MINNEAPOLIS CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER-5 STAR RATED- MINNEAPOLIS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
For more than 40 years, the Schmidt Salita Law Team has successfully represented the victims of car accidents that have suffered personal injury and the families of the victims of wrongful death. That experience includes a total over $50 million in personal injury cases and a total of over $30 million in wrongful death cases in car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions, including cases involving not only car accidents, but accidents involving commercial trucks, motorcycles, buses, pedestrians and bicycles.
The experience of the Schmidt Salita Law Team includes many types of fault, including:
- DISTRACTED DRIVING;
- DROWSY DRIVING;
- DRUNK DRIVING;
- DRUGGED DRIVING;
- CELL PHONE USAGE;
- TEEN DRIVING;
- PRODUCT LIABILITY;
- REAR END COLLISIONS;
- INTERSECTION COLLISIONS;
- FAILURE TO YIELD;
- FAILURE TO OBEY TRAFFIC CONTROLS.
- WRONGFUL DEATH INJURIES;
- CONCUSSION INJURIES
- WHIPLASH INJURIES
- VISION INJURIES
- AIRBAG INJURIES
- POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
- ORTHOPEDIC INJURIES
Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents throughout the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving is the cause of 72,000 deaths in one year alone.
Distracted driving consistently ranks as a major traffic safety issue of concern to American’s drivers and passengers.A recent national study revealed that more than 80% of drivers consider distraction as a serious traffic problem making them feel less safe on the road.
- Close 50% of respondents express more concern for their safety than five years ago, claiming that sharing the road with more distracted drivers is a big issue.
- Distracted driving is not just unsafe behavior it can be deadly. Statistics produced by federal authorities show that driver distraction contributes to 16% of all fatal crashes, or about 5,000 deaths every year.
- Research shows that the effects of driver distraction last long after the actual act has ended. The period in which the effects of the distraction continue has been estimated at an average of 27 seconds. In other words, drivers do not fully re-engage in the driving task even after they put down the phone, or stop fiddling with the navigation system, or end the other types of distracting behavior.
The AAA Foundation promotes the improvement of the public understanding of how both physical and mental distractions impair drivers and by educating the public about avoiding distractions, many needless deaths can be eliminated.
- A recent AAA Foundation in car study found that teens drivers are often more affected by distractions while driving.
- The use of electronic devices, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, emails, and downloading music account for 7% of the distractions.
Drowsy driving is also called “driver fatigue”which happens when a driver is too tired or sleep to properly and safely operate a motor vehicle but continues driving nevertheless. Drowsy driving puts the driver and passengers at great risk. Some of the causes of drowsy driving are driving to long without sufficient rest, driving without proper sleep,and consumption of drugs or alcohol.
Drowsy driving is a special problem for commercial truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules prohibiting truck drivers from from operating commercial vehicles without proper rest.
Drunk driving is dangerous-to the driver, passengers and others. Drunk driving is the #3 cause of death on US roadways. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that there are 300,000 incidents per day of drinking/driving and over 10,000 deaths and nearly 300,000 injuries per year.. www.madd.org.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 increase their risk of crashing their vehicle exponentially.
One study reports that in 2011 nearly 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, accounting for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle crash-related traffic deaths in the United States.
Driving under the influence of drugs can seriously affect a person’s ability to safely operate any motor vehicle and increase the odds of a collision. Drug influence can cause slower reaction times, blurred vision, loss of concentration, and inability to judge distances and speeds properly.
CELL PHONE DRIVING
Cell phones usage is becoming an increasingly greater cause of car accidents and motor vehicle collision. Statistics generated nationally show that distracted driving and cell phones usage is a huge problem, causing injury and death. In Minnesota, texting while driving is illegal. Cell phone usage while driving is not illegal.
A study conducted by State Farm Insurance has found that 19% of drivers are actually using the Internet while driving!!!
A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that a huge percentage of fatalities from car accident resulted from distracted driving. That distracted driving including conversation with passengers, eating and drinking while driving, adjusting the controls, reaching for objects, and using cell phones. In one year alone, nearly 1000 were killed by distracted drivers.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has successfully handled cases involving the following driving distractions:
- Using cell phone to call or text;
- Eating food;
- Reading printed materials;
- Applying make-up while driving;
- Reaching for objects on the floor;
- Handing out candy to a passenger;
- Texting while driving;
- Looking into the back seat to check on a child;
- Tuning the radio;
- Conversations with passengers;
- Gawking at landscape, etc.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has recently successfully handled a number of cases where the at-fault driver was distracted by using a cell phone. Two of these cases have resulted in the death of the victims. One involved a motorcycle driver that was killed in a head-on collision by a driver that was on her cell phone at the time of collision. That driver was convicted of a crime. In another case, the Schmidt Salita client was killed when a teenage driver who was on her cell phone “ran” a stop sign, t-boning the car of the client.
