Semi Truck Accident Lawyer

“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)

Free Consultation with Multi-Million-Dollar Winning Truck Accident Lawyers

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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.

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Important: Keep Trucking Companies from Destroying Evidence

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.

Accident Lawyers Truck Inspection

Attorneys Eric Hageman and Brendan Flaherty inspecting a truck involved in a drunk driving accident.

How much money can I get in a settlement?

Compensation can include amounts for the following:

  • medical expenses
  • lost earnings
  • pain and suffering
  • emotional suffering
  • other damages.

What your case is worth depends on a number of factors, some of which include:

  • the severity of your injuries
  • your occupation
  • your age
  • who is liable (who can be sued)
  • the amount of insurance money available
  • the state where a lawsuit is filed

Our Law Firm Uses Accident Reconstruction Animation

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.”

How do I sue after being involved in a truck accident?

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.

Can I sue for a family member after a truck accident?

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.

Who do I sue if I or a loved one is hit by a truck?

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:

  • The Commercial Vehicle Owner: When there is an accident involving a commercial vehicle, the owner (trucking company, waste management company, construction company, Walmart, Target, UPS, FedEx, etc.) is usually liable. Sometimes one company owns the cab and another company owns the trailer, making them both responsible.
  • The Owner of the Freight: Attributing liability to the owner of the freight is possible in some cases, especially when the cargo can be proven to not have been properly packaged.
  • The Driver of the Truck:  It is critical in trucking cases for the lawyer to find as many companies as possible that may be held liable for injuries and death. The truck driver is one of these parties, though usually not the wealthiest.  However, they still need to be held accountable, especially when drugs or alcohol are involved.  Read about one of our cases involving a driver who was charged with using synthetic marijuana.
  • The Employer: Employers are liable for any accidents caused by its employees while they are on the job.
  • The Manufacturer of the Cab, Trailer or Any Piece of Equipment. The malfunction of a gear or lever on the flatbed of a truck can catastrophic damage on a highway. Flatbed truck manufacturers are responsible for their gear and the companies that build hinges and load straps have a responsibility to produce safe parts. The internal workings of a tractor also need to be held under scrutiny.
  • Third-Party Maintenance Companies: Companies that do the maintenance on tractors and trailers can be held responsible for injuries or death if a lawyer can prove that inadequate maintenance contributed to the accident.

How are insurance companies involved?

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.

What if the crash was caused by a defective part?

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.

What about negotiating with the trucking company?

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.

How can a truck driver be at fault?

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:

  1. Driving distracted.  A distracted driver is usually reading, talking on a cell phone, eating,  or simply not paying attention. This can cause truckers to veer into oncoming traffic, roll over, or push other cars off the road.
  2. Ignoring a stop sign, light or other traffic sign.  This is usually caused by carelessness, or distracted driving.  These lawsuits often cause serious injury as the driver often t-bones or loses control of their 18-wheeler. When this happens the tractor-trailer often broadsides another vehicle or hits a pedestrian. Eric Hageman recently won 2.4 million for a husband whose wife was killed by a 18-wheeler while on a bike.
  3. Merging improperly into traffic.  Trucks length makes them difficult to maneuver,  when truckers are careless or merge aggressively, Their 18-wheeler can cause serious harm and death. We have represented families whose loved ones have been the victim of careless driving.
  4. Speeding.  Speeding is a contributory factor in many accidents. If an 18-wheeler crashes into a car while going over the speed limit, the results can be tragic. Cases where wife or mother or a husband or father die as a result of speeding are far too common.
  5. Tailgating .  When an 18 wheeler tailgates and has to stop fast, the results can be devastating. Our firm has seen extreme cases where the passengers inside sedans get run over while in their seats by commercial tractor-trailers
  6. Drunk Driving or Prescription Drug Abuse.  When an commercial vehicle accident is caused by a drunk truck driver, the bar or restaurant that served the driver is held responsible for the crash along with the driver and the trucking company.
  7. Parking illegally.  Commercial-18 wheelers need to be properly parked, and if their driver is negligent, in doing so, the result can be the death of a family member. We recently settled a case involving a trailer being parked in a snowmobile lane, which resulted in the death of a young man.

What should I look for in a law firm, and how do I know if I have the right attorney for my trucking case?

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.

Accident News

  • A truck driver involved in a crash on March 4 has been cited for driving too fast for the conditions. Four people were injured, including Angela Pearson, the driver of a Toyota Corolla, and four of her passengers, who were seriously injured, two with life-threatening injuries.  Ms. Pearson and the passengers were taken to the hospital, two of them to a regional trauma center. The crash happened on I-20 at mile marker 21, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
  • A collision involving a minivan and a tractor-trailer rig resulted in the death of Corrina Brown, a 16-year-old girl. She was a passenger in the minivan. The driver and another passenger in that vehicle were seriously injured. The crash happened March 3 in the evening.
  • Ohio Air National Guard Airman Sebastian Guererro III is being remembered in North Toledo as a loving father and family man who had recently returned home from an overseas deployment in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. At 21 years of age, Mr. Guererro died when hit by a semi-truck as he attended to a flat tire on his vehicle on the side of Interstate 75. His February 28 death is under investigation by law enforcement.

Semi Truck Accident Topics

What is My Truck Accident Case Worth?

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.

My Husband was Killed

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.

Rear Ended?

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.

Who Can You Sue if You are Hit by a Drunk Driver?

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.

Hit by a Truck While Riding a Motorcycle

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.

More Information

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.