Multi-vehicle accidents can result in a chain of injuries, along with considerable property damage. In particular, truck accidents can lead to especially severe injuries due to the size and weight of a typical truck. As a recent truck accident in Michigan illustrates, a head-on truck collision involves significant force, often leading to devastating high-impact crashes.
According to a recent news article, two people were injured following a head-on truck collision in Paw Paw Township, Michigan. The three-vehicle collision occurred on Highway 51 when a pickup truck driver traveling northbound sideswiped a semi-truck going southbound. After crossing the centerline, the pickup truck driver then collided head-on with a southbound box truck. The drivers of the pickup truck and box truck were taken to the hospital for their injuries.
Establishing fault in a truck accident can raise several issues. First, a driver may be borrowing another person’s truck to transport his or her personal items. In this scenario, Michigan law would assign liability to the truck owner for the truck driver’s actions. In other words, a person who suffers injuries from a motor vehicle accident can sue the vehicle’s owner, even if the owner was not driving at the time of the accident. Conversely, the owner is not liable unless he or she knows or permits someone else to drive the vehicle. However, if the driver at the time of the injury is the owner’s spouse or immediate family member, Michigan law presumes that the owner knew and consented to the use of his or her vehicle. If a plaintiff sues the owner and the driver who borrowed the owner’s truck, the plaintiff can only recover one sum from all defendants. For example, if the plaintiff sues for $50,000 in damages, they can recover a total of $50,000 from all defendants, rather than $50,000 from each defendant.
Second, as illustrated above, a court may allocate fault among multiple parties. This issue will often arise in a truck accident involving multiple vehicles. Michigan law assigns fault based on several liability. This means that each defendant need only compensate the injured party for the damages for which they are actually responsible. For example, if a Michigan court found one defendant to only be 10% at fault, that defendant is only responsible for 10% of the monetary damages that the plaintiff is seeking.
Lastly, drivers may be operating a truck as part of their job responsibilities. In these cases, the driver’s employer may be liable for damages resulting from an accident involving the employee. In this scenario, a plaintiff must show the driver was performing job duties to support his or her employer’s business. If the truck driver was acting independently, his or her employer cannot be liable for injuries resulting from the employee’s accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Michigan Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Michigan truck accident, contact the Neumann Law Group. The skilled attorneys on our team handle personal injury cases in several practice areas, including truck accidents, drunk drivers, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, defective baby product liability, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and wrongful death. Through the dedicated representation of our Michigan accident attorneys, we have secured fair settlements for injured victims and their families. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 800-525-6386 today.