MN LAWYER IF YOU ARE INJURED IN AUTO ACCIDENT WITH TRUCK OR SEMI TRACTOR
Tractor trailer accidents cause a disproportionate number of injuries and deaths on highways and roads in Minnesota. Because of the difference in size and weight between a semitrailer truck and a car, a crash between a truck and an auto is much more destructive and devastating than a collision involving two passenger vehicles.
Nationwide, large trucks (known as tractor trailer, semi truck, semitrailer truck, eighteen wheeler, diesel, or big rig) make up about 3% of the vehicles on the road. However, the odds of being killed in a car accident where a truck or tractor trailer is involved are far higher.
Our best MN semi truck accident lawyers see far too many people who have been seriously injured or killed in tractor-trailer accidents. Sometimes the car is hit by a truck or rear ended by a semi tractor trailer, and sometimes the MN accident is caused by the truck jackknifing or the truck rolled over. These crashes are almost always preventable.
Common causes of a semi-truck car crash in Minnesota include: Poor Driver Training – Driver Fatigue (Tiredness) – Speeding – Overloaded Trucks – Oversized Trucks – Brake Failure – Poor Driving Conditions – Driver Inexperience – Failure To Yield The Right-Of-Way – Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol Or Drugs – Aggressive, Dangerous Or Reckless Driving – Mechanical Failure (Or Improper Maintenance) – Defective Parts (Such As Defective Steering Or Brakes). Over the road truckers and trucking companies must be mindful of each of these truck accident causes because they can cause significant injury to other vehicles on the road.
Driver fatigue is a particularly dangerous — and completely preventable — cause of a truck accident. Nearly 20 years ago, the NTSB issued a report warning of truck driver fatigue dangers (http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Documents/SS9502.pdf). The NTSB found that trucker fatigue was a contributing factor in 30%-40% of all diesel truck accidents. The NTSB found that proper sleep patterns are imperative for truck driver safety. Truckers are required to get 8 hours of continuous sleep after driving for 10 hours or after being on duty for 15 hours for proper safety. The NTSB just recently issued a warning (http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SS1301.pdf) that truck drivers should also be screened for a medical condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea denies people the rest they need, and it has been found to be a factor in incidents involving every transportation mode. Driver fatigue is often a contributing factor in head on collisions and rear end accident caused by a truck.
Here are some suggestions to protect yourself from a semi-truck accident while you are driving.
- Do not “tailgate” behind a big rig. Remember, if you cannot see the mirrors on the tractor’s cab then the truck driver cannot see you. You also need to give yourself plenty of time to stop your own vehicle if there is an emergency ahead.
- Always use caution around semi trucks. Semi trucks can weigh more than 80,000 pounds and are not as agile as your passenger vehicle. It can be difficult for semi trucks to stop or swerve to avoid a collision.
- Do not “cut off” a tractor trailer. Aggressive driving may distract or catch a truck driver off guard. Such driving also reduces the available stopping distance for the tractor trailer in the event of an emergency.
How To Determine The Cause Of A Tractor Trailer Auto Accident – MN ATTORNEYS.
It may be difficult to determine the cause of a semitruck accident with a car. It takes an experienced team of investigators to determine the cause of a trucking accident. As a starting point, the Minnesota State Patrol sends an investigator to evaluate the truck and driver and almost every semi tractor crash in MN. In many cases, particularly if there is a serious injury or fatality, the MN State Patrol will also send an accident reconstructionist. An accident reconstructionist will measure and photograph the collision site. They will use these measurements and their engineering knowledge to calculate the speed of the vehicles involved in the collision, the impact forces, and the way the vehicles moved after impact. The accident reconstructionist can determine if a vehicle was speeding or failed to yield the right-of-way. He or she can also determine if the vehicle could have been slowed or stopped to avoid the collision.
A truck driving (or trucking) expert can determine if either the semi truck driver and/or the trucking company acted improperly or was negligent in causing the serious auto accident injury. The trucking expert will examine the driver logs, gas receipts, schedule, manifest, GPS and onboard data information, and other available information to determine if the truck driver or trucking company violated regulations, industry standards or company standards. Our semi truck accident injury attorneys in MN also examine these documents to determine how and why the accident with a car happened. In addition, we frequently use our own MN investigators and reconstructionists where the Minnesota State Patrol investigation was not conclusive.
If you are injured in your automobile because of a crash with a truck or semi tractor trailer, please call one of our top Minnesota attorneys for a free consultation. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury lawyers with more than 25 years of experience successfully handling hundreds of car and truck accident injury cases, including cases where a family member is killed because their car was hit by a semi truck. A truck accident attorney will discuss your case with, explain your rights and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to. We are also happy to meet with you at our office or your home. Our Minnesota lawyers for auto accident with a truck semitrailer will meet with you to discuss your case and injuries at our offices in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Woodbury, and Edina. Our attorneys also frequently meet with people and discuss their car versus semi truck cases at their homes in St. Paul MN, Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Rogers, Brooklyn Park, Forest Lake, Burnsville, Rogers, Apple Valley, Roseville, Maplewood, and other surrounding cities in Minnesota. There is no obligation on your part, and we always only charge a percentage of the compensation you receive.