Minneapolis Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck drivers had the highest number of driving fatalities in 2015 with 885 deaths. Large commercial trucks are a crucial part of America’s economic engine, but they can also be dangerous for other drivers on the road. If a truck driver fails to follow the rules of the road, you or a family member can suffer severe consequences.
The truck accident attorneys on our Minneapolis team know that the level of due care is even greater for drivers of these huge, powerful vehicles. In fact, there are many state and federal safety rules that only apply to trucks and their drivers. We hold these drivers and trucking companies accountable when they break these rules and cause injuries.
Truck Accident Case Quick Facts
Leading Causes of Truck Accidents
According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the leading cause of truck accidents is brake failure, accounting for 29% of all large commercial vehicle accidents in the United States. Additional factors beyond the control of the driver included in the top 20 causes identified by this study are:
- Roadway problems
- Tire problems
- Cargo shift
Depending on other circumstances surrounding your truck accident, liability for these accidents may lie with local, state, or federal entities, parts manufacturers, mechanics, or companies responsible for loading and securing cargo. Our Minneapolis semi truck accident lawyers will carefully investigate the cause of your accident to identify all liable parties and fight to hold them accountable for their negligence. Even in cases where more than one party has played a role — which is most often the case in truck accidents.
15 of the top 20 causes of truck accidents identified in the LTCCS are related to truck drivers and their behavior. These, in descending order of frequency are:
- Unfamiliarity with roadways
- Over the counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
- Truck driver fatigue
- Unrealistic scheduling and increased pressure from management
- Illegal maneuver
- External distraction
- Following too close
- Internal distraction
- Illegal drug use
- Vehicle defect
We will take a closer look at some of these factors as we move on, but it is important to note that, even when they initially seem otherwise, these causes of truck accidents may be the fault of multiple parties or multiple factors.
Knowing the trucking regulations and rules to identifying each party and factor is our expertise and an essential part of securing fair compensation for you. We can examine skid marks, the truck driver’s black box recordings, vehicle inspection reports, drivers’ log books, and other important evidence to determine if the driver, his company, or another party violated local, state, or federal laws.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Differences in size can make vehicular collisions especially dangerous when trucks are involved. Accidents involving massive commercial trucks can mean life-altering and often deadly consequences for innocent victims. The sheer size of the vehicles involved in commercial trucking accidents creates the potential for catastrophic personal injuries, especially when a passenger vehicle is hit.
Cars are designed with safety features that can withstand the forces of similar-sized vehicles, but the physical force involved in a semi truck accident is an entirely different matter. Add to this a freight of hazardous or flammable materials, and the dangers are multiplied further.
Injuries that often result from truck accidents include:
The injuries listed above don’t just cause significant pain and suffering — they result in staggering medical bills that most people or their families will struggle the rest of their lives to pay. Tragically, many people will never be able to recoup these losses on their own, leaving tremendous debt for their family members when they pass.
We don’t think that’s right. You’ve suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s mistakes, not your own. You shouldn’t have to face a lifetime of medical expenses without help.
Whether you are recovering from your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one following a truck accident, our personal injury attorneys can help you obtain justice. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of wages and earning potential, loss of consortium, and all other economic and noneconomic damages you’ve endured. Call us to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
Who is Liable?
It depends on the circumstances around the accident, but if you believe you or a loved one were wrongly injured in a truck accident our team will help you review your options.
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
Because of the sheer size of modern trucks, these crashes tend to produce catastrophic personal injuries. These injuries can leave you with crippling pain and a never-ending stream of expenses. Our truck accident lawyers in Minnesota have 31 years of experience representing the injured victims of these crashes around the country. If you have been hurt in a truck accident, we will fight so that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Michigan couple “Al” and “Margaret” were traveling home after a family reunion in Minnesota. As they approached a toll booth, they slowed down before coming to a complete stop. Behind them in the toll booth line was a semi truck, driven by “Bill.”
Suddenly and without warning, the 60,000-pound semi-truck slammed into Al and Margaret’s car. Tragically, the couple died from the injuries they sustained in the crash.
Their family hired GoldenbergLaw. They wanted answers and justice. We hired one of the top truck accident reconstruction experts in the country and determined that Bill, the semi-driver, had exceeded the hours he was allowed by law to drive. We obtained the black box from the truck which indicated that the truck had never braked and was traveling 65 miles per hour upon impact.
From this, we determined that Bill had fallen asleep at the wheel. After an extensive litigation, we were able to obtain a substantial confidential settlement for the family from the trucking company and their insurance company.
A Closer Look at Driver Fatigue
Following the truck/car accident that injured actor Tracy Morgan, truck driver fatigue gained national attention. As one of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents, it deserves to stay in the national spotlight. Trucking companies are always competing with each other to deliver goods faster and more efficiently. As an incentive, some companies actually pay drivers more depending on how quickly they can reach their destination. This often prompts truckers to drive for longer hours and cut their rest breaks short, heightening the risk of a serious truck accident.
In an effort to combat trucker fatigue, the FMCSA has established Hours of Service regulations that dictate how many consecutive hours a trucker can stay on the road before taking a rest break. Currently, drivers cannot exceed more than 11 consecutive driving hours, and this shift must be followed by at least 10 hours of off-duty rest time.
Drivers are required by federal law to keep a running log of their drive and rest times. Unfortunately, trucking companies often impose tight, unrealistic deadlines on truckers, encouraging them to break Hours of Service rules and falsify entries in their log books. If a serious truck accident happens under these circumstances, the trucking company can be just as liable as the truck driver for any injuries that occur. Our Minnesota truck accident lawyers will evaluate and review all pertinent information to establish if a violation has occurred and hold all responsible parties accountable for your injuries.
A Closer Look at Truck Driver Intoxication
Because of the prolonged, irregular hours that many truckers spend on the road, some drivers resort to using stimulants to stay awake. These drugs may successfully fight off fatigue for a short period of time, but the consequences of using both over the counter and illegal stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamines, and ephedrine can be even more dangerous, resulting in consequences such as:
- Reckless driving
- Impaired reaction time
In many cases, driver fatigue and other factors that may contribute to drug use do not become obvious until a full investigation is performed on the truck accident. Trucking companies are always working to minimize their liability by sending their attorneys and representatives to the scene of a truck accident. Make sure you are prepared to respond effectively by hiring your own experienced truck and 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Minnesota.
The truck accident lawyers at GoldenbergLaw have over 30 years of experience handling serious injury cases, and we’re prepared to fight tooth and nail for the compensation you deserve.
The fear of losing out on money should not hold you back from getting a consultation. That’s why GoldenbergLaw offers free consultations to those who believe they have a truck accident claim. There is no charge and no obligation.