Out of the roughly 245,000 traffic crashes in Michigan in 2020, 11,344 (4.6%) involved heavy trucks and buses. This figure does not count small trucks or vans, which would easily bump these statistics higher. It is a known fact that when semi-trucks crash they can cause massive damage, especially when they hit cars, motorcycles, or pedestrians.
Tragically, because of the sheer size of trucks, oftentimes this damage results in serious injury or fatality, which can leave your family reeling in the fallout. Due to the shortage of truck drivers and the pressure companies are under to make deliveries on time and keep supply chains running, this can negatively impact a driver’s ability to drive safely since they may speed, engage in distracted driving, or use medications/drugs to help them stay awake.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, it is important to call a Michigan truck accident lawyer right away. The caring and compassionate personal injury lawyers at Matz Injury Law promise to stand with you and work to see you receive compensation and justice for your injuries and losses. Call our law office at 866-226-6833 to speak with a member of our legal team to discuss the particular details of your case and receive a free consultation.
Any type of motor vehicle accident has the potential to lead to serious injury or wrongful death. Sadly, truck crashes commonly result in the most devastating endings. Even more distressing is that many accidents occurring in Houghton can actually be prevented if people paid heed and gave the right attention to the following types of situations.
Reckless driving emerges in many forms, but the most common types include speeding, driving while intoxicated, DUI (driving under the influence), tailgating, improper passing, and ignoring traffic signals.
Distracted driving is also reckless, but needs mention of its own since it continues to be a persistent cause of accidents. According to statistics, distracted driving accidents by collision truck drivers are 15% – 90% more than non-collision drivers. The most common distractions are texting/dialing, speaking on the phone, eating, drinking, grooming, and smoking. There are federal rules about distracted driving behaviors, but unfortunately, drivers still break them.
Poorly maintained roads can lead to semi-truck accidents and truck collisions. Conditions such as potholes, confusing traffic detours, large animals hit by vehicles and left on the road, confusing traffic signals, and construction-related confusion can lead to accidents. Unexpected detours can also lead to driving errors that lead to accidents being made.
Houghton weather can be rough, especially during the coldest months of winter. Weather easily contributes to hazardous road conditions, especially if roads are poorly managed or not maintained as well as they could be. Delays to plow and salt roads can lead to slippery conditions where large vehicles, such as tractor-trailer trucks, cannot stop once they hit the snow or ice.
One does not usually expect that poor cargo loading would cause a truck accident. Unfortunately, it happens more than you would think, especially if the truck is traveling on a Houghton road at high speeds. Improperly loaded cargo can cause trucks to topple over, let cargo loose to fall onto the vehicles behind the truck, or spilling heavy debris onto the road to create unavoidable obstacles for drivers to navigate around. Even if they avoid the debris, they could still crash into railings, other motor vehicles, or other objects in their way.
United States federal law requires truck operators to follow specific guidelines when driving and how many hours they log. Unfortunately, due to pressures of getting routes done, adding extra routes, or their employers simply pushing them to ignore the rules to get more deliveries completed, the fatigue drivers often suffer can lead to tragic accidents.
In the state of Michigan, injured parties have three years to file a personal injury claim. This statute of limitations begins on the date the accident occurred. For families to file a wrongful death claim, the three years start on the day their loved one passed away.
It is important to keep in mind, that Michigan is a no-fault state, which means accident victims are first required to file a claim with their own insurance company within a year of the accident before they are permitted to pursue a personal injury accident lawsuit.
If you are involved in a Houghton auto accident, there are two types of damages you are eligible to pursue, depending upon the specifics of your case. Michigan law stipulates injured parties can file a claim for economic damages and non-economic damages. The damages you may be entitled to pursue will depend upon the specifics of the truck accident you were involved in and the extent of the injuries caused to you or your family members.
Economic damages refer to the actual financial losses you suffered that can be directly linked to the accident and able to be easily calculated. These damages include your medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, surgeries, permanent disabilities, any lost future income, and property damage to your vehicle.
If these expenses exceed the amount your insurance coverage offers, you have the right to file a claim against the truck driver, truck company, manufacturer of the truck, or any other identifiable parties responsible for negligence or recklessness.
Another potential avenue you can pursue damages is for non-economic damages. These damages include pain and suffering (both physical and mental) and other not easily calculated losses you have suffered. Michigan does not place a cap on the amount of damages you can pursue. You will, however, need to convince a jury what your suffering is worth to receive non-economic awards for damages.
By working with a Houghton truck accident attorney who is well-versed in Michigan personal injury and insurance law, you increase your chances of receiving a settlement or being awarded financial compensation if you suffered a car or motorcycle accident due to a truck accident.
While you are legally permitted to speak to an insurance adjuster, we usually advise accident victims against doing so. You are not obligated to talk to them, no matter how many times they call you or pressure you for information.
Insurance adjusters do not work for you or try to help you. Their job is to either get you to admit fault (reducing their liability) or to accept a lowball settlement. Neither option benefits you. When you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer, they can handle the conversations with insurance adjusters and shield you from the pressure they will undoubtedly try to place on you.
Many injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries, are not as easily seen as lacerations or broken bones. It may take time to diagnose serious injuries to the head, back, and neck which means you may need more treatment, surgeries, or rehabilitation than initially thought. Insurance companies do not care nor will they take your needs into consideration when they try to settle an injury claim.
By speaking to an attorney before you answer an insurance adjuster’s call, you can obtain sound legal advice before thinking lowball options is the only option you will get.
In the aftermath of a Houghton truck accident, you will want to obtain as much evidence and documentation as possible. If too injured or otherwise unable to collect crash information, an attorney can do this for you if you contact one as soon as possible after the accident. Your attorney will meticulously comb through the particulars of your case, gather any missing evidence or documentation, and determine what your personal injury claim may be worth.
Another benefit to hiring a Michigan personal injury attorney after experiencing a crash with a truck driver is that they can serve as the go-between for you and insurance companies that are not looking out for your best interests. They can absorb the stress associated with speaking to adjusters, along with making certain they do not take advantage of your distress and cause you to lose the right to the amount of compensation you deserve.
The personal injury attorneys at Matz Injury Law have been steadily protecting Houghton accident victims for several decades. Advocating for our clients is a high priority for our law firm because we do not like to see people suffer at the hands of another person’s negligence or reckless behavior. Furthermore, we do not like to see insurance companies blatantly take advantage of accident victims.
The attorneys at our law office are experienced at winning, having earned over $300 million for our clients in their injury cases through settlements and verdicts. Our fee is 22%, not the oft-cited 33%, of any recovery or settlement we obtain for you.
If you are ready to discuss your case or learn more about our other legal practice areas, call Matz Injury Law. You can contact us via our phone number 866-226-6833 or complete our online contact form. A member of our team will quickly get back to you. Our promise to you is to provide sound legal advice and work hard to get you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve to help cover your medical bills and any other losses your family has suffered.
Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.
The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.
We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.
We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.
All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.
At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.