Safety and the Law – Minnesota Truck Accident Law

Arthur C. Kosieradzki - SiebenCarey "Know Your Rights" AttorneyOctober 06, 2015

Highways can be a busy place and  staying safe needs to be a big part of  your focus while driving. In 2009, we  saw a historic low in the number of  deaths and injuries from truck  accidents. That was great news but it  didn’t last long as the numbers are  once again on the rise. According to  this eye opening report from the  American Association for Justice,  there are a growing number of lax  industry practices that are  contributing to a large number of  trucks being driven by overworked,  underpaid and poorly trained drivers.  This means trouble for the rest of us  sharing the road with these trucks as  70 percent of the freight in this  country moves by truck.
  
 As a truck accident lawyer for nearly  30 years, I can honestly say I hope to  never see another victim of a semi-truck collision. As you can imagine, 98 percent of those killed in car-truck accidents were the occupants of the much smaller passenger vehicles. Let’s start by focusing on safety and then move to Minnesota truck accident law basics. Remember those defensive driving lectures in driving school? Take them to heart along with these additional safety practice pointers:

Tips for Avoiding Truck Accidents
  -When the roadways are wet, give trucks at least four to six seconds of space at highway speeds.
  -When passing a large truck or bus on the highway, slightly accelerate as you begin to pass and maintain a consistent speed. Do not signal and pull in front of the truck until you can see the entire cab in your review mirror.
  -If you see a truck begin to make a left turn, check which way the driver is signaling before you begin to pass on the right.
  -One third of truck-car crashes involve blind spots. Note that if you can’t see the side mirrors on a truck then the truck driver cannot see you either.
  -Stay aware that trucks maneuver differently than cars, so be extra cautious when approaching.
  -If a truck is turning to the right, do not pass on the right. The rear wheels will follow a shorter path than the front wheels, which requires them to swing wide left to safely turn right.
  -Trucks and larger vehicles need a much longer distance to stop than standard automobiles. Do not suddenly cut in front of a truck or bus.
  -Report unsafe driving to the authorities.

Minnesota Truck Accident Law
Understanding and protecting your legal rights after being hit by a commercial truck is one of the most important things you can do after a trucking accident. Having represented truck accident victims for nearly 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge regarding the complexities of this area of the law. Although I will briefly cover some issues of concern, I urge every victim to seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an incident.

Who Is Liable?
When investigating a truck accident case, it’s important to recognize there can be multiple wrongdoers involved in the accident. Our job as attorneys is to analyze the facts and determine the best legal strategy under the given circumstances. Assuming that only the truck driver is responsible can be a mistake. The law allows for multiple parties to be responsible for a given tragedy. Here are examples of various parties who could be responsible:
  -Driver
  -Commercial Truck Company
  -Shipper and/or Loader of the Transported Cargo
  -Lessors of Trucks
  -Product Distributors
  -Manufacturers of Trucking Products

What Am I Entitled To?
Knowing your rights after an accident is critical and understanding what you are entitled to recover is a great place to start. There are certain basic items you are entitled to receive money for following an accident, including the following:
  -Past and Future Medical Expenses
  -Past Loss of Earnings
  -Future Loss of Earning Capacity
  -Past and Future Emotional Distress
  -Past and Future Pain and Suffering
  -Wrongful Death Damages
  -Other Incidental Losses

Types of Truck Accidents
There are many different ways truck accidents happen. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a truck accident, they are always a frightening experience. Here is a list of the most common types of truck accidents I’ve seen as a practicing truck accident lawyer:
  -Sideswipes
  -Truck Rollover
  -Air Brake Failure
  -Blind Spot Accidents
  -Rear-end Accidents
  -Tire Blowout
  -Improperly Secured Load
  -T-Bone
  -Head On Crash
  -Inability to Manage Dangerous Weather
  -Jackknife
  -Under-ride Involving Sudden Braking Causing Smaller Vehicle to Lodge Under the Truck Trailer

With more than 25 years of experience dealing exclusively with personal injury accidents, including substantial experience as a truck accident lawyer, I would be happy to assist and answer any questions regarding this area of the law. I’m a senior trial specialist, have been awarded “Best Lawyers in America,” and have been recognized by Thomsen Reuters as a Super Lawyer every year since the inception of the award. If you have questions, feel to call at 952-469-2288 or email me at art@knowyourrights.com.

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