Being involved in any traffic accident can cause painful injuries. However, accidents involving large commercial trucks can be particularly devastating, as the large size of these vehicles impart far greater force upon impact. Furthermore, legal claims for compensation after a truck accident can present unique challenges requiring the guidance and advocacy of an experienced attorney to pursue effectively.
Factors Making Truck Accidents More Dangerous
Here are just a few of the reasons that truck accidents cause more damage than other traffic collisions.
The difference in size between a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck is enormous. While the average car weighs about 4,000 pounds, a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. As such, passenger car occupants will get the force of a vehicle 20 times their size, which can lead to severe injuries even at relatively low speeds.
When traveling at a speed of 65 mph, the average passenger vehicle requires about 300 feet to come to a complete stop under ideal road and weather conditions. Under the same conditions and at the same speed, a fully loaded truck needs 525 feet to stop. As such, truckers have less margin for error, especially in hazardous road and weather conditions.
The cargo in a truck’s trailer can make the vehicle more challenging to handle. If cargo loaders have not adequately balanced or secured the vehicle’s goods, cargo spills or jackknife accidents can become more likely.
Factors Making Truck Accident Claims More Complex
In addition to the increased danger of the accidents themselves, truck accident compensation claims can be more complicated for the following reasons.
The involvement of a commercial entity can make a compensation claim more challenging for injury victims. Trucking companies tend to have powerful lawyers and insurance companies that fight to protect their interests and reputations. Their industry lobbyists work to pass state-level laws that shield their employers from liability. Handing your case over to a Michigan truck accident attorney can level the playing field, giving your claim a fair chance against these corporate powers.
More Complicated Matters of Fault
In addition to the driver, many other parties might bear liability for the crash, including:
- The trucking company, if they did not adhere to FMCSA regulations
- The cargo loaders, if they failed to secure cargo properly
- A vehicle parts manufacturer, if a faulty component contributed to the accident
- A mechanic, if they failed to diagnose or address an issue with the vehicle
These are just a few scenarios that could make these parties liable or partially liable for an accident. Determining who was at fault for the crash requires a thorough investigation best conducted by an experienced Michigan truck accident lawyer. They know what types of evidence to recover, and have the legal resources to compel the trucking company to hand over items like hours of service logs, bills of lading/cargo manifests, and “black box” data.
Truck accidents are likelier than other collisions to cause severe injuries, and the greater the harm you suffered, the more compensation you could be owed. An attorney can calculate the full value of your losses and negotiate aggressively with insurance adjusters for a fair settlement package. If necessary, they can take your case to court.
Contact an Experienced Michigan Truck Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming and even frightening. You may feel at a loss for what to do to get your life back on track. Working with the seasoned Michigan truck accident lawyers at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC, can give you the confidence and clarity you need to move forward.
For more than 70 years, our firm has been passionate about fighting for the rights of Michiganders who’ve been hurt by others. Let us work to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.