Anoka Truck Accident Attorneys
Large Truck Accidents in Minnesota
Traffic accidents involving semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles tend to be far more devastating than typical car accidents. Due to their immense size and weight, large trucks cause massive amounts of damage, often leading to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. To make matters worse, pursuing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and physical and mental pain and suffering can be extremely difficult due to the complexity of these cases. Victims and their families may face numerous challenges when it comes to proving liability and fighting for fair compensation.
At Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm, our Anoka truck accident attorneys have extensive experience and a long, proven track record of success in highly complex commercial vehicle accident claims. Our firm is known for our aggressive approach to litigation, as well as our willingness to take cases to trial whenever necessary. If you or someone you love was involved in a collision with a large truck or commercial vehicle, we encourage you to reach out to our team today to learn how we can help you fight for the justice you deserve.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Severe?
Commercial trucking is an important part of local and interstate commerce. Unfortunately, commercial trucks and buses account for many motor vehicle collisions. You have undoubtedly seen the mangled wreckage of a passenger vehicle on the side of the road that was hit by a semi-truck.
Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks, buses, and other large vehicles can present serious hazards on the road. Truck accidents typically result in serious, long-lasting injuries to the occupants of the other vehicles involved. A commercial truck rear-ending a car can be devastating given the momentum of the truck.
Momentum is a product of weight and speed. An unloaded semi-truck and trailer weighs over 50,000 pounds. It does not have to be going fast to hit the rear of your car with a great deal of force to cause severe injuries and fatalities to the occupants of a car. The effects can be even more devastating when tractor-trailers, big rigs, and other large trucks are involved in side-impact and head-on collisions, which are often fatal.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial truckers are highly trained professionals who are often considered more skilled than the average driver. However, truck driver error, negligence, and wrongful conduct contribute to over half of all large truck crashes.
Examples of truck driver error, negligence, and wrongful conduct include:
- Distracted driving, including texting or cellphone use
- Fatigued driving and/or falling asleep at the wheel
- Speeding and driving too fast for current conditions
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Violating traffic laws or rules of the road
- Disobeying red lights, stop signs, and other traffic control devices
- Driving aggressively or recklessly or engaging in road rage
- Tailgating, or following too closely behind other vehicles
- Unsafe or unlawful turns, passing, or lane changes
Not all truck accidents are caused by the truck driver, however. Some result from outside and/or additional factors.
- Overloaded or improperly loaded truck cargo
- Failure to conduct vehicle inspections
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Poor or inadequate truck repairs
- Negligent hiring or supervision of truck drivers
- Hours-of-service violations
- Defective truck design or components
- Defective roadways
It is important to determine the cause of a truck accident, as it often indicates who is liable for the victim’s resulting damages. For those wishing to go outside the no-fault insurance system and seek damages beyond the limits of their personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage, identifying the liable party is critical.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
A collision between a truck and a car is more likely to result in death and/or severe injury than one between two passenger vehicles. Furthermore, these accidents are far more treacherous for passengers in cars than those in large trucks. According to the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety, about 73 percent of injuries and deaths resulting from truck accidents are suffered by those in the vehicle hit by a truck.
Injuries common to victims of truck collisions include:
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Back injuries
- Broken bones/fractures
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Serious lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Rib and torso injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Organ damage
Many truck accidents result in fatal injuries. When this happens, surviving family members of accident victims may file wrongful death claims against the liable party or parties.
Whether you were injured in a collision with a large truck, or your loved one tragically passed away due to a fatal crash, our Anoka truck accident attorneys can help. At Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm, we offer free consultations during which time we can learn more about your situation, answer your questions, and provide detailed information on how we can help you fight for the fair compensation you are owed.
Determining Fault for a Truck Accident
Like other car accidents, truck accidents are covered by no-fault insurance in Minnesota. However, no-fault insurance limits may be as low as $20,000 per person. This means that you may not be able to recover more than $20,000 for your damages—and most truck accident victims sustain far greater damages than this.
Additionally, no-fault insurance does not provide any compensation for non-economic damages, such as the physical and mental pain and suffering you experience as a result of the crash. To recover full compensation for your losses, you will likely need to go outside the no-fault system and bring a claim or lawsuit directly against the liable party.
To be fully compensated, you must establish who was at fault. This involves providing evidence of who was at fault for the collision. A commercial truck accident investigation must be initiated as soon after the collision as possible. The trucking company and its insurance company will move swiftly because the stakes for them can be high depending on the severity of the injuries or if a death occurred.
In a given truck accident, any of the following parties may be partly or entirely liable:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the truck and trailer
- Parts manufacturers
- The company responsible for loading the cargo
- Companies performing maintenance on the truck or trailer
Accidents involving commercial trucks or buses can take years to resolve. Any delays—beginning with the initial investigation—can make a case even more difficult to process.
How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Most personal injury cases in Minnesota, including truck accidents, are subject to a six-year statute of limitations. This means you have six years from the date of the accident (or death) to sue the liable party for damages. If more than six years pass, and you do not take legal action, you will almost certainly lose your right to seek compensation for your accident-related damages.
While six years may seem like a long time, the longer you wait to bring your claim, the harder it can be to prove your case. Delays not only put you at risk of losing your right to sue the liable party, but they also mean that you will have to go longer without the fair compensation you are owed.
We strongly encourage you to reach out to our Anoka truck accident lawyers right away if you or your loved one has been involved in a crash with a semi-truck, big rig, tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, bus, or another large commercial vehicle. At Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm, we provide personal attention and aggressive advocacy on behalf of each and every one of our clients.