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Semi Tractor Crashes Cause Devastation to Injured Victims in Western Michigan

Gerlard R Stahl Oct. 4, 2023

I have represented victims of trucking accident for over thirty years. The consequences of these accidents are devastating to the victims and their families. Often times, the semi crash will result in death of the innocent victim. There are several differences between a semi truck and a car. And, the Federal Motor Carrier Act sets forth the rules and guidelines for semi tractor drivers and their owners and companies.

The roads and highways of Ottawa County, Michigan, certainly have its share of big rigs. Accidents caused by a semi truck will often lead to devastating injuries and consequences to the victim and their families. These accidents are often complicated and could have been avoided if the truck driver and the company understood and followed the regulations.

Causes of Semi Truck Accidents

There can be many factors contributing to the cause of a semi tractor crash. Listed below are some possible contributing factors.

1.     Sleepiness or fatigue due to hours of service violation or drugs.

2.     Swerving can result in loss of control.

3.     Improperly loaded trailer or overloaded trailer.

4.     Locking of brakes.

5.     Drug and alcohol abuse.

6.     Truck must be maintained and serviced routinely and records kept.

7.     Maneuverability can lead to wide turns and blocking lanes.

8.     Improper driver training as a result of employment history and lack of adequate training or education.

West Michigan Semi Crash Cases

Below are some examples of trucking accidents that could have been avoided in Ottawa County, Michigan.

Several years ago I represented an elderly couple that was seriously injured in a crash with a semi tractor trailer in Coopersville, Michigan. In that case, the couple was going home after church on a dark country road. It was nighttime and the semi driver was backing out of private property and blocking both lanes of traffic. The trailer did have lights on the side and when the clients came over a hill there was not enough time to stop. Both clients suffered serious life changing injuries. In that case injuries lead to depression, PTSD, and permanent disabilities.

I had a case where a semi driver came off the Highway at the M6 and US 131 circle exit in near Byron Center, Michigan and the semi and the trailer flipped. The Semi Driver was obviously going too fast for the sharp turn. The weight of the trailer caused the load to shift and flip the trailer. An improperly loaded trailer will cause swaying, turning, and stopping problems. This can also cause jack knifing and rollover.

Semi Truck Accidents in West Michigan as a Result of Maneuverability Issues

These semi tractors with trailers are difficult to turn, stop or maneuver. I recently represented a passenger injured in a collision with a semi trailer in Newaygo County, Michigan. In that case, the semi tractor pulled out to make a left turn but could not turn fast enough and ended up blocking both lanes. In that case, my client was a passenger in the front seat of vehicle that was unable to stop in time and struck the rear tires of the trailer with great force. My client suffered a brain injury from the high speed impact. 

I also represented the victim of a semi crash in downtown Holland, Michigan. In that case the semi truck was to making a right hand turn onto Washington Street in busy traffic. The semi truck tried to move into the right lane and in the process went over into the left lane. My client was traveling in left lane and was struck in the front passenger side. The crash resulted in my client suffering a brain injury and orthopedic injuries to her back. She was permanently disabled from the crash.  

Semi Truck Crashes from speed creating an inability to stop for traffic

I represented a young man some years ago that was injured in a crash caused by a semi truck that was unable to stop on HWY 31 in Grand Haven, Michigan. My client was the passenger in a van driven by his employer. Prior to the accident the van was stopped at a red light. The driver of the van could see the semi truck in his rear view mirror barreling at high rate of speed toward the intersection. However, at that point it was too late. The semi slammed into the rear end of the van causing it to go off the road and flip into a ditch. My client suffered a serious broken arm but the driver of the van died. This is another example of a semi truck traveling too fast and the force of impact causing devastating results.

I represented another client in Muskegon, Michigan, that was the victim of a semi tanker that was unable to stop for a red light.  The driver of the semi tanker was loaded with dairy milk. He was unable to stop for ran a red light at busy intersection and crashed thru the driver’s side door of my client’s vehicle. At the time of the accident, the semi truck was being driven by 23 year old man. The police reports note three witnesses that all verify the semi ran the red light. The driver later admitted that he ran the red light and was found responsible for disobeying the signal in a personal injury accident. My client sustained multiple fractured ribs, a punctured lung and other serious injuries.

Experience Counts in Trucking Accident Cases

Semi truck accidents almost always result in devastating injuries. Trucking accidents often involve multiple parties and various complicated issues. Attorney Gerald R. Stahl is experienced semi truck accident attorney. He has been helping victims of trucking accidents recover money damages in West Michigan for over 30 years. If you are injured in an accident with a semi tractor, you need an attorney that has investigated, settled, and tried trucking accident cases. Gerald R Stahl will fight to achieve the best results in your case.  The client should always consider their future after suffering a serious injury that was not their fault.