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.
When you or someone close to you is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an 18-wheeler or other large commercial vehicle, it turns your entire life upside down in an instant. Truck accidents are on the rise despite new laws and stricter federal regulations on the trucking industry. You deserve compensation for the serious injuries you’ve suffered, but everyone is passing the buck. Nobody is willing to own up and take responsibility for what’s happened to you, and it seems like everyone from the truck driver down to the parts manufacturers is involved somehow.
Meanwhile, your pain is getting worse, your medical bills and the costs of attendant care are piling up, and you have an insurance adjuster pushing you to accept a lowball offer while threatening you with nothing if you refuse.
That’s why it’s vital to have personal injury lawyers in your corner who can cut through the red tape and hold the right people responsible. Matz Injury Law is an office with experienced and qualified Detroit, Michigan truck accident attorneys who can help you and your loved ones receive a positive verdict to help pay for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and other serious injuries. We’ve recovered over $300 million in damages for our clients, and we are ready to fight for you.
The damage caused by truck accidents with other passenger vehicles is nothing short of catastrophic because of these vehicles’ sheer size and momentum. The impact from a big rig is almost always far more severe than that in any other type of car accident. If you were seriously injured in an auto accident with a commercial truck caused by a careless driver, you deserve to be compensated. It’s important, however, to take the right steps.
The first thing to do at the scene of a tractor-trailer truck accident is to call for first responders and emergency help. Likely, someone (even you) is seriously hurt after an accident of this sort, and it’s vital to make sure all truck accident victims who need medical attention receive it. Even if you don’t feel like you’re injured, make sure you get looked over. It could be important to your truck accident case as we move forward.
Next, move any motor vehicles off the road that can be moved to prevent further accidents. If you can, take detailed notes and snap all the photos you can of the accident scene. The more records you can gain from the accident site, the better off we will be when it comes time to build your case later. File a police report. It can be an important resource to recall the details of the accident when you have to repeat your story later on.
Exchange information with the other driver and get the names and contact information of any witnesses you can. Above all else, keep your head and wits about you. This can be the trickiest part of the accident scene, but it is vital. If you get angry, you may say something which can be used against you later. Likewise, when you report the accident to your insurance company, stick to the hard facts. Don’t editorialize, and don’t try to spin what happened.
Finally, contact a qualified Michigan personal injury attorney focused on motor vehicle accident cases. It doesn’t matter if you are in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Southfield, or anywhere else in the state. A qualified Michigan truck crash lawyer is your best ally in this situation.
Never, ever apologize for anything at the crash site. Don’t even utter the words “I’m sorry” in any context when talking to other motorists. The insurance company will use it against you. Don’t talk about your injuries to the other driver. There will be time for all of that, but don’t try to litigate at the scene on your own.
Finally, never rely on the insurance company to help you. No matter how nice, friendly, or compassionate they seem, the insurance company is not your friend. They do not want to help you and your family pay your medical bills, and they do not think you deserve compensation. They have one goal and one goal only: to get out of paying your bills.
After your accident, usually within a few days, you will likely get a call from one or more insurance adjusters. These will represent the truck accident company, the driver, the cargo company, the maintenance crew, or any other number of parties in the trucking industry. They will act very compassionate and friendly, like they truly care about you and your family members. They will claim they want to help by getting the situation resolved quickly.
Then they will offer you a very lowball settlement. If you refuse this offer, their demeanor will change quickly. They will try to convince you to sign off by tricking you, bullying, or threatening that if you don’t sign their offer, you won’t get anything at all. They may try to blur the lines of truth in your case, so you’re not sure which way is up anymore. They may use legal jargon like “Michigan no-fault law” and “statute of limitations” to make the injury claim process seem even more complicated than it is.
Here’s the secret those insurance companies don’t want you to know: You don’t have to even speak to them. You can tell them to talk to your attorney. Even if you haven’t called Matz Injury Law yet, you can still say, “My attorney will be in touch,” and then call for your case review.
Insurance companies know the law, and they have lawyers on their side ready to try and get them out of paying your large truck accident claim. Having a lawyer in your corner is the best shot you have at getting compensation for your injuries.
There are many reasons that truck accidents happen. The cause of the semi-truck accident you were involved in will determine the compensation we can pursue in your case as much as the specific injuries you have suffered. A few of the common causes of truck accidents include:
There are many other causes of accidents involving 18-wheelers, and the causes can bring many parties into play. Aside from the sheer level of catastrophic injuries, property damage, and other economic damages caused by the size of these vehicles, you may be dealing with trucking companies, cargo loading companies, maintenance crews, the driver, even parts manufacturers, each of whom will have their own insurance policies. This can lead to large verdicts, but it can also complicate the case. That’s why it’s important to have a personal injury attorney in your corner.
Michigan no-fault laws mean that regardless of who was at fault for the accident, all parties can file an insurance claim for damages. To seek compensation for an accident, we must prove negligence on the part of the defendants in the case. This means we have to prove three factors.
First, we need to demonstrate that the defendants had a duty of care to avoid putting you or other drivers in undue danger. Every driver on the road shares this same duty of care. Second, we have to demonstrate that they violated this duty of care by acting in a way that was so irresponsible, no reasonable person would act that way. This is called the “reasonable person standard.” Finally, we have to prove that not only were their acts the direct or proximate cause of the accident but that you were injured as a direct result of the accident.
When dealing with trucking accident cases, we also deal with federal laws and federal regulations on the trucking industry by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Violations of FMCA regulations can contribute to your case and can include drivers violating the maximum hours they are allowed to drive at one stretch, their alcohol and drug use history, driving record, the truck’s maintenance schedule, and how much training the driver had.
The term “Statute of Limitations” is a scary term that insurance companies will often use to make you think you can’t get compensation. In Michigan, the statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the injury, or in the case of fatalities in a wrongful death case, from the date of death. Even if you think you’re past the deadline, however, you should still call an attorney. You may well still have options.
As personal injury attorneys for trucking cases, Matz Injury Law always works to provide you with the best possible settlement. From traumatic brain injuries to spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even wrongful death, as well as depression, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium, we are here to help victims of truck accidents get the compensation they deserve. We serve many cities across the state including Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Midland, Petoskey, Muskegon, and more.
$360,000 settlement on behalf of a 28 year-old dairy worker who suffered a separated shoulder.
$400,000 for a vacationing motorist whose SUV was struck by a pickup truck that crossed the center line on an icy northern Michigan road.
$600,000 settlement for a mild closed head injury victim.
$170,000 settlement for a construction worker who suffered a shoulder injury when struck by a driver on an icy road in Clare County.
$200,000 settlement on behalf of a young woman who suffered leg and foot fractures after an automobile/pedestrian collision.
$200,000 settlement in a rural county for a 4 year-old who died as a result of a truck/pedestrian collision.
$350,000 to a woman who suffered a broken arm when her vehicle was struck by a semi.
$825,000 settlement on behalf of a 25 year-old man in a rural county with a peroneal nerve injury as a consequence of an automobile/truck collision.
$290,000 for a 70 year-old woman whose car was broadsided by a driver who claimed he had the green light at an intersection.
$200,000 (policy limit) settlement for the wrongful death of a recent immigrant.