Commercial trucks like semis and tractor-trailers are integral components of North Dakota and the country’s economy. Despite their importance in moving goods and providing other vital services, commercial trucks cause devastating accidents that result in severe and life-threatening injuries to those in small passenger vehicles.
Fully loaded, a tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, much more than most other vehicles. Semis cannot stop quickly or maneuver to avoid a collision. In fact, when truck drivers swerve to avoid hitting a car, the truck can fishtail and lose control, leading to a more severe accident.
Drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles can suffer serious, even fatal, injuries in truck accidents. Even in relatively low-speed collisions, a car's occupants can sustain catastrophic injuries in a truck accident, leading to extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and permanent disabilities.
If you suffered severe injuries in a Bismarck truck accident that a truck driver caused through their negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you could obtain compensation for your injuries and losses. But truck accidents are typically far more complex than other motor vehicle accident claims, so contact a Bismarck truck accident lawyer immediately for help.
The Bismarck truck accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are here to help you get all the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 1-855-NICOLET for your free consultation.
- Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for Your Bismarck Truck Accident Claim
- Common Types of Truck Accidents
- What Causes Truck Accidents?
- Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Determining Liability in a Bismarck Truck Accident
- What Should I Do After a Bismarck Truck Accident?
- Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
- How Much Compensation Can I Get for My Bismarck Truck Accident Injuries?
- Call an Experienced Bismarck Truck Accident Attorney Immediately
Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for Your Bismarck Truck Accident Claim
Founded in 2007, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has served injured clients throughout the upper Midwest for more than 16 years. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience, and we have recovered more than $55 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Every member of our legal team adheres to our law firm’s core values to provide the highest level of representation:
- We care. As a family run law firm, we treat all our clients as if they were a member of our own family. You can count on receiving personalized counsel and customized solutions to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
- We win. Although we have secured many substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients, we believe winning is more than about how much money we help our clients recover. We promise to do all we can to ensure you get everything you need to recover from your injuries and get on with your life.
- We never stop getting better. Our attorneys have earned consistent top rankings and endorsements from our peers for our remarkable professionalism. We have also received numerous five-star reviews and compelling testimonials from our clients. We are constantly improving and always strive for excellence, and we are passionate about helping our clients obtain the best results possible.
To discuss your Bismarck truck accident claim with a highly experienced attorney you can trust, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free consultation. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay us anything upfront to represent you. Call us today at 1-855-NICOLET for your free claim evaluation.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Due to their design and heavy cargo, tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks can cause serious accidents that generally don't occur in crashes between passenger vehicles.
- Wide-turn accidents. Many large trucks, particularly those pulling trailers, must go into other lanes of traffic to steer around a corner. When they do this, the trucks can trap vehicles in the right-hand turning lane or collide with vehicles head-on when turning.
- Jackknife accidents. When tractor-trailers stop suddenly, their trailers can swing out and slide around the truck, resembling how a pocketknife folds into its handle. This jackknife action can cause the trailer to strike vehicles in other lanes, leading to severe accidents.
- Rollover accidents. Many large commercial trucks have high centers of gravity, which makes them more prone to rolling over on curves or under heavy braking. Also, a truck's loads can shift unexpectedly and cause the trucker to lose control and roll over. A truck that rolls over on a car spells catastrophe for the car's occupants.
- Blind spot collisions. Large trucks also have large blind spots, which make it hard for truck drivers to see other vehicles around them. Often trucks collide with other vehicles because the truck driver could not see the other vehicle and didn’t know they were there.
Along with these scenarios unique to large trucks, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles can also cause head-on or rear-end crashes, T-bone crashes, and other collisions. Any of these accidents can cause utter devastation to other vehicles and severe, life-threatening injuries to the occupants of other vehicles.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
As with car accidents, many truck accidents result from the carelessness or recklessness of the truck driver. However, the job and industry make some causes of truck accidents more prevalent.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
Trucking companies place truckers under tight deadlines to deliver their cargo. As such, they may feel pressure to speed to reach their destination on time. A speeding semi can cause a deadly crash if it strikes another vehicle at high speeds.
Truck drivers sometimes have more distractions than other vehicle drivers. They may need to program a GPS or communicate with dispatchers and other parties while driving. Also, spending so many hours on the road can cause truck drivers to become bored behind the wheel, leading to distraction.
Truck drivers intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medication, can lose the ability to safely operate their trucks.
Fatigued driving is a significant cause of all types of vehicle accidents, but truck drivers are often more likely to cause a crash due to fatigue because of the long hours they drive day after day.
Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts the number of hours truck drivers can drive, some truck drivers ignore the rules and push on to make deliveries, sometimes because their employers push them to do so. This dangerous practice results in thousands of injuries and deaths to other motorists and their passengers each year.
Brake Failures and Faulty Truck Components
Large trucks routinely carry heavy loads, which places considerable strain on the truck's brakes, suspension, and other components. Brake failure in particular causes many truck accidents each year. Truckers and trucking companies must maintain their trucks for safe travel, but any major components that fail can lead to a severe accident.
Additionally, many trucking companies use retreaded tires to save money, but the tires can unravel during driving and cause the trucker to lose control and collide with other vehicles. In some cases, the debris from a blown tire can strike other vehicles or remain on the road, causing other drivers to brake hard or swerve to avoid hitting the tire pieces. Any of these events can cause accidents that result in severe injuries to other motorists and their passengers.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Since trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, they can severely injure other vehicle occupants in an accident, even in a low-speed collision.
