Is It a Wrongful Death if a Motorcyclist Hits a Parked Semi-Truck?

If your loved one was riding a motorcycle, hit a parked semi-truck, and died, it may be a “wrongful death” under state law. Below are questions that need to be answered:

  • Was the truck parked illegally?
  • Was the truck parked in a way that put others at risk, even if it was legal?
Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman help families answer these questions and determine if a loved one was wrongfully killed. They have won these kinds of cases. You can contact Fred and Eric with our free consultation form.

A Recent Crash Involving a Motorcycle and Parked Freight Truck

A semi-truck driver at fault for parking illegally on the right shoulder of a freeway was ticketed by police when officers and paramedics responded to a call that a Harley-Davidson motorcycle crashed into the truck’s rear end. The motorcyclist died at the scene on Interstate 95. State Police identified the victim as a 28-year-old man, a husband and father of two.

This tragedy is made more devastating by the fact that the accident didn’t have to happen. According to the police account, the tractor-trailer was improperly stopped on the right shoulder of the Interstate, creating a hazard for other motorists. The  Harley-Davidson veered from the road for some reason and he was ejected from it when it crashed into the illegally stopped truck. Police said the cycle spun into traffic, hitting other vehicles but not causing injury. The truck driver was criminally charged, police said.

Losing a Loved One

The young man who died when he crashed into the semi graduated from Lapeer East High School, class of 2007. He was married seven years later and was a journeyman lineman with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers out of Local 70. A former high school football player who loved to hunt and fish, he was a passionate Harley owner and a highly skilled rider. His wife, children, parents and brothers are among a long list of people who are now forced to live without him because of this accident.

Lawyers Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represented a family in a similar case. Their son was riding a snowmobile and ran into an illegally parked semitrailer. The family used some of the money won in the wrongful death case to fund a scholarship for students at their son’s high school.

In another recent lawsuit filed by Fred and Eric, jurors in Minnesota received all of the facts of a private accident investigation conducted by Pritzker Hageman, P.A. The attorneys uncovered information that showed how the truck driver erred when making a right-hand turn with a bicyclist on the truck’s right-hand side. 

The cyclist in question was a beloved wife and mother who died from getting run over by the 18-wheeler. Her husband turned to Fred and Eric for help as he and their children coped with the pain of personal loss. When surviving family members are forced to deal with insurance companies, police, funeral details, paperwork, choosing an attorney and sudden hospital bills, those pressures interfere with the true grieving process. In wrongful death cases, our law practice is focused on helping families, unobtrusively, by taking over whatever clutter we can so they can mourn. Meanwhile, our semi-truck accident attorneys start digging for information, scrutinizing details for the purpose of advanced accident reconstruction.

Winning the Case

In the case of the negligent semi truck driver, Fred and Eric provided the jury with high-quality video animation of the crash that was created by an elite associate. The video clearly showed that the 18-wheeler ran over and killed the cyclist due the trucker’s negligence in his use of mirrors. The bicycle was properly positioned. The result for the cyclist’s family was a wrongful death verdict against the commercial trucking concern totaling $2.4 million.

Even more recently, Fred and Eric were retained by a motorcyclist who was struck by a semi-truck at a crossroads in Oklahoma. The biker’s injuries were severe, but he survived. Fred and Eric helped the motorcyclist in his recovery and are still in touch with him. They connected him to the best medical specialists in the country for the type of injuries he suffered. The injured motorcycle rider lost one of his legs in the accident and ultimately was fitted with a high-tech artificial limb. He has since returned to a job that he loves.

Fred and Eric filed a semi-truck / motorcycle lawsuit on behalf of that client, resulting in a settlement of $5.1 million. In a private interview after the case was won, the motorcyclist said his biggest relief was knowing that the truck driver was held accountable and that money was now in the bank to provide him with a new home, financial stability and absolute access to high-quality medical care throughout his life.

Semi Truck Wrongful Death

Wrongful death litigation against commercial trucking interests is most beneficial to survivors when attorneys for the victim’s family are deeply immersed in the practice of law as it pertains to interstate trucking. Highway safety is heavily regulated where semi-trucks are concerned and Congress has passed many laws for the safety of motorists. Lawmakers have given training, enforcement, oversight and rule-making authority to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Lawyers at our law firm decipher these legal codes and apply them to situations where safety rules were not followed.

Pritzker Hageman investigations go deeper than typical law enforcement crash reviews. We slow it down and take our time to methodically chronicle what happened and identify who was at fault. Those painstaking steps generate a distinct balance of fine detail that maximizes the leverage your family needs when dealing with corporate lawyers for the opposition.

Semi Truck

Satisfying the client’s interest in a truck lawsuit is no different for us than it would be if we were to represent our most beloved family member. High standards always go with the territory. Time after time, the most meaningful feedback we hear from clients is how good it felt for them to have someone fighting for them — holding violators of highway safety laws accountable for costly negligence.

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Category: Accidents
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