The trucking industry is a critical piece of Fargo's economy. It delivers the products the city's citizens use throughout their lives and jobs that sustain our ability to live and raise their families here. Unfortunately, the massive commercial trucks used to transport freight into, out of, and through Fargo can become involved in accidents, resulting in severe injuries to the occupants of other vehicles.
If an accident caused by a negligent truck driver injured you, a Fargo truck accident lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can assist you with your claim.
- Trust Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers With Your Truck Accident Claim
- How Much Is Your Fargo Truck Accident Claim Worth?
- How Truck Accidents Occur in Fargo
- The Types of Injuries Caused in Fargo Truck Accidents
- Fighting the Insurance Company to Get the Compensation You Deserve
- What to Do if a Truck Accident Injured You
- Truck Accident in Fargo? Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
Trust Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers With Your Truck Accident Claim
Truck accidents are among the most complex types of personal injury claims due to the sheer volume of potential evidence that must be considered and the likelihood of going up against the high-powered insurance companies and attorneys that protect trucking companies.
The experienced legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers doesn’t back down from complex claims. We are motivated by them. We have recovered over $60 million on behalf of our clients.
You need a local attorney. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are committed to this area, participating in community events and enjoying what Fargo offers. We understand the roadways where our clients travel and the hospitals where they seek medical attention, and we make ourselves accessible in a way that a law firm on the other side of the state never could. The legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers' Fargo location provides a local office to best serve our clients' needs here.
How Much Is Your Fargo Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Accidents involving commercial trucks- often called semi-trucks or tractor-trailers- are among the most devastating and dangerous accidents on public roadways throughout the U.S.
As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes, most people injured or killed in commercial truck accidents occupy other vehicles. A negligent trucker can cause terrible accidents due to the truck's massive size, maneuverability issues, significant blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle, and the need to make wide turns when negotiating a sharp.
Injured individuals and the family of those killed in trucking accidents caused by the truck driver's negligence can seek compensation for both the expenses and impacts they experienced due to the accident. Compensation made for the expenses of a truck accident is known as economic damages.
The expenses commonly claimed to include:
- Medical treatment.
- Income loss.
- Permanent loss of earning capacity due to debilitating injuries.
- The cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle they were driving when the accident occurred.
Compensation for the impacts the claimant suffered due to the accident is referred to as non-economic damages and can include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The value of a truck accident claim depends on several factors. One of the biggest factors is the liability coverage the at-fault driver has, as liability insurance policies are how truck accident claimants are typically compensated.
As explained by truck insurer JDW, most commercial vehicles hauling consumer goods must carry a minimum of $750,000 of primary liability coverage, and many brokers require at least $1 million. Other factors that must be considered when valuing a claim include the severity of the injury and the presence of injuries that will create a permanent loss of earning capacity.
How Truck Accidents Occur in Fargo
Trucking is a major industry in North Dakota. According to the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, commercial trucks deliver 87 percent of the total tonnage of consumer products shipped to and in the state. The trucking industry in North Dakota accounts for more than 28,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in wages throughout the state. Interstate 94 runs through Fargo, connecting several major cities in the region.
The I-94 corridor is a frequent site of traffic accidents involving commercial trucks that travel the corridor, carrying cargo into, out of, and through these cities, along with I-29, which is also frequently used by truck drivers. These truck routes are supplemented by major arterial roads running through the city, including 45th Street to the west and U.S. 81/University Drive and 10th Street to the east, as noted by the Regional Freight Plan for the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments.
One of the regional freight plan's goals was to reduce the fatal and severe injuries incurred in truck-involved accidents, particularly in the counties of Cass and Clay. While the heavy winter storms experienced in the region are considered one of the weaknesses of the area's freight transport system, most motor vehicle accidents, including those involving commercial trucks, are caused by human errors (negligence).
Negligence that commonly leads to truck accidents in Fargo includes:
- Speeding includes driving over the posted speed limit and too fast for the traffic and weather conditions of the road. As the IIHS explains, fully loaded tractor-trailers require up to 20-40 percent more distance to come to a complete stop after the driver has braked due to the extra work the brakes must do to pull these extremely heavy vehicles to a safe stop. The vehicle's speed and wet or icy roadways further increase this stopping distance.
- Failure to yield involves failing to allow other travel lanes to go first, such as at traffic lights or stop signs. Failure to yield also involves accidents when a truck driver fails to properly check their blind spots to ensure that merging or changing lanes is safe. Commercial trucks have significant blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle, which are areas in which the driver cannot use their side view mirror to check for vehicles in adjacent lanes before moving into those lanes.
