For all the types of Michigan truck accidents that arise, any one could result in severe and even life-threatening injuries. While some of these trucks are commercial vehicles, such as utility trucks and tankers, many others do not require a commercial license to operate—meaning many truckers do not undergo formal training before getting behind the wheel.
If you were injured in a collision caused by a truck driver, you are likely to be traumatized and unsure of how to proceed. Work with an experienced lawyer who could gather evidence against a negligent trucker—as well as other at-fault parties—and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Types of Trucks on Michigan Roads
When many people think of truck crashes, they think of large semi-trucks or 18-wheelers carrying massive loads of cargo. While these types of truck accidents are common in Michigan—especially on interstates and highways—there are numerous other types of commercial rigs that could be involved in an accident. These include:
- Mail trucks
- Utility trucks
- Rental trucks
- Tow trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Box trailers
- Automotive haulers
- Flat-bed trailers
- Delivery trucks
- Heavy haulers
- Cargo vehicles
- Concrete transport trucks and cement mixers
- Garbage trucks
When these or similar vehicles are involved in a crash, a victim may be able to pursue an injury claim against an at-fault truck driver with the help of a seasoned Michigan attorney.
Legal Obligation of Truck Companies
Many of the types of trucks involved in accidents listed above are often owned by a specific company, organization, or government agency in Michigan. As a result, these companies have a legal obligation to ensure they:
- Hire safe drivers with clean driving records
- Properly maintain and inspect their vehicles
- Reprimand or terminate any driver who does not follow safety rules or regulations
- Comply with all local and federal trucking laws
- Educate their drivers about the importance of safety
- Appropriately train truckers
Unfortunately, many trucking companies do not always regard these safety measures before allowing their employees on the road within their scope of employment. Whether this is to cut costs or simply due to ignorance, the risk of collisions and accidents is greatly increased when a company is negligent in their care. However, when a company neglects its legal obligations, that company could be held liable for any type of accident involving one of their trucks in Michigan.
Dangers Posed by Different Trucks
While a crash with any type of truck could have severe and even fatal results, certain kinds of trucks pose specific dangers in Michigan. For example, a mail truck may pose certain risks to other motorists that a utility truck does not, and vice versa.
The Risks of Tow Trucks
Because tow trucks are responsible for hauling other vehicles, their cargo is often heavy. This means that, in the event that they collide with a normal passenger vehicle, the outcome might be devastating. Furthermore, if a towed vehicle becomes detached on the road, this could result in widespread collisions and injuries.
Crashes Involving Tanker Trucks
Tanker trucks are arguably some of the most dangerous types of vehicles on Michigan roads. This is because they are typically responsible for carrying chemicals, many of which are highly flammable, corrosive, or slippery, from place to place.
Therefore, when a crash happens that involves a tanker truck, they are at risk of losing their hazardous cargo. Furthermore, their massive size means that, even in the event that their cargo remains intact, they could still cause severe injuries and damage.
Rental Truck Hazards
Rental trucks are often used by individuals who decide to move large items, such as furniture, themselves. Unfortunately, these types of trucks can be hard to maneuver, especially for drivers who are not used to operating larger vehicles in Michigan. Despite this, anyone with a license can operate a rental truck, meaning that accidents are far more likely for untrained motorists.
Because utility trucks are often hauling loads or assisting in work—such as hoisting workers for telephone line work—there are special risks involved with these types of trucks on Michigan roads. For example, if a utility vehicle is parked on the street for work, another motorist might not see warning signs of road work ahead, which might lead to a collision.
During a recent study, it was shown that on average, garbage trucks kill more pedestrians and cyclists per 100 million miles driven than any other vehicle on the road. Because these trucks do not travel as far as other trucks and instead spend the majority of their time in neighborhoods, this risk ratio is increased.
Although certain provisions of Michigan’s vehicle code do not apply to garbage trucks, they are not relieved of the legal duty to drive with care and reasonable safety. For example, garbage trucks are allowed to drive on the opposite side of the road, but only if their front and rear turn signal indicators at each side are simultaneously flashed. Despite these exceptions, a Michigan lawyer could help to gather evidence that a garbage truck driver behaved recklessly.
Legal Rights for Postal Mail Truck Accidents
For accidents involving a postal mail truck or another federally-owned vehicle, an injured person should be aware that there is an entirely different set of laws for filing a claim for compensation against the federal government.
Under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), a notice of an injury must be made within two years of the accident with the postal mail truck. This notice must be given to the appropriate federal agency that employs the postal driver, such as the U.S. Postal Service. To make this notice, a potential claimant must complete an administrative claim form, also known as a Form 95. It is crucial that a person injured in a crash with a mail truck carefully and properly complete this form for all claims, including property damage and injury claims. Any failure to comply with these specific procedures might void a person’s otherwise valid claim.
Usually, the statute of limitations to file a claim against the federal government is shorter than the standard three-year deadline for other truck crash claims. Furthermore, if a claim is denied, the injured person has six months from the date of the denial in which to file a lawsuit against the federal government. Because of the stakes involved in these claims, a person seeking compensation should reach out to a skilled attorney to discuss seeking compensation against a postal mail truck driver.
Learn More About the Types of Trucks Involved in Michigan Accidents
Any type of truck involved in a Michigan accident could result in a devastating and long-term impact on your life, including tow trucks, tankers, rental trucks, and postal mail trucks. As a result, you might wish to consult a compassionate lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to discuss your legal options if you were injured in a crash.
By enlisting a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney, you could rest assured that you have a skillful legal professional by your side. To learn more, reach out to schedule a consultation.
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