Truck accidents in any kind of weather can be incredibly severe. Catastrophic injuries can occur because of truck accidents, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe broken bones and fractures, as well as death. In winter, truck accidents can be even more likely, as the roads aren’t always well maintained.
In 2018, 4,862 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash, a 51% increase since 2009. Truck accidents cause severe injuries and deaths every single year. Still, winter weather conditions can make lawsuits trickier, requiring an experienced attorney to help you with your case.
Increase in Semi-Truck Crashes Because of Weather Conditions
In November of 2020, near Monticello, Minnesota, there was a pileup of 29 vehicles. Half of those vehicles were commercial trucks. The accident shut down the interstate for hours and it was said that the accident occurred because of a bad snowstorm. Many witnesses made statements from the event, saying that “I saw a semi on my left start to fishtail. It hit another semi, both of them jackknifed.” Another witness stated that her vehicle was hit “at least five times” as the pileup grew larger and larger.
Winter car and truck accidents, especially on highways, can be incredibly dangerous, causing many cars to be involved in the accident. Multi-car pile ups can be very tricky to handle in court because of the number of parties that can be involved in those accidents. However, it all depends on why the pileup occurred in the first place. Was the first truck driver texting while driving or driving under the influence? Was their vehicle prepared for the winter weather? These are all questions your attorney will ask when investigating your case.
Common Causes of Winter Truck Accidents
Winter truck accidents are most often caused by poor weather conditions, poor vehicle maintenance, and inexperience. Truck drivers must be trained to drive in poor weather conditions such as icy roads, slushy roads, blizzards, and other snow storms. If they haven’t been provided with proper training, they may have a hard time maneuvering their vehicle, causing an accident.
Poor maintenance of a semi-truck may also be cause for an accident. Trucking companies are required to keep their trucks in proper working order. This means that the vehicles must be properly prepared for winter driving. If trucking companies don’t take the time to make sure their vehicles are properly prepared, they could be liable for an accident.
Of course, truck accidents can also occur in the winter for everyday reasons, such as distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, or inexperienced driving. Accidents may also occur not by fault of the driver, but instead because of a third party, like the trucking company, trucking owners, the loaders of the truck, and the manufacturers of the truck or parts of the truck.
For example, if the driver is over-scheduled past the legal amount, and they get into an accident because they’re exhausted or because they fall asleep at the wheel, both them and the trucking company could be liable for the accident.
What to Do After You’re Involved in a Truck Accident
In the winter, you should always make sure that your car is stocked with any emergency items that you may need, such as extra layers, water, snacks, flashlights, extra phone batteries, and rock salt, an ice scraper, and shovel. All of these can help keep you safe while you wait for the police or a tow truck to arrive. Your car may not have heat after an accident. Therefore, you want to make sure you have the resources to keep yourself warm.
Contact Emergency Services After an Accident
After you’re involved in a winter truck accident, you should make sure that everyone is safe. If anyone requires medical attention, make sure to call 911 as soon as possible. If no requires immediate medical attention, you should stick around at the scene of the crime. You should contact the non-emergency police line to file a police report.
Others at the scene may try to talk you out of filing a police report. However, you shouldn’t listen to them. Filing a police report is incredibly helpful evidence and can help you win your case. While you wait for the police to arrive, you should exchange information with all involved drivers. Additionally, take pictures of all the involved vehicles as well as your own injuries and speak with any witnesses.
Receive Medical Attention to Establish Records of Injuries Caused by the Accident
After you gather evidence you should then head to the hospital to receive medical treatment. Even if you don’t believe that you’re injured, you should still be checked out. Serious injuries can sometimes be masked by the adrenaline of an accident. You should contact an attorney before you file a claim with your insurance company to avoid damaging your case. The at-fault party’s insurance company may reach out to you to ask for a statement or offer you quick cash, don’t take it, let your attorney handle talking to the insurance companies on your behalf.
Contact a Minnesota Truck Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a winter truck accident, or a truck accident during any time of the year, please contact one of our experienced attorneys here at Sand Law LLC. We’re ready and willing to take on your case and help you get the compensation and justice that you deserve. For more information, please contact us online, using our Live Chat option, or by calling us at 651-291-7263.