Respected studies have confirmed that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers, responsible for nearly half of all teen deaths in the US. Each year, nearly 2500 teenagers die in car crashes, a number equal to a school bus loaded with teenagers crashing every week for an entire year.
Teenagers are eight times more likely to die in car accidents in the first six months of their driving than adults, calculated on a per mile driven basis.
The majority of teen deaths in car accidents happen when the teenager is riding with another teen driver.
Teen driving is not only the major cause of teen deaths. Teenage injuries in car accidents are 100 times more frequent.
The lack of driving experience. It has been cited as the most likely or frequent cause of teen driving car accidents. Other major causes are:
When a personal injury victim suffers injury resulting from a defect in the vehicle that person as a potential product liability claim against the automobiles manufacturer or the manufacture of any complement partner system of the vehicle. Under Minnesota law, it is necessary to prove that the vehicle defect (the condition of unreasonable danger) existed at the time of manufacture or sale of the vehicle to impose fault on the manufacturer or seller.
Examples of some of the product liability claims that have arisen in connection with injuries and deaths of drivers and passengers of motor vehicles are the following:
- Unintended acceleration.
- Defective tires;
- Defective passenger restraints, including seat and shoulder belts, from inside it. Airbags, and child seats.
- Vehicle instability
- Improper modification, or repair of the vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1/3 of all traffic accidents, Involve collisions in which a vehicle crashes into the rear of the car ahead. The experience of the Schmidt Salita Law Team has demonstrated that rear end collisions resulted in an even higher percentage of car accident cases than reported by the NHTSA.
In a very high percentage of rear end collisions, the driver of the “bullet car” (the one that crashes into the car ahead) is responsible for virtually 100% of the negligence. This is especially true when the “target car” (the one that is had from behind) is legally stopped for a traffic signal, or because traffic ahead was stopped.
In some cases, however, juries have placed some degree of fault on the target car for making a sudden stop.
Most rear end collisions are the result of driver distraction by the driver of the target car
A significant percent of car accidents occur at intersections for the simple reason that motor vehicles come into the same space from different directions at intersections.
Most intersections are controlled by traffic control devices, such as traffic signal lights (semaphores), stop signs, yield signs and other signs.
Collisions that occur at an intersection controlled by a traffic semaphore (red, yellow and green control lights) can result in a dispute between the drivers as to which had the green light (i.e. red light – green light dispute). Minnesota law places the burden of proof on the person bringing a personal injury claim to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the injured person had the green light.
Even where there is indisputable proof that the primary “at fault driver” had the green light (or the stop sign), juries have been known to place some small percentage of negligence on the other driver.
Tailgating is a major cause of rear end collisions. Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles can avoid most rear end collisions.
Speed kills!!! Speeding has been estimated that killed nearly 10,000 people each year in the United States.
Speeding occurs when a driver exceeds the “posted speed limit”.
Speeding also occurs when the driver travels at a speed which is excessive for the conditions. In Minnesota, winter weather conditions of ice and snow frequently require a reduced speed for safety. Throughout the year, conditions of rain and fog can also require reduce speed.
FAILURE TO YIELD
Failure to yield the right-of-way is also a significant cause of car accidents in Minnesota. Minnesota law requires a motor vehicle driver to yield the right-of-way, in the following circumstances:
- Pedestrians in the crosswalk;
- Vehicles on the main street or highway when entering the roadway from a side street her driveway;
- At any stop sign, yield sign, of other traffic signal;
- For any vehicle coming from the right at any uncontrolled intersection (no traffic control such as stop sign, yield sign, or traffic signals);
- When crossing the opposite lane of traffic while making a left turn.
FAILURE TO OBEY TRAFFIC CONTROLS
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that nearly 1600 fatalities occur each year in motor vehicle traffic accidents at intersections controlled by traffic signals. 51% of the fatalities were caused by drivers who ran a red light and approximately 29% were caused by drivers who failed to yield the right-of-way. Studies show that male drivers fail to obey traffic laws and signals more often than females. Conversely, women are more likely to cause intersection collisions because they are distracted by something within their vehicle
CELL PHONE USAGE
REAR END COLLISIONS
FAILURE TO YIELD
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has locations throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Osseo, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Blaine, Shoreview, Woodbury, Falcon Heights, Columbia Park, Stillwater, Hastings, Inver Grove, Cottage Grove, South St. Paul, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Savage, Shakopee, Richfield, Bloomington, Chaska, Chanhassen, Edina, Eden Prairie, and Hopkins.