Attorney Eric Hageman wrote this post. He is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. He represents accident victims and their families nationwide. His offices are in Minneapolis, MN.
In the recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that alcohol-impaired driving accounts for nearly 11,000 fatalities per year, or about one third of all crash fatalities in the United States.
The CDC estimates that in 2010, there were approximately 112 million alcohol-impaired driving incidents and “binge drinking” played a big role in those incidents:
- 85% of alcohol-impaired driving episodes were reported by persons who also reported binge drinking; and
- The 4.5% of the adult population who reported binge drinking at least four times per month accounted for 55% of all alcohol-impaired driving episodes.
One strategy states have used to prevent DWI and the resulting fatal accidents is dram shop liability laws, which hold alcohol retailers (both on premises and off premises) legally responsible for harms caused by serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons. The dram shop laws are an important part of accident prevention, and we have used them to hold bars and other alcohol retailers accountable for their actions. But the CDC statistics are alarming, and more needs to be done to prevent fatal accidents.
The CDC recommends that all states take measures (e.g., sobriety checkpoints) to enforce DWI/DUI laws and that they consider requiring ignition interlocks (in essence, a breathalyzer installed on the dashboard) on the vehicles of all persons convicted of alcohol-impaired driving. I strongly support these efforts. Representing people injured by drunk drivers, I have seen over and over again how repeat DWI/DUI offenders can cause serious injury and death. Requiring ignition interlock devices for DWI/DUI offenders would go a long way to keeping drunk drivers off the roads.
Mack Trucks has recalled certain models of 2008-2011 CHU and CXU heavy trucks due to problems with the bolts used to secure the fifth wheel to the frame. The trucks were manufactured from January 2008 through July 2010.
Mack Trucks reported that there may be interference with the bolts used to secure the fifth wheel to the frame that can prevent the bolts from being torqued to specification. If not torqued to specification, the bolts may fail and could result in the fifth wheel coming loose causing the trailer to separate from the tractor and increasing the risk of a crash.
Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace bolts at no charge. The safety recall is to begin on or before May 30, 2011. Owners may contact Mack Trucks at 1-800-866-1177 (recall no. SC0351).
Semi Accident Lawyer for Product Liability
If you have been involved in a semi accident where the trailer became detached from the cab, you may have a product liability claim in addition to a lawsuit against the trucking company. Product liability claims are complex and require skilled representation.
PritzkerOlsen, P.A. is recognized as a leader in the area of product liability and recall lawsuits. Attorney Eric Hageman had a leadership position in recent multidistrict litigation (like a class action lawsuit). He represented people with multiple fractures, amputations, traumatic brain injury (TBI), chest injuries and other serious injuries. These cases were recently settled.
A bicyclist is defenseless against a large dump truck. Especially when driving in a city, a dump truck driver must be vigilant at all times to avoid hitting and killing bicyclists or pedestrians.
When someone dies due to the negligence of another, the law allows the family and next of kin of the decedent a claim or lawsuit for money damages. When a lawsuit is brought against a trucking company (in this case the dump truck company) for a wrongful death, negotiations occur between your lawyer and the trucking company’s legal team and its insurer. The trucking company’s insurance company is involved because they ultimately pay the dump truck accident victim’s family. In many cases, more than one insurance company is involved because more than one party is liable. Liable parties may include:
- the dump truck driver
- the owner of the truck
- the trucking company (if different than the owner of the dump truck)
- a maintenance company
Don’t Talk to the Trucking Company or Insurance Representative
If a loved one was killed in a dump truck accident, you may have already been contacted by an insurance company representing one of the potentially liable parties. You should not talk to the insurance company representative. Anything you say may be used to reduce the amount of your wrongful death claim.
Our law firm has negotiated several settlements of over $2 million dollars with trucking and insurance companies, including an April 14, 2011 jury verdict for $2,469,339 in damages in a bicycle vs. semi accident case. In the bicycle vs. semi accident case, the bicyclist was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer of a right-turning semi truck at a busy intersection. The jury found 70% fault on the truck driver and 30% fault on the bicyclist.
