MN TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS – CAR HIT BY SEMI TRACTOR
Tractor trailer accidents cause a disproportionate number of injuries and deaths when a car is hit by a truck. Because of the huge difference in size and weight between a semi truck and a car, these crashes are much more destructive and devastating than a collision involving two automobiles. Our car accident injury attorneys represent people in a car or other vehicle hit by a truck. We handle several of these cases in Minnesota every year and people are typically more injured in this type of auto accident than others.
Nationwide, large trucks (known as tractor trailers, semi-trucks, eighteen wheelers, diesels, or big rigs) make up only 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 MN semi-truck auto accident lawyers see far too many people who have been seriously injured or killed in car accidents caused by tractor trailers or trucks. Sometimes our client’s vehicle is hit by a truck or rear ended, and sometimes the MN accident is caused the truck jack knifed or the truck rolled over. These crashes are almost always preventable.
Common causes of semi truck accidents that our attorneys see in MN 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). Truckers and trucking companies must be mindful of each of these trucking accident causes.
Driver fatigue is a particularly dangerous and frequent, — and completely preventable — cause of truck accidents. Nearly 15 years ago, the NTSB issued a report warning of truck driver fatigue dangers (http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety_recs.html). The NTSB found that trucker fatigue was a contributing factor in 30%-40% of all diesel truck accidents. The NTSB concluded that proper sleep patterns are imperative for truck driver safety. Truckers must 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. When you call our office about a car accident caused by a truck, truck driver fatigue is something our lawyer will investigate by examining log books and comparing to the stops the trucker made.
Sleep apnea denies people the rest they need, and it has been found to be a factor in incidents involving every transportation mode.
Here are some suggestions to protect yourself from semi truck accidents 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 a 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 Accident With a Car – MN Attorneys
It may be difficult to determine the cause of a semi-truck accident with a car. Our truck accident lawyers have found that it sometimes 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 truck driver after almost every semi tractor accident in MN. In many cases, particularly if there is a serious injury, the Minnesota 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 one of the vehicles 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. Our truck accident lawyers also have our own accident reconstructionist that we will send to the accident scene or have evaluate the evidence after the crash.
A truck driving (or trucking) expert can determine if either the truck driver and/or the trucking company acted improperly or was negligent. The trucking expert will examine the driver’s 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. A semi truck accident injury attorney at our firm will also examine these documents to determine how and why the accident happened. In addition, our car crash attorneys frequently use our own MN investigators and reconstructionists where the Minnesota State Patrol investigation was not conclusive.
If you are injured because a truck or semi tractor trailer hit your car or caused your accident, please call one of our top MN attorneys for a free consultation. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury lawyers with more than 25 years’ experience representing hundreds of people injured in car and truck accident injury cases, including cases where a family member is killed because a semi truck hit a car. A top truck accident attorney will discuss your case with you and explain your rights. We are also happy to meet with you at our office or your home. Our Minnesota truck semi tractor car accident lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case and injuries at our offices in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Woodbury, and Edina. Our auto accident lawyers also frequently meet with people at their homes to discuss their auto accident with a semi truck case 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 never charge anything unless you receive compensation.