Accidents involving large trucks and tractor-trailers can be catastrophic. A commercial truck is much longer and heavier than the standard automobile. That means that when occupants in smaller cars collide with large trucks, the occupant usually suffers the worst injuries.
Truck accident cases are particularly complex. Not only do they frequently cause injuries with lasting consequences, they usually involve corporate entities. Victims are not going up against one individual to seek compensation — they’re going up against big businesses with powerful insurers and aggressive lawyers.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident in Michigan, you need a battle-tested lawyer who has the knowledge, reputation, and resources to get results that count. Christensen Law is led by a team of highly experienced truck accident attorneys who have helped accident victims like you obtain top-dollar settlements and verdicts in Detroit, Southfield, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and the neighboring areas.
Call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. You can schedule an appointment with one of our skilled truck accident attorneys at our Detroit office, located across the street from The Guardian Building.
What to Do After Your Truck Accident
The most important action that you should take after a truck accident is to seek medical attention immediately. Many times, it’s the only option. Colliding with a tractor trailer usually means that someone gets hurt.
See a doctor even if you don’t have pain or visible injuries after a wreck. You need to rule out “invisible injuries,” such as internal organ damage or head injuries, that can turn deadly if they go undetected. Getting an exam also protects any future legal claims you need to make by creating an official medical record tied to the crash. Your medical reports will form the basis of your injury claim, so visiting a doctor quickly protects both your health and your rights to compensation.
Other steps to take after a truck accident in Michigan include:
- If you aren’t severely hurt, remain near the scene and move to a safe location.
- Call the local police to file an official accident report.
- Preserve accident evidence by taking photos and writing down notes.
- Get contact and insurance information from the truck driver and any other drivers involved in the wreck.
Collect statements and contact information from any available witnesses.
- Reach out to an experienced Detroit semi-truck accident lawyer.
- Notify your insurance company of the crash.
It’s a good idea to speak to an attorney before notifying your auto insurance company about the truck accident. A lawyer can advise you on what should — and shouldn’t — be said to give you the best chance of protecting your rights. But be sure to check your policy carefully. There may be notification deadlines that you don’t want to miss.
What to Say to an Adjuster After a Truck Accident
It’s important to remember that any statements you make to an insurance adjuster could affect your case and the amount of compensation available for your recovery. Even though adjusters sound sympathetic, their job is to save the insurance company money. They’ll be looking for reasons to limit your access to fair compensation.
Protect yourself and let a truck accident lawyer at Christensen Law deal with the insurance company for you. Once you hire us, we will handle all communication with adjusters for you. Rather than deal with complex negotiations, you can focus on rest, recovery, and rehabilitation.
Sometimes, insurance adjusters call before you’ve had a chance to think about hiring an attorney. If you do speak with insurance adjusters, keep the following tips in mind:
- Report only the basic facts of the accident: the time, date, location, and names of the involved parties is sufficient. Don’t say anything about injuries or make guesses about who is at fault.
- Be careful of what you say and how you say it, since insurance adjusters will likely speak to others who may report your accident.
- Never lie and don’t apologize.
- Be aware that you are not required to work with the truck driver’s insurance providers directly, even though they may contact you.
- If you are subject to any questions or conversations that make you feel uncertain or uneasy, consult with a truck accident lawyer for advice.
What to Bring When You Meet Your Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, you may feel nervous and unsure of what to expect. Here are some suggested items to bring with you during a consultation with our truck accident attorneys:
- Medical bills and records
- Expense receipts and pay stubs
- Police accident reports
- Insurance policy information
- Truck driver and witness information
- Your timeline and account of the crash
- Photos or video surveillance of the accident scene, your injuries, and any road debris or weather conditions that may have contributed to the crash
Any information that can tell the story of what happened and how it has affected your life will help a lawyer determine your options and outline a legal strategy to best support your claim.
How a Detroit Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
A reliable truck accident lawyer can improve your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for your injuries. A truck accident lawyer in Detroit can:
- Explain truck accident laws and your legal rights.
- Investigate and collect compelling evidence to build a strong case.
- Interview eyewitnesses for statements to support your claim.
- Hire experts, when necessary, to provide persuasive testimony about the accident and its impact on your life.
- Communicate with insurance representatives and trucking companies for you.
- Negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement that takes all of your losses into account.
- File a truck accident lawsuit and take your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
- Represent you aggressively in pursuit of a successful verdict.
Proving Negligence After a Semi-Truck Accident
Since large truck drivers usually operate commercially, there are often multiple parties involved in a truck accident injury claim aside from the driver and their insurance provider. Trucking companies, truck owners, cargo loading companies, and any manufacturers that produced cargo being hauled by the truck can be held liable in a truck accident case. As such, you may have several parties working against you as you attempt to prove your case and win compensation.
To secure compensation in a truck accident case, victims have to prove that the negligence of a truck driver and/or related parties directly caused their injuries. Fault could be spread among multiple parties depending on the facts of the case. To improve your chances of obtaining maximum compensation from all liable parties, it’s wise to speak with a top truck accident attorney about your case.
Getting Evidence for Truck Accident Claim
In most accident cases, the best time to collect evidence is immediately after the collision occurs. If you’re able, contact law enforcement immediately and collect as much of your own evidence from the scene as possible.
Examples of evidence include:
- Photos showing the accident scene and resulting injuries
- Notation of any skid marks or obstructions on the road
- Weather conditions that were present at the time of the accident
- Contact information from the truck driver, witnesses, and first responders
- After the accident, your attorney can help you uncover other crucial evidence like:
- Black box and truck driver logbook information
- Bills of lading and other cargo information
- Historical manufacturing or inspection data for the truck or trailer
- Trucker GPS or cell phone data
This evidence can be carefully put together to craft a strong and solid claim for maximum compensation for you.
Truck Accident Statute of Limitations
If you’re unable to settle with the truck driver’s insurance providers, you may end up taking your case to trial to recover compensation. To win a truck accident lawsuit in Michigan, you must be sure to file before the state’s statute of limitations expires.
In Michigan, the deadline for filing a truck accident lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the accident. There are some exceptions that may shorten or lengthen this time limit, so it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney to learn when the clock starts ticking for you.
Knowing When to Take Your Claim to Court
The vast majority of accident cases settle out of court. A settlement is often the fastest and easiest way to move forward for all parties involved.
However, there are also advantages to having an impartial judge or jury decide the outcome of your truck accident case. Some of the circumstances that lead injury victims to take their claims to court include:
- Lack of response to a reasonable demand letter
- Inability to reach an appropriate settlement
- Settlement offers that are unreasonable or too low
- Severe injustices that demand punitive compensation
Keep in mind that you still have the ability to settle after you file a lawsuit. Sometimes, the threat of trial is enough to convince insurance companies that they need to offer a higher settlement rather than risk the time, expense, and publicity of a trial.
Christensen Law Can Help You Win Your Truck Accident Case
If you or your loved one was injured in a truck crash in Detroit, you need a relentless Detroit truck accident lawyer who will demand compensation for all of your physical, financial, and emotional losses. Look to Christensen Law. Our lawyers will help you understand your legal situation, build a strong case, and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Our job is to listen and protect your best interests so that you and your family can move forward. For a free consultation of your truck accident injury case, call or contact us online today.