“It would be a lot scarier if we didn’t have the settlement money.’’
(Testimonial of client who won $3 million in settlement negotiated by attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman)
Our lawyers have won multi-million-dollar settlements for our clients. A few of our top crash settlements include the following:
- $6,000,000 on behalf of a family that suffered the loss of loved ones when a negligently repaired vehicle caused its driver to lose control and collide with their minivan.
- $6,000,000 on behalf of a 26 year-old female passenger whose right leg was traumatically amputated when the motorcycle on which she was a passenger was struck by a drunk driver.
- $5,150,000 on behalf of a motorcyclist who suffered an amputation injury when an unqualified and overtired delivery truck driver collided with him.
Tell Us How Our Law Firm Can Help You and Your Family
Our lawyers help people devastated by severe injuries and wrongful death. A testimonial from one of our clients: “There were so many things that they delved into on our behalf. I just let them take care of it.’’
Below are some frequently asked questions and our answers.
Can I Sue a Transportation Company for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death in Minnesota?
Yes, you can sue a transportation company for personal injury or wrongful death in Minnesota. In these cases, our lawyers look for evidence of speeding (going too fast for the conditions), distracted driving (cell phone use, reading a map, etc.), drunk driving and other violations of the law. Your lawsuit should seek money damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, disability and other harm to you and your family.
Does the Trucking Company Insurance Carrier Pay the Lawsuit Settlement?
Yes, generally, when you sue a truck driver and trucking company, it is the insurance companies that ultimately pay out any money won in a settlement or verdict. For this reason, it is important to find out the policy limits, which may be in the millions. This is one of the first things your lawyer should do, and it will impact what your case is worth.
The insurance companies do whatever they can to pay accident victims the least amount possible. Our job as attorneys is to get them to pay the victims and their families full and adequate compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
An insurance company or trucking company representative may have already contacted you or a member of your family. You should not talk with them. If you have an attorney, tell the representative to call that attorney. If you do not have an attorney, tell them you will have your attorney contact them and get a number. Again, do not say anything. Also, what you put on social media, Facebook, for example, may be found by the other side and used against you or your injured loved one. Please talk with one of our attorneys about this.
What if There are 2 or More Insurance Companies Contacting Me?
Over the road trucks must carry various levels of insurance coverage, depending on the nature of the materials in the truck. This can create a situation where the hauling (owners of the truck) and leasing (owners of the freight) companies, both of which may be legally responsible to you, may spend months or years arguing about which insurance company is responsible for compensating you. Again, the goal is to pay you as little as possible. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have dealt with this issue and can take measures to prevent endless delays in your case.
If the semi truck driver was at fault, the insurance company may offer you a settlement. We highly recommend you speak to an experienced semi truck accident lawyer before you decide whether to accept the offer. Consultations are free.
What if the Truck Driver Had Been Drinking before the Accident?
If the driver had been drinking before the accident and his or her blood alcohol level was over .04% at the time of the crash, that driver may be charged with DUI and other criminal charges, including criminal vehicular homicide, if someone was killed. In addition to these criminal charges, those injured and the families of those killed could sue for personal injury or wrongful death compensation, if there is sufficient evidence that the DUI driver caused or contributed to the severity of the accident.
If our law firm’s independent investigation finds that the driver was served alcohol at a bar, restaurant or other establishment before the crash, you may also have a lawsuit against that business. This is called a dram shop claim.
Below is a video taken by a Minnesota State Patrol dashcam. The driver of a Walmart tractor-trailer fell out of the vehicle and two bottles of booze are found.
What is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
To determine what your personal injury case is worth, our lawyers consider several factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
- how badly you were hurt and whether your injuries are permanent;
- the amount of physical and emotional pain involved;
- the cost of medical care, including expected future expenses;
- the amount of available insurance money;
- your occupation prior to the crash and your ability to continue with that work;
- your lifestyle prior to the accident and whether you are able to do the same things to the same degree now as you did before you were hit by a commercial truck.
One of our clients, a man from Bemidji, MN, was in his big rig waiting to be towed when the tow hook crashed through the windshield and crushed the left side of his head. He lost his eye and suffered severe brain damage. Attorney Fred Pritzker recovered millions of dollars for our client and his wife. The money could not bring back the life they once had, but it gives them financial security during this difficult time.
Our lawyers have won many multi-million dollar cases. You can click here now to read about some of them.
Critical injuries can include:
- permanent brain damage from an open or closed head injury;
- crushed bones;
- amputation (may happen at the scene, because of a severe crush injury or due to a future infection of the limb);
- eye injury, including blindness;
- broken neck (C1 and C2 generally are fatal or cause quadriplegia);
- broken back (thoracic compression fracture, generally of T11 and/or 12 or L1);
- pelvic fracture (sometimes referred to as a broken pelvis or hip);
- third or fourth-degree burns, and 2nd-degree burns if they cover a large area of the body or are in addition to 3rd degree burns.
