Minneapolis Truck Accident Lawyer
Table of Contents
Semi-trucks are large, heavy, and fast enough to travel at top highway speeds. Sharing the road with a commercial vehicle intimidates even seasoned drivers. But for some, it isn’t only intimidating – it’s devastating.
Thousands of truck crashes injure Minnesota motorists every year, costing them tens and even hundreds of thousands in medical bills. After a truck accident, many victims cannot work, adding even more financial strain.
If this is your story, Milavetz Injury Law, P.A. wants to secure you the compensation you deserve.
Our mission is to seek justice for the slighted. The Milavetz legal team has helped truck accident victims in Minneapolis and beyond recover from incredible losses. If you’ve been injured in a Minnesota truck accident, contact us today for a free case consultation.
Dangerous Intersections or Roadways for Truck Drivers in Minnesota
Many people over the age of 18 drive every day. That kind of familiarity can make drivers forget that they’re engaging in an inherently dangerous activity. Driving is essentially a combination of concrete, speed, and heavy machinery.
Truck drivers travel long distances for commerce. Usually, they drive along major roadways like interstates, adding to the hazards to Minnesota’s dangerous highways like US-169, US-10, and I-94.
Nearby commerce can also complicate traffic on more minor roads. Local businesses and bus lines send large vehicles along 26th Street, making the light rail crossing there a hotbed of hazards.
Cutting north through MN toward Minneapolis and St. Paul, I-95 is a popular highway for commercial vehicles. In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration named I-35 one of America’s most dangerous roads.
Relevant Minneapolis Truck Accident Laws
A truck accident injury can leave you debilitated. In that pained state, navigating the claim filing process can feel like adding insult to injury.
We at Milavetz Law walk with you through every step of the process so you can focus on your recovery.
Who is Liable for the Truck Accident that Injured Me?
Although the driver was present at the crash, he may not be the one – or the only one – responsible. Drivers reasonably assume that trucking companies have thoroughly vetted their employees. If the trucking company has failed to meet that standard, the law may hold them liable.
Investigations may also find parts manufacturers, loading companies, and other third parties partially liable for the accident.
Proving Liability in a Minneapolis Truck Accident Case
Liability and injury are the centerpieces of every personal injury lawsuit. Your claim seeks to prove two things: you have an injury, and someone else is responsible. According to Minnesota law, you must establish these five elements to prove negligence:
- The defendant’s duty of care. For one reason or another, the defendant had a legal obligation to act a certain way toward the victim. For example, a truck driver has a legal obligation to perform his duties sober and take breaks at regular intervals.
- The defendant’s breach of duty. The defendant did not meet their legally obligated standard of care. A truck driver who operated his vehicle while intoxicated or fatigued would be breaching their duty.
- Cause in fact. If the defendant had not breached their duty, you would not have sustained your injury.
- Proximate cause. Your injury results from the defendant’s breach of duty and nothing else.
- Damages. You are, in reality, injured.
Personal injury claimants can invite expert witnesses to testify to a breach of duty. Expert witnesses provide helpful industry insights that jury laypeople may not have. Injured parties can also support their claims with other evidence of normal industry behavior, as well as circumstantial evidence.
Sharing Responsibility for a Minneapolis Truck Accident
Some accidents are not solely one person’s fault but instead a tragic collision of circumstance. This begs the question, “Can I recover damages if I’m partially at fault?”
In Minnesota, victims of truck accidents can receive compensation even if they contributed to the accident. Injured parties can pursue damages from an accident if they are half responsible or less. However, Minnesota law requires that courts reduce recoverable damages by the victim’s portion of responsibility.
In other words, if courts find you 20% responsible for an accident that caused you $50,000 in damage, you could recoup up to $40,000 in compensation.
Minnesota’s comparative fault law makes a truck accident’s cause look not so black-and-white. Even so, you can safeguard your claim by not recognizing your liability in discussions about the accident. No one wants to hear an admission read back to them in court.
Truck Driver and Passenger Responsibilities and Minnesota Regulations
When someone receives their driver’s license, they agree to abide by the rules of the road. Whether someone drives a car, a van, a motorcycle, or a semi-truck, these rules remain the same. Truck drivers have an obligation to follow standard road etiquette. But because driving is their occupation, truck drivers must meet additional recordkeeping and maintenance requirements.
The Minnesota Commercial Truck and Passenger Regulations handbook requires drivers to prepare daily inspections of their vehicles and prepare reports of any anomalies. Truck drivers must also keep logs of trip dates, routes they’ve traveled, miles they’ve driven, VIN, and other key trip details. Commercial vehicle operators and passenger carriers must also take mandated breaks and days off at specified intervals to avoid fatigue.
How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Minneapolis?
Truck accident claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury suits. Most personal injury claimants have two years from the date of the injury to file.
