Wayne County Truck Accident Lawyers
Trucks are essential for transporting goods and keeping the economy going. However, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles can pose a serious threat to drivers on the roads of Wayne County, Michigan. Truck accidents occur for many reasons, including drowsy truck drivers and poor truck maintenance. Lax or poorly enforced safety standards in the trucking industry may also cause many preventable injuries and deaths.
Top Causes of Truck Accidents
As Michigan’s most populous county, Wayne County has countless trucks traveling its roads every day. Loaded semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and have the potential to cause staggering damage if they are involved in an accident. In 2020, nearly 82 percent of heavy truck accidents that resulted in injuries involved a collision with a motor vehicle in motion or on the roadway.
Truck drivers must be alert and responsible when operating such massive, cumbersome vehicles. Equally, trucking companies must follow safety rules and regulations, conduct appropriate maintenance, and ensure drivers are adequately trained. Many Wayne County truck accidents result from various forms of negligence. Common factors involved in severe accidents are:
- Driver error: Truck drivers are often required to drive long hours on endless stretches of highway. While most of them practice safe driving habits behind the wheel, others struggle with fatigue or engage in risky driving behaviors. Distracted driving, drowsy driving, intoxicated driving, and reckless driving can cause catastrophic collisions. In 2020, many heavy truck accidents involved driver errors during turning, backing up, and changing lanes right before a crash.
- Poor truck maintenance: Improperly maintained semi-trucks are more likely to be involved in crashes. Although truck maintenance can be costly and time-consuming, it is necessary to ensure public safety—and it is required by law. Worn-out tires, broken taillights, and damaged coupling devices are hazardous maintenance issues that can arise.
- Truck defects: Sometimes, a truck’s parts can be defective. For example, the tires, fuel tank, underride guards, or steering mechanisms can malfunction due to design or manufacturing errors. In such cases, the truck manufacturer or trucking company may be liable for causing a crash.
- Unsafe cargo: There are specific procedures for loading and securing cargo properly. Overloaded or uneven cargo can cause a truck to become unbalanced. The truck driver can easily lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a serious truck accident.
Recovering Compensation for a Wayne County Truck Accident
Truck accidents can cause life-changing injuries that require long-term treatment. The costs can quickly add up. When a negligent truck driver, trucking company, or truck manufacturer is to blame for a crash, victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party or parties to recover damages.
The Wayne County truck accident attorneys at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., have experience representing clients in all types of truck accident cases. A successful personal injury claim can result in these types of damages:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Decreased earning capacity.
- Property damage.
- Physical pain.
- Emotional distress.
Recovering physically after a truck accident can take weeks, even months. However, the effects of a crash can linger for many years. Any compensation you receive should cover your losses in full, including past medical care, possible future care, and lost earning potential. Because there are no damages caps in Wayne County, our lawyers will work diligently to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Determining Fault for a Truck Accident
Sometimes multiple negligent parties may be to blame for causing a crash. Under Michigan law, modified comparative fault determines who is responsible for a Wayne County truck accident. Damage awards are shared between the responsible parties based on each party’s percentage of fault.
For example, a court might determine that a trucking company was 80% liable for an accident for failure to inspect the vehicle properly. In comparison, a parts manufacturer was 20% liable for misrepresenting the safe lifespan of a key part that failed and caused the accident. If an injured victim presented damages of $1 million, the trucking company would have to pay $800,000, while the manufacturer paid $200,000.
If you are partially at fault for an accident, you may still be able to recover damages. Your percentage of contributing fault would reduce the amount.
In the preceding situation, imagine the court found you were 10% at fault for the accident because you were following too closely, with the trucking company being 75% liable and the manufacturer 15% liable. This would reduce your damage award of $1 million by 10%, and the other responsible parties would pay proportionate to their fault ($750,000 and $150,000, respectively).
Contact an Experienced Wayne County Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a Wayne County truck accident, the personal injury lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. are here to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Our experienced and methodical approach to the recovery process means you can focus on healing from your injuries while we take care of the rest.
We understand that choosing a personal injury law firm to handle your case is no easy decision. Sommers Schwartz P.C. offers a free initial consultation. Call us today at 800-783-0989 to learn more and speak to a skilled truck accident lawyer.