Minneapolis Truck Accident Attorney
When semi-trucks or commercial vehicles collide with smaller passenger vehicles, the results can be catastrophic. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, it may be in your best interest to review the incident with a licensed attorney.
Having an experienced legal team on your side can have a significant impact on the outcome of a lawsuit and our Minneapolis truck accident attorneys have a proven track record handling truck accident cases including a $1.7 million recovery for a pedestrian hit by a semi-truck and a $1.5 million verdict for a pedestrian that was struck by a garbage truck.
TSR Injury Law co-founder and managing partner Steven Terry has been included in Super Lawyers and is on the Minnesota Association for Justice Board of Governors. Partner Nate Bjerke is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates forum.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no upfront fees for our services and we only get paid at the end of the legal process if you have obtained compensation.
Can I File a Claim for Compensation?
Truck accident cases can be complex for a variety of reasons. As there are often many many factors involved, it is important to discuss your incident with an attorney who can help to determine if you have a valid case. Our Minneapolis truck accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the Minnesota laws that affect these cases and how to establish negligence caused a victim to suffer damages.
We are prepared to review claims involving various types of large trucks and commercial vehicles, such as:
- Garbage trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Dump trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Cargo trucks
... and help to determine if there are sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit. If so, we can discuss the options that may be available.
Who can be Held Liable for a Commercial Truck Accident?
Identifying the parties may be responsible for a crash can be an overwhelming task for victims as there may be more than one party involved. Besides the driver, other parties responsible for the truck, trailer or cargo could share liability for the accident that caused your injuries.
Here are some of the parties that you may be able to pursue compensation from after a commercial truck crash:
- Truck driver - Many truck accidents result from driver error. The driver of the truck in your accident may have been speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way, driving while distracted by the radio or a cellphone, tailgating another vehicle, failing to check blind spots, or engaging in some other type of reckless behavior. Some drivers drink or use drugs to cope with life on the road. Drivers could also be drowsy because they were violating regulations on the number of hours they spend behind the wheel. A growing problem with truck drivers is lack of experience, which can potentially increase the chance of a crash.
- Truck driver’s employer – The employer may also be held liable for the actions of the driver. An example of this may be due to the employer failing to properly train the driver or hiring a driver without the proper qualifications.
- Company that owned or leased the truck or trailer – If there are maintenance issues or other defects that result in an accident, these companies may bear some fault for damages that occurred.
- Cargo-loading company – If the cargo contributed to the crash, by falling out of the truck, causing a rollover, or in some other way, the company responsible for loading it could be liable for damages from the crash. Overloading cargo or not securing it properly can make the truck much more difficult for the driver to handle.
- Truck or trailer manufacturer – Various parts on the truck or trailer could malfunction or break down and contribute to a crash.
As there are many factors that contribute to truck accidents, these type of cases can be both complex and challenging. Those involved in the trucking industry and their insurance companies will attempt to deny responsibility for an accident or potentially offer a settlement amount that may be much less than a case is worth.
The licensed Minneapolis truck accident lawyers at our firm are prepared to review your situation and determine your legal options during a free consultation.
Call today (612) TSR-TIME.
How Much Could my Claim be Worth?
There are many questions our attorneys may consider to determine what a claim may be worth:
- How severe are the victim’s injuries?
- How long are the injuries expected to last?
- How much pain is the victim in on a daily basis?
- Did any liable parties show an extreme amount of negligence?
We are prepared to pursue maximum compensation for damages, if you are eligible to pursue compensation. These damages could include:
- Prescription drugs
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical pain you experience
- Trouble sleeping
- Permanent disability
- Cost of hiring a caregiver
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of companionship
- Property damage from the crash
It is difficult for our Minneapolis truck accident lawyers to determine the potential value of your claim until we meet with you and have a chance to review the details of your specific incident. However, we understand the challenges truck crash victims face, including emotional, physical and financial and how important compensation can be following an accident.
