Aside from being the state capital, Lansing is well-known for its rich automotive history. Ever heard of Rosie the Riveter? She was, in fact, based on a Lansing woman, Geraldine Doyle. It’s no wonder why this city boasts so many annual visitors. Yet, with increased traffic comes the possibility of severe accidents, especially truck accidents. Semi-trucks can weigh over 10,000 pounds, and that weight is especially felt when a car driver collides with one of these massive vehicles. With that much mass, truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of negligence by a truck driver or trucking company in Lansing, you should seek the compensation that you deserve. However, it is important to note that not only are insurance companies well-funded, but they, too, have experienced attorneys that know how to inhibit your rights. To gain fair compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering, hire the Matz Injury Law truck accident attorneys serving Lansing residents. Our truck accident lawyers have years of experience representing Lansing truck accident victims in injury claims and lawsuits throughout the state of Michigan. Call our law office at 866-226-6833 for a free consultation so you can begin your path to recovery.
When a semi-truck collides with a driver, this is often the result of unsafe driving. Truck drivers, even on the job, are just as susceptible to driving errors as others on the road. Truckers can cause accidents due to a variety of reasons.
Michigan law defines “reckless driving” as the operation of a motor vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In Lansing, this is no different. This definition applies to the actual offense of reckless driving, which could be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the harm caused. In truck accident cases, “reckless driving” can include several serious violations like speeding, running red lights or stop signs, and trying to pass another vehicle unlawfully.
In Michigan, drivers are prohibited from using handheld mobile devices while driving. Even before the popularity of smartphones phones, though, distracted drivers caused hundreds of car accidents yearly. Truck drivers are no different. If truckers take their eyes off the road for even a second to check their phone, they can cause catastrophic bodily injury to anyone they hit.
Did you know that Lansing averages roughly 45 inches of snow each year? Poor road conditions like these can cause all kinds of motor vehicle accidents. Lansing’s icy roads are incredibly dangerous for truckers. Such conditions could cause one vehicle to swerve into another. Inadequate road maintenance could create potholes and other hazards.
Lansing is no stranger to bad weather. Rain, snow, sleet, and other bad weather can cause visibility problems and make the road extra dangerous. Tractor-trailer wheels can throw water and ice onto vehicles behind them, creating further hazards.
Many 18-wheeler accidents are the result of improper cargo loading:
Either situation can cause severe Lansing auto accidents.
If a person is employed as a truck driver, they are expected to maintain a tight schedule. This results in long and tiresome shifts. As a driver grows more fatigued, they become a danger to those around them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers that limit the total amount of time they may drive before they must rest. However, it is difficult to have trucking companies truly enforce these rules. Many might completely ignore them altogether.
In Michigan, you must file a truck accident lawsuit within the timeframe allotted by the statute of limitations. This is three years of the date of the accident. If you do not file by this deadline, the court is highly likely to dismiss your case, and you will not receive compensation for your injuries.
Michigan’s no-fault law, which allows you to recover compensation from your own insurance company no matter who was at fault in the accident, also sets a time limit. You must make a claim within one year of the accident in order to receive no-fault insurance benefits from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Many personal injury cases require you to prove that someone is at fault for your injuries. However, if your accident occurred in Lansing, this process would be different. Michigan’s no-fault law allows you to recover compensation for your injuries regardless of who was at fault.
After a truck accident, you may recover damages from your own insurance policy’s PIP coverage. This should provide you with damages to cover:
If your damages exceed your PIP policy limits and you meet certain other criteria, you may be able to make a claim against the at-fault motorist. You can make a claim against their insurance provider. In the event that the other driver is not insured, you may be able to make a claim on your own insurance if you have uninsured motorist coverage. This is the same kind of insurance coverage that helps you get compensation after a hit-and-run accident. Your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If that does not succeed, you may have to file a lawsuit.
After a truck crash in Lansing, you may be eligible to receive two types of damages, depending on your case: economic and non-economic damages. These are both types of “compensatory damages,” since their purpose is to compensate you for the losses you have suffered.
