It's not an exaggeration to say that trucks drive Minnesota's economy.
There are 18,350 trucking companies in the state, and 1 in every 18 jobs in Minnesota is a trucking job. On average, large commercial trucks travel 3.5 billion miles every year in the North Star State.
Although the rate of fatal commercial truck accidents across the country has declined since the 1970s, there are still more fatal and serious-injury truck accidents than anyone would like.
In this article, we'll take a look at Minnesota truck accidents, including how injured drivers and their families can recover damages following a truck accident.
When talking about "trucks," we're talking about large commercial trucks (also known as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers) as opposed to pickup trucks.
According to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MDPS), there were 5,369 truck accidents in Minnesota in 2019. Of those, 56 fatalities resulted and 1,431 people were injured.
As you might imagine, when large trucks collide with smaller vehicles, it's the occupants of the smaller vehicles that generally suffer the most.
In 2-vehicle collisions involving trucks in 2019, only 5 of the 50 people killed were in trucks. Of the 1,197 people injured in multi-vehicle crashes, only 151 were truck occupants.
Unfortunately, truck accidents in Minnesota have shown no sign of decreasing.
|Minnesota truck accident statistics (2013-2019)|
Understanding the common types of truck accidents can help you avoid them. Here are 3 of the most common types of truck accidents:
MDPS keeps track of truck accidents by the "first harmful event":
|Minnesota truck accidents by first harmful event (2019)|
|Collision with:||Fatal crash||Injury crash||Total crashes|
|Other motor vehicle||43||867||3,966|
|Parked motor vehicle||0||17||252|
Truck drivers in Minnesota must follow the same rules of the road as other motor vehicle drivers. In addition, there are a number of federal laws that are specific to truck drivers. Most of these laws can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
|Federal hours-of-service limitations for commercial motor vehicle drivers|
|Work||Property-carrying vehicles||Passenger-carrying vehicles|
|On-duty||Maximum 14 consecutive hours on-duty following 10 consecutive hours off-duty||Maximum 15 hours on-duty following 8 consecutive hours off-duty|
|Driving time||Maximum 11 hours of driving during the 14-hour on-duty period||Maximum 10 hours of driving following 8 consecutive hours off-duty|
|Weekly||Maximum 60 hours on-duty in any period of 7 consecutive days (if the vehicle operates every day) or maximum 70 hours on-duty in any period of 8 consecutive days (if the vehicle doesn't operate every day)|
Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state. In short, this means that every driver is required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If you're injured in a truck accident, you'll file a claim under your own PIP policy regardless of who's at fault for the accident.
If your damages are greater than the PIP limit on your policy, then you can make a claim against the other driver's liability coverage or file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. To do so, you'll need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
To prove fault in a Minnesota truck crash, you typically need to establish that the truck driver or the trucking company was negligent.
In other words:
Did the truck driver or trucking company fail to exercise reasonable care, and did this failure cause the accident?
In addition to the truck driver and the trucking company, the following parties may be liable for a truck accident:
If your loved one is killed in a truck accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for your loss. A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a negligence lawsuit in the sense that you'll need to prove the defendant was at fault for the accident in order to recover damages.
Damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
Minnesota limits the amount of time truck accident victims have to file a lawsuit (this time limit is called the statute of limitations).
If victims fail to file their lawsuit within this time period, their case will be forever barred (with a few narrow exceptions).
Truck accidents can be traumatic. However, if you're able to stay calm and do these 5 things, you'll put yourself in a better position to recover the damages you deserve:
A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Sometimes a case that seems simple at first may become more complicated. In these cases, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Read more