In wrongful death cases, Pritzker Olsen lawyers take the time to get to know about the person who died, what that person meant to the family financially and emotionally, what the person’s job was and what future prospects the person may have had, as well as what the person’s hobbies and other community activities were. This is necessary in order to persuasively present evidence as to the value of that life.
Our goals are to get justice for families, to make sure they do not needlessly suffer financially and to honor the memory of the loved one. Call us today for a free consultation at 612-338-0202 or 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or submit our contact form. We will help you carry the burden.
Minnesota semi truck accident lawyers at Pritzker Olsen have recently won several truck accident cases for over $2 million dollars each. In one of these cases, a semitrailer rear ended a car and critically injured the passenger of the car. Read about our top truck accident verdicts and settlements.
Our attorneys are available for a free consultation to the families of those critically injured and killed in the semi car accident on I94 near St. Cloud, MN. There is no obligation, and if you hire them, you will have no up front fees. Our law firm is only paid if we win your case.
Semi Car Accident Video: Attorney Brendan Flaherty on Investigating a Semi Accident
Wrongful death and critical injury semi v. car accident cases generally involve both state and federal laws and a number of defendants (people being sued). When our law firm takes one of these cases, we immediately begin our own investigation into the accident, which usually involves the following:
- Hiring experts in accident reconstruction
- Doing a physical inspection of the semi truck, including sitting in the semi driver’s seat to get a sense of what was happening right before the crash
- Doing a physical inspection of the car and any other vehicles involved in the semi accident
- Obtaining a copy of the driver’s log (federally required log of all hours driven)
- Obtaining copies of trucking company documents regarding the maintenance on the semi truck, the specific load being transported, the semi driver (past driving record, drug testing, training record, etc.), corporate ownership
- Getting the testimony of witnesses, the driver, trucking company executives and others
We also take the time to get to know the accident victim and his or her family. We have found that our clients get a better result if we do this.
If your loved one has been injured or killed in a semi accident in Minnesota, you have a lot of questions. We can answer them. Contact Fred or Eric at 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or submit our online form for a free consultation. We have experience with both wrongful death and critical injury cases.
Types of Semi Accident Cases We Handle:
- Semi vs Car Accident
- Semi vs Motorcycle Accident
- Semi vs Bicycle Accident
- Semi vs Snowmobile Accident
- Semi vs Pedestrian Accident
- Semi vs Train Accident
PritzkerOlsen, P.A. is a leading semi accident litigation law firm. Our attorneys have been interviewed by CNN, CBS News, FOX News and other stations regarding issues pertaining personal injury law. Fred Pritzker has once again been included in The Best Lawyers in America. Call 1-888-377-8900 to put our investigative and litigation skills to work for you.
Head On Collision with Semi:
Truck Driver Negligence
Very often a head on collision with a semi truck involves some form of negligence, including:
- distracted driving (cell phone usage, texting, eating, drinking, etc.)
- driver fatigue
- disregarding traffic, road or weather conditions
If a driver violates a traffic law, in most states, it is considered prima facie (at first sight) evidence of negligence. That means that without evidence of justification for the violation, by law, it is considered a negligent act. If evidence of justification is provided, the facts must be taken into consideration to determine whether there was negligence.
Head On Collision with Semi:
Investigation Critical to Building Winning Case
Once our lawyers are hired in a head on collision case, we immediately start our own investigation into the accident. Here is a list of some of the steps we take to build a winning case:
- We hire specialized experts in engineering, accident reconstruction and medicine, as needed.
- We interview the victim, if he or she survived, and the victim’s family to better understand how the head on collision with a semi has affected the family.
- We interview witnesses to the head-on collision.
- We go and examine the scene of the head-on crash.
- We do our own inspection of the semi truck and any other vehicles involved in the head on accident.
- We request pertinent trucking company documents regarding the truck driver’s hours, the maintenance of the semi tractor and trailer, the company relationship to the semi driver, the truck driver’s driving history and substance abuse tests and all documents relevant to the accident.
- We obtain freight company documents pertaining to the head-on collision.
- We interview the trucking and freight company employees who may have knowledge related to the case.
The attorneys at Pritzker Olsen have successfully handled semi accident cases involving wrongful death, amputation, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI) and other serious injuries. Call 1-888-377-8900 for more information or submit our free consultation form. We are waiting to help.