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Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld
J.D

December 20, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

It’s important to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer, instead of a typical auto accident lawyer, if you or someone you know has been involved in a large truck accident. These cases have more legal intricacies and complexity. The extent of damage and injury is also greater than an accident involving passenger vehicles as commercial trucks are very large vehicles and carry tons of cargo. 

There may be additional complexity if the accident was caused by an out-of-state truck driver. Regardless, a truck accident victim is typically eligible for compensation for lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, medical bills, wrongful death, and more, not only from the trucking company but also from the deep-pocketed insurance companies. 

The most recent data reveals that commercial vehicles were involved in over 14,000 crashes in one year. [1] As these incidents increase, it’s vital that you have a professional Detroit truck accident lawyer representing you to secure the best outcome. 

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our expert attorneys excel in securing the compensation clients deserve. Reach out today for a free consultation and read on to learn more about all the ways we can help, including who can be held liable, the evidence required to prove fault, as well as how much compensation we can help you win in a truck accident settlement. 

The Importance of Filing a Truck Accident Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

There are considerable legal technicalities in truck accident personal injury cases. Hiring a lawyer who’s experienced in the various state and federal laws that apply to truck accidents gives you the best shot at winning damage awards, often without even going to trial. 

When you reach out to Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to file a claim, here’s how the process will go:

  • Free Consultation – Hiring a Michigan personal injury attorney from our team doesn’t come with a fee unless we win. Contact us to get a free evaluation of your case to find out who you can sue and how much you could win in damages.
  • Case Investigation – We’ll thoroughly investigate the crash to determine the best course of action based on the various state and federal laws that apply to your case, to proceed against all of the parties that should be held responsible for punitive damages.
  • Consulting Experts – We work with medical experts, truck accident reconstructionists, and other industry professionals to strengthen your case. They can also provide expert testimony in trial to support your claim.
  • Gathering Evidence – We’ll compile police reports, witness statements, photographic evidence, data from the truck’s black box, and other forms of evidence to prove who was at fault.
  • Negotiating With Insurance Companies – As we prepare a strong case, insurance companies will often initiate settlement talks to avoid a trial. We negotiate with insurance adjusters aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.
  • Preparing For Trial – If the negotiations don’t work, we rely on our decades of trial experience to passionately argue your case, supported by irrefutable evidence and expert testimony, to achieve a favorable outcome.

Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Case

Our proven Detroit truck accident lawyers can help recover economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages, and wrongful death damages, depending on who’s filing the claim. For example, family members can file a wrongful death claim after the victim’s death in a serious truck accident. 

You can personally file a claim for damages relating to past and future medical bills, property damage, disability, pain and suffering, lost wages and income potential, emotional or psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, and much more. The compensation amount depends on factors such as the severity of injuries that the truck accident caused and insurance policy limits. 

As a specialist truck accident law firm, we understand how to accurately calculate these damages so that you don’t leave any money on the table. 

Types of Cases That Our Detroit Truck Accident Lawyers Handle

The Michigan truck accident lawyers at our firm skillfully handle many different types of cases, and in doing so secure essential relief for you based on the unique parameters of your truck accident case.

  • Truck Accident Cases Based on the Vehicle Involved – Regulations aren’t the same for all commercial trucks. The strategy that we use for your case will depend on whether you were hurt in an accident with a big rig, 18-wheeler, semi-tractor trailer, tractor-trailer, etc. 
  • Truck Accident Cases Based on Who’s at Fault – There may be more than one defendant that’s at fault. It could be the trucking company and the driver, the parts manufacturer, the driver and cargo loader, etc. We do a thorough evaluation of the accident to pursue all parties liable to compensate you. 
  • Truck Accident Cases Based on Collision Type – How the collision happened is central to your claim for damages. It could have been an intersection collision, rollover, blindspot or jackknife accident, T-bone collision, truck tire blowout, etc.

The Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Large trucks are inherently dangerous vehicles due to their size and the tons of cargo that they carry. Only a skilled truck driver can safely operate these vehicles but serious truck accidents can still happen, often due to circumstances not under the driver’s control. 

