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Truck Accidents

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Truck Accident Lawyer

A collision with a large truck can cause painful, severe injuries that can affect someone for the rest of their lives. In other cases, some people can lose their lives. Whether you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a wreck involving a tractor-trailer, you deserve to have representation who will stand up and fight for you. A Minneapolis truck accident lawyer from Madia Law LLC will protect your rights.

Our law firm knows how a crash involving a truck can result in extensive hospital bills, a long recover time, and an uncertain future. We’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve so you can move forward with confidence.

Minnesota Truck Crash Facts

Of the total 5,369 truck accidents in Minnesota in 2019, 56 people lost their lives and 1,431 were injured. Tractor-trailer collisions with other motor vehicles totaled 3,966. In those accidents, there were 43 fatal crashes, 867 injury crashes, and 3,056 property damage only crashes. Trucks also have collided with parked vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and fixed objects.

Most fatal crashes occurred on US Trunk Highways and MN Trunk Highways, where most injury crashes happened on interstates and County State Aid Highways. While certain roads may be more prone to accidents than others, it only takes one negligent action on any road to result in a devastating collision.

Minnesota Trucking Regulations

Our lawyers know that trucks in Minnesota need to abide by certain rules and regulations. The weight limitations for semi-trailers in Minnesota detail what rules they need to follow so they can be safe on the road. The following limitations are for 10-ton routes, which are all the paved routes in Minnesota unless there is a sign posted that shows a different axle weight.

  • A vehicle combination with five or more properly spaced axles: 80,000 lbs
  • Tandem axle group: 34,000 lbs
  • Single axle: 20,000 lbs
  • Single or dual wheel: 10,000 lbs

When trucks don’t follow these weight limits, they’re at risk of causing an accident and injuring others on the road. If the vehicle involved in your accident wasn’t following federal regulations, it’s possible this wasn’t the first time this has happened. If the company the truck belongs to has a history of failing to adhere to the regulations for trucks and have been involved in other accidents in the past, our skilled truck accident lawyers will find out and stand up for you.

The type of accident you were involved in can indicate the identity of the negligent party and how you sustained injuries. There are a few ways that a large truck like a big rig or semi-trailer can crash. Our attorneys are familiar with the various ways these collisions happen and how.

  • Jackknife. A tractor-trailer can jackknife when the trailer swings out from behind the tractor and makes an L or V shape. Once this happens, there’s little the driver can do to get the vehicle back under control. The If there are cars in the other lane, they could be in the path of the trailer.
  • Blind Spot Collisions. Large commercial trucks have significant blind spots, also known as No Zones. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that there are blind spots on all four sides of the truck. 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind the truck, part of the lane to the left of the truck, and up to two lanes to the right of the truck are all blind spots for the driver. If you’re driving next to a trucker and you cannot see them in their mirror, then it’s likely If a car is in that spot and the semi-truck changes lanes, they could collide with the car.
  • Rollover. 18 wheelers have a high center of gravity. If they go around a turn too quickly or the driver overcorrects steering at high speeds, they could be involved in a rollover accident. When a vehicle as large as an 18 wheeler rolls over, many people can sustain injuries.
  • Underride/Override. When a car gets stuck under a truck, whether it’s under the front, side, or back, the truck can shear off the top of the car. An override accident can occur because of a truck driver speeding or following a vehicle too closely. Underride accidents may occur if the tail lights on the trailer aren’t working or there aren’t any underride guards. These accidents can result in fatalities or catastrophic injuries.
  • Lost Load Accidents. When the cargo isn’t secured properly, it can fall out of the truck, or the trailer can detach from the tractor. The cargo falls on to the highway and endangers anyone traveling behind them. If the cargo is hazardous material, it can seep into the environment and potentially affect those who live near the area. In some cases, it could also be a fire hazard. If the material is flammable, an accident could result in an explosion.

