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Injury, Workers Comp, & Wrongful Death Lawyers

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Truck Accidents

BIG TRUCKS cause BIG CRASHES.

BIG CRASHES often cause BIG INJURIES.

BIG INJURIES deserve BIG SETTLEMENTS.

The Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Schmidt-Salita Law Team have decades of experience in handling big cases, involving big trucks and big injuries. They have the know-how, skill and determination to bring justice to the victims of Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation and Wrongful Death.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle collision involving a large commercial truck, it is very important that you hire a Personal Injury lawyer with that type of experience in tracking collision cases.

Approximately one out of every eight automotive accident fatalities involves a large commercial truck such as a semi-truck tractor trailer combination or other commercial vehicle.

When a commercial truck is involved in a collision, approximately 80% of those injured are the drivers or passengers of the smaller vehicle which was involved in the collision.

Size and Weight Matter-Bigger Trucks, Bigger Crashes, More Damage.

Federal commercial vehicle law is the law large commercial trucks to weigh as much as 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. In most states, large commercial trucks can be as long as 53 feet with longer truck and trailer combinations allowed under special circumstances.  These size and weight considerations make it difficult for large commercial trucks to maneuver on the highways and cause additional difficulties with the maintenance of a proper lookout do to “blind spots.”

Large trucks have high crash rates-more collisions per mile traveled.

Large commercial vehicles, including semi-truck/trailer combinations, account for a large percentage of the usage of the highways of the United States. Recent statistics show that large trucks account for approximately 4% of the registered vehicles on the roadway and 9% of the vehicle miles traveled. Statistics show that the percentage rate of fatal crashes per miles traveled is roughly the same as between large commercial vehicles and a regular passenger vehicles. Accordingly, because of the higher rate of miles traveled, it logically follows that large trucks will be involved in a higher percentage of injury related collisions.

Large truck collisions involve a higher fatality rate-more people killed.

According to the statistics of the insurance Institute for Highway safety (IIHS), in 2014, 3,660 people died in crashes involving large trucks. 68% were occupants of passenger vehicles. 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. Only 16% were truck occupants.

Driver fatigue is a factor in big truck crashes.

According to the IIHS, driver fatigue is indeed a contributing factor to a significant number of truck crashes. IIHS found that truck drivers who have driven for more than eight hours are twice as likely to become involved in a collision.  IIHS’ research found that truck drivers who violate the hours of service requirements also are more likely to have fallen asleep behind the wheel recently. Another study also found that truck drivers who do not properly maintain their logbooks in which they record their hours of service are more likely to have been involved in a collision.

Defective truck equipment as a cause of collision.

Many studies have determined that semi-tractor trailers with defective equipment are twice as likely to have been involved in a collision in comparison with trucks that are properly maintained.

Brake defects were most common, occurring in 56% of the semi tractor-trailer crashes. Steering equipment defects were found at 21% of the crash involved trucks.

Case Examples from Schmidt-Salita Law Team Success in Trucking Collision Cases.

-#1. Semi Truck Steering Axle Tire Blow Out Case.

Early in his career, Doug Schmidt, senior trial lawyer at the Schmidt-Salita Law Team successfully represented the family of an Iowa truck driver who was driving an 18 wheeler semi-truck for a Minnesota company when involved in a fatal crash in North Carolina.  The crash was the result of the “blow out” of one of the tires on the front steering axle, resulting in a steering failure.  Suit was filed against the tire manufacturer, B. F. Goodrich, and White Freightliner, the manufacturer of the semi-truck.  The case was successfully settled before trial which would have occurred in US District Court in Iowa.

-#2. Iowa Trucker in Southern Minnesota Two Semi Truck Crash

In another major case, the Schmidt-Salita Law Team represented an Iowa boy who was riding with his father in an 18 wheeler that crashed into the rear of another semi-truck/trailer on Interstate 90 in Southern Minnesota when the truck collided with the rear-end of another semi-truck in heavy fog near Fairmont, Minnesota.  After years of protracted litigation, the case was settled for a figure in excess of $2 million.

-#3. Brown County Collision with 38-Wheeler Construction Semi Truck/Trailer.

In yet another trucking collision case, the Schmidt-Salita Law Team represented the passenger in a van that was involved in a collision with a large construction semi -tractor/trailer combination.  It was a 38-wheeler! Yes! That is no typographical error. It was a semi-tractor pulling an articulated (two part) construction trailer.

The case was vigorously defended and tried to conclusion to a jury in New Ulm, Minnesota at the Brown County Courthouse.  The result was a very favorable jury verdict in favor of Doug Schmidt’s client.

-#4. Canadian Semi Truck-Trailer in Wright County Collision on Interstate 94.

Recently, the Schmidt-Salita Law Team successfully settled yet another case involving a large commercial vehicle-an 18-wheeler that entered a construction zone on I 94 between Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota.  The truck driver failed to reduce speed and drive with care in violation of a reduced speed zone in the construction area.

-#5. Brooklyn Center Minnesota Trucking Collision Due to Defective Equipment.

The Schmidt-Salita Law Team recently concluded a settlement for its client who was injured in a collision involving a semi-truck that was being operated with defective equipment.  The semi-truck driver experienced vision problems when a radiator connection came loose in the engine compartment and sprayed the windshield with radiator fluid, causing reduced vision for the truck driver.  The Schmidt-Salita Law Team uncovered evidence in the maintenance records of the truck that there has been leakage prior to the collision that had not been properly repaired.

The Schmidt-Salita Law Team Brings Experience and Skill to Big Truck, Big Crash, Big Injury cases.

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