According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), approximately 450,000 truck accidents are reported to the police each year. Sadly, because commercial trucks weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars, many of these accidents are fatal. Truck drivers can often walk away from accidents caused by their own negligence unscathed, but occupants in passenger cars may die or suffer from injuries that permanently alter their future. In 2017, there were over 4,200 fatalities and 344,000 injury crashes involving large trucks.
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver or company, you do not have to be injured further by their refusal to take responsibility for the accident. At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we do not shy away from tough cases, and we work to make negligent trucking companies pay damages to their victims. Call us today at (800) 630-9229 to learn how our Detroit truck accident lawyers can help you build a case.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Knowing how the trucking industry works may help you understand why so many truck accidents occur year after year. Retail stores, grocery stores, and other businesses enter into contracts with trucking companies to transport the goods they need from warehouses, depots, and other locations. The trucking company often hires independent contractors to make these deliveries on its behalf. An owner-operator of a truck may be paid a percentage of the load pay that the trucking company receives. Therefore, there is a built-in incentive for truck drivers to complete as many loads as possible—as quickly as possible—to maximize their pay.
This system often leads to accidents caused by:
- Speeding – Because most commercial truck drivers are paid by the mile instead of by the hour, they may speed to reach their destination faster, complete more deliveries in a shorter amount of time, and get paid more.
- Fatigue – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk. Even though federal regulations allow truck drivers to drive up to 11 hours at a time, many drivers violate these rules.
- Inexperience – It can be extremely difficult to drive a large commercial truck. Even if a driver has passed the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test, they may not be able to handle poor road conditions, poor weather conditions, highly congested traffic, or narrow roads.
- Lack of training – When trucking companies directly hire drivers, they are required to provide them with appropriate training. However, because the trucking industry has a high turnover rate, some companies may take shortcuts with safety and use untrained drivers.
- Improper maintenance – Even though federal regulations require that trucking companies routinely inspect their vehicles for potential safety hazards, trucking companies or other parties may be liable for accidents caused by mechanical failures.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Detroit, call (800) 630-9229
Liability of Multiple Parties for Truck Accidents
One unique characteristic of truck accidents is that more than one party may be liable for the accident, including the:
- Trucking company – The trucking company has a duty to properly train its employees and check their background for potential safety issues. They can also be held liable for their drivers’ negligence.
- Truck driver – Because truck driver error is often the primary cause of truck accidents, they may be liable for the resulting damages.
- Truck manufacturer – If a truck is defective or has defective parts, the truck manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
- Cargo company – When cargo shifts during travel, it may cause the cargo to fall out of the back of the truck or for there to be uneven weight distribution in the truck, which may cause it to jackknife. In these situations, a third-party cargo company may be liable for the accident.
- Maintenance company – The FMCSA reports that brake problems and tire issues were involved in 35% of injury-causing truck accidents. Other problems such as defective lights, transmission issues, and power steering issues can also contribute to accidents, making the maintenance company potentially liable for damages.
Our Detroit truck accident lawyers can investigate your claim and identify all parties who may be liable for your accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Detroit Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 630-9229
Potential Damages in a Truck Accident Case
Every truck accident case is unique and may involve different damages, which are the economic and non-economic losses you suffer because of the accident.
Possible damages in a truck accident case include:
- Property damage
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If the truck accident resulted in a loved one’s death, there is no amount of compensation that can bring your loved one back to life. However, Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.2922 tries to ease the financial burden that the accident caused and allows the surviving family to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses that arose before the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering of the victim
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of companionship
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today
If you were injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to reach out for assistance. You do not deserve to suffer more because an irresponsible trucking company or truck driver does not want to pay for the damages you suffered. The Detroit truck accident lawyers with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
When you work with our team, you do not pay any upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. You only pay a fee if we win your case. The initial consultation to learn about your legal options is always free. Call us today at (800) 630-9229 to get started.