Experienced Truck Accident Injury Lawyers Protecting Your Rights
Semi trucks are the largest and heaviest vehicles most of us will ever see on Minnesota roads and highways. Because of their size and weight, accidents that might otherwise be considered minor can easily result in catastrophic injuries or death to occupants of smaller vehicles.
If you’ve been injured and aren’t sure what to do after a car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Carlson & Jones, P.A. We bring over 70 years of combined legal experience to each case. We know how to determine liability and hold all negligent parties accountable after a devastating truck accident.
Have you or a family member suffered grievous injuries or been killed by a semi truck in a crash? Trust the skilled Minnesota truck accident lawyers of Carlson & Jones, P.A., to put their years of combined experience to work for you in addressing your health, financial and legal issues stemming from the accident.
Common Causes Of Truck Accident Cases
Trucks are commercial vehicles driven by professional drivers. Because of this, we should expect truck accidents to be rare and attributable primarily to drivers of other vehicles. Unfortunately, neither is true. Truck accidents in the United States kill thousands of people each year and injure many more. When accidents occur, truck drivers and trucking companies are often to blame. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Insufficient driver training and monitoring
- Truck driver fatigue and drowsy driving
- Violating hours of service regulations (leading to fatigue)
- Improperly secured cargo and uneven weight distribution
- Alcohol and drug impairment
- Failure to maintain and repair critical truck components like worn-out brakes
No matter what the cause, the end results can be disastrous. Make sure you have a competent attorney handling your case. If you’re unable to travel, we’ll come to your home or visit you in the hospital for your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents, Liability And Compensation
Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions clients ask about truck accidents.
What are the most common commercial truck accidents in Minnesota?
There are many dangerous ways for a semi truck and a smaller vehicle to interact. Some of the most common truck accident types include:
Rear-end collisions – They usually involve a truck slamming into the back of a slowing or stopped passenger vehicle. These are often the result of faulty brakes or an inattentive driver who hasn’t been paying attention to changing traffic conditions.
Underride accidents – These occur when part or all of a smaller vehicle becomes trapped underneath the trailer of a semi. The vehicle occupants can be crushed or otherwise seriously injured, and the smaller vehicle may get dragged by the truck until the truck driver stops.
Jackknife accidents – In slippery driving conditions, a semi’s trailer can begin sliding sideways, independent of the cab pulling it. As the vehicle moves down the highway, the trailer swings wide and slides perpendicular to the truck, blocking lanes of traffic and striking anything in its path.
Rollover crashes – These are likely to occur when trucks are going around tight corners at high speed (such as when exiting the highway on a cloverleaf-style exit). Speed is one factor, and the other is how the trailer is loaded. If the trailer is carrying too much weight, the weight is distributed poorly or the cargo isn’t properly secured, these problems can cause or contribute to a rollover crash.
What are common injuries that result from truck accidents?
Serious and catastrophic injuries happen regularly when trucks collide with passenger vehicles. Considering the great difference in size and momentum of trucks and cars, it may not be surprising to learn that injuries often include spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Other injuries occurring in truck accidents include back and neck injuries, broken bones, blunt force trauma and lacerations. Any such injuries may be fatal.
How can drivers avoid truck accidents?
There are some things drivers of smaller vehicles can do to reduce the risk of a truck accident. Basically, it comes down to driving defensively and predictably. Tips include:
- Stay out of a truck’s blind spot and, when passing, doing so quickly. The more time you spend driving next to a truck, the more likely you are to be in its blind spot and the more susceptible you might be to a sudden truck tire blowout.
- In general, leave more room between your vehicle and a truck than you would leave with other cars (to account for increased stopping time and distance).
- Allow trucks more time and space to make turns than you think they might need.
- Drive predictably, always using turn signals and other indicators that clearly show what you’re going to do next.
- If you need to pull over on the highway, choose a spot that takes your vehicle fully off the road. If the shoulder is too narrow, a passing truck might have no option but to sideswipe your vehicle.
These are important tips that can reduce the risk of crashes, but you alone cannot be responsible for preventing a truck crash. If the truck driver behaves negligently, you may become a victim even if you did everything correctly.
Where are semi truck blind spots?
Trucks have huge blind spots, or areas where the truck driver cannot see approaching/passing vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians. There are blind spots in front of the truck (extending out about 20 feet) and behind the trailer (extending about 30 feet). On the driver’s side of the truck, the blind spot runs from behind the driver’s seat through most of the length of the trailer. It is even bigger on the passenger side.
The large side mirrors on trucks are meant to improve visibility, but they are only somewhat effective. The safest course of action when driving near a truck is to be as far away from it as possible (both in terms of the number of lanes between you and the distance ahead of or behind the truck).
What is the process of a personal injury claim after a commercial truck accident or any motor vehicle accident?
Much of the important work happens before a claim is filed: namely, a detailed investigation into the cause of a crash, liability and the nature of injuries, including a long-term prognosis. Consultations with a life-care planner will be important when injuries are catastrophic.
Meanwhile, a personal injury lawyer on your side will also conduct research to identify liable parties, including the trucker, trucking company and insurer(s) that may be responsible for compensating whoever was injured. Accountants may help to compile a dollar amount for attorneys to present as a claim to the relevant insurer(s) in settlement negotiations.
Lawyers will educate the plaintiff (the injured person or a close family member) so they can be ready to accept or reject a settlement offer that comes from those negotiations. If the insurer and plaintiff disagree significantly, the case may need to go to trial.
Free Consultations Available – Contact Our Buffalo, Minnesota, Attorneys Today
If you’ve been seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident, it’s important to understand your rights and legal options. Carlson & Jones, P.A., offers free initial consultations to all prospective clients, and we have four convenient office locations in Minnesota. To speak to one of our caring and experienced attorneys about your case, call us at 855-762-6548 or send us an email.