However, if you’ve been the victim of a truck accident in Minnesota, contact us today for a free consultation. Filing takes time, and missed deadlines can keep you from ever receiving your due compensation.
Available Damages After a Minneapolis Truck Accident
Commercial vehicle crashes are costly – physically, financially, and emotionally. Victims may not only suffer painful injuries, but also find themselves unable to work because of them. Without income, looming medical debt can pose an imposing threat to victims’ way of life.
The goal of a personal injury suit is to seek compensation for the harm inflicted by the liable party. For a truck accident claim, three kinds of damages are available:
- Economic damages reimburse you for financial losses associated with the accident. This can include medical bills, therapy, property damage, lost wages, and other things measured in dollars and cents.
- Non-economic damages compensate you for subjective, non-financial harm, like emotional distress and physical pain.
- Punitive damages are only assigned in cases of exceedingly reckless or reprehensible behavior.
In Minnesota, there is no cap, or limit, to the amount of economic and non-economic damages an accident victim can pursue.
What causes severe or deadly truck accidents in Minneapolis?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, almost no crash results from one solitary cause. Factors affecting the accident could take place days or even months beforehand. Driver training and experience, vehicle manufacture, highway and signage upkeep, weather conditions and patterns, and countless other long-term elements can contribute to truck crashes.
One study by the FMCSA found several immediate contributing factors among nearly 1,000 nationally representative crashes. The report considered fatigue, intoxication, and speeding to be three significant risk boosters for truck crashes. In addition to these, the most common associated factors in truck accidents are:
- Brake problems
- Traffic disruption
- Use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs
- Excessive speed in harsh conditions
- Lack of familiarity with the road
- Roadway issues
- Needing to stop
- Subpar surveillance
Excessive speed and intoxication are not only significant factors in truck crashes. In 2019, speeding and substance use were two leading causes of general traffic fatalities in Minnesota.
Driving Safely Around Large Trucks
Sharing the road with commercial vehicles requires extreme caution. Due to their size, trucks have the safety advantage in any collision. Of course, the goal of safe driving is to avoid a collision entirely. But if an accident were to occur, the personal vehicle’s driver would likely sustain the worst injuries.
Here are some safety guidelines for sharing the road with large trucks:
- Stay away from blind spots. Unless you can see the driver’s face in their mirror, they don’t know you’re there – and they can’t drive defensively around what they can’t see.
- Keep in mind that trucks take longer to stop. Semi-trucks and other large vehicles need the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
- Prepare to accommodate their wide turns. Changing the direction of a vehicle that large is no small feat. Sometimes, drivers must make complicated maneuvers or move into other lanes in order to turn. Pay attention to their movements and only continue driving once they’ve finished.
- Give the truck some space. Cars can get stuck under trucks in a crash because trucks are situated higher off the ground. Stay a reasonable distance away from the truck, especially on an incline.
Why should I hire the personal injury attorneys at Milavetz Law to help me after a Minneapolis truck accident?
Since our founding in 1963, Milavetz Law has sought to give a voice to Minneapolis accident victims. We want to level the playing field between our clients and the large companies they may be facing in court.
Members of our legal team have received 14 kinds of local and national distinctions. As they secure payouts of millions of dollars for our clients, they also author articles in law journals and speak at legal conferences.
One look at our testimonials will show you who we are: passionate, dedicated professionals who will work tirelessly for your justice and compensation.
Contact us today for a free case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions: Minneapolis Truck Accident Claims
Dealing with the legal intricacies of a truck accident claim can be exhausting. If you have questions, Milavetz Law has answers.
Do not accept any settlement offers without consulting with one of our personal injury attorneys. As you speak about the accident or your injuries, do not admit any fault, either, as that could compromise existing or future offers.
In Minnesota, truck accident victims can potentially file a claim against the employer of an intoxicated truck driver. Drivers sharing the road with large trucks assume trucking companies have done their due diligence in vetting truck drivers. If the driver’s employer disregarded a pattern of irresponsible behavior, vicarious liability might implicate them in responsibility for the accident.
The short answer is “no.”
The longer answer involves Milavetz Law’s contingency fee arrangement. Under this agreement, a portion of the client’s case compensation makes up lawyers’ fees. When you hire one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, they don’t get paid unless you win your case.
That means you don’t have to front hefty legal fees, and you know our team is motivated to fight for your compensation.
Losing a loved one is soul-crushing. If a truck driver’s negligence contributed to your pain, you deserve justice.
In Minnesota, surviving members can pursue a wrongful death claim against liable parties for up to three years from the date of death. Courts must appoint a trustee to file on the family’s behalf.
Truck accident victims typically have two years to file a personal injury claim against those liable. However, if the at-fault driver leaves the state, the statute of limitations pauses. The time limit only resumes once they return.