“Fred and Eric were like, ‘We got this. We’ll take care of you. You’re all right.’ It’s a good thing, too, because I would have lost it. It was a very dismal situation, so it was an incredible help to have them in my corner. I could tell they weren’t just out for a check. They were real people.”
($5 Million won for this client by attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman)
Below are 10 frequently asked questions. Contact our law firm for a free consultation with a lawyer to get answers and find out if you can sue for compensation and justice.
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 collision (official crash reports, log books, black box data) 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.
When a lawsuit involves severe, permanent injuries or wrongful death, a settlement can be in the millions. Fred and Eric have won $10 million for a man who was burned, $5.1 million for a man who lost a leg, and $6 million for a family with a wrongful death claim.
Personal injury compensation can include amounts for the following:
What your case is worth depends on a number of factors, some of which include:
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.
Yes, under certain circumstances, you may be able to sue for a family member who was injured in an crash involving a tractor-trailer. 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 driver or 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.
If your spouse, child, parent or other close family member tragically died in a crash caused by a commercial driver, your family will have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver and others. You will need to discuss your case with one of our lawyers to find out if you have a claim and what legal steps to take to get compensation.
Usually when you sue for a truck accident, you sue the negligent driver, and the company who owns the semi cab, trailer, 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 commercial vehicle collision lawsuit may include one or more of the following:
In most cases, the insurance companies covering the driver of the big rig 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.
Settlement negotiations start with a “demand letter” and continue until a client gets an acceptable payout. In some cases, a good settlement can be reached before a lawsuit is filed. Many cases are settled just hours before a trial was set to begin. In most cases, there are specific times when the lawyers from each side get together, along with a mediator, to see if a settlement can be reached. What we have found is that there is an initial denial of fault and refusal to settle for adequate compensation. A lawsuit is then filed and additional evidence is gathered to build a winning case.
It is important to note that our clients have a say in this process.
The primary issue in an commercial vehicle collision case is generally determining who is at fault. Specific ways that a commercial tractor-trailer driver can be fault include the following:
The right attorney has to have a long history of successful truck litigation, 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, reconstruction specialists and others need to work together to uncover and analyze evidence.
If you hire Fred, 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.
“In many of these cases the strategy of the trucking company is to deny that its driver was at fault,” said attorney Fred Pritzker. “Attorney Eric Hageman and I recently won a case that illustrates this point. Our client suffered traumatic brain injury 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.”
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) May 21, 2017
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 driver was driving illegally or carelessly and if the transportation 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.