Common truck accident injuries we see at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve and soft-tissue damage
- Crush injuries
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Severe burns
Truck accidents also kill some of their victims. Even if a victim’s injuries are not fatal, they may result in disfigurement, amputations, and permanent disabilities.
Determining Liability in a Bismarck Truck Accident
Unlike most car accidents, truck accidents typically involve more responsible parties than just the truck driver. Victims can pursue compensation from the truck driver, their employer, or the entity that owns the truck. Also, victims may seek compensation from the trailer's owner if it caused or contributed to the accident.
The same holds true for blown tires, faulty brakes, and other defective truck components—victims may seek compensation from the parts manufacturers and mechanics who installed the components.
Because of the many potential causes of a crash and the many people or entities involved, you need an attorney to determine liability after a truck accident. A lawyer can investigate the crash and work to hold all responsible parties accountable.
To determine liability, your attorney may:
- Prove the truck driver was negligent, careless, or reckless, or they violated trucking regulations
- Prove the trucking company or owner of the truck did not properly maintain the rig, which contributed to the crash
- Show the trucker or the trucking company falsified maintenance schedules, logbooks, or other documentation
- Establish a manufacturer defect or faulty installation led to a major component failing and causing the crash
Virtually all large commercial trucks have so-called black boxes that electronically record data about how fast the truck was going at the time of the crash, the driver’s actions just before the crash, and whether any of the truck’s components or parts failed just before the accident.
A truck’s black box is similar to the black boxes found in commercial aircraft that investigators use to determine the cause of an airline crash.
In the same way, your attorney and accident reconstructionists can retrieve and analyze the data found on the truck’s electronic recorder to help determine what role the truck played in causing the accident. However, the information on an electronic recorder can be erased or overwritten.
Although trucking companies cannot remove any recorded data you want to use in a lawsuit, they can claim that an accident or faulty recorder deleted the information.
Additionally, if improperly loaded cargo led to the truck crash or significantly contributed to your injuries in the accident, your lawyer may also look into holding the parties responsible for loading and securing the cargo.
What Should I Do After a Bismarck Truck Accident?
Make your top priority after a Bismarck truck accident to seek immediate medical attention—no matter how minor your injuries. Even if you did not require emergency medical treatment after the accident, get a medical evaluation immediately to determine the severity of your injuries and ensure you receive any medical treatment you need. Some internal, brain, or soft-tissue injuries may not present symptoms until hours or days later.
To file an injury claim, you also need medical attention after a truck accident to create a record that you suffered injuries and received treatment. If you wait too long to get treatment, the insurance company may claim you suffered those injuries after the accident and deny your claim.
You also need to report the accident to the police. North Dakota requires people to notify the police of any accident involving injuries or fatalities or when property damage exceeds $4,000. Your lawyer can use the police report to help establish liability for the crash.
If you physically can, photograph, take videos, and document as much of the truck accident scene as possible. Collect eyewitness statements, their contact information, and the contact and insurance information of the truck driver and any other drivers involved.
Since North Dakota is a no-fault insurance state, your own auto insurance should cover certain traffic accident losses. Therefore, you must report the accident to your insurance company, which our lawyers can do for you. However, if you exhaust your no-fault insurance coverage, you may seek additional compensation from the responsible parties.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
Get a lawyer as quickly as possible to gather the evidence you need to support your claims. As stated, it’s illegal for trucking companies to knowingly erase or destroy evidence on electronic data recorders. Our attorneys can get a court order to prevent them from destroying or erasing important data, and a trucking company could face harsh penalties if found intentionally destroying data.
Furthermore, our attorneys know North Dakota’s personal injury laws and have experience dealing with insurance companies. Trucking accident claims require in-depth knowledge of both federal and state trucking regulations. Also, truck accident claims almost always involve several at-fault parties, and everything you have to deal with to establish liability and obtain compensation can quickly overwhelm you.
Our lawyers can negotiate with insurers to get a larger settlement. If your case must go to trial, you will need our lawyers to represent you and fight for you in court.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for My Bismarck Truck Accident Injuries?
Since every truck accident case is unique, we cannot determine precisely how much you can get for your Bismarck truck accident injuries until we analyze your case. A lot will depend on what caused the crash and the severity of your injuries.
Victims who suffer catastrophic injuries typically receive more compensation, but you can recover compensation to pay for any of the financial costs related to your injuries, such as:
- Medical bills and treatment expenses
- Prescription drug costs
- Lost income and loss of future earning capacity
- Other out-of-pocket expenses associated with your injuries and treatment
You may also pursue non-economic damages to cover the ongoing adverse effects your injuries will have on your life, like pain and suffering, mental or emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
If a Bismarck truck accident kills a close family member, you may obtain compensation for burial costs, funeral expenses, and intangible damages such as loss of consortium. If egregious negligence, unlawfulness, or intentional misconduct caused severe injuries and you take your case to trial, the court may also award you punitive damages.
Our Bismarck truck accident lawyers can sit with you and carefully identify and calculate all the compensation you can pursue to get all you need to cover your injuries and losses.
Call an Experienced Bismarck Truck Accident Attorney Immediately
Although North Dakota allows you six years to file your truck accident injury lawsuit in civil court, you have no time to waste in filing your claim to pursue the compensation you need. Reach out to a Bismarck personal injury lawyer.
The Bismarck truck accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are here to help you each step of the way. We are committed to fighting zealously for you to get the maximum compensation possible. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of trucking regulations, and we have achieved considerable success negotiating favorable settlements for our clients or winning their cases in court.
Call us today at 1-855-NICOLET or online for your free consultation concerning your Bismarck truck accident claim. We are ready to help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.