Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer
Duluth, Minnesota, is famous as the world’s farthest inland port accessible to oceangoing ships, and its port is the largest and busiest located on the Great Lakes. Most of the incoming goods are transferred from ships to trucks and then delivered to land-locked locations around the country.
Trucks provide a vital service in Duluth and across the nation, transporting many goods to their final destination. Without truck drivers, many stores would simply not have the goods they need—and consumers would, all too often, have to wait for the things they want to buy.
Big trucks may also significantly increase accident risk and overall hazards on Duluth’s roads. Big trucks have greater overall mass than smaller passenger vehicles, which means they need more room to stop, slow, and maneuver. In an accident, that may mean catastrophic injury for the passengers in the smaller vehicle.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a Duluth truck accident, you should discuss the details of your accident and injuries with an experienced Duluth truck accident attorney. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation to determine whether you should seek compensation for your injuries.
Table of Contents
- Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer
- About Nicolet Law
- We Have Experience Handling Duluth Truck Accident Cases
- Duluth's Most Dangerous Intersections
- Duluth Truck Accidents: Who Bears Liability?
- How Much Compensation Should You Expect After a Duluth Truck Accident?
- How a Duluth Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
- Duluth Truck Accident FAQs
- Contact Nicolet Law's Duluth Truck Accident Attorneys Today
About Nicolet Law
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is a personal injury law firm that handles truck accident cases along with a wide variety of other matters. We offer free consultations, and we take cases on a contingency basis, which means that you won’t pay anything unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. We have offices in twelve convenient locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, including in Duluth.
The experienced attorneys at Nicolet Law Firm have decades of combined experience, and we’ve recovered more than $34 million in compensation for our clients. We have the resources and experience necessary to tackle even the most complicated personal injury cases, including Duluth truck accidents, and we aren’t afraid to take a case to trial if settlement proves unfavorable. Contact Nicolet Law today to discuss your accident with a member of our legal team.
We Have Experience Handling Duluth Truck Accident Cases
When you retain an attorney to handle your truck accident case, you will often find that the at-fault insurance company immediately increases its settlement offer. Insurance companies know that experienced attorneys know the details of their clients’ accidents, understand the law, and know how to go after maximum compensation.
For example, one of our former clients was in a semi-truck accident and was initially offered $75,000 by the insurance company; the legal team at Nicolet Law, however, successfully increased the final settlement to $700,000.
While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, we can promise to use our experience and resources to help recover maximum compensation based on the specific circumstances of your accident and injuries.
Duluth's Most Dangerous Intersections
According to a study conducted by the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Committee, over half (63 percent, according to the study) of all of the area’s truck accidents occur in the following intersections:
- Interstate 35 from Midway Road to 26th Avenue East;
- U.S. Trunk Highway 2 from I-35 to Hermantown Road;
- U.S. Trunk Highway 53 from I-35 to Midway Road;
- U.S. Trunk Highway 53 from the Blatnik Bridge to Trunk Highway 2;
- U.S. Trunk Highway 2 from the Bong Bridge to Trunk Highway 53;
- U.S. Trunk Highway 2/53 from Belknap Street to south city limits; and
- Wisconsin Trunk Highway 35 from the Blatnik Bridge to south city limits.
Some of the most common factors that contributed to accidents in all of these locations include the condition of the roadway, heavy traffic, the layout of the intersection, and land uses that aren’t compatible with heavy truck traffic. If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident in any of these intersections, or anywhere else in the Duluth area, contact Nicolet Law Office to schedule a free consultation.
Duluth Truck Accidents: Who Bears Liability?
After a Duluth truck accident, you may assume that the truck driver bears full liability for the accident and for any injuries you suffered. In many cases, however, the truck driver does not bear liability alone. Frequently, the truck driver’s company may share liability for the accident.