Have Some Questions? Call (612) TSR-TIME.
What Can an Attorney Do to Help Me With My Claim?
The insurance companies, trucking companies, cargo companies and any other entities that share liability for the crash will all be trying to avoid responsibility for the accident. They may attempt to convince accident victims into accepting much less compensation than they may be eligible to receive.
Trying to protect your claim on your own is often challenging for injury victims - recovering and having the stress of trying to pay your bills while being unable to work can be a daunting task. Having an attorney at your side focused on your best interests with a history of obtaining results in a truck accident case can be invaluable during this difficult time.
You can call our firm today to learn more about how we pursue full compensation for truck accident victims. When investigating, our attorneys collect more than just police reports and witness statements.
For example, we may request the truck driver’s logbook. Truck drivers are required by law to keep a detailed logbook of their on-duty hours and hours driven. There are also records of maintenance performed on the truck that may provide evidence of missed repairs or other problems with the truck. These additional documents can be very useful in determining who may share liability in your accident.
Truck accident victims who work with a lawyer often recover more compensation than those who do not.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
Regardless of what kind of commercial vehicle hit you, we encourage you to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. There is a limited amount of time to pursue compensation for your injury and evidence can be quickly lost or destroyed.
Insurance companies often have deadlines for filing claims, but there are also deadlines for filing lawsuits in Minnesota. Generally, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within just two years of the date of the accident (Minnesota statute of limitations).
Each situation is unique, so your claim may fall under one of the many exceptions to this two-year deadline. For example, claims filed by minors must be filed within two years of their 20th birthday. This is why it is so important to review the situation with a licensed attorney with a long history of pursuing personal injury compensation.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner he or she can determine whether you have a case and what your legal options may be, moving forward.
Insurance Coverage That May Be Available for Truck Crash Victims
You may be eligible to pursue insurance compensation for your truck accident damages. Liable parties often have hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance coverage, which your Minneapolis truck accident lawyer may be able to draw from.
Minnesota law in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific insurance requirements for commercial truck drivers. The type and amount of coverage needed is determined by the type of cargo being carried and where it is being carried to.
For instance, if the truck driver is transporting cargo within the state, he or she must obtain an intrastate-only USDOT Number and maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance as follows:
- Up to $300,000 for transporting household goods
- Up to $750,000 for transporting general cargo
- Up to $1,000,000 for transporting oil
- Up to $5,000,000 for transporting hazardous materials
What About Driving Across State Lines?
For truck drivers transporting cargo out-of-state, insurance requirements become more extensive. They are required to meet the above liability coverage and be in compliance with all FMCSA liability limits. These limits are generally between $750,000 to $1,000,000.
Insurance Coverage for Interstate Truckers
Interstate truckers or those who cross state lines are typically required to carry a minimum of $100,000 in cargo insurance. This type of insurance helps cover goods in a trailer. The amount can also change based on the type of cargo being hauled.
If a truck is financed, physical damage insurance may be required. This type of insurance helps cover the tractor or trailer from accidents while on the road.
Bobtail insurance may be required if the driver drives a truck under someone else’s trucking authority without a trailer. Generally, the motor carrier’s or trucker’s liability insurance only protects the driver while he or she is under dispatch or hauling a trailer and not for other driving scenarios. However, this type of insurance can help cover the driver if he or she was involved in an accident under the following conditions:
- After delivering cargo and on the way to pick up more cargo
- On your way to pick up the first round of cargo
- On the way home from a delivery
While bobtail insurance does not cover any physical damage done to a truck, it does help pay for costs associated with liability, such as legal fees, medical bills and settlement expenses.
You do not have to sift through insurance policies to find out what coverage applies to your accident. Our attorneys can do that on your behalf, if you hire our firm.
At TSR Injury Law, you do not have to worry about any upfront legal fees. Our Minneapolis truck accident attorneys do not get paid for our services unless you do so from a settlement or verdict. It costs nothing to let us discuss your legal options.
