Midland Truck Accidents

Steve Matz and his team have been practicing law in Michigan for decades. They’ve logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling to virtually every county in Michigan’s lower and upper peninsulas, meeting with clients, and doing the work necessary to earn significant settlements on their clients’ behalf.

Our Fee is 22% not 33%

Truck Accident Attorney Serving Midland

When semi-trucks crash, they can cause massive damage. Most commercial vehicles weigh over 30,000 pounds. A big rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. With that much mass, truck accidents can cause serious injuries or wrongful death. Your family can end up reeling in the fallout of such a catastrophe. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of negligence by a truck driver or trucking company, you have the right to receive fair compensation for your losses. A well-funded insurance company, however, stands between you and your rights. You do not have to go through this fight alone. The Midland truck accident lawyers at Matz Injury Law have years of experience representing accident victims in injury claims and lawsuits. They can help you get the compensation you deserve by calling us at  1-866-22Not33 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.

What Is the Best Way to Avoid Being in a Truck Accident?

Some accidents involving tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks are due to errors by passenger vehicle drivers, not truckers. Truck drivers have to take additional steps in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license. While they can make catastrophic mistakes, other drivers have a responsibility to drive safely around large trucks. 

These types of accidents can be avoidable if drivers follow a few safety tips around large trucks:

  • Avoid blind spots where truckers cannot see smaller vehicles. If you cannot see the truck driver in their side-view mirror, the trucker almost certainly cannot see you.
  • Give trucks the right of way whenever possible.
  • Keep a long following distance behind a large truck.
  • Do not cut large trucks off in traffic.
  • Do not suddenly change lanes in front of or next to a large truck.
  • Always use turn signals when turning or changing lanes in front of or alongside a commercial truck.
  • Be careful when passing a tractor-trailer on the highway. Keep a constant speed and do not merge in front of the truck until you can see its front grill in your rearview mirror.
  • Slow down and use caution when a large truck is passing you. Watch out for water, dirt, dust, or other debris from its tires.
  • Remember that trucks make very wide turns. Try to stay out of their way.

What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Michigan?

As mentioned above, some semi-truck accidents are the result of unsafe driving by others on the road, not the truckers involved in the crashes. Truck drivers can also be responsible for collisions, of course, for a variety of reasons.

Reckless Driving

Michigan law defines “reckless driving” as the operation of a motor vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” 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” includes a wide range of unsafe acts like speeding, running red lights or stop signs, and trying to pass another vehicle unlawfully.

Distracted Driving

Midland, Michigan prohibits texting and other uses of handheld mobile devices while driving. Even before smartphones, though, distracted drivers could cause car accidents. Truck drivers are no different. They can take their eyes or minds off the road to do things like look at a smartphone or tune a radio.

Road Conditions

Poor road conditions can cause all kinds of motor vehicle accidents. Debris on the road could cause one vehicle to swerve into another. Inadequate road maintenance could create potholes and other hazards.

Weather

Michigan 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. 

Poor Cargo Loading

Many 18-wheeler accidents are the result of improper cargo loading:

  • Inadequately secured cargo can come loose on the road.
  • Improperly balanced cargo can cause an entire truck to tip over.

Either situation can cause severe car accidents.

Unrealistic Time Constraints

Trucking companies expect truckers to keep tight schedules, often resulting in long hours on the road. A fatigued truck driver can be a serious danger to others. 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. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and drivers ignore these rules.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents in Midland, Michigan?

Michigan law sets a time limit for when you can file a truck accident lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. You must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident. If you do not file by this deadline, the court will dismiss your case and you may have no other options.

Michigan’s no-fault law, which allows you to recover compensation from your own insurance company no matter who was at fault in your Midland accident, also sets a time limit. You must make a claim within one year of the accident in order to receive no-fault benefits from your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

What Type of Damages Are Payable in Midland, Michigan Truck Accidents?

After a truck crash in Michigan, 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, which are intended to punish a defendant for egregious wrongdoing. Most truck accident cases are the result of negligence, 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.

Economic Damages

Economic damages provide compensation for financial losses. You may recover many of these losses from your PIP coverage. 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:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Rehabilitation and other expenses related to your injuries
  • Funeral expenses in wrongful death cases

You can prove economic damages fairly easily through documentation, such as medical bills and wage statements.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate accident victims for the effects their injuries have had on their quality of life. They are more subjective than economic damages.

One common type of non-economic damage is “pain and suffering.It provides compensation for both physical and emotional pain caused by truck accident injuries. Many forms of physical pain may endure long after you have completed your medical care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other forms of treatment after an accident. You may experience emotional or psychological pain, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An accident that caused disfigurement or scarring, to name just one example, 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.

Should I Speak With the Insurance Adjuster?

You can talk to the trucking company’s insurance adjuster after the accident. That is to say that no law prohibits you from speaking to one another. Remember, though, that the insurance adjuster’s job is to get you to either:

  • Admit that the accident was your fault, meaning that the insurance company owes you nothing; or
  • Accept a lowball settlement that does not come close to compensating you for your injuries and other damages.

Neither of these options benefits you. There is a better way to handle it.

While you and the insurance company are legally free to speak to one another, you do not have to speak to them. 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 do speak to the insurance company before you have hired a Midland personal injury attorney, keep your comments to them simple and short. Do not apologize for your part in the accident or speculate about what might have happened. All you need to tell them is that you either have an attorney or you will be retaining one soon.

Your attorney, once you have hired them, can handle communications with the insurance company. 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.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Attorney in a Truck Accident Case in Midland?

If you have suffered injuries in an 18-wheeler accident, dealing with insurance companies and truck accident claims is probably one of the last things on your mind. 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 accident 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 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 so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back to your life.

Truck Accidents Are Often Catastrophic. Do Not Wait to Call an Attorney.

Truck accidents can cause severe and debilitating injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, and more. You need a law firm with extensive experience helping truck accident victims recover the maximum compensation owed to them under Michigan law. You need a lawyer who will fight for you at the negotiating table and, if necessary, in the courtroom. Matz Injury Law is the law firm that you need.

Ready to discuss your case? Talk to our personal injury lawyers by calling 1-866-22Not33 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.

Let’s Talk

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    © Matz Injury Law.
    The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 33 1/3%. 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.

    What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

    We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 33 1/3% 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.

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