The trucking company may:
- Force its drivers to exceed the federally restricted hours they can spend on the road
- Push its drivers to break speed limits or ignore safety precautions
- Fail to properly maintain company-owned vehicles
- Employ drivers who pose a substantial danger to others on the road, even after learning about their poor driving history
In addition, sometimes, the truck manufacturer or a mechanic who recently worked on the truck may share liability for the accident. If mechanical failure led to your accident, your attorney may thoroughly review the truck’s maintenance history to determine whether poor maintenance contributed to the accident.
How Much Compensation Should You Expect After a Duluth Truck Accident?
Most truck drivers carry high-value insurance policies that can provide vitally-needed compensation following a severe truck accident. The compensation you actually receive, however, will depend on several key factors. Talk to an attorney for an evaluation of the specific circumstances of your accident and how they may impact your claim.
Your Medical Expenses
Following severe injuries, you may spend a long time in the hospital and rack up high medical bills.
Truck accidents can cause severe, often catastrophic injuries, like:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries and other severe back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
Depending on your injuries, you may have immense medical bills: bills for emergency services, for surgeries and procedures to help you recover after your claim, and for physical and occupational therapy as you heal from your injuries. Many types of injuries, including spinal cord injuries and amputations, may leave you with lifelong medical bills as you cope with your limitations and continue to seek treatment. An experienced Duluth truck accident attorney can help you determine both your current and future medical expenses and how to include them as part of your claim.
Your Lost Income
Lost wages can have a huge impact on your life after a severe truck accident. Often, accident victims cannot return to work immediately after the accident, since they may need to spend time in the hospital, focusing on overall recovery. Other times, victims may need to remain out of work due to injuries that prevent them from taking on their usual job tasks.
As your lost wages mount, you may feel your bills adding up and pressure increasing. You may not have the ability to get back to work, or you may have to limit your time at work due to the extent of your injuries. You may need your company to change your responsibilities temporarily or even permanently in the aftermath of your accident. Fortunately, you can include those lost wages as part of your Duluth truck accident claim, which may alleviate some of the strain you face.
Most truck accident cases include pain and suffering claims. In that category, you can include the non-financial ways your accident has impacted your life. Often, accident victims find that the strain from the accident can lead to lost relationships or lost enjoyment of life in addition to the physical pain associated with the injury. A truck accident attorney can help you determine how to include those factors as part of your Duluth truck accident claim.
How a Duluth Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Many people worried about the expense associated with hiring a Duluth truck accident attorney to handle an accident claim. In reality, however, you should carefully consider the cost you may face if you choose not to hire a Duluth truck accident attorney.
A Duluth truck accident lawyer can:
- Investigate your claim. A truck accident claim includes complex elements. As part of the case review, your attorney will need to take a look at the trucking company: its policies and procedures, its driving record, and even its drivers’ logbooks. That deeper investigation will often reveal additional factors that may have contributed to your claim, which can ultimately increase the compensation you receive for your injuries.
- Help you understand the compensation you deserve. Throughout your claim, you may have several chances to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company. Often, the insurance company will try to convince you to accept a settlement offer that doesn’t reflect the full extent of your financial needs. An attorney can help you understand your right to compensation, including compensation you may not have known you deserved.
- Deal with the insurance company for you. Communications from the insurance company can quickly raise your stress levels and leave you more frustrated than before. An attorney can take over those interactions on your behalf, which can both increase the odds that you will receive the compensation you deserve and alleviate the stress from your truck accident claim.
Duluth Truck Accident FAQs
1. What should I do after a Duluth truck accident to maximize the compensation I can receive?
After a truck accident, you may have a lot of bills to deal with. Worse, you may lose your primary source of income during this difficult period of your life. You need as much compensation as possible, so what should you do next?
First, report the accident. Even if you believe that you did not suffer serious injuries, even if the truck driver claims that he will provide all the compensation you need, report the accident to the police and wait for them to arrive, if possible. You should only leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive if you need to seek immediate medical attention for catastrophic injuries.
Next, make sure you do pursue medical attention as soon as possible. Ideally, you should leave the scene of the accident and report straight to the emergency room or the nearest urgent care facility, where you can have your injuries evaluated. Sometimes, you may not realize the full extent of your injuries until a doctor looks you over. Other times, you may need the evidence provided by a doctor’s report to help prove exactly when your injuries occurred.
