“Fred put me in touch with one of the country’s best prosthetists. Long before we had a settlement, I had a new leg and that meant a lot.’’ –A client who lost a limb after a semi-trailer crash ($5 million settlement won by attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman)
Our experience with trucking lawsuits guides us in helping families pick up the pieces, and our resolve as lawyers has resulted in numerous multi-million-dollar settlements for our clients.
Federal law requires that trucking companies keep evidence, but only for a certain time period. Right after a crash involving a semi truck, you need an attorney to send a spoliation letter. Without this letter, the trucking company may be able to legally destroy the trail of guilt.
Compensation can include amounts for the following:
What your case is worth depends on a number of factors, some of which include:
The video below is about a $2,560,000.00 recovery for clients hit from behind by an 18-wheeler. Our clients’ car was hit from behind and sideswiped by the commercial vehicle and pushed into oncoming traffic. Trucking companies and their insurers generally put up a good fight, and this was no exception. But Eric and Fred won a $2,560,000 settlement for our clients by using accident reconstruction specialists and an animation of the accident that clearly showed that the truck driver was at fault.
“In many of these cases the strategy of the trucking company is to deny that the truck driver was at fault,” said attorney Eric Hageman.
“Attorney Fred Pritzker and I recently won a case that illustrates this point. Our client suffered permanent brain damage and multiple fractured bones when his car was hit from behind by a semi-trailer. As he lay in the hospital, the trucking company claimed that his wife, who had been driving the car, was at fault. We hired an accident reconstruction expert to produce a video showing what the evidence proved—that the semi driver was at fault. Once trucking company and insurance company representatives saw the video, we settled the case for $2.56 million.”
When you hire a lawyer, you share your story and then follow up by sending your attorney documents, including medical and insurance estimates. The lawyer then works at getting other evidence about the accident, like official accident reports and truck logs until they have a strong case. After this the law firm works to get their client compensated for their injury or loss by first sending a demand letter to the company and if necessary taking the case to court.
Yes, under certain circumstances, you may be able to sue for a family member who was injured in a truck accident. These suits are often filed by families on behalf of clients who are not able to sue for themselves due to age (too young) or medical reasons. Money obtained in a settlement or verdict could go into a trust for your family member. In addition, in some cases, a spouse, parent or child of an injured person can directly sue a truck driver and trucking company. The emotional toll, loss of financial stability, and the cost of caring for an injured loved one are all just reasons for filing a lawsuit.
We have handled many, many cases like this, particularly cases where parents have sued on behalf of their young children.
Usually when you sue for a truck accident, you sue the negligent driver, and the company who owns the truck and/or its cargo. Corporations like FedEx, Walmart and Target are also responsible for the safe transport of goods, and they need to be held accountable.
It is important for your lawyer to sort out who the responsible parties are that contributed to the accident, and to hold them all accountable. The liable parties that are often sued in a semi truck accident lawsuit may include one or more of the following:
In most cases, the insurance companies covering the truck driver and businesses involved are involved in settlement negotiations and other aspects of litigation. Settlement money generally is paid by insurance companies.
If a defective part caused the crash, the manufacturer of that part can generally be sued. For example, if a braking component on a semi-trailer known as a modulator valve fails, the truck is not able to stop and it crashes into a car, killing the driver, the maker of that modulator valve can be sued for the wrongful death. In this way, the manufacturer is held accountable and similar accidents may be prevented.
Liability also involves trucking companies. As you probably know by now, the trucking company’s claims adjuster began to protect the trucking company’s interests right after your accident. The designated investigator has already started to collect evidence to defend or minimize the claim. In addition, the trucking company may attempt to steer you away from legal counsel, because they know that if you have an attorney, you are more likely to receive a larger settlement. We highly recommend that you do not discuss your trucking accident with anyone unless you have attorney representation, as anything you say may be used against you later.
The primary issue in an accident case is generally determining who is at fault. Specific ways that a commercial truck driver can be fault after a car accident include the following:
The right attorney has to have long history of successful truck accident suits, but equally as important is the law firm’s mission. The law firm’s mission has to evolve around going the extra mile to take care of not only their clients, but also their clients spouses and families. You need to know that the person representing you cares about and respects your needs.
It is also critically important that your lawyer works for a law firm that has the resources to handle your case. These are expensive cases, and it takes a lot of manpower to build a winning case. Lawyers, forensic engineers, accident reconstruction specialists and others need to work together to uncover and analyze evidence.
If you hire Eric or another attorney on our team, you will not have to pay us anything unless we win your case. This is called a contingency fee, and it is how most personal injury law firms do business.
There are many factors that need to be considered to determine what your case is worth, including whether it is a personal injury or wrongful death claim, the injuries suffered and the physical pain associated with them, any loss of quality of life, your job and if you are able to keep it, the insurance limits of the driver and all companies legally responsible, your medical expenses, etc.
Our deepest sympathies to you and your family. We are here to help you find out why the truck driver was driving illegally or carelessly and if the trucking company and others can also be held legally responsible.
Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have won millions for clients whose cases involved a car or other vehicle being rear ended by a commercial vehicle. In one case, the husband had severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple fractures. Fred and Eric won over $2 million for him and his wife.
You may have claims against the driver, his employer, a bar or restaurant, and others. If the driver was served alcohol at a bar or restaurant while obviously intoxicated, the bar or restaurant can be sued. This is called a dram shop claim.
We recently settled 2 cases for clients who were hit by semitrailers while riding a motorcycle. In both of these cases, our client lost a limb, in one case a leg was amputated, in the other an arm.
Our law firm has won cases against large corporations doing business throughout the United States: Alabama AL, Arizona AZ, Los Angeles, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Iowa IA, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Kansas KS, Louisiana LA, Massachusetts MA, Maryland MD, Maine ME, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Nebraska NE, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New York NY, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, West Virginia WV, Wyoming WY.
Our law firm has offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some of the areas we serve include the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Moorhead, Mankato, Brainerd, Bloomington, Eagan, Eden Prarie, Apple Valley, Maple Grove, Edina, Plymouth, Minnetonka, Stillwater, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Austin, Worthington, Woodbury, South St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Roseville, St. Cloud, Arden Hills, Brooklyn Park, Bemidji, Forest Lake.