According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Data Year-End Report, there were over 7,000 commercial truck accidents in 2021.
After a collision with a commercial vehicle in Michigan, you may have many questions.
At Matz Injury Law, we help injured people get answers to these questions and the compensation they need to rebuild their lives.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study in 2007 that determined the common causes of truck accidents with big rigs. This study revealed four critical reasons for commercial truck accidents where the truck driver was at fault. These include:
In addition, three major event categories exist to describe the action or event which resulted in collisions with 18-wheelers being unavoidable. These include:
It is vital that you take the proper steps after a semi-truck accident. First and foremost is to try to keep a clear head. Getting angry or accusatory can lead to critical and costly mistakes. When you are in an accident, the steps to take are similar to those after any auto accident: seek medical attention, call first responders, document the scene, exchange information with the other driver, gather witnesses, watch what you say, have your insurance company appraise the damage, and call a truck accident attorney.
The first thing to do after any accident is to call for immediate medical attention. Contact first responders to get medical attention for you and everyone else at the scene as soon as possible. Commercial trucks are massive and can cause equally massive and catastrophic injuries after a collision. A medical professional should evaluate you even if you do not feel injured. Medical attention can discover injuries you may not realize you have, and some injuries can take weeks to show symptoms.
When you call first responders, the police will likely be the first to show up. In any case, Michigan state law requires that the police be notified about vehicle accidents. The police and 911 dispatcher will determine if an ambulance is necessary. Having the police on site will allow you to file an accident report. This report is valuable for documenting the incident and helping you remember what happened in the coming months, as you must re-tell the story several times.
If you can, document what happened in as much detail as possible and gather evidence. Take photos from every angle, close-up and far away, and capture the damage to your vehicle and the accident scene. Also, get photo evidence of any injuries your passengers or you suffer. Draw diagrams and make notes regarding the events as they played out, and you remember them.
The more detail you can record, the stronger your case will be later. Combined with records from the truck’s black box, which your truck accident lawyer may be able to obtain, all evidence goes towards building a case for compensation for your personal injury claim.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. This includes name and phone number. If the truck driver is a commercial driver, get the name and contact number of the company for whom they work and the commercial vehicle’s license plate number. The driver’s employer will likely get involved in the ensuing investigation and legal proceedings.
Anyone on site willing to testify to what they saw can be helpful. Speak to witnesses at the scene and try to get their contact information, including phone number, email, and other means of getting in touch. Their reports may help support your injury claim as the process moves forward.
Whatever you do, never apologize at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. If you say that you are sorry in any context, the other driver’s insurance company (or the insurance company representing their employer, the truck owner, or other parties involved) can use that against you and make it look like you accept some responsibility for what happened.
As you speak to others at the scene, keep your wits about you. Stay calm, do not get angry, do not accuse. Just stick to the facts and say nothing that could undermine you later. Saying the wrong thing is a critical mistake you want to avoid, so say as little as possible.
There is a good chance your vehicle suffered damage in the collision. As soon as possible, get the damages assessed and appraised so your insurance company can compensate you. Never get repairs until the insurance company clears you to do so and until you have written documentation on record regarding the damage and what it will cost to fix it.
Finally, as soon as possible, contact a Michigan truck accident lawyer like Matz Injury Law. Calling an attorney can be one of the most important calls you make. Even more than other car accidents, commercial truck accident cases often get extremely complex and involve catastrophic injuries and property damage.
Combined with the additional people that might be involved, you will face many different insurance companies and lawyers. Having your own experienced Michigan personal injury or truck accident attorney can, at the very least, even the playing field. Call our Michigan law firm at 1-866-22Not33 or use our online contact form for a free consultation with a member of our legal team today.
Commercial truck accident claims differ from other motor vehicle accident and personal injury cases in several significant ways. Most of those differences revolve around the sheer size of the truck and the damage such a large truck can cause.
Serious injuries are always a risk in motor vehicle accidents. Still, a truck crash has a greater chance of life-altering and fatal injuries for the motorists involved. It is not uncommon for truck accident victims to suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe neck injuries, broken bones, and other critical injuries that can be life-altering. A truck accident also has a higher chance of wrongful death. This can lead to exceptionally high medical bills, medical expenses, and property damage to your passenger vehicle.
The trucking industry is subject to federal and state regulations, making suing a truck driver or trucking company both easier and trickier than a standard auto accident. In addition, you may have to deal with several insurance companies and insurance policies. However, your claim will still begin with your insurance provider, just as with any accident case involving Michigan’s no-fault laws.
Due to the rules and regulations involving accidents with tractor-trailers, many other parties besides the truck driver may be involved or hold some responsibility for the accident. The driver often has some accountability, but you also may deal with:
Each of these parties may have their own attorneys and insurance companies. All will try to pass the buck to one another or you. This is another reason having a Michigan personal injury attorney in your corner is so important.
You can sue if your family member was seriously injured or killed in a commercial vehicle accident. If they were severely injured, you may file for temporary guardianship. This status allows you to seek justice on their behalf. You can retain an attorney to help file any official documents and move forward to gain the victim’s benefits and compensation.