As we investigate the type of accident you were involved in, we’ll also look for evidence of what caused the accident. It’s possible for one or more of the following causes to have happened:

  • Driver Inexperience. Drivers need to have training to properly operate an 18 wheeler. These vehicles need more time to speed up, slow down, and change lanes. If the driver isn’t used to this, they may try to maneuver the vehicle without having adequate space or time and cause a collision. An inexperienced driver may also be unfamiliar with routes or certain areas. If a route has blind turns or difficult paths, they may not be able to remain in control of the rig.
  • Driver Fatigue. Truck drivers often drive long hours for multiple days. However, they’re supposed to take breaks and rest so they aren’t sleepy while behind the wheel. Sometimes, this can also arise from taking medications that make the driver drowsy. If they’re battling an illness and take medicine, they may not realize the side effects. If a driver is fatigued or drowsy, their reaction time is slowed, they may have trouble making decisions, and could fall asleep while driving.
  • Overloaded Cargo. Sometimes, semi-trucks are overloaded past their weight requirements, so the tractor is pulling an overloaded trailer. If the weight is too much for the truck, the axles may give out. The truck driver could lose control of the trailer if the axles bend. In these instances, a jackknife or rollover may occur.
  • Unsafe Driving. Drivers can engage in unsafe driving behaviors. Speeding, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving are a few examples of this. The driver could also be aggressive on the road, which could cause them to lose control of their vehicle. Following other cars too closely, moving between lanes without giving other cars time to prepare or time to maneuver the truck are other forms of recklessness.
  • Lack of Maintenance. A truck company needs to perform regular maintenance checks to make sure their tractor-trailers are safe for the road. If these aren’t done and a driver finds that their brakes or headlights aren’t working, or a tire blows out when they’re on the road, they could crash into and injure others.

During our investigation, we may be able to learn more about the type of accident and why it happened from an EDR, or Event Data Recorder. This can provide information surrounding the crash. The truck’s pre-crash dynamics, input, and other important information can be preserved and examined. With the data gathered here, it may indicate what the issue was and show if there were any unique aspects of the crash.

No matter the reason why the crash happened, it should not have happened in the first place. Our Minneapolis truck accident lawyer will determine the cause and help you get the justice you deserve.

When you’re seeking compensation for your injuries and damages, you will need to know the party responsible for these losses. There are a few possible parties that could have been the reason why you’ve been hurt.  

Driver
The driver could have been going too fast for weather conditions, following other cars too closely, or was engaging in other unsafe driving behaviors. They’re responsible for obeying the rules of the road and the regulations they need to follow. If they failed to do this and caused your injuries, our attorneys will hold them accountable.

Truck Company
It’s also possible the driver wasn’t at fault for the crash. If the truck company didn’t load the truck properly or make sure the truck was safe for the road, they may be held accountable for your injuries.

The company may also have not trained the drivers or their hiring process may not have included checking if the person had the qualifications to drive and operate a truck.

Holding a truck company accountable can be intimidating when they have their own representation. Our lawyers are here to advocate for your rights when you’ve been harmed because of negligence.  

Auto Part Manufacturing Company
If a truck part was defective and it caused the accident, the company that manufactured the part may have been at fault. In this case, we’ll look into if their negligence is what caused the part to break down.

The truck accident lawyer working on your case will examine the accident report and additional evidence to find out who caused the accident. Then we can look at how you were affected and what you need so you can recover.

The injuries caused by a truck accident are often catastrophic because of the type of vehicle involved. Some big rigs may weigh up to 80,000 lbs. When a vehicle of this size crashes into a car, it’s likely the car’s occupants will be the ones who sustain the worst injuries. It’s possible for these injuries to have permanent consequences.  

We’ll examine the severity of your injuries, how long your recovery will be, and what it will take for you to heal. Your recovery may be full of doctor’s appointments, seeing specialists, going through therapy, undergoing surgery, and you may need medical equipment.

Injuries to the brain, spine, and nerve damage can result in a permanent disability. Severe burn injuries and scarring are also possible, which can cause disfigurements. If you’re dealing with a permanent disability, our lawyers will also take into account the amount of pain you’re in every day as well as how your life will be affected if you cannot continue to work.

If you’ve sustained injuries that will heal and you will eventually be able to return to work but are temporarily disabled, you may wonder how you’re going to support yourself so you can get the treatment you need and keep up with your other bills like mortgage, rent, utilities, and food.

In addition to the physical injuries, the trauma of the accident may also cause psychological injuries as well. After a crash, it’s normal to feel shocked or scared about what happened. However, if certain symptoms persist, it may indicate that you could need professional help.

For example, if you cannot stop replaying the accident over and over again in your head, are having trouble sleeping, experiencing depression or anxiety, or are fearful of getting back on the road, then you may need to seek mental health care as well.

This added cost may seem like too much when you’re already dealing with the physical health complications. Some may feel like they aren’t able to get that help. Unfortunately, when these problems go untreated, they can also worsen and continually affect the person for the rest of their life. Our lawyers will keep these costs in mind as well so you don’t feel like you have to choose between physical and psychological care.

