Minnesota Truck and Other Commercial Vehicle Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 3,986 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2016. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 83,000 people were injured in accidents with large trucks. Unfortunately, these numbers have been trending higher since 2009. In fact, fatalities in truck accidents increased by 26 percent since 2009.
Commercial truck drivers are regulated by the government to promote safety and are required to complete regular vehicle inspections and training. The law also limits the number of hours that a truck driver can drive each week to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel or getting drowsy. In Minnesota, the State Patrol oversees ensuring all commercial vehicles comply with the law. Despite all the safety regulations, accidents with trucks are more dangerous simply because of the difference in size between a semi-truck and a normal car. Trucks can weigh 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, and their increased height often causes greater damage to passenger vehicles and occupants. Injuries resulting from accidents with trucks are often more serious as well.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim
The involvement of a commercial vehicle in an accident often complicates the process of resolving insurance claims and receiving compensation for injuries and vehicle damage. This is because the liability generally lies with the company that owns and operates the truck in addition to the driver. The upside is that the company is required by law to carry adequate insurance, but the downside is that it is more difficult to establish legal responsibility on the part of the corporation.
A claim against a transportation company often involves a deep dive into the company’s records on driver training, safety procedures, and employment records. At-fault companies and their insurers tend to use additional paperwork and complications as a way to coerce accident victims into taking reduced settlement offers instead of persisting in obtaining the full compensation that the victim deserves. Having a diligent personal injury attorney shifts the advantage to your side and can save you the hassle of dealing with insurance adjusters, allowing you to focus on recovering your health and returning your life to normal.
Future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity are common results of an accident with a large truck. These damages can be difficult to calculate, especially in the days or weeks directly following an accident. The full extent of an injury, and its effect on your ability to continue working, may not be fully evident for months after the incident. Unfortunately, many people who take an early settlement offer from the trucking company’s insurer do not receive compensation for their future expenses, including lost wages. An experienced personal injury can ensure that any settlement offers discussed are sufficient to cover the full extent of your costs and damages.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries: People that are involved in semi-truck accidents are likely to sustain intense forces upon their head whether it is direct trauma or violent jerking. As a result, truck accident victims may suffer a traumatic brain injury. These injuries are caused by the aforementioned forces acting upon the skull and damaging the brain leading to a number of symptoms and issues related to cognitive function. Traumatic brain injuries can often be permanent with limited relief from treatment and therapy making them very damaging injuries. Truck accident claims involving severe traumatic brain injuries can be high in value but also the most difficult due to the amount of money at stake. Even mild traumatic brain injuries deserve compensation in a truck accident case. Common traumatic brain injuries include brain contusions, coup-contrecoup injuries, diffuse axonal injuries, and concussions.
Internal Injuries: The immense trauma inflicted by a collision with a commercial vehicle weighing multiple tons can cause massive damage to a person’s internal organs and tissues. Internal injuries caused by truck accidents are varied yet often severe. No truck accident is the same making these injuries unique as well depending on the angle of the collision, speed, part of the body that received trauma, the person’s condition before the accident, etc. In many cases, organs can suffer permanent damage that either reduces their ability to function or causes them to cease proper functioning altogether leading to lifelong disability.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Tuck accidents can inflict trauma on a person’s back and cause injuries like spinal cord damage. When someone suffers damage to their spine, they are not only having an important segment of bones compromised but they are also at risk to suffer damage to their nervous system. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs through the inside of the vertebrae and sends signals to and from the brain. Broken vertebrae slipped discs, or misaligned vertebrae can cause it damage and lead to issues such as paralysis and other sensory issues that can be permanent.
PTSD: There is more than just physical injury that can be suffered as a result of a semi-truck accident. Many people can end up suffering severe psychological trauma as a result of the violent experience of being involved in a semi-truck accident. The development of post-traumatic stress disorder is not at all uncommon when it comes to truck accidents. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological condition where a person that has gone through a violent or traumatic experience suffers recurrent symptoms caused by an inability to process the experience healthily. People can suffer flashbacks, anxiety, depression, personality changes, aversion to things that remind them of their trauma, and night terrors. PTSD and other psychological injuries can be debilitating just like physical injuries which makes them just as valid in a case.
Let a St. Paul Accident Attorney Help You
One of the primary benefits of working with an attorney to resolve an insurance claim related to an accident is the ability to hold the responsible party to a timeline set by the court. This minimizes delay and ensures the case continues to progress.
Sand Law has developed a reputation in dealing with complicated liability situations such as those arising from an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle. Proving Our attorneys will handle every aspect of the case from the initial negotiations with the insurance adjuster through a jury trial should that be necessary. As a litigation-focused law firm, Sand Law never pressures a client to take anything less than the best possible settlement offers. We are prepared to go to trial and fully pursue every claim that we take. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a truck or other commercial vehicle, contact Sand Law today for a free consultation online or at 651-291-7263.