Michigan Dump Truck Accident Lawyer: No Fees Unless We Win!
Dump trucks come in all shapes and sizes. As a result, so do dump truck crashes. But not all Michigan personal injury lawyers are equipped to handle a dump truck accident. If you have been injured in a crash involving a dump truck , one of the most important things you can do is hire an experienced Michigan dump truck accident lawyer.
Dump truck crashes are actually often quite different from other types of truck crashes. Yes, they can still rear-end you, and when they do the force dynamics of these crashes are often far more severe than with other types of commercial vehicles as dump trucks are built to carry very heavy loads and materials. More often, however, dump trucks will overturn or flip over. These are very heavy trucks and even a slight slope can alter the truck’s center of gravity and increase the chance of the truck tipping over. When that truck tips over onto another vehicle, such as a passenger car, the consequences are often fatal. This is why you need an experienced and specialized Michigan dump truck accident lawyer to ensure they hold the negligent driver and company accountable for serious injuries suffered or for the death of a loved one.
To find out what your case may be worth, please check out our Settlement Calculator or call (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with an experienced dump truck accident lawyer from Michigan Auto Law.
Types of dump trucks
Not all dump trucks are created equal. Generally speaking, there are five types of dump trucks:
- standard dump trucks
- transfer dump trucks
- haul trucks
- semi-trailer end dump trucks
- off road dump trucks
Dump truck accidents are common
While dump truck crashes are less common than many other types of motor vehicle accidents, our Michigan dump truck accident lawyers found that they still occur at an alarming rate.
In fact, according to the National Safety Council, dump truck crashes have increased by more than 10% since 2019. More than 5,000 dump truck crashes per year result in serious injury or wrongful death on our roads.
Currently, there are no current dump truck crash statistics for the state of Michigan.
Dump truck crashes caused by flying debris
We’ve all had our windshields struck by a flying rock or piece of debris from the back of a dump truck. When that flying debris causes an accident that injures or kills someone, then the failure of the dump truck driver or owner to properly secure the load may be the basis liability for a Michigan dump truck accident lawyer to pursue in a negligence lawsuit.
Michigan law prohibits the driving of a dump truck on the state’s roadways “unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing off, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle.” (MCL 257.720(1)) Doing so is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail. (MCL 257.720(9))
Your Michigan dump truck accident lawyer can use a violation of a traffic safety law such as this as evidence that the driver was negligent.
Driver error as a cause of dump truck crashes
As one of the few Michigan dump truck accident lawyers who has litigated multiple dump truck crash cases in the country today, we have found that one of the most common causes of these crashes is driver error. Tipping over accidents are common, and these are almost exclusively caused by driver error. Even when the dump truck driver is at fault, the company that owns the dump truck is also liable and legally responsible as these companies have a non-delegable duty to safely train, supervise, and monitor their drivers, as it does with all commercial motor carriers.
Dump truck crashes resulting from driver error usually also involve a larger failure in the trucking company’s safety management system.
Other common causes of a Michigan dump truck accidents our lawyers encountered include: (1) negligent hiring of unsafe and unqualified drivers; (2) drivers operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs and/or prescription medication; (3) dangerous out-of-service-trucks caused by improper maintenance; (4) truck driver fatigue due to hours-of-service violations; (5) distracted driving; (6) violating traffic laws; (7) speeding; (8) failing to yield; (9) improper lane usage; and (10) shifting of negligently loaded cargo and freight.
While dump truck crashes can be caused by a variety of factors, the two most common factors remain driver fatigue and lack of training/experience.
Significantly, financially incentivizing drivers to make multiple runs per day and paying by the mile instead of by the hour also contributes to driver fatigue, impaired judgment, and often incentivizes drivers to speed, as the more miles they drive, the more they get paid.
Dump truck crashes caused by overloading
Another major cause specific to these types of crashes that our Michigan dump truck accident lawyers discovered is that drivers are being paid by the weight of the load, which creates an incentive to overload these vehicles, or being paid by the number of runs they make per day.
Overloaded dump trucks create a variety of unique risks and dangers, including:
- Difficulty maneuvering and stopping (the heavier the dump truck, the more difficult it is to turn and stop)
- Increased risk of rollover accidents
- Increased risk of shedding dangerous debris onto the roadway
Our Michigan dump truck accident lawyers also want to make you aware of the added danger presented by the hydraulic mechanism that lifts the container or bed of the dump truck allowing it to dump loose materials or cargo. A crash can result if the mechanism unexpectedly open or closes the container or bed.
Dump truck accident liability
Dump truck drivers are generally employees of trucking companies, despite the contention by some trucking companies that they are independent contractors.
Our experienced Michigan dump truck accident lawyers have seen many companies try to avoid or limit liability for a by intentionally misclassifying its drivers as “independent contractors” even though they are clearly “employees.” If successful, the trucking companies could avoid liability under a “respondeat superior” theory.
Under the legal doctrine known as “respondeat superior,” an employer is liable for its employee’s negligence that occurs within the scope of the employee’s employment. However, the respondeat superior doctrine does not apply if the negligent actor is an “independent contractor” rather than an employee.
