All motor vehicle accidents come with their own set of challenges. When commercial trucks are involved, the potential for destruction and injury multiplies. In the midst of recovery and emotional trauma, those affected also face complicated steps to recover compensation.
Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Serving White Bear Lake and all of Minnesota
As a victim of a truck accident, you are up against various parties that could shortchange you to protect their own bottom line. The dedicated truck accident attorneys of Sand Law in White Bear Lake know exactly how to approach these cases to achieve the best possible results. Contact our team as soon as possible.
How Insurance Works for Truck Accidents
Commercial truck companies are legally required to have primary liability coverage for their vehicles. This covers injuries to passengers in other cars as well as damage to their vehicles.
There are specific minimum amounts of coverage required. They vary based on what commodities a truck is transporting. A truck carrying toxic cargo, for example, must be insured for millions. Trucks with less dangerous goods have comparatively lower minimums.
Truck drivers are also required to have their own insurance. Their employers have additional driver insurance for accidents in which the drivers are underinsured. They also maintain other large policies that cover property damage and various other liabilities.
Trucking companies and drivers are required to carry so much insurance because of how dangerous it can be if something goes wrong. This also allows injured victims to recover fair compensation when they are injured by truckers, no matter what type of truck accident caused the injury.
Which Parties Can be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?
Unlike with car accidents, there are multiple parties that can be held liable for a truck accident. The following are the most common liable parties in truck accident cases.
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers must follow hours of service rules that dictate how long they are allowed to drive and how often they need to take breaks. If they cause an accident while personally breaking those rules or engaging in any other negligent driving, they are at fault. Negligent driving can include engaging in distractions, drinking and driving, speeding, reckless driving, or lack of experience.
The Trucking Company
Companies are required to perform background checks before hiring. They must also conduct periodic evaluations to ensure their employees are still fit to drive. Companies that do not fulfill these requirements can be held responsible for a trucking accident.
The Truck Manufacturing Company
When a faulty truck part is manufactured and distributed, it usually makes its way into multiple vehicles from the same batch. If an accident is caused because of a defective or faulty part, the manufacturing company could be liable for your damages.
The Truck Mechanic
If mechanics’ inefficient repairs lead to an accident, they can be deemed responsible. They may also be responsible for failing to identify issues or not warning trucking companies of potential issues.
How Truck Accidents Are Different from Car Accidents
Truck accidents are far more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities than accidents that only involve average-size vehicles. The breadth of destruction can also make it more complicated for first responders to reach accident victims.
In standard vehicles, drivers who think quickly and act fast sometimes escape impending accidents. Due to their massive weight, commercial trucks cannot be maneuvered as easily. Drivers are less likely to brake in time and more likely to collide with multiple vehicles.
What Factors Can Lead to a Commercial Truck Accident?
There are many factors that can lead to commercial truck accidents. This is because there are so many different moving parts. The driver, the company, the mechanic, and the manufacturers all must operate safely in order to prevent an accident.
Overworked or Drowsy Drivers
Offering bonuses to drivers for meeting a deadline is a common practice in large companies. Drivers often race against the clock when they should be taking a break. This can and often does, lead to drivers operating their trucks while they are drowsy or severely overworked. Trucking companies may also encourage drivers to break their hours of service obligations.
Because of the long hours they work, some commercial truck drivers abuse drugs in an attempt to stay awake longer than they should, putting other motorists at risk. Truck drivers are not allowed to engage in any recreational drugs or alcohol during a certain time period before their shift.
Minnesota drivers are only required to have a commercial driver’s permit for 14 days before applying for a commercial driver’s license. Trucking companies may also fail to properly screen employees. They may hire those without proper experience. Experience is important because there are many things that having a license doesn’t teach you. For example, experience may be necessary for drivers to learn how to adapt to changes on the fly.
Dangerous Weather Conditions
Drivers of all types of vehicles are prone to lose control on slippery and snow-covered roads. The massive size of commercial trucks makes it increasingly difficult for drivers to regain that control. Drivers should be experienced in how to adapt to changes in weather conditions. If they aren’t, they could cause an accident.
Cargo should be secured tightly and should not exceed a truck’s weight limits, but these regulations are sometimes overlooked. When loads aren’t secured or exceed the weight limit, they can cause a truck to roll over. Rollover accidents can cause serious damage, harming multiple parties in one fell swoop.
What Compensation is Available for a White Bear Lake Truck Accident?
Truck accidents can be extremely expensive. However, the cost isn’t just financial. Truck accidents can have a great mental impact as well. However, you can be awarded for both your monetary losses and the mental burden that you’ve experienced.
Lost Wages, Future Earnings, and Earning Capacity
You are entitled to compensation for missed work due to hospital, therapy, and doctor’s visits, as well as home recovery. If a truck accident compromises your future career, you can collect the wages you would have acquired.
Past, Present, and Future Medical Bills
This includes bills from hospitals, therapy, and doctors’ appointments, as well as ongoing medical care you will need moving forward.
Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress
The recovery after a truck accident is emotionally draining. Your personal suffering is eligible for compensation.
Permanent Injury and Disability
Living with a permanent injury is both difficult and expensive. You can seek compensation for the added obstacles and need for care.
Disfigurement and Scarring
Truck accident victims often have to cope with the reality that they will never look like their old selves again. Negligent parties can be held responsible for this trauma.
Wrongful Death and Funeral Expenses
The loss of life has devastating and irreversible effects. Those at fault can be held liable for final expenses, lost financial support, and emotional damage. These cases are known as wrongful death cases are can be filed as part of a truck accident lawsuit.
Property Damage and Car Rental
When you have to repair or replace your vehicle due to a truck accident, you can seek compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses. This applies to personal property, including real estate, as well.
Other General Damages
At-fault parties can be held liable for any expenses accumulated because of a truck accident.
Contact the Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in White Bear Lake
If you are dealing with the catastrophic effects of a commercial truck accident, you do not have to do it alone. The dedicated attorneys in White Bear Lake will advocate on your behalf. Our truck accident experts are familiar with the ins and outs of commercial vehicle companies and the insurance industry. They will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you are entitled to. Call our White Bear Lake location today at 651-291-7263 or by contacting us online.