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               -BIG TRUCKS cause BIG CRASHES.

                               -BIG CRASHES cause BIG INJURIES.

                                         -BIG INJURIES deserve BIG SETTLEMENTS.

The TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER MINNEAPOLIS, have decades of experience in handling big cases starting with the successful prosecution of a double death caused by a defective tire that was settled against B.F. Goodrich Tire Company.  Over the course of 40 years, Douglas Schmidt has produced settlements of $2 million in 3 cases involving large commercial trucks. He knows from experience that with big trucks often come big injuries.  Currently, the firm is handling 2 cases in which the crash was so huge that the truck tractors in each case were  actually totalled!

The Law Team has experience with big semi trucks, 18 wheelers, semi trucks and straight trucks.  Doug Schmidt, the senior trial lawyer with the Schmidt Salita Law Team recently successfully tried a case to a jury involving a 38 wheeler construction semi truck trailer.  He has a wealth of experience with other types of trucks that have caused trucking collision.

The Schmidt Salita Law Team has the know-how, skill and determination to bring justice to the victims of personal injury 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 allows large commercial trucks using Federally funded highways to weigh as much as 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

In most states, large commercial trucks can be as long as 53 feet. Longer truck and trailer combinations are allowed under special circumstances.

These size and weight considerations make it difficult for large commercial trucks to maneuver on the highways.  This large size can cause additional difficulties with the maintenance of a proper lookout due to “blind spots”.  Blind spots are a really serious problem in causing trucking collisions.  Many collisions of trucks with smaller cars result from the blind spots where driver cannot see the car.  As a result, there are many car accidents involving large commercial trucks.

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 motor vehicle 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, 3660 people died in crashes involving large trucks. 68% were occupants of passenger vehicles. 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. Only 16% were truck occupants. In fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle in a large truck, 97% of the deaths were occupants of the passenger vehicles.  When you are in a car that is involved in a collision with a large commercial truck, the odds are against you!

Driver fatigue is a factor in big truck crashes.

Truck drivers spend long hours behind the wheel.  The result is driver fatigue which is a significant contributing factor in truck-car accidents.

According to the IIHS, driver fatigue is indeed a contributing factor to a significant number of truck crashes. The Institute found that truck drivers who have driven for more than eight hours are twice as likely to become involved in a collision.

The Institute’s research found the truck drivers who violate the hours of service requirements also are more likely to a 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 is a cause of collisions with big trucks.

Many studies have determined that semi tractor trailers with defective equipment are quite 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.  Douglas Schmidt has successfully sued B.F. Goodrich in a wrongful death products liability case involving a tire “blow-out”.

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

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

Early in his career, Douglas E. Schmidt, the senior trial lawyer at the Schmidt Law Firm 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 Freight-liner, 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 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 I 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 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 38 wheeler!!! It was a semi tractor pulling an articulated (two part-jointed) 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 Schmidt’s client.

-#4. Canadian Semi Truck-Trailer in Wright County Collision on I94.

Recently, the Schmidt 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 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 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.

Note: Under Minnesota law, a sudden and unexpected equipment failure cannot be the basis of a claim of negligence. In order to prove fault on the part of the truck driver or the trucking company, it is necessary to prove that the owner or driver had prior knowledge of the defect and an opportunity to fix the problem OR that poor maintenance led to the equipment defect that caused the collision.

The Schmidt Law Team Brings Experience and Skill to Big Truck, Big Crash, Big Injury Cases.

Douglas Schmidt comments that,

“Big trucks often cause big crashes and big injuries. With the involvement of a team of experienced trial lawyers and staff, all knowledgeable in the handling of trucking collision injury claims, the result should be, in most cases, a larger settlement or recovery than in other motor vehicle related crashes.”

The Schmidt Salita Law Team has successfully prosecuted civil injury and wrongful death cases that have occurred throughout the United States, but more focused on Minnesota.  The firm serves the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan region, including Maple Grove.

For more information regarding the successful handling of trucking collision cases, or any other type of motor vehicle collision including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, or car-pedestrian accidents, contact the Schmidt Law Firm at www.schmidtlaw.org-or go to its practice area page for more information.