Several federal Courts of Appeals and several state supreme courts have ruled against trucking companies on this issue, ruling that the drivers in those cases were “employees,” not “independent contractors.”
Pain and suffering compensation
When you have been seriously injured in a Michigan dump truck accident, a lawyer may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages from the trucking company, the at-fault truck driver and any other responsible parties.
Wrongful death lawsuit
If you have lost a loved one in a Michigan dump truck accident, you and your family can hire a lawyer to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company, the at-fault truck driver and other responsible parties.
A Michigan wrongful death lawsuit after a dump truck crash allows you and your family to recover damages for: (1) medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses; (2) pain and suffering compensation; and (3) loss of the deceased’s financial support, society and companionship.
Who can you sue for a dump truck accident in Michigan?
An experienced Michigan dump truck accident lawyer will help you determine which of the following parties you may be able to sue after a crash: (1) the trucking company; (2) the truck driver who caused the crash; (3) the maintenance company; and (4) the truck manufacturer.
Settlement and compensation
Your settlement in a dump truck crash case will, as with any personal injury case, partly depends on how much liability insurance coverage the driver and the trucking company are carrying on the dump truck involved in your crash.
Federal law requires interstate trucks to have a minimum of $750,000 to cover bodily injury and property damage. Our Michigan dump truck accident lawyers have handled many cases representing people injured in these types of crashes, and we know that trucking companies have an insurance tower that is often considerably higher than the federal minimum of insurance.
Other factors that may affect the amount of your settlement after a crash include: (1) your injuries; (2) your crash-related medical needs (present and future); (3) whether and for how long your injuries will disable you from working; and (4) your Michigan dump truck accident lawyer’s experience and track record.
No-Fault benefits after a dump truck crash
When you have been injured in a dump truck crash in Michigan, you are entitled to collect No-Fault PIP benefits from the responsible auto insurance company to help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, transportation costs for medical appointments, and attendant care services.
To protect your right to recover No-Fault benefits, you must file an application for No-Fault benefits with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year after your dump truck crash. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4))
Generally, a person’s own auto insurance company will be responsible for paying the person’s No-Fault benefits. However, if the person doesn’t have his or her own policy, then benefits may be paid through the policy of a spouse or relative who lives in the same home. If no coverage is available through those sources, then a person will need to apply for No-Fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
If you do not file your application on time, then the auto insurance company will use this to deny your claim and refuse to pay any and all of the No-Fault benefits you would have otherwise been legally entitled to.
Were you injured in a Michigan dump truck accident and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law now!
If you are injured in a Michigan dump truck accident call now (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website. Our attorneys can discuss your legal rights to sue for pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and No-Fault benefits.
Michigan Auto Law specializes in all truck crash cases, including dump truck accidents, and receives referrals from lawyers all over Michigan and the U.S. Michigan Auto Law attorneys have spoken at nearly 300 seminars and legal education programs throughout the country, educating other personal injury lawyers on how to handle dump truck accident cases. Attorney Steven Gursten is a past-president of the American Association for Justice’s Truck Accident Litigation Group and has been voted into the Truck Accident Lawyer Hall of Fame, one of only three trucking lawyers in the entire country to have won this award. Michigan Auto Law is also the only law firm in Michigan that has national board certification in truck accident law.
Our law firm has an extensive record of success, including recovering the highest recorded truck accident jury verdicts and settlements over multiple years, according to year-end compilations of settlements and trial verdicts by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. These include:
- $34.5 Million – A Michigan Auto Law attorney and his team secured the largest-reported tractor-trailer crash settlement in the U.S. for the year of this crash. It is the largest truck settlement to date by any Michigan attorney or law firm. The defense’s “final offer” before trial was $14 million. The case settled for $34.5 million in trial.
- $14.3 Million – Our attorneys won this truck accident verdict in Clinton County in a case involving a traumatic brain injury, extensive economic damages and loss of consortium. The defense’s final pre-trial settlement offer was $25,000. This was the largest-reported motor vehicle trial verdict in Michigan for that year.
- $13.5 Million – Our attorneys settled a case for a victim in a car vs. tractor trailer crash who suffered major burn injuries.
- $10.5 Million Truck Accident Settlement – A Michigan Auto Law attorney obtained this recovery for a woman who was seriously injured when a truck crashed into her vehicle.
- $9 Million – Our attorneys obtained this recovery for a man who lost both of his legs in a rear-end collision. This was the largest pain and suffering trucking settlement of the preceding decade for a rear-end crash in the state. The insurance company for the trucking company attempted to settle this case for $1 million with the client’s previous attorney, who had urged the client to take this offer before a Michigan Auto Law attorney got involved in the case.
- $6.2 million – This confidential out of state trucking death case was settled by a Michigan Auto Law attorney who was brought in to try the case by another attorney after the insurance company made a “final” offer of $1 million dollars to the widow of the man who was killed.
For more than 50 years, our Michigan dump truck accident lawyers have been helping people like you who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in truck crash cases. Our attorneys understand the physical, emotional and psychological hardships you are experiencing. We can help.