Minneapolis Truck Accident Lawyers Near Me
Truck accident cases are different than typical two-car collision cases, involving unique issues of law which require an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate. Handling truck accident claims is one of our firm’s primary areas of practice.
Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with the accident reconstruction aspects of this type of litigation and the preparation necessary to bring such cases to trial. As a result of our work in this area, our firm has an excellent track record of obtaining successful results for our clients who have been injured in truck accidents.
Truck Accident Damages Recovery
The laws applicable to cases involving truck accidents involve state and federal regulations which sometimes allow for negligence per se claims. Such cases usually also involve common law claims based on negligence. (For a discussion of Minnesota’s no fault system and other considerations relevant to standard car accident cases, please visit our car accident page.)
In certain cases punitive damages may be justified where there has been malicious or grossly negligent conduct. Potential defendants generally include, but are certainly not limited to:
- the driver
- the motor carrier
- the safety director for the carrier
- the mechanic
- the vehicle inspector
Truck Accident Statistics
- A total of 4,102 people died in large truck crashes in 2017
- 68% of those deaths were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles
- 49% of large truck crash deaths in 2017 occurred from 6am to 3pm
Stats courtesy of IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Factors That Contribute to Truck Accidents
It is important to understand that commercial trucks and the accidents associated with them often involve issues that are not common to typical motor-vehicle accidents. A few of these considerations are discussed below:
- Size: Semi trucks can be extremely unwieldy because they are so massive. This fact alone is the cause of many highway trucking accidents.
- Stopping Distance: An important difference between cars and big rigs is the length of the distance it takes to stop. With size comes momentum. Trucks with greater mass have a more difficult time stopping than a typical car. While an average car moving at 65 miles per hour is able to stop in approximately 162 feet, it takes a semi truck about 420 feet.
- Braking Systems: Tractor-trailers utilize braking systems that are completely different than regular cars. Generally, commercial trucks use an air brake system, in which pressure is used to increase the braking force, and the compressed air can multiply the force of mechanical braking several times. An experienced driver can sometimes use the air brakes to help keep a truck from sliding and jack-knifing. Truckers have to be cautious while driving downhill long distances, as their brakes can overheat and fail. Moreover, an unbalanced brake system can play an integral role in causing a collision — affecting the steering, control, and the stopping distance of the vehicle.
- Jack-Knifing: The configuration of tractor-trailer rigs creates the danger that the trailer may swing out to the side during braking error or malfunction. Such situations are very dangerous for others on the highway.
- Rollovers: Trucks roll over much more easily than typical motor vehicles because of their high center of gravity and high profile. Side impact forces which might not cause a normal vehicle to tip can sometimes cause a big rig to topple.
- Empty Trailer Dynamics: Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is important to note that empty trailers require greater stopping distances than their loaded counterparts. The brakes, tires, springs, and shock absorbers on heavy trucks are designed to operate most efficiently when the trailer is fully loaded. As a result, when the trailer is empty stopping distances can increase.
- Issues Unique to Tanker Trailers: Tanker trailers can greatly affect a truck’s maneuverability. For example, a tanker may experience significant sideways forces caused by the sloshing of the liquids it carries. Although a tank with internal dividers may reduce the sloshing effect, certain tankers, such as milk carriers, cannot have such dividers due to health regulations, and the danger of rollover increases with such tanker trailers.
Truck Accident Reference Materials
Work With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, call the attorneys at Hall Law. We have more than 35 years of experience in truck accident litigation and representing people who have been injured in accidents involving motor vehicles of all kinds.
Preserve Your Rights
Where you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is important to act swiftly in order to preserve evidence and to ensure other key aspects of your case are not neglected. If you or one of your loved ones has a potential truck accident claim, please call today for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.