We understand how the road to recovery can be stressful—that’s why we’re here. When we know how you were injured and what you’ll need so you can heal, we’ll seek compensation that covers those losses. You’ll be able to have peace of mind that you can get the recovery you need.

The severity of a tractor-trailer accident can make the claim more complicated. You gain many advantages when you have an experienced lawyer representing you. We’re familiar with the laws that apply to your case, how the legal process works, and how to build you a case that will give you the best chance of receiving full and fair compensation.

We’ll conduct a thorough investigation and gather all the evidence available so we can prove that the other party was at fault for your accident. Our lawyers will also take the time to make sure that your compensation accurately reflects the economic and noneconomic damages that you suffered.

This includes your:

  • Medical Bills. Immediately following the accident, you may have needed to stay at the hospital and begin treatment. Knowing you’ve already accrued debt can be overwhelming, but we’ll make sure you can recover these damages.
  • Future Medical Costs. Your future care could last weeks, months, or even become necessary for the rest of your life. Our attorneys will fight for your compensation to allow you to get the medical care you need.
  • Lost Wages. The time you spend away from work will start to become days of lost pay. But our lawyers will tally the wages you’ve missed.
  • Loss of Earnings. If you’re unable to return to work, your truck accident lawyer can fight for you to recover what you would have made had you been able to continue working.
  • Pain and Suffering. Your injuries are likely causing you pain every day. You have to live with this because of someone else’s careless actions. Your lawyers will calculate the cost of living with your injuries for your compensation.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life. Missing activities or events because of your injuries can take a strong emotional toll. We’ll also keep this in mind when we’re fighting for you.
  • Mental Anguish/Emotional Distress. You may be experiencing distress from the trauma and the effects of the accident. If your injuries were permanent, you may be dealing with mental anguish from how you’re going to need to learn how to live with the injury.

When we’re representing truck accident victims, sometimes we’re seeking damages for a family who has lost a loved one. If an accident resulted in a fatality and you lost a loved one, our wrongful death lawyers will help you get justice for them. We can seek damages for funeral costs, loss of consortium, and more.

While we cannot undo what happened, we will fight for you and your family to make your loved one’s voice heard. Holding the negligent party accountable for their actions and receiving compensation for losing your loved one may provide some comfort as your family grieves.

Whether you’re seeking justice on behalf of yourself or your loved one, it’s important to act quickly. Physical evidence from the scene can fade and certain details can also be forgotten over time. When you come forward with everything fresh in your mind, you can provide an accurate description of what happened and not worry about leaving anything out.

You also don’t want to risk missing the time you have to file a case. Truck accident losses can be daunting, but fair compensation can help you get through it. If you wait too long to come forward, you could possibly run out of time and you will not be able to seek compensation for your injuries. This could mean you would have to cover the costs of the accident. 

When you meet with our lawyers, we’ll find out how much time you have and work on a timeline so you do not miss the deadline. Our lawyers will help you file your case properly and inside the right timeframe. You won’t have to worry about technicalities preventing you from seeking justice.

Waiting also prolongs the time between you and resolving your legal matter. The legal process can take time. It’s better to get the process underway as quickly as possible as we can begin fighting for you.

You may also find that the insurance company you’re dealing with is minimizing the severity of your injuries. They could try to offer a settlement that’s less than you deserve. Unfortunately, the pressure of medical expenses and other bills may make it seem like this is the best option. You get the settlement and the matter is resolved. However, this settlement may not accurately reflect your total damages and losses, meaning that you could still need to treat injuries but you wouldn’t have the coverage for it.

Our lawyers will not let insurance companies undervalue your injuries. We’re on your side and are here to protect your best interests. You deserve to have experts look over your case and find the full extent of your injuries and damages. We’ll do everything we can to secure your future financially.

Madia Law LLC Is Here for You

Madia Law LLC is here to protect those from Minnesota who have been injured because of another party’s negligence. We understand that you may be dealing with painful injuries, a long recovery time, and will require extensive care before you’re healed. While you’re working on that, we can work on getting you justice.

Truck accident injuries can completely change your life. You may have to adjust your lifestyle, which can include not being able to do your job anymore and missing out on activities you used to enjoy. Your injuries could have been prevented had the other party not acted negligently. A Minneapolis truck accident lawyer from our law firm will hold them accountable and seek fair compensation.

Contact our office. We’re proud to defend the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves. When we go over your case together, we’ll find the best way for you to move forward.

THE MADIA LAW WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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