the weather, nearby road signs, and other things that relate to your accident.
What Damages are Available in My Michigan Mechanical Error Case?
Depending on what types of damages you have suffered, your total level of compensation could be quite large. Michigan truck accident damages are a combination of economic and non-economic damages.
Your economic damages hold clear monetary value directly related to the accident. Your lawyer can help you make a calculation that includes things like:
- Medical bills
- Therapy bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
Your non-economic damages are more intangible but are just as important. These are the quality of life issues that go beyond your medical bills and extend into the personal areas of your life, like loss of hobbies, relationships, and enjoyment. This may include:
- Emotional distress and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of companionship with your spouse and others
- Anxiety and depression
This is a life-changing experience that has impacted you in many ways. Keep a journal that shows how you’re coping with the changes in your life because this could be valuable evidence to demonstrate your losses.
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It can be difficult to know whether you need a lawyer and whether a lawyer has what it takes to take on your case. This is a very specific area of the law and not every lawyer knows how to help you make a strong case for compensation after a mechanical failure causes an accident.
Any good lawyer should welcome the opportunity to discuss how their firm works, explain what your options are, and preview what you can expect during the process. Here are some important questions to ask:
- How long have you been an accident lawyer in Michigan?
- Do you handle mechanical error/failure cases?
- Do you know how to help me with a no-fault/PIP claim?
- What kind of evidence would you find that backs up my case?
- How will you help me get to the bottom of what happened in my accident?
- Do you have a good reputation here in Michigan with judges and courts?
- Could you share what kinds of results you’ve secured for clients in the past?
Here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we have outstanding credentials and a rock-solid reputation in Michigan. We’ve been in the law field for decades, so we know what it’s like to help people in your situation. Our goal is to help you plan for a better future.
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 Michigan mechanical error accident lawyer nearest to you in Michigan. You’ll receive an evaluation of your case entirely free of charge.