While owner-operators and trucking companies are required to ensure adequate maintenance of their vehicles, corners are often cut. Some common causes of trucking accidents include:

  • Drunk, Distracted, or Fatigued Driving – Truck driver fatigue remains a leading cause of most truck accidents. Drivers can exercise poor judgment and drive when they shouldn’t, as they’re unable to safely operate the vehicle in their impaired state.
  • Overspeeding or Reckless Driving – It’s not uncommon for a truck driver to overspeed or drive recklessly to haul as much cargo as possible. A recent nationwide report found nearly 64,000 overspeeding violations from truck drivers in 2021 alone. [2]
  • Breaking Traffic Laws – Drivers running red lights, improperly merging, ignoring stop signs, etc., are all common reasons for a semi-truck accident. Recently, a semi-truck that couldn’t stop for traffic caused a fatal six-vehicle crash on the I-696 that left two people dead. [3]
  • Unsecured Cargo – Unsecured or improperly loaded cargo can cause accidents. Overloading and underloading of a large commercial truck are both risky, and so is the cargo becoming loose when the truck is traveling at high speeds.
  • Faulty Equipment – Improper maintenance can lead to faults such as brake failure, tire disintegrations, and the brake lights not functioning which result in serious Detroit truck accident cases.
  • Untrained Drivers – Trucking companies can often be negligent in training or conducting background checks of drivers, potentially missing the fact that they may not be fully qualified to operate these vehicles.
  • Poor Road or Weather Conditions – Semi-truck accidents may also occur due to bad weather as visibility and traction are reduced in heavy rain, snow, etc. Improperly maintained roads can become a factor in accidents as well.
  • Blind Spots – Trucks are long vehicles with large blind spots on either side. If the truck driver tries to merge or turn without ensuring that the blind spot is clear, an accident may occur that causes serious injury.
Detroit trucking accident causes

Who Is Held Liable in Trucking Accident Cases

One would typically assume that serious truck accidents are only the driver’s fault but that may not always be the case. We conduct a thorough investigation of your case to find out all of the potentially liable parties to get you the compensation you deserve. Other liable parties in trucking accident cases may include:

Trucking Company

Trucking companies are responsible for their trucks and drivers. They’re required to have systems in place that protect the truck drivers and road users alike. A trucking company could be held liable for an accident if it violates laws and regulations such as the hours of service limits set by the FMCSA. 

These companies can also be negligent in their duty to properly maintain trucks, perform background checks on truck drivers, provide them with adequate training, allow them to operate trucks without required licenses, etc. Truck companies can be held liable for the actions of their drivers. 

Truck Manufacturer

A manufacturer may also be held liable after a truck crash due to the failure of the vehicle or any of its components such as brakes, steering columns, hydraulic systems, etc. Manufacturers are often quick to recall trucks when such issues are discovered. For example, following a notice by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in June 2023, Navistar recalled thousands of trucks that were at risk of catching fire. [4]

Undiscovered faults that cause accidents can open up the manufacturers to liability. If it becomes known that the truck maker had willfully concealed issues with their vehicles that caused accidents, they could face significant legal troubles.

Parts Manufacturer

Most trucks will typically have parts from many different suppliers. A truck manufacturer may be unaware that the part they’re sourcing has an issue. It could be anything from load straps to coupling systems, steering racks, a defective trailer hitch, tires, and more.

If the investigation finds that any of those parts played a role in the accident, you’d have a case against the parts manufacturers and would be able to pursue a claim against them for damages.

Government Agencies

Various federal, state, and local government agencies rely on heavy vehicles like fire trucks and garbage trucks to deliver services. It’s possible for these agencies to be sued over a trucking accident. It was revealed in a recent report that the City of Detroit has paid out more than $3.78 million in settlements over the past five years in crashes involving fire trucks and police cruisers. [5] 

Cargo Shipper and Loader

Cargo shippers and loaders have to follow federal and state regulations on commercial transport. They can be held liable if their negligence can be proved. For example, the loader can be held liable if the load isn’t secured or balanced properly and it ends up causing an accident. 