Some states also allow accident victims to recover punitive damages in order to punish a defendant for serious wrongdoing. Most truck accident cases involve negligence, however, and Michigan law does not allow punitive damages in negligence cases. It only allows plaintiffs to claim punitive damages for injuries that result from a defendant’s “malicious,” “willful,” or “wanton” conduct.
In Lansing, these damages aim to compensate you for your economic losses. Your PIP insurance coverage can help you recover these losses. If the amount of damages exceeds your insurance policy’s PIP limits, you may be able to recover the rest from a truck driver, trucking company, or other at-fault parties.
Examples of economic damages resulting from a truck accident may include:
You can prove economic damages by producing documents like medical bills and wage statements.
Non-economic damages are more subjective than economic damages. They attempt to compensate accident victims for the effects their injuries have had on their quality of life.
“Pain and suffering” is a common type of non-economic damage. It provides compensation for both physical and emotional pain resulting from truck accident injuries. Many forms of physical pain can endure long after your medical treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other forms of treatment are complete after an accident. You may experience emotional or psychological pain, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An accident that caused disfigurement or scarring can cause both physical pain and psychological distress.
This kind of damage is not something you can put on a bill or invoice. Proving non-economic damages often requires the assistance of a skilled personal injury trial lawyer who can tell the jury a story about how a truck driver’s negligence caused you millions of dollars of pain and distress.
In short, yes, you can speak to an insurance adjuster. However, from our experience, we heavily advise that you refrain from doing so. Insurance adjusters are masters at getting victims to admit to errors that they did not commit or cause. When this occurs without the victim’s knowledge, insurance adjusters will swiftly place fault on you, meaning that the insurance company owes you nothing. Alternatively, they might offer you a statement that does not begin to cover the hospital bills and lost wages that you need to recover.
Neither of these options benefits you, but we see this happen repeatedly. Our lawyers know how to handle this.
Never feel pressured to speak to the insurance company. By hiring an attorney immediately after your accident, you are able to hand off all communications to your legal team. You will eventually have to make a statement as part of the insurance claim process, but you have time to speak to an attorney first.
Insurance companies know many ways to avoid paying the maximum compensation owed to accident victims. Given the chance, they will try to trick you into saying something that sounds incriminating in order to make it look like you are to blame for the accident. The more you appear to be at fault, the less the insurance company has to pay. If they can establish that you are more at fault than the trucker — i.e., that 51% or more of the fault is yours — they will not have to pay you anything under Michigan law. You can avoid their traps by not speaking to them.
If you must speak to the insurance company before you have had the opportunity to hire a personal injury attorney, say the bare minimum to the adjuster. Do not under any circumstances apologize for the accident or lead the adjuster to believe that you were partially at fault. All you need to tell them is that you either have an attorney currently, or you will be retaining one soon.
Your attorney, once you have hired them, will handle communications with the insurance company going forward. They can present the evidence that supports your claim and negotiate with the adjuster to try to reach a settlement agreement. If they cannot come to an agreement, your lawyer will know how to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have suffered serious injuries in an 18-wheeler accident, dealing with insurance companies and truck accident claims is probably one of the last things you want to manage. You might still be receiving medical care and worrying about how you can pay your bills after missing so much work. You might still be feeling traumatized by being involved in a car crash with a big rig, and you are in no place to try negotiating with an insurance adjuster.
You might have been too injured after the accident to gather evidence at the scene, collect contact information from witnesses, and take other steps to prepare for a personal injury claim. Even if you are feeling better now, you might not know how to start collecting evidence.
An experienced truck accident lawyer serving Lansing can help you. They know how to obtain evidence like police reports, witness statements, and medical bills. They can act as the go-between for you and the insurance companies to protect your legal rights while you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back to your life.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you are fully aware of the severe and debilitating injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, and more that such an event causes. Having a Michigan law firm in your corner that has experience fighting for Lansing victims will prove to be the right decision. To recover the maximum compensation you deserve, you need adequate representation that can go against multimillion-dollar insurance companies. Hiring a personal injury attorney does not have to be difficult or costly. At Matz Injury Law, we work our hardest to offer you incredible legal advice and value while also providing you with a larger share of the compensation you have won compared to other Michigan attorneys. Matz Injury Law has experience serving cities across Michigan such as Port Huron, Jackson, and beyond Warren.
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.