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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

Accidents involving trucks in the state of Michigan recently recorded a 4% year-over-year increase [1]. A truck crash is a challenging task for a lawyer due to their complexity: truck accident victims tend to have more serious injuries and there may be different jurisdictions and parties involved.

Hiring a Grand Rapids truck accident lawyer is crucial if you’ve been injured. Our legal team has deep experience in semi-truck accident cases and has recovered millions for our clients. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation, and read on to learn how we can assist.  

Filing a Trucking Accident Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

When you reach out to our Grand Rapids truck accident attorneys for a free case evaluation, we’ll explain the process of getting justice for commercial truck accidents in detail. The steps include:

  • Free Consultation – You will be paired with a highly qualified Michigan truck accident lawyer, who will gather details about your truck crash and let you know if we can take legal action.
  • Case Investigation – Our law firm will assess what kind of case you have based on state and federal laws.
  • Gathering Evidence – We’ll take our time finding out everything about the circumstances, which includes accessing trucking company records, medical records, and surveillance footage.
  • Consulting Experts – Our truck accident lawyers have an extensive network of trusted experts in a variety of fields, including doctors, accident reconstructionists, and industry representatives. 
  • Insurance Company Claims Process – We’ll work hard to get you fair financial compensation from the insurance adjuster without going to trial, reducing the impact on your everyday life.
  • Legal Representation – If the insurance provider doesn’t settle for the amount you deserve, our Grand Rapids truck accident lawyers will serve as legal representation during a court case, working to get you maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. 

What Determines Whether You Have a Truck Accident Case

For commercial truck crashes, our Grand Rapids truck accident lawyers will usually base the case on negligence, which is when someone fails to uphold their duty of care to the plaintiff. These cases include the following elements:

  • Duty – The defendant owed the injured person a duty of care. For truck accidents, this means safely operating well-maintained commercial vehicles.
  • Breach of Duty – The liable party didn’t uphold their duty to drive safely.
  • Cause in Fact – You wouldn’t have been hurt unless they breached their duty.
  • Proximate Cause – The specific breach of duty caused your injuries.
  • Damages – You suffered a loss as a result of the breach of duty. 

Damages That Grand Rapids Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover

A truck accident attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will assist you in filing claims with the applicable insurance companies. 

First-party insurance claims are made on your own insurance benefits, including your car insurance and health insurance. Third-party claims are against the at-fault driver and their insurance coverage. 

Everyone in Michigan is required to have basic no-fault auto insurance. These first-party claims include: 

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages for up to three years

If you have additional coverage, you can make first-party claims for:

  • Towing
  • Collision repairs
  • Rental vehicles while yours is being repaired

Michigan upholds tort liability, meaning that if the victim suffered severe injuries, disfigurement, or death, they or their family can collect non-economic damages against the other party’s insurance, called a third-party claim. This can include:

  • Towing, repairs, and rental vehicles
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

For a wrongful death action, potential claims include loss of companionship for any family member, loss of consortium for spouses, and loss of guidance for children who lost their parents. 

Who Is Held Liable in Truck Accident Cases

While truck drivers are often found liable for an accident, many more parties could be held responsible than in accidents involving only passenger vehicles. This includes:

  • Trucking Companies – Michigan’s vicarious liability law holds the truck owner responsible for an accident involving one of their vehicles.
  • Truck Manufacturer – The commercial trucking industry is responsible for producing safe and effective vehicles.
  • Parts Manufacturer – Parts manufacturers like Michigan’s own Ford Automotive are also liable if commercial trucks fail as a result of faulty parts.
  • Maintenance Crews –  Many truck accidents are caused by poor maintenance, implicating repair professionals. 
  • Government Agencies – If you got into an accident with a municipal vehicle, like the Grand Rapids dump truck crash on I-196 [2], you can hold the city accountable.

Proving Fault in a Grand Rapids Truck Accident Case

Truck accident attorneys use a broad spectrum of evidence to prove fault in car collisions, including eyewitness statements, medical records, and surveillance footage. There is also some unique data utilized for truck crashes, which include:

  • Safety Measurement System – The Safety Measurement System (SMS) is compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to assess the safety records of trucking companies in accordance with federal trucking regulations.  
  • Electronic Logging Device – An ELD automatically tracks drive times to ensure that truck drivers are taking adequate rest breaks. 
  • Event Data Recorder – Sometimes called the “black box,” the Event Data Recorder logs details before, during, and after a crash, such as speed, geolocation, braking, and acceleration. 
  • Vehicle Inspection Reports – A vehicle that remains on the road after failing inspection makes both companies and truck drivers liable.
  • Maintenance Records – These can ascertain whether commercial trucks were poorly maintained or sent out with clear problems. 
  • Truck Driver Phone Data – Distracted driving is a major danger to other drivers, especially with massive vehicles like semi-trucks. 

