Southfield, MI (PRWEB) August 19, 2009
There are currently 1,072 Michigan trucking companies with less-than-satisfactory safety ratings. This means that about one in four trucks on Michigan roads currently have defective brakes, bad tires, loads that dangerously exceed federal and state weight limitations, as well as unfit drivers with little or no safety training, says truck accident lawyer Steven M. Gursten,http://www.michiganautolaw.com/index.php of Michigan Auto Law.
Gursten obtained the information through a FOIA request from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as he is recognized as one of the nation's top experts in serious truck accident injury cases and is working to promote better trucking standards.
All of the listed Michigan truck companies have either conditional or unsatisfactory safety ratings. A conditional rating signifies that the truck company's records indicate the truck was out of compliance with one or more safety requirements. An unsatisfactory safety rating means the truck company's records indicated evidence of substantial noncompliance with safety requirements. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets regulations governing the Michigan trucking industry and updates the database of unsafe trucking companies.
"Unfortunately, there will be countless more tragic truck accidents causing death and serious personal injuries due to dangerous trucking companies like these -- that turn a blind eye to truck safety and ignore drivers violating mandatory safety laws," Gursten said.
Gursten is on the executive board of governors representing Michigan for the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, and is immediate past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group. He was named a 2008 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his tireless efforts to hold trucking companies accountable for negligence.
Gursten added that as gas prices soar, he and other attorneys who frequently litigate serious truck accident cases are seeing strapped trucking companies, especially independent contractors, cutting back even further on maintenance and safety programs.
"In a struggling Michigan economy, the first thing truck companies let go is maintenance. Sadly, the second thing to go is lives in truck crashes," he said.
Gursten is available for comment. He has several clients available for comment as well, including Cindy Nunez of Pleasant Ridge and Lynda Nunez of Riverview, the respective sister and wife of Patrick Nunez (Docket no. 07-719459-NI, Wayne County Circuit Court), who died in a commercial trucking accident when the truck driver lost control of his fully-loaded 150,000-pound gravel truck. It swerved into Nunez's car as it was traveling on Interstate 75 in Detroit.
The truck driver admitted in a deposition he had received no formal training or supervision from his employer and that he failed to inspect the truck's tires and brakes. Additionally, he had a seizure disorder and was on powerful epilepsy medication, which causes drowsiness and delayed reaction time. The Nunez case was the largest Michigan settlement, according to a year-end verdicts and settlements report by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Christopher Norris (Docket no. 03-3253-NI, Macomb County Circuit Court) is available for comment. Norris, of Chesterfield, lost both of his legs when his Saturn was rear-ended and split in half by an Atsalis Brothers truck on I-94 in Harrison Township.
Michael Mapes (Docket no. 09-000072-NI, Wayne County Circuit Court) is also available for comment. Mapes, of Pinckney, was driving a commercial truck and hit by a gravel hauler that ran a red light. The negligent trucker who hit him had his license suspended 11 times before the accident. Mapes was knocked unconscious and in a coma for days. Now he is disabled and has a serious traumatic brain injury.
For more information and to set up interviews, please contact:
Natalie Marie Lombardo
Gursten, Koltonow, Gursten, Christensen and Raitt, PC
26555 Evergreen Road, Suite 1530
Southfield, MI 48076
Office: (800) 777-0028, ext. 269
Cell: (586) 350-7743
2007 Michigan truck accident statistics:
Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS)
About Michigan Auto Law:
Michigan Auto Law is a third-generation law firm with 17 lawyers specializing in helping people who have been seriously injured or killed in car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents throughout the state of Michigan. We have offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. For more information, visit http://www.michiganautolaw.com or call (800) 777-0028.
About Steven M. Gursten
Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation's top experts in serious car and truck accident injury cases and automobile insurance no-fault litigation. In addition to achieving some of the highest car and truck accident settlements each year for injury victims in Michigan, Gursten has received the largest jury verdict in car accident cases for four of the past seven years including 2008, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.