Finally, talk to an experienced Duluth truck accident attorney as soon after your truck accident as possible. An attorney can help guide you through your claim and give you a better idea of what steps you need to take to maximize the compensation you can receive.
2. Who pays my medical bills after a Duluth truck accident?
If the truck driver or another party causes your truck accident, that entity may bear liability for the injuries you suffered, but will not bear responsibility for paying your medical bills directly. Instead, you will need to make payment arrangements for those bills. You can, however, use the funds from your Duluth truck accident claim to help pay those bills, which can make it easier for you to get the vital care you need after a severe accident.
While waiting to reach a settlement agreement, you can use your medical insurance to cover many of the medical expenses associated with your injuries. Contact your insurance company to learn what coverage you have for critical factors of your treatment, including durable medical equipment or in-home care.
3. How long will it take to settle a truck accident claim in Duluth?
The length of time to settle your claim may depend on the specifics of your claim. If you need to claim considerable compensation for your injuries, it may take longer for the truck driver’s insurance company to agree to pay out the compensation you deserve. You may also need to go through several rounds of negotiation before arriving at a settlement agreement that works for both you and the party that bears liability for your injuries.
Before you even put together your initial demand package, your attorney may recommend waiting until you have a decent idea of what your recovery will look like. Because truck accidents often cause such severe injuries, your doctor may need as much as six months to tell you how much you will eventually recover or to provide you with a decent idea of what your future medical expenses will look like.
4. Should I take the settlement offer issued by the Duluth truck driver’s insurance company?
Insurance companies, especially those that cover big truck drivers, know exactly how to make a settlement offer look as tempting as possible. They may try to convince you that you need to accept an initial settlement fast, especially if you suffered severe injuries. Sometimes, they may threaten you with that offer disappearing if you do not accept it as soon as possible.
In reality, however, that initial settlement offer may fail to fully reflect the compensation you deserve for the serious injuries you sustained in your truck accident. Talk to an attorney before accepting any offer, especially one that comes shortly after your accident. An attorney can give you a better idea of how much compensation you really deserve and how a settlement offer can impact your future options.
5. Will I have to go to court to settle a Duluth truck accident claim?
Most of the time, victims of Duluth truck accidents can reach an agreement with the insurance company out of court. Going to court can significantly add to the expense associated with the accident, so many insurance companies try to avoid it if at all possible. If you do have to go to court, having an experienced Duluth truck accident attorney on your side can help present your claim in the best possible light.
6. If a truck driver’s cargo fell into the road, causing my accident, can I file a claim against the truck driver?
A shifting load accident, including both cargo falling out of the back of a trailer and cargo falling off of a flatbed, can cause severe injuries, especially if you, as the other driver, had no chance to avoid the falling cargo. You may have grounds for a Duluth truck accident claim against the driver if you suffered injuries due to falling cargo. In some cases, you may also have grounds for a claim against the company that loaded the cargo, since their actions contributed substantially to your injuries.
7. I did not realize that I had sustained serious back injuries in my truck accident, but they appeared later. Can I still file a Duluth truck accident claim?
Yes. Any time you suffer injuries in a truck accident, even if you do not realize that you suffered those injuries immediately, you may have grounds to file a Duluth truck accident claim. Talk to an attorney to learn more about your right to a claim and how to prove when your injuries occurred.
Contact Nicolet Law's Duluth Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a Duluth truck accident, do not wait. At Nicolet Law Office, we have experience recovering compensation for individuals who have sustained injuries in Duluth truck accidents. We come highly recommended by our former clients, and we bring compassion and understanding to every case that we handle. We don’t get paid unless we successfully recover compensation on our client’s behalf, so you can rest assured that our interests are aligned with yours.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a Duluth truck accident, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (218) 729-0628 or online to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, during which you can discuss your case and determine your eligibility to seek compensation for your injuries.
306 West Superior Street, Suite 606
Duluth, MN 55802