Shippers are responsible for ensuring that the FMCSA restrictions on how a load is hauled are complied with. If a shipper is sending hazardous materials such as fuel, gasses, lithium batteries, etc, such materials can harm people in an accident if the proper regulations for their transport aren’t followed. 

Evidence Needed to Prove Fault in a Truck Accident Lawsuit

Our expert truck accident injury lawyers build a solid case based on irrefutable evidence to achieve the most favorable outcome for you. There’s a wide range of data that’s useful to review to figure out how the accident happened and who all of the legally responsible parties are. 

If the trucking company or other parties don’t provide the data voluntarily, our lawyers can seek court orders to compel them to provide the evidence. The data we typically review for a truck accident claim includes:

  • Truck Driver’s Logs – Drivers are required by law to keep activity logs with details of their time behind the wheel and rest periods. FMCSA regulations for the trucking industry mandate that drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for eight consecutive hours. The logs will reveal if the negligent truck driver was in violation.
  • Employee File – Companies in the trucking industry keep employee files on their drivers with information about their employment history, certifications, any prior accident reports, etc. These files can provide a lot of valuable insight for figuring out the liability of the driver and/or the trucking company.
  • Toxicology Report – Following a truck accident that results in a serious injury, the truck driver may have been asked to take an alcohol or drug test. This toxicology report will reveal if the driver had any intoxicants in their system at the time of the accident.
  • Truck Black Box – Most large trucks are featured with a data recording device also known as the “black box.” It records their speed, GPS information, breaking, steering, and acceleration inputs from the driver, and other information. This data can help reconstruct the driver’s actions in the moments leading up to the accident.
  • Maintenance and Inspection Records – Improper maintenance is a common cause of truck accidents. Trucks require routine maintenance and drivers need to inspect the condition of their commercial truck before driving. Checking the inspection records can reveal if the trucking company missed maintenance or if an issue was disregarded.
  • Load Manifest – The manifest has details about the load that the truck was carrying in its trailer. It’ll reveal the cargo onboard at the time of the accident and help figure out whether the cargo loader or shipper may also be liable for the accident.

You Have Limited Time to File a Truck Accident Claim

As laid down in Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(2), the statute of limitations in Michigan for truck accident claims is three years. It applies to claims for negligence related to personal injury or wrongful death. [6] This is the route that most accident victims typically take to get compensated for their injuries. 

If the accident was caused by a defective product on the truck, such as tires, you can make a product liability claim. Under Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2946, the statute of limitations for a product liability claim is also three years. [7] 

You must file your claims for Detroit truck accidents within this period. This is why it’s so important that you hire an experienced Detroit truck accident lawyer quickly as the clock starts ticking the moment that accident happens.

If you were involved in a truck accident and want to know if you’re eligible to file a claim, reach out today for a free case evaluation. Our skilled truck accident lawyers will perform a detailed evaluation and present you with the best legal course of action.  

How Much Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Case

There are no go-to settlement amounts in commercial truck accident cases as the damages claimed differ significantly for each case. Our truck injury law firm has won settlements as high as $18.5 million for a head-on semi-truck crash that left the client with limited mobility resulting from their serious injuries or $14.1 million for a wrongful death claim caused by a distracted truck driver overspeeding and fatally injuring a motorcyclist. 

How much you can claim in damages will vary based on the following factors:

