Truck accidents can be some of the most devastating collisions on our roadways. The sheer weight and size of commercial trucks make them dangerous on the road and detrimental in accidents. Every year, truck drivers cause or contribute to thousands of collisions, leading to hundreds of crashes and dozens of fatalities.
Because trucks are such large and heavy machines, drivers are required to abide by specific sets of laws to keep themselves and others safe on the road. They must inspect their vehicles regularly, file reports with truck companies before and after trips, and pay close attention to the limits of their vehicles, such as elongated stopping distances, wider turns, and no-zones, or blind spots. These conditions create safety along our roads until they are violated by a negligent driver or company.
Unfortunately, these trucks are instrumental to our daily lives. We have to drive beside them every day and night as they deliver the products we need. Most of the time, they go almost unnoticed down our highways and roads, although occasionally we have to reckon with the damage they inflict in serious accidents.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a collision with a truck, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitative needs. In the wake of an accident, all negligent or reckless parties can and should be held accountable. Call the Minnesota truck accident lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates today to schedule a free consultation at (612) 334-3444 so we can begin to evaluate your claim and get you the settlement you deserve.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Many factors can cause or contribute to an accident with a truck. The following are the most prevalent cases that result in collisions:
- Driver error – Truck drivers must pay close attention to traffic devices and adhere to Minnesota and federal laws regulating highways and roadways. Driver error can include a failure to maintain a lane, come to a complete stop in the right amount of time, inattention to no-zones or blind spots, or reckless activities like speeding and tailgating. Any driver error can cause a severe accident when it comes to commercial vehicles.
- Drunk driving – Intoxicated driving is a major cause of commercial and passenger vehicle accidents in Minnesota. Prescription drug and alcohol use impairs a driver’s ability to operate a huge vehicle safely and is a major violation of the law and the right of other drivers to safety. Because of the mass of commercial trucks, contracted drivers are required to abide by lower blood alcohol content limits than other drivers, and should not drink or use drugs at all while on the job. However, many drivers still recklessly do so and cause accidents every year.
- Inattentive or fatigued driving – Truck drivers are required to limit their driving hours to avoid fatigued driving. In Minnesota, the Department of Transportation allows truck drivers to operate their vehicles for no more than 11 hours at a time. Fatigued driving prevents truck operators from devoting their full attention to the road. Inattentive driving can also include reckless and negligent acts such as texting while driving, or other verbal, manual, or cognitive distractions that threaten the safety of other drivers on the road.
- Defective vehicles and malfunctions – Trucks must be inspected regularly to prevent any maintenance failures while driving. Truck drivers and companies are responsible for creating and maintaining records of malfunctions, defective parts, and then fixing any issues before trips take place. If a driver fails to report an issue or the truck company fails to fix a problem, either party may be held accountable. In some cases, a parts manufacturing company or mechanic may also be negligent for supplying a faulty part or failing to maintain the truck adequately. Brakes, tires, steering mechanisms, and coupling devices are all common culprits of truck accidents.
- Improperly loaded cargo – Cargo loading is a key component of safe truck driving. If a truck’s load is unbalanced or improperly loaded, it may shift on the road, causing a driver to lose control of the vehicle, roll over, or could prevent the truck from coming to a stop in time. The driver, truck company, or cargo loading or shipping company may all play a role in this aspect of any truck accident.
Any of these factors may precipitate a serious accident, and several factors may work in tandem. When coupled with bad weather, construction or high-traffic zones, and any other driver’s negligence, these problems are exacerbated and made more dangerous.
Why do I need a lawyer for my truck accident?
Many parties are involved in a truck’s function. After an accident, you may be up against a combination of the following parties:
- Truck drivers
- Truck companies
- Insurance companies
- Shipping or cargo loading companies
- Parts manufacturers
Without an attorney, it can be incredibly challenging to determine which party is most responsible. Truck accident attorneys have a vast array of investigative resources they use to determine the parties most at fault for the collision and can extract information from witnesses and law enforcement much more effectively based on their status as an informed legal professional.
An attorney also understands what you as the victim are up against. Truck and insurance companies are highly experienced in dealing with injured individuals. These companies know all of the legal strategies they can deal in order to make your accident seems as though it was your fault, to make your injuries seem overblown or not due to the crash, to put the blame on the shoulders of a driver with less insurance coverage and payouts, or to even claim that a driver was a contracted employee over whom they did not exercise control over.
After a truck accident, you will need an attorney to fight for your right to compensation while you heal and to stand up against entities with deep pockets allotted for settlements. Again and again, truck and insurance companies will attempt to offer small settlements that may seem like a satisfactory amount to an individual in need of rehabilitative treatment. An attorney will be able to make an accurate evaluation of your claim and help you to obtain the maximum possible compensation for your injuries that includes every reasonable expense you may need in the future to heal from another person’s negligence.
Why Choose Wilson Law Firm?
Our team has more than three decades of truck accident litigation experience that allows us to confidently stand up against powerful entities looking to escape their obligation to compensate victims of painful accidents.
Our empathetic team of attorneys will employ every resource at our disposal to make sure your injuries are paid for in full by the driver or company responsible for your accident. Our care for our clients is unmatched by any law firm in the region. We get to know individuals, not just cases, and then we cater to the needs of those individuals in order to secure the best possible results.
We understand that truck accidents can be devastating and strive to make accident litigation as painless as possible. We offer all of our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning our efforts are free of charge until we win you compensation for your injuries.
Minnesota Truck Accident Statistics
The Minnesota Office of Public Safety reported that in 2017 alone, 4,507 trucks were involved in crashes throughout the state. Fifty-eight of those crashes proved fatal.
Many more crashes resulted in serious injuries. 1,356 injuries were reported that year due to collisions with commercial trucks. An alarming majority of these accidents were caused by driver error, including drunk, intoxicated, or fatigued driving.
Though all drivers should remain awake, sober, and attentive to the road, truck drivers must be particularly responsible when hauling heavy loads in large trailers.
Choosing the most experienced, compassionate, and resourceful team of attorneys is the most important thing you can do for yourself after a truck accident, and the Wilson Law Firm has been that team for Minnesota for almost three decades.
Contact Us Today
Were you hurt in a truck accident in Minnesota? Did a reckless truck driver or negligent trucking company cause you to suffer severe injuries, incur expensive medical bills, and cost you the use of your vehicle? If so, turn to an experienced Minnesota truck accident lawyer for help right away. At Robert Wilson & Associates our team fights for the rights of those injured in Minnesota, and we’ll be ready to help you get the full compensation you are owed.
We take on each case as we would welcome you to our family, and look forward to fighting for your rights up against powerful and negligent companies that believe they are above the law. Call us today at (612) 334-3444 for a free consultation so we can begin to evaluate your claim.