You need information if your loved one did not survive an accident in Minnesota with a semi trailer or other commercial truck. Armed with some knowledge of wrongful death claims in Minnesota, you can get justice and fair compensation from all of the parties legally responsible for the crash.
Below are 4 things you should know about a your wrongful death claim.
- You need a lawyer with experience handling wrongful death cases just like yours. Truck accident cases are different from regular auto accidents because special state and federal laws apply. In Minnesota, the MN Department of Transportation (MNDot) Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations promulgates, implements and enforces state regulations and also implements and enforces federal truck laws implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Your lawyer should know these laws inside and out. Before you hire a lawyer, ask him or her about FMCSA regulations and how violating one or more of these laws affects a case. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are our lead lawyers for these cases.
- It will be expensive to get your family full and fair compensation. Trucking companies and insurance companies that represent them are aggressive and don’t readily settle accident claims, even when the accident is fatal. Your attorney needs to have the resources to win your case. It costs money to find all of the relevant evidence. First, engineers and medical professionals need to be hired to help gather and analyze evidence and then testify as expert witnesses. This is a critical step. Fred and Eric have enough experience with these cases to know the best expert witnesses to hire for each case. With the help of accident reconstruction specialists, the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved in the accident need to be inspected. In addition, mountains of corporate documents generally need to be reviewed, again with the help of experts. Without taking all of the right steps with the right experts, a case can be lost. If you hire Fred and Eric to represent your family, we cover these costs during the litigation process and are not paid unless we win your case (contingency fee). I will be happy to discuss this with you.
- It can be difficult proving that the truck driver was at fault. Insurance companies for truck drivers and trucking companies are not eager to settle a case for full and fair compensation (although they are generally eager to settle for far less than what your case is worth). With some of these companies, it is part of their strategy to deny that the truck driver was at fault. This can happen even if the state patrol or police report states that the driver was at fault. When the report states the truck driver was not at fault, the road to justice for the family is long and winding. Fred and Eric recently won a bicycle accident case that illustrates this point. A bicycle rider was killed in Minneapolis when a semi trailer ran over her during a left turn. The police report stated that the truck driver was not at fault because the bicyclist had fallen off of the bike before being run over. Fred and Eric hired accident reconstruction specialists and dug for evidence until they found what they needed to win the case. This case went to trial in Hennepin County, and Fred and Eric won a $2.4 million verdict. Fred and Eric were named “Minnesota Attorneys of the Year” for winning that case.
- Valuable evidence may be destroyed if your lawyer does not send a spoliation letter. When you are talking to lawyers to decide who to hire, you should find out if he or she knows what a spoliation letter is. If not, do not hire that attorney. A spoliation letter will need to be sent by your lawyer to the the trucking company as soon as possible after the accident. This special letter puts the company on notice that you have a wrongful death claim and that the company is responsible for preserving evidence that may be used to prove that claim. By regulation, the spoliation letter has to specifically state that it is notice of the claim, and it should list specific types of evidence that must be preserved. You could lose your case if the spoliation letter is not sent.
You can contact Fred and Eric for a free consultation (click here now). If you would prefer to call, the law firm number is 1-888-377-8900 (toll free).