Detroit semi-truck accidents are some of the most deadly and complex. Not only are the trucks involved significantly larger than most other vehicles on the road, but commercial truck drivers also have their own set of rules to follow, which can make these cases more complicated.
In 2020, over 4,000 people died in large semi-truck accidents. Unfortunately, the victims are almost always those in smaller passenger vehicles, not the truck occupants. This is because commercial trucks often weigh 20-30 times more than the average passenger vehicle, meaning they can do a lot more damage.
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, or anywhere else in Michigan, our Detroit truck accident lawyer at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help you seek appropriate and full financial compensation. You have the right to have your medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits paid for by the car insurance company. In addition, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress against all parties responsible for the accident.
Detroit Semi-Truck Laws You Should Know
As mentioned above, in addition to regular traffic laws, commercial truck drivers have additional rules and regulations to follow to maintain safety. Semi-trucks are significantly larger than other vehicles and can sometimes transport dangerous materials. As such, truck drivers and trucking companies must take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their drivers and others on the road around them.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a strict set of regulations for commercial truck drivers and their employers, which include:
- Limited hours of service (HOS)
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Pre-trip safety inspection checks
- Cargo securement regulations
- Weight limits
- Strict record keeping
- Reflective tape requirements for visibility
There are also Detroit semi-truck laws as set forth by the state of Michigan. These laws primarily cover size and weight restrictions for commercial trucks, which are as follows:
- Vehicles weighing more than 80,000 pounds must have a permit.
- Vehicles that are more than 13’ 6” in height must have a permit.
Commercial truck drivers often get paid based on how many shipments they deliver. They can work independently, as a part of a small fleet, or they can drive for major companies. Either way, they are responsible for delivering goods from one location to another, and the more trips they can make during a shift, the more they get paid, as they get paid a percentage of each shipment they deliver.
This means truck drivers often ignore traffic laws and regulations to make as many deliveries as possible. But their negligent actions can lead to accidents.
Some of the most common causes of Detroit truck accidents include negligent actions such as:
If you are injured in a Detroit semi-truck accident, liability can play a significant role in the outcome of your case. You and your lawyer must do everything you can to ensure the right party is held accountable if you want to recover a full and fair settlement for the damages you have suffered.
To do this, you must prove that another party acted negligently, such as a negligent truck driver who was speeding, driving recklessly, or ignoring any of the regulations set forth by the FMCSA.
However, there is more than just the driver of the truck who can be held responsible for causing a bad truck accident in Detroit or Wayne County. The employer of the truck driver can also be held responsible. Under Michigan law, the principal (employer) is responsible for the bad actions of its agent (employee) through a doctrine called respondent superior.
In addition, the owner of the truck itself may also be held responsible and sued for compensation. Under the Owners’ Liability Statute, MCL 257.401, the owner of a truck is liable for the negligent operation of the truck driver so long as the owner gave the driver permission or consent to use the vehicle.
Yes. Detroit semi-truck accident victims can get no-fault benefits if they are injured in a crash involving a commercial truck.
Michigan requires all drivers to purchase no-fault auto insurance, and the benefits offered through this insurance policy are provided no matter who you get into an accident with and no matter who was at fault.
The personal injury protection (PIP) benefits will cover:
- All necessary medical costs for your lifetime (up to the maximum coverage selected)
- Wage loss for up to three years
- Replacement services for up to three years
Coverage options for PIP insurance include:
- Unlimited coverage
- $500,0000 per person per accident
- $250,000 per person per accident
- $50,000 per person per accident
It’s important to note, however, that while these no-fault benefits are available to victims of Detroit truck accidents, these cases can still be challenging and you could walk away with a reduced settlement that is less than you deserve if you aren’t careful.
There are lots of rules and regulations that make truck accident cases more complex, which means arguing your case and ensuring the right party is held accountable can be more difficult. For this reason, it is crucial that you work with an experienced Detroit semi-truck accident lawyer who knows what it takes to handle these kinds of cases.
As part of any Detroit truck accident case or any Michigan auto insurance claim, you must obtain the police traffic accident report. The Detroit Police Department makes them available to you for a fee by online purchase at this link.
Police reports play an important role in Detroit truck accident cases. A police report is an official document that can verify what happened when you and your lawyer are arguing your case and attempting to prove who was at fault. It can help verify key factors, such as injuries, damages, where and when the accident occurred, and even who was at fault.
Keep in mind, if the Lee Steinberg Law Firm represents you, we will purchase the report on your behalf and make a copy available to you.
Below are some resources that can help should you find yourself or a loved one the victim of a Detroit semi-truck accident:
- An Explanation of No-Fault Insurance in Michigan
- Trauma & PTSD Support Groups in the Detroit Area
- Driver Education in the Detroit Area
- Truck Driver Education in the Detroit Area
If you are injured in a truck accident in Michigan, a Detroit truck accident lawyer can help.
Trucking companies will be prepared to fight hard, and so should you. These companies have complex accident policies and powerful insurance companies working for them. As such, proving they or their driver is the one to blame can be challenging.
You will need to work with an experienced attorney who knows what it takes to fight against trucking companies and their insurance to ensure you get the full and fair settlement you deserve.
For over 40 years, The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has helped injured victims win their cases to collect the compensation that they need and deserve. We care about the health and well-being of our clients. The results of a Detroit semi-truck accident can be devastating—let us help you get the benefits you need to recover and move on as comfortably as possible.
Please call Lee Steinberg and the Detroit semi-truck accident lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about your accident. You pay nothing until we settle your Michigan personal injury case.