Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

shutterstock_628251-300x200In action-packed movies and action-packed tv shows, it is not uncommon to see a scene involving speeding vehicles crashing into objects that result in the vehicle erupting into flames. When these types of crashes happen in the real world and involve a vehicle catching fire, these crashes can be especially devastating for those involved and even for those who witness the fiery crash. According to research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 212,500 vehicle fires caused 560 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries; and $1.9 billion in direct property damage in the US during 2018.” The causes of vehicle crashes that involve fires are not always easily identifiable or immediately clear and take some time to be investigated properly.

A recent news article revealed the details of a tragic accident that occurred during an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan. A 40-year-old male died while driving a semi-truck powered by jet engines 300 mph down a runway as part of a performance. A video shows him driving past an explosion on the runway when his jet-propelled truck catches fire and appears to roll. The crash took place during the show’s pyrotechnic portion when planned explosions were going off. The crash is still under investigation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of vehicle fires were mechanical failures or malfunctions and electrical failures or malfunctions. The association stresses the importance of regular maintenance on vehicles to prevent vehicle fires. When vehicle crashes include fires, family members of accident victims may wonder how this impacts their ability to recover damages. One may be able to bring a product liability suit against the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer of a vehicle can be held liable for defective trucks they design when it is proven that the vehicle posed a reasonable risk of harm, that a safer version of the vehicle could have been manufactured, and the defect was a direct cause of the injuries sustained. In addition to the possibility of product liability suits, victims and the loved ones of those killed in these types of accidents should consult with an experienced lawyer who can help determine which type of civil lawsuit may be viable.

Okay-Bone-240x300Motor vehicle accidents (“MVAs”) are extremely dangerous. An average mid-sized sedan weighs about one-and-a-half tons. Even when moving at relatively low rate of speed, the force of a one-ton collision is enormous. A head on collision is far worse. If a vehicle going 47 mph strikes another vehicle traveling 64 mph, the collision is of a similar magnitude to a vehicle traveling at 111 mph ramming into a concrete barrier. Modern safety features have dramatically reduced the risk of injury in a MVA, but there is little technological innovation can do to offset the impact of a high-speed head-on collision.

Some MVAs cause immediately life-threatening injuries. First responders take the injured directly to a hospital for critical care. However, other incidents may not cause injuries that require the same type of immediate life-saving intervention. The injured party will be offered the option to travel to a hospital in an ambulance, but instead of accepting emergency transport, the individual injured will decline for a number of reasons. He or she might feel embarrassed or ashamed of being in an accident; the cost of the ambulance service will cause financial hardship; the idea of taking an ambulance when not in a life-threatening situation may feel selfish; pride may play into the decision-making process; or the injured person may just not feel like they’ve suffered a severe enough injury to justify that level of attention.

While some of those who decline emergency transport may go directly to the emergency room by other means, many decide to wait and see their primary care physician. Others will not seek medical attention at all, or simply decide that the injury is not severe enough for pay for the office visit, waiting to see if the injury heals on its own. While financial concerns are valid—our system’s fundamental flaw is that seeking medical treatment can end in bankruptcy—it is always wise to see a doctor after an MVA.

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Photo Credit: Olivier Le Queinec / Shutterstock.com

Due to Michigan’s location in the center of the country, the state gets a high volume of semi-truck traffic. While most of these Michigan truck drivers are professionals who take their job – as well as the safety of their fellow motorists – very seriously, that is not always the case. Indeed, according to the most recent government statistics, there were over 14,000 Michigan truck accidents in 2017 alone. These accidents resulted in nearly 2,500 injuries and almost 100 deaths.

What is perhaps more startling than the raw numbers is the fact that the majority of these Michigan truck accidents are preventable. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, vehicle problems and environmental factors account for only 13% of all truck accidents, and a shocking 87% of all truck accidents can be attributed to driver error. Most commonly, these accidents are the result of poor decision making or a truck driver’s failure to recognize imminent hazards, turns, and vehicles.

Those who have been injured in a Michigan truck accident can pursue a claim for compensation against a truck driver. In many cases, the accident victim can also name the driver’s employer as a defendant. To establish liability, an accident victim must be able to show that the truck driver violated a duty of care that was owed to the accident victim, and that the violation of that duty was the cause of the accident victim’s injuries.

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