Archive for the ‘Investigation’ Category

Negligent Towing – Failure to Control Your Trailer

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Improperly securing a load or trailer can be very dangerous.  When a driver loses control of their trailer or the load they are carrying shift, very serious accidents and injuries can result.  This is more common in the spring and early summer in Minnesota as boating and farming activities increase.  The Minnesota state patrol urges drivers to make sure The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the accident and has urged drivers hauling trailers to make sure hitches are fitted properly on the ball and locking mechanisms are secured.  Fault will generally lie with the driver of the vehicle and the owner of the vehicle for failing to operate the vehicle safely.  Fault may also rest  with the person who owns the trailer, or who secured the trailer or load prior to departure.

An example of this type of shared fault is found in a Minnesota Supreme Court case where a trailer with a 2-inch socket was attached by a supplier’s employee to a customer’s car which had a ball 1 7/8 inches in diameter and the employee at no time fastening the safety chains or coupling the brakes, and where the customer subsequently detached the trailer and reattached it to his car in the manner in which he observed the supplier’s employee do it, but also attached the safety chains thereto, it was held that the supplier would be held liable for injuries to persons in an oncoming car which was struck by the trailer after it had become detached from the customer’s car.  The court noted that the safety chains which had been supplied by the employee and which had broken in the accident were far below the tensile strength required by statute, further held that even if the customer was negligent in furnishing his part of the attachment, or in attempting to attach the trailer on his own, this did not relieve the supplier from his negligence in furnishing defective parts which were the proximate cause of the trailer subsequently becoming detached.   Kothe v. Tysdale,  46 N.W.2d 233 (Minn.1951).

Investigation will be very important in a case involving a loose trailer or a improperly secured load.  The claims may very well go beyond simple negligence of the driver and include legitimate claims against those responsible for the load.

Should I give a statement to the insurance company?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Should I give a statement to the insurance company?

602.01 CERTAIN STATEMENTS PRESUMED TO BE FRAUDULENT.
Any statement secured from an injured person at any time within 30 days after such injuries were sustained shall be presumably fraudulent in the trial of any action for damages for injuries sustained by such person or for the death of such person as the result of such injuries. No statement can be used as evidence in any court unless the party so obtaining the statement shall give to such injured person a copy thereof within 30 days after the same was made.

When you’ve been injured in an accident the insurance company may want to take a “statement”.  They will ask you questions about how the accident happened and the extent of your injuries.  These statements can be very important in your case.   Information you provide in a statement can be used against you later in a deposition or at trial if you are not careful.  Sometimes the insurance company is looking for ways to avoid coverage under the insurance policies.  A savvy It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced injury lawyer before you speak to the insurance company or an investigator about your accident or injuries.