- Fatigued driving involves operating a motor vehicle with adequate sleep. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, around 13 percent of truck drivers involved in accidents were tired at the time of the crash. The symptoms that fatigue creates on a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely are very similar to the effects of alcohol impairment, including slow response times, difficulty maintaining a single lane of travel, and controlling one’s speed.
- Impaired driving. Commercial truck drivers must maintain a lower alcohol impairment limit than other drivers. Additionally, drivers are subject to random alcohol and drug screenings to maintain their commercial driver’s licenses. Despite these industry regulations, many drivers are tempted to overindulge in alcohol or use drugs while on duty. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can produce intoxicating effects, impairing the driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely.
The Types of Injuries Caused in Fargo Truck Accidents
Because of the disparity in size between commercial trucks and the vehicles they share on the roadway, truck accidents can produce severe injuries, most commonly to the occupants of other vehicles.
Some of the injuries that are associated with truck accidents include:
- Catastrophic injuries include traumatic injuries to the brain or spinal cord. These types of injuries are considered catastrophic as the brain and spinal cord have only a limited ability to heal from injury, meaning they pose a high likelihood of producing permanent disabilities that will impair the sufferer’s ability to earn an income and live independently in the future.
- Broken bones in any part of the body.
- Burn injuries due to contact with hazardous materials being hauled in the truck, with gasoline from the vehicle, or exposure to heat or flames from the collision.
- Lacerations and deep bruises
- Internal injuries that can cause dangerous bleeding are known as a hemorrhage.
- Traumatic limb amputations.
The injuries sustained in a truck accident can impact every facet of the sufferer’s life, resulting in significant medical expenses, an inability for the injured party to earn an income, and difficulty for the whole family as relationships are changed by the injury.
Fighting the Insurance Company to Get the Compensation You Deserve
In a matter of seconds, a truck-involved accident can change the entire course of your life. Unfortunately, the at-fault driver or trucking company’s insurance carrier is the major obstacle to obtaining the compensation you need to face the expenses and impacts of your injury.
Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies are not in the business of paying out on claims. They’re in the business of making money by selling insurance policies. Payouts for claims made against those policies impact the company’s bottom line.
Because of this, they use claims adjusters to evaluate the claim and determine:
- Whether the policy covers the specific losses filed by the claimant.
- Whether the insured policyholder caused the expenses and impacts.
- How much compensation the claimant deserves.
An experienced truck accident attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers will not only determine the insurance resources that can be accessed to provide compensation for you after the accident but will also manage communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to protect the value of your claim from being degraded by the tactics that claim adjusters use to convince claimants to accept less compensation than what is owed to them.
Our attorneys can file a truck accident lawsuit if the insurance company fails to negotiate a satisfactory settlement agreement. A judge or jury can hear your case and determine liability and compensation.
What to Do if a Truck Accident Injured You
After a truck accident, protect the value of your claim. Seek prompt medical treatment for the injuries you sustained in the crash. This is crucial for your ability to heal properly. It also creates documentation that you need to value your claim and pursue adequate compensation for your expenses.
Another vital step involves hiring an experienced truck accident attorney to help you navigate the claims process. There is a significant amount of evidence to consider in a truck accident case, and some of this evidence must be preserved quickly. An attorney works with a team of legal professionals who help them gather the extensive evidence and documentation available after the accident and do other essential tasks to prepare the claim for consideration by the claims adjuster or the court.
In addition to seeking medical treatment of injuries and hiring an attorney, other actions you can take include:
- Keep all of the information about the accident given to you at the scene, mailed, or received by you later. This includes a copy of the police report from the accident, as well as receipts for services and treatments provided, bills related to the repair of your vehicle, or information about your medical condition that was given to you by your doctor.
- Journaling about your injury to keep track of the treatments you receive, your pain level, and other day-to-day information about how the injury has impacted your life.
- Obtain information from your employer about your wages before the accident, the amount of time you missed from work due to your injuries, and any difficulties you experienced in performing your job due to your injury.
Truck Accident in Fargo? Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
Truck accidents commonly produce significant, life-changing injuries. A Fargo truck accident attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you understand your legal options for obtaining compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury and the services we can provide to take the difficulty out of the claims process and allow you to focus on your physical recovery. Reach out to a Fargo personal injury lawyer.
For your free case evaluation, contact us at (701) 970-2185 or contact us online.
Nicolet Law- Fargo Office
1630 1st Ave N Suite B
Fargo, ND 58102-4246