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Michigan Truck Accident Liability: Who Is Liable For A Crash?

Who is liable for a truck accident in Michigan?

In Michigan, when it comes to estabilishing liability in a truck accident case, it can take years of experience in trucking for a lawyer to be able to identify all of the different people and businesses responsible.  Holding responsible parties liable and accountable when their negligence causes a serious injury or wrongful death is why it is so important that you hire the best truck accident lawyer for you and your family.

Truck accident cases are a very unique area of law. Most personal injury lawyers do not have a special background in truck accident cases and liability in Michigan. Most lawyers handle these cases like a car accident case, but this does a terrible disservice for the clients. Worse, it can cost millions of dollars for a family when responsible parties and layers of insurance are not discovered. You and your family should entrust your case to a truck accident lawyer with the specialized knowledge, experience and skill that only comes from decades of obtaining winning verdicts and settlements in these cases.

It is this specialized knowledge and experience that allows a Michigan truck accident lawyer to identify liability and uncover all of the parties who are responsible, as well as identifying the multiple layers of additional insurance coverage that may add millions of dollars to a catastrophic injury or wrongful death settlement.

Specialization and experience are the two most important factors you should consider when you’re choosing a truck accident lawyer.

Check out our Settlement Calculator to see how much your case may be worth.

Who is liable for a truck accident in Michigan?

In Michigan, any person or business whose negligence causes a truck accident can be held legally liable which includes: the truck driver; trucking company; owner (truck and/or trailer); maintenance company; shipping company; loading company; load broker; leasing agent; manufacturer of truck, trailer, or equipment.

Can the truck driver be legally responsible for a truck accident in Michigan?

In Michigan, the truck driver is the most obvious person who has liability after a truck accident. It is, after all, the truck driver’s negligence that caused the crash. Also, the driver may share responsibility for negligent loading, securing of cargo, and/or vehicle maintenance and inspections.

Can the trucking company be liable in a truck accident in Michigan?

In Michigan, a truck company can be liabile in a truck accident is based on its ownership of the truck (whether it is both tractor and trailer or one or the other). In addition to owners liability and vicarious liability, the trucking company can also be sued under common law negligence theories for its employment of the driver. Liability for a truck accident in Michigan could result from negligent hiring and training as well as negligent supervision.  

Practically, that usually means pressuring drivers to violate federal safety regulations such as driving over hours of service or speeding to pick up or drop off a load on time.

Importantly, federal law requires trucks traveling in interstate commerce to carry at least $750,000 worth of liability insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage.

Can the truck owner legally responsible for a truck crash in Michigan?

In Michigan, a truck’s owner can be held liable in a truck accident under what’s called the “owner liability” law. Most states have these laws. For example, Michigan law provides that the “owner of a motor vehicle is liable for an injury caused by the negligent operation of the motor vehicle.” (MCL 257.401(1))

The “owner liability” law of the state in which a truck crash occurs will likely only come into play when the owner of the truck involved is neither the driver nor the trucking company.

Can the cargo shipper and loader be held legally responsible for a truck a crash in Michigan?

If improperly loaded or secured cargo causes a truck crash in Michigan, the cargo originator, shipper, loader and/or transporter can have liability in a truck accident. Liability may arise from: (1) the cargo not being loaded or secured correctly; (2) improper loading technique; (3) overloading; and (4) failure to inspect.

Can truck and parts manufacturers be held legally responisible liable for a truck crash in Michigan?

Truck and parts manufacturers can be liable in a truck accident if a defective part caused or contributed to the crash. Defective parts can result in: (1) brake failure; (2) tire blowouts; (3) malfunctioning coupling systems; and (4) steering malfunctions.

Injured in a truck accident in Michgian and have questions on liability? Call now!

If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Michigan and you have questions about truck accident liability, you can call us toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with one of our experienced truck accident attorneys. We will answer your questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages, auto No-Fault insurance PIP benefits, and settlements in cases like yours. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced injury attorney by visiting our contact page or chat feature on our website.

Truck Accident Liability