If your family member was killed in the crash, you can file with Michigan courts to set up an estate on behalf of the deceased and become named the estate representative. Only the estate’s representative (the executor) can file a wrongful death suit in Michigan courts. You can hire a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney at Matz Injury Law to help facilitate this process.
Under a wrongful death lawsuit, if your family member was killed in an accident with a commercial truck, you can sue the truck driver, trucking company, and other responsible parties for loss of financial support for any dependents as well as loss of consortium, loss of companionship and comfort, loss of love and affection, and other forms of non-economic damages. It is essential, however, that you file within the statute of limitations. In Michigan, this time limit is three years from the date of death.
No one wants to end up in an accident that results in catastrophic injuries. If you see a truck driver swerving, speeding, tailgating other vehicles, or otherwise driving dangerously or irresponsibly, you should immediately call 911 and move your vehicle a safe distance away from the offending 18-wheeler. A large commercial vehicle driving erratically is a safety risk to everyone on the road, and you want to avoid that risk.
When you call 911, be sure to give the dispatcher all the relevant information you can, including where the truck is, what direction it is traveling on the highway, a description of the vehicle, its license plate number if you can get it, and any other important information you can gather. This will make it easier for a police officer to respond to the call.
You can also report the driver to the FMCSA by calling the division’s complaint hotline at 888-268-7238 or 1-888-DOT-SAFT. You can also file your complaint online using an online form on the FMCA National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB) website.
A knowledgeable Michigan truck accident attorney at Matz Injury Law can help you to file all the necessary paperwork with the courts. We can guide you through the complexities of a personal injury case with a big rig while fighting for your compensation for medical bills, reduced or eliminated earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and all the other economic and non-economic damages you suffer.
Your attorney can communicate with other parties involved, such as insurance providers and other attorneys. We can fight for your adequate and fair compensation and ease the burden of litigation so you can focus on getting well again.
We’ll start by investigating the cause of the accident and carefully examining the insurance issues in your case to determine all potential sources of recovery. We will closely monitor your medical care and resolve your case at the peak value of your claim.
At Matz Injury Law, we have decades of experience fighting for people like you. We have won millions in verdicts, judgments, and settlements for our clients. We have logged thousands of miles traveling all over Michigan to represent clients, including our home office in Southfield and as far off as Kalamazoo and Petoskey.
Even better, you will not owe us a dime in legal fees unless we win your case. While others charge 33 percent of your settlement, we charge only 22 percent at Matz Injury Law. That’s why our slogan is “22, not 33!”
At Matz Injury Law, we’ll listen closely as you describe your accident and its effects on your life. We will become a strong and tenacious legal advocate on your behalf and help you get the medical care and compensation you deserve.
We won’t let an insurance company deny you medical treatment or minimize your compensation.
In one Michigan case, we obtained a $750,000 settlement for the family of a young man killed when his car was hit by a delivery truck that swerved to avoid a stopped vehicle.
In another commercial vehicle case, we helped a family obtain a settlement of $3,450,000 ($450,000 more than the insurance policy limits) for a family who lost loved ones due to an inattentive cement truck driver.
In a recent case, we obtained a $1,000,000 settlement for a woman in northern Michigan who fractured both ankles as a result of being rear-ended by a gravel truck. Learn how we can help with your commercial vehicle accident case. Contact the attorneys at Matz Injury Law by calling 866-226-6833 or through our online contact form.
$4,150,000 settlement on behalf of the family of a college student who was killed in a traffic crash while riding a motorcycle. The settlement came from three different insurance companies.
$3.45 million settlement against a cement company whose truck crossed a center line causing three deaths and severely injuring a 4 year-old boy. The settlement was $450,000 in excess of available insurance.
$1.74 million settlement against a 19 year-old driver and the fraternity where he was drinking immediately prior to a head on collision that killed a 52 year-old husband and father of 3 children.
$1.3 million Federal District Court settlement on behalf of a mother and daughter in a car/truck collision. Mom suffered a pancreas injury but returned to full-time employment within six months; eight year old daughter suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing learning disability as well as a ruptured spleen.
$1 million settlement for a 52 year-old woman in a rural county who broke both ankles and suffered a retrobulbar hemorrhage of her right eye after being struck by a gravel truck.
Matz Injury Law obtained a $1,000,000 settlement for a woman in Northern Michigan who fractured both ankles as a result of being rear-ended by a gravel truck.
A settlement of $3,450,000 for a family who lost loved ones as a result of an inattentive cement truck driver.
$100,000 uninsured motorist settlement (policy limit) for family of passenger killed in Detroit in suspected joyriding incident.
$1 million settlement on behalf of a 60 year-old woman with a mild closed head injury due to County Road Commission negligence.
$950,000 settlement on behalf of the mother of a young boy who died while a passenger in a one-vehicle crash.
$750,000 to the family of a passenger killed in a collision on an icy road.
$285,000 settlement on behalf of a 52 year-old woman who suffered from fibromyalgia after hurting her shin resulting from an auto injury.
We have earned over 300+ million dollars
for our Michigan clients.
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.