NewsKnow the Law


Know the law – Semi-truck accidents

Posted at 8:43 AM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 11:12:23-05

Accidents involving semi-trucks are often the most deadly. Last year in Michigan alone, nearly 12,000 heavy trucks and buses were involved in crashes.
According to studies, 98 percent of semi-truck crashes result in at least one fatality – and about 86 percent of these deaths are not the truck driver. Due to their massive size and weight, semi-trucks can cause serious damage, catastrophic injuries and death to those traveling in passenger vehicles.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a new federal rule requiring the installation of “speed limiters” in newly manufactured vehicles with a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds. It is claimed these speed limiters will not only save lives, but will also save billions in fuel costs.

Basically, speed limiters would cap the speed of large vehicles, including semi-trucks, at a certain level. Currently, speeds of 60, 65 and 68 mph have been proposed.

What if you’re injured in a crash with a semi-truck in Michigan? Foremost, it is important to remember that you are entitled to Michigan no-fault benefits, just like if you were injured in an accident with a passenger vehicle. You can collect:
• unlimited lifetime benefits for allowable expenses.
• lost wages for three years.
• replacement services for three years.

However, persons injured in semi-truck accidents need to be careful because these incidents are significantly more complex than passenger vehicle collisions. This is because both federal trucking regulations and state laws apply. In addition, the cases can be complicated because multiple insurance policies and multiple parties may be involved, such as the truck driver, vehicle owner, trucking company, employers and shippers.

If you’re injured in a trucking accident, be sure to talk with an attorney who has experience handling semi-truck accident cases and who understands the application of both federal and state law.