Truck and Tractor-Trailer Accident Resource Center of Michigan
The Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik represents many victims of Michigan trucking accidents who have recovered damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, serious personal injuries and economic loss. Many survivors of truck crashes require hospitalization, surgery, lifetime medical care and assistance with personal care and daily activities. We are experts in Michigan No-Fault Law and will ensure that you will receive your benefits provided under Michigan No-Fault Law and that you will be compensated for personal injuries suffered in your Michigan tractor-trailer trucking accident.
With the huge increase in the operation of trucks and tractor-trailers on Michigan roads and highways, there has been a corresponding surge in the number of serious Michigan trucking accidents resulting in thousands of injuries and wrongful deaths each year. Some experts estimate that one in ten people involved in a truck collision will be killed. Many Michigan traffic crashes involve large semi trucks weighing over 80,000 pounds that cause wrongful deaths and catastrophic personal injuries due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicle. Some unique laws and regulations were enacted to protect individuals from the negligent actions of truckers and trucking companies. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik are knowledgeable in these special laws and will be able to identify any safety rules that have been violated.
If you, a friend or loved one have been in a Michigan truck accident, contact us through our online form or call the Truck and Tractor-Trailer Resource Center of Michigan: The Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik at 1 (888) 905-4632.
What You Should Know About Truck and Tractor-Trailer Accidents.
Q: Michigan Law for truck and tractor-trailer accidents is a “no-fault” law. What does that mean?
A: Basically, the “no-fault” system separates your truck accident claim into one of two separate categories:
- The first category provides you with reimbursement for reasonably necessary medical expenditures required to treat and rehabilitate your mind and body, as well as reimbursement for your loss of income during your disability (up to a specified amount allowed by statute). In addition, there are other benefits available under the “no-fault” portion of the claim. The payment of these benefits is made by your own, or possibly your employer’s, insurance company without regard to your own fault in the accident.
- The second category contains your right to seek recovery (make a claim or sue) from the adverse party for pain and suffering and loss of income (in excess of that covered by no-fault). However, because of the availability of no-fault benefits, Michigan does not automatically allow the accident victim to seek recovery for pain and suffering and for disfigurement after every accident.
In Michigan, there are certain minimum “thresholds” laws that must be met before the injured accident victim can collect any damages. The “thresholds” laws include death, permanent serious disfigurement of the body or serious impairment of a body function.
Q: What should I do before an injury or claim occurs?
A: Always keep your vehicle insured.
- Understand your health insurance and how it will work if you are injured in a truck collision.
- Understand your truck and tractor-trailer insurance.
- Review the declarations page to your truck insurance policy.
- Meet with your insurance agent to discuss available coverage alternatives.
- Meet with an attorney who specializes in truck and tractor-trailer insurance claims to review the adequacy of your coverage.
- Understand the types of coverage on your truck insurance policy:
- What does “full coverage” really mean?
- Bodily injury?
- Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist
- No-fault (or “P.I.P.”) coverage options?
- Know the process for filing a claim with your insurance company.
Q: I have been in a trucking accident. What should I do?
A: You should:
- Report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report when completed. Also obtain names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Get injuries treated and report all problems to doctor(s) and/or hospital emergency room.
- Photograph the vehicle (interior and exterior).
- Photograph visible injuries to any person (even if just bruises).
- Contact your insurance company to report the claim and start the procedure for no-fault benefits. However, be careful in filling out these forms. Contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury claims if you are uncertain.
- Get written documentation of work disability and any need for household services or nurse’s aide services from a doctor.
- Get proof of wages and income.
- Document mileage for medical appointments and prescriptions.
- Document changes to life and lifestyle – PAIN DIARY.
Q: Do I have a truck accident case?
A: Because every case is unique, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who will evaluate your case. For your free consultation, contact the injury specialists of the Truck and Tractor-Trailer Resource Center of Michigan:
The Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik at 1 (888) 905-4632
Q: Under the no-fault system, does my insurance company make up for my lost wages?
A: Yes, within limits. Payments are also reduced if you receive workers’ compensation or Social Security benefits and may be reduced if you have disability insurance. There is also a statutory cap, or limit, on the amount of lost wages that the insurance company must pay you each month.
Q: Under the no-fault system, how long am I entitled to receive no-fault benefits? If so, how long will benefits be paid?
A: The answer to this question can be complex and shows why you should contact a lawyer soon after a motor vehicle accident. In short, certain benefits, including wage loss benefits and household service benefits, last up to three years after a crash if a doctor says that you need those benefits as a result of injuries from the crash. Other benefits, including medical coverage, mileage reimbursement, and nurse’s aide or attendant care benefits, are lifetime benefits. This means that those benefits are available to you, if needed, for the rest of your life.
Q: What are attendant care or nurse’s aide services?
A: These are benefits paid to you or on your behalf if you have been severely injured in a truck or tractor-trailer crash and a health care professional states that you require personal care and supervision, including such tasks as bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene, transport to a doctor or assistance with walking, etc. Either a professional outside agency can be hired to perform these services, or, at times, family members and/or friends can be hired and paid to provide those services.
Q: I was seriously injured in a truck crash, but the police say that the crash was my fault. Does that have any impact on my no-fault benefits that I can receive after the truck crash?
A: No. As the name “no-fault” implies, fault in the crash is irrelevant to whether you are entitled to receive no-fault benefits or how long you are entitled to receive no-fault benefits.
Q: I was injured from a truck crash that was not my fault. Describe these “thresholds” laws that must be satisfied in order to receive pain and suffering damages?
A: Over the past few years, Michigan Courts have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to define what injuries are serious enough to meet the minimum “thresholds.” However, you must have sustained an injury that involves a serious impairment of an important bodily function, affecting your general ability to lead a normal life. There are three distinct requirements to this definition:
- Your ability must be objectively manifested, i.e., medically identifiable and have a physical basis. Pain must be medically substantiated to be considered an objectively manifested injury.
- Your impairment must involve an important bodily function. Some of the factors that the Courts will consider include: the severity of your injury, the nature of the treatment required, the duration of your disability, the extent of residual impairment and prognosis for your recovery.
- The impairment must have affected your ability to lead a normal life and constitute more than a minor interruption on your life. The impairment must have affected the course and trajectory of your entire normal life.
A trial court will objectively compare your lifestyle and activities prior to the accident to your lifestyle and activities after the accident. If some aspects of your entire like are not interrupted by the impairment, and your life has progressed on a normal course and trajectory, then the trial court will rule that your general ability to lead a normal life has not been affected and your injury does not meet the serious impairment of bodily function threshold.
Q: How can I put a value on a personal injury claim from a truck accident?
A: Every claim is different. Many factors influence the value of each potential personal injury claim. To accurately assess the value of the potential personal injury claim, you should rely upon the knowledge and experience of your attorney. Contact the injury specialists of the Truck and Tractor-Trailer Accident Resource Center of Michigan:
The Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik at 1 (888) 905-4632.