Michigan is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that every party is assigned a percentage of blame. If you are less than 50% at fault, you can seek compensation, but your potential damages will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you share. 

Trucking Company Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and MDOT are the main arbiters of rules for the trucking industry in Michigan, including:

  • Inspections – All commercial vehicles must be inspected at least once a year by MDOT, which can mandate more frequent inspections for high-risk vehicles.
  • Maintenance Records – The Michigan Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act requires that repair facilities keep records on hand for at least three years.
  • Training – Michigan truck drivers must complete at least 160 hours of training before obtaining their CDL. 
  • Rest Breaks – FMCSA mandates that drivers can’t drive for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period and 60 hours in a 7-day period. They must also take a half-hour break after 8 hours. 
  • Cargo – Michigan law requires that cargo be securely fastened and covered with a tarp. The semi-truck driver must also put the tailgate up and close any taps. 

How Much Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Case

There is no set settlement amount for a truck accident, which makes it all the more essential that you hire a skilled truck accident attorney who can help you receive the maximum settlement. 

We have recovered millions for our clients, such as in these cases: 

  • $18,500,000 – Our client suffered catastrophic injuries after a head-on semi-truck accident.
  • $14,100,000 – A motorcyclist died after a distracted truck driver turned left into his path of travel.
  • $5,750,000 – A driver suffered life-altering injuries in a distribution center while unloading cargo. 

Factors That Affect Truck Accident Settlement Amounts

In any personal injury lawsuit, numerous factors influence a settlement amount, and this is especially true for a semi-truck accident. Such factors include:

  • Severity of injuries
  • Amount of lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Extent of medical treatment
  • Cost of losses suffered
  • Available evidence
  • Credibility of witness testimony
  • Available insurance coverage

Our Grand Rapids truck accident lawyers will skillfully present these factors to ensure you get as much compensation as possible. 

Truck Accident Victims and Injuries Suffered

Truck crashes are often more devastating than car accidents because a semi-truck or commercial vehicle is so much heavier. Common outcomes of a truck accident include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones and bruises
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Death
Grand Rapids trucking accident injuries

The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

  • Drunk Driving – In 2022, 398 people suffered serious injury in Kent County as a result of drunk driving, which includes inebriated truck drivers [3]. Sadly, the county also has one of the lowest DUI arrest rates in the state [4]. 
  • Distracted Driving – Some Grand Rapids commercial drivers believe they’re exempt from distracted driving laws [5], which certainly isn’t the case.
  • Fatigued Driving – 15% of all accidents involving a semi-truck are the result of fatigue [6].  
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Laws – Illegal traffic maneuvers can be seriously dangerous, as was proven in a Grand Rapids semi-truck accident where the driver attempted to make a U-turn and hit a car [7].
  • Unsecured Cargo – Trucking accidents can lead to dangerous spills, as was the case in a Kent County incident where a tanker spilled fuel all over the road [8].  
  • Maintenance and Parts Issues – Maintenance issues or faulty parts are a contributing factor in approximately 40% of all truck accidents [9]. 
  • Untrained Drivers – Out-of-state drivers are often not prepared for the 76” of snow Grand Rapids gets per year [10]. 
  • Poor Road Design – US 131 at Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids is one of the most dangerous intersections in Michigan [11], experiencing 98 crashes last year, partly due to poor design. 
Grand Rapids trucking accident causes

You Have Limited Time to File a Truck Accident Claim in Grand Rapids, MI

As the Michigan statute of limitations is only three years for personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, or corporate liability, it’s essential that you act fast and hire a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. 

How Long Does Do Truck Accident Claims Take to Settle

For trucking accidents, it generally takes over six months to settle a case. This can depend greatly upon the cooperation of the other parties, the amount of evidence, and the complexity of the case. Quickly hiring truck accident attorneys ensures you can return to normal as soon as possible. 

How Much Does a Truck Accident Personal Injury Lawyer Cost

Our Michigan personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you owe us nothing unless we win. This makes hiring legal representation affordable for everyone, no matter their means. 

Contact a Grand Rapids Truck Accident Lawyer Today!

If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident, you deserve the best representation. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we have recovered millions in damages for our clients and we charge nothing if we’re not able to get you compensation.

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you get justice for your injuries and secure the fair compensation you deserve.

Resources: [1] MLive, [2] WZZM 13, [3] Michigan State Police, [4] WITL, [5] WZZM 13, [6] Commercial Carrier Journal, [7] WWMT, [8] WZZM 13, [9] University of Wisconsin-Madison, [10] WZZM 13, [11] CBS News

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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