What if My Family Member Died, and Do I Have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When your loved one is killed by a semi truck in Minnesota or another state, you may have wrongful death claims against all parties legally responsible (“liable”) for the accident. This can include the truck driver, the driver’s employer, the owner of the truck and trailer, the owner of the freight, a maintenance company, a manufacturer of a defective part, a bar that served a drunk truck driver, and others. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman recently recovered $4 million for a family after a wrongful death accident.
Minnesota wrongful death claims involve specific laws that outline the procedures a family must go through to file the claims and recover on them. You may have a semi accident wrongful death claim if the person who died was your husband, wife, child, parent, grandparent, brother, sister or other close relative.
Minnesota State Patrol Crash Reports 2017
These are just a few of the reports can be found on the Minnesota State Patrol website.
Fatal Pedestrian Accident
A tractor-trailer was traveling southbound on Highway 13, just south of Montgomery, Le Sueur County, when it struck a pedestrian attempting to cross the highway, a 37-year-old from Shakopee, MN.
Dump Truck vs. Car Collision
A dump truck was traveling westbound on Highway 14 in Mantorville Township, Dodge County. A Nissan Versa was traveling northbound on Highway 14. The vehicles collided, resulting in injuries to the driver of the car, Rhonda Leighty of Kasson, MN.
2-Semi Crash in St. Cloud
A Freightliner was traveling west on I-94 when it rear ended a Kenworth tractor-trailer that was slowing down in a construction area that had a reduced lane. A Ford Edge was also damaged by debris. The accident happened in Saint Cloud, Benton County.
Baby Tragically Dies from Head and Neck Injuries
A semitrailer was traveling east on Highway 23 in Wakefield Township, Stearns County. At the same time, a Dodge minivan was traveling north on County Road 71. The Dodge was crossing Highway 23 when it was hit by the semitrailer in the intersection. Tragically, a baby died from injuries to the head and neck.
Mack Truck and Pickup Collide, Resulting in Fatal Injuries
A Mack tractor was traveling southbound on Highway 71 just south of Renville County Road 4, Norfolk Township, Renville County. A GMC Sierra was traveling northbound on Highway 71. The vehicles collided, resulting in fatal injuries to the driver of the Sierra. The driver of the Mack was transported to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.
Where Should I File a Lawsuit in Minnesota?
One critical issue in most accident cases involving commercial vehicles is where to file the lawsuit. For example, let’s say you are from Florida and came to Minnesota to enjoy our weather. You are riding in your sister’s car (she is a MN resident) in Mankato, MN when she stops at a stop light. A semi driver from California rear ends your sister’s car with a semi tractor owned by a company from Arizona and a trailer owned by a big retailer located in New York.
You and your sister are seriously injured and the semi driver was unquestioningly at fault. Where do you sue? Who do you sue? Who do you call to find out? Our attorneys can answer those questions. Our lawyers represent accident victims throughout the United States and have offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This gives them the flexibility to find the best “venue” for the lawsuit. This can make a huge difference in the amount of money you get from the parties you sue, another potentially complex issue.
Depending on the facts of your accident, a lawsuit may be filed in state or federal court. The facts will also determine if the suit should be filed in Minnesota or another state. These are critical decisions that should be made by an experienced attorney.
Car-Semi-Trailer Accident Examples
- Car rear ended by a semi truck in a construction zone. The people initially rear ended and all other people injured as a result may have claims against the trucking company, the semi driver, the owner of the freight and others. Read more about personal injury and wrongful death claims when rear ended by a semi truck driver.
- Automobile T-boned in an intersection. These cases often involve failure to yield the right of way when a semi driver who speeding, distracted or otherwise negligent while approaching an intersection. Read more about being T-boned by a semi truck.
- Motorcycle hit by a semi truck. In many of these cases the semi drivers claim they didn’t see the motorcycle. This is not a defense. We are handling a case where a semi passed on the left when a line of motorcycles were stopped to turn left. The semi hit the first motorcycle to turn left. Grossly negligent and illegal driving may give rise to a punitive damages claim.
- Car hit by a semi truck that crossed the median of a highway or interstate. These cases often involve head-on collisions. Our experience is that most of these accidents are caused by the semi driver falling asleep or being drunk. Read about drunk semi driver personal injury or wrongful death.
Get a Free Consultation with a Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyer
The lawyers at our firm have been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Lawyers USA and other publications. Contact our firm for help if you want to hold negligent truck drivers, trucking companies, and others accountable for personal injury and wrongful death.