  • Extent of Injuries – The severity of injuries is a primary consideration for calculating compensation. For example, it can vary significantly for injuries such as a few broken bones to spinal cord injury and permanent disfigurement.
  • Costs of Losses – Economic losses suffered as a result of the truck accidents will be considered as well. These could be the loss of your vehicle, equipment, valuables, etc. as a result of the accident.
  • Evidence and Witnesses – Data and testimony go a long way in figuring out who all of the liable parties are and how much they would individually be held liable once their fault is proven.
  • Insurance Coverage – The parties being sued will likely have a limit to their insurance coverage beyond which it may not be possible for their policy to pay out more as compensation for truck accidents.
  • Medical Expenses – All medical expenses that you incurred following the accident can be claimed, for both minor and catastrophic injuries. This includes hospital bills, rehabilitation, physical therapy, care, and household services.
  • Loss of Wages and Future Income – If you had to miss work due to the accident involving a commercial vehicle or the injuries have left you unable to do what you could before, you can claim lost wages and a loss of future income.
  • Pain and Suffering – The loss from a truck accident isn’t just economic. It takes a heavy toll on the victim’s mental and emotional well-being. In addition to medical expenses, parties at fault can be held liable for your pain and suffering compensation.
Detroit trucking accident injuries

How Long Does Settling a Trucking Accident Case Take

It typically takes over 6 months to settle a trucking accident case in Detroit. There are factors that can affect this, leading to a longer wait. 

For example, if the parties at fault don’t settle and go to trial, it could take over a couple of years for the trial to finish. If there’s a lot of complexity in the case with multiple defendants potentially liable, it could take more time to collect the evidence needed to file the claim. 

You may also have to wait for longer to serve the lawsuit if the truck driver who caused the accident left the state or the country.

Delays can be frustrating when you’ve suffered significant economic and non-economic losses due to large truck accidents. This is precisely why you need to move quickly and hire an experienced truck accident attorney before the dust settles. 

We proceed swiftly to secure the evidence and file the claim so you can get the compensation that you deserve when you need it the most.

How Much Do Detroit Truck Accident Attorneys Charge

You may be thinking that highly regarded Detroit truck accident attorneys like us might be very expensive to hire. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, there is no need to worry about the costs of hiring us to represent you, particularly not when your life has been turned upside down by an accident. 

Our Michigan law firm doesn’t require any upfront fee. You won’t need to pay a cent while we evaluate your truck accident case, collect the evidence, file the claim, negotiate the settlement, or even go to trial. 

We won’t get paid until you get paid. Our fee is a percentage of your final settlement offer, so we have every incentive to fight hard for you to get the best possible settlement.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

The first thing you need to do after an accident is to call 911. You may have been seriously injured and require urgent medical attention, even if it doesn’t seem so. Check if others in the car are injured and, if you’re able to, exit the car and move to a safe place. 

Here are a few steps that you can take that can help strengthen your truck accident claim:

  • Get the Driver’s Details – Make sure you get the driver’s name, the name of their trucking company as well as their insurance information. These details are vital for filing your claim. Take down witness information as well.
  • Take Pictures of the Scene – If safe and able, take pictures of the accident scene, surrounding street signs, the damaged vehicle, the truck’s license plate, and damage to any other property.
  • Assist Law Enforcement – Describe the accident as it happened when law enforcement takes your statement. Take your case number and the officer’s name for your records. You’ll also need to file a police report if anyone was injured. Keep a copy of any witness statements as well.
  • Don’t Discuss or Sign Anything – Only discuss the accident and injuries with your truck accident attorneys. You could jeopardize the case by either discussing it or inadvertently signing something given to you by the driver, the trucking, or the insurance company.

Contact a Detroit Truck Accident Attorney Today!

A truck accident can upset your entire life, causing irreparable physical, financial, and emotional damage. It may feel impossible to win against the trucking company and their insurance providers who want to pay as little as they can. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we fight for you to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. 

We provide free consultations so that you can reach out to the best Detroit truck accident lawyers without worrying about fees. You pay nothing out of pocket during the entire process. Our contingent fee guarantee ensures that we only get paid once you get a settlement. 

This commitment to clients has resulted in millions of dollars won in compensation for truck accident victims and their families. 

Call us at any time at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation with a Michigan truck accident lawyer. From aggressively negotiating settlements in your favor to forcefully arguing your case at trial, we fight in your corner every step of the way. 

Resources: [1] Michigan State Police, [2] FMCSA Guide, [3] Click on Detroit, [4] Trucking Dive, [5] Fox 2 Detroit, [6] Michigan Legislature, [7] Michigan Legislature

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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