Reach us by phone at (612) TSR-TIME.
Trucking Industry Regulations That May Apply to Your Claim
The trucking industry has federal and state regulations from the FMCSA and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. They have numerous regulations that trucking companies, owners, and drivers must follow to ensure the safety of truck drivers and the other vehicles on the road.
Vehicle Size and Weight Limits
On state roadways, the overall width of a commercial vehicle cannot exceed more than eight feet and six inches. This does not include an additional three inches for rear side view mirrors. The standard height of a truck must be no more than 13 feet and six inches. When it comes to length limits, a semi-trailer or two-vehicle combination cannot exceed more than 53 feet. This includes no more than 75 inches for a truck-trailer with a semi-trailer as well as a two-vehicle combination other than a tractor-trailer and semi-trailer.
A truck’s maximum gross weight in Minnesota is 80,000 pounds. The legal weight of a vehicle or vehicle combination is determined by several factors, including the number of axles and type of roadway being used.
On all paved roads, the weight limits are:
- Up to 20,000 pounds for a single axle truck
- Up to 34,000 pounds for a tandem axle truck
- Up to 80,000 pounds for a vehicle combination with five or more axles
On all unpaved roads, the weight limits are:
- Up to 18,000 pounds for a single axle truck
- Up to 34,000 pounds for a tandem axle truck
- Up to 80,000 pounds for a vehicle combination with five or more axles
Hours of Service Rules
To protect against driver fatigue, which can dramatically increase the risk of an accident, truck drivers are restricted to a certain number of hours behind the wheel. These restrictions are laid out in the hours of service rules.
These rules say property-carrying drivers cannot drive:
- More than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours
- More than 14 hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty
- At all after being on duty for 60 to 70 hours over a period of seven or eight consecutive days
The FMSCA requires all truck drivers to record their hours in a logbook. This is something our Minneapolis truck accident lawyers often review after an accident to determine if rules were broken.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Truck drivers must be tested before they are allowed to operate a commercial truck. There may also be random drug tests and rules require drug testing after certain kinds of accidents.
Trucking regulations are difficult to understand and apply to the specifics of a case. That is why many accident victims rely on an experienced Minneapolis truck accident attorney to deal with them. Our firm knows how to determine when regulations may have been violated and how to obtain evidence that may help us establish violations.
What If The Other Vehicle Was In a "No-Go Zone"?
On most large trucks, there are several areas that are considered “no-zones”, and driving in or near these areas of a truck can be extremely risky. The most dangerous no-zones areas on a truck include:
- Side no-zones: These are the most well-known and perhaps the most dangerous of all of the truck's blind spots. These are located along either side of the truck, and usually extend from right behind the cab to the back end of the trailer. In order to avoid accidents in these no-zone areas, you should always make sure that you can see the truck driver's face in their side mirrors. If you cannot see the driver, the driver cannot see you.
- Rear no-zone: Since most large trucks are hauling trailers, they cannot use rear-view mirrors to check for vehicles behind them. As such, when traveling behind a large truck you should remain far enough back that the driver can see you in their side mirrors.
- Front no-zone: Most trucks have an elevated cab, meaning that the driver is seated much higher than other vehicles. If you are driving a smaller passenger vehicle or motorcycle, there is a chance that a truck driver might not see you if you are located too close to the front of the truck.
Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you may still be eligible to file a claim.
Contact a Minneapolis Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident can be a life changing event for all parties involved and the Minneapolis truck accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law understand the hardships victims face after a serious accident. Contacting a lawyer is an important step when trying to recover from a serious collision.
With more than $150,000,000 recovered for our clients, our legal team offers a free, no obligation consultation to help determine if you have a case. Our office is located just minutes away from the Motor Vehicle/Deputy Registrar Office and we do not charge any upfront fees if we take on your case. We only get paid when you win.