Michigan Fatal Truck Accident Law:
What You Need To Know
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident in Michigan, you and your family may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation from the at-fault truck driver and other responsible parties whose negligence caused your tragic loss. You may also recover No-Fault benefits which can provide valuable financial support.
It is important to have an experienced Michigan truck accident attorney standing up for you and your family after a deadly semi-truck crash. These cases can involve many potential at-fault parties and layers of insurance that many lawyers can miss who are not experienced with truck crashes. Trucking companies can also move fast to quite legally destroy crucial evidence (which the law allows them to do after a brief waiting period) in order to avoid being held fully accountable for the loss they have caused your family to suffer.
Unfortunately, the law allows trucking companies and their lawyers to destroy documents that can prove the negligence of the truck driver, his or her trucking company and others as early as within 3 months of a fatal truck accident in Michigan.
Without an experienced lawyer to guide and advise you and your family, you could be one of the many unfortunate victims who wait to hire a lawyer only to discover that vital evidence to win your case has been destroyed.
Fatal truck accident statistics
There were 4,479 fatal truck accidents in the U.S. in 2019, resulting in 5,005 deaths. More than 80% of deadly truck crashes occurred on weekdays, with 36% of them occurring between the hours of 6:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Suing for wrongful death after a fatal truck accident in Michigan
A wrongful death lawyer will help you file a lawsuit under the wrongful death act against the at-fault truck driver if you have lost a loved one in a truck crash. You may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering and loss of financial support and companionship of your loved one.
The wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the personal representative of your loved one’s estate and the personal representative is appointed by a probate court judge.
Who can be sued for a fatal truck accident in Michigan under the law?
When you have lost a loved one in a truck crash, there are many potential defendants you may be able to sue, some are very factually specific and will depend on the exact circumstances of how the crash occurred. Potential defendants include: (1) the driver; (2) the trucking company; (3) the maintenance company; (4) the shipping company; (5) the load broker; (6) the leasing agent; (7) the trailer owner; and (10) the company that loads and unloads the cargo.
Causes of a fatal truck accident
The leading causes of fatal truck accidents in 2019 in the U.S. were: (1) speeding; (2) distracted driving; (3) impaired driving; (4) failure to yield the right of way; and (5) careless driving. Of the 41% of truckers in deadly crashes who were tested for drugs, 6% tested positive at the time of crash.
No-Fault benefits for financial support
You and your family – if you were dependents of your lost loved one – may be entitled to recover No-Fault survivors benefits from the responsible insurance company after a deadly truck crash. These benefits help compensate for the financial support your loved one would have otherwise provided.
Dependents of a loved one who lost his or her life in a truck crash have one year from the date of the tragic crash to file an application for No-Fault survivors loss benefits. This application is also called a written notice of injury. There is a 3-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
How much for a fatal truck accident settlement in Michigan?
Many factors will affect how much you can settle your case for, but your choice of attorney is one of the most important. An experienced lawyer who specializes in trucking litigation like we do at Michigan Auto Law will often be able to settle your case for more money and considerably faster than an attorney who only occasionally handles a truck wreck case here and there and does not really understand the law, rules and federal and state safety regulations that apply to a trucking case.
Did you lose a loved one in a fatal truck accident in Michigan? Get help from a Michigan Auto Law truck crash attorney
If you lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident in Michigan and you want to know about your legal rights to sue for wrongful death and recover pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and No-Fault survivors loss benefits, you can speak to an experienced Michigan truck crash attorney at 248-353-7575 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced trucking attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.
For more than 50 years, our attorneys have been helping people like you who have lost a loved one in a truck crash. We understand the physical, emotional and psychological hardships you are experiencing from this tragedy. We can help.
Michigan Auto Law truck crash attorney Steven Gursten has an extensive record of success in recovering the highest recorded jury verdicts and settlements in these cases over multiple years, according to year-end compilations of settlements and trial verdicts by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. These include:
- $34.5 Million – Our team secured the largest-reported tractor-trailer crash settlement in the U.S. for that year. It is the largest truck settlement by an attorney in the state.
- $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 – We obtained this truck accident recovery for a woman who was seriously injured when a truck crashed into her vehicle.
- $9 Million – Our truck accident lawyers 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.
- $6.2 million – The details of this truck death case settlement are confidential.
Even more important than our record settlements in the state is how our attorneys treat the people we help. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from the crash victims we have helped. You can also read about our 100% client satisfaction guarantee.
(Source: FMCSA, “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2019,” published October 2021)