Minnesota Truck Accident Attorneys: Penn Kestner & McEwen
If you feel uneasy when you’re near a truck on a highway, you have every reason to be. It’s flat-out dangerous to have to share the road with a huge commercial semi, one that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to picture just how devastating a truck accident can be. Minnesota residents are no stranger to a truck accident.
The truck accident attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen will be ready to fight for you if you’ve suffered a severe injury due to the negligence of the truck driver, the company that owns the truck, or any other party. Our firm has a team of skilled legal representatives who are passionate about helping our clients. You can rest assured we’ll do everything we possibly can to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Minnesota Truck Accident Statistics
The number of truck accidents that occur in the state of Minnesota continue to amaze. Take 2020 for example. Even though there weren’t nearly as many trucks on the road due to pandemic lockdowns, there were still 3,786 accidents involving semis. Those crashes resulted in 1,033 injuries and, tragically, 58 deaths.
Trucking Regulations in Minnesota that Help to Prevent Accidents
There are several state and federal regulations in place to keep those accidents from happening.
For example, there are several Minnesota regulations that are designed to keep drivers from operating their rigs while fatigued. Truck drivers are not allowed to be behind the wheel for more than 11 consecutive hours after being off-duty for 10 straight hours. Also, they can’t drive after having been on duty 60 hours or more during the previous seven days. In addition, they’re not allowed to drive if they’ve been on duty for more than 70 hours the previous eight days.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Minnesota
Despite these and other strict government regulations, truck accidents still occur. These are just some of the more common reasons why they happen.
It’s dangerous enough for the driver of a passenger car to be distracted while driving. When someone at the helm of a 40-ton behemoth loses their focus, the results can be disastrous. But just like other drivers, truckers can be guilty of texting and talking, checking emails, fiddling with the radio dial, and many other types of distracted driving.
Driving Under the Influence
Even though it almost seems incomprehensible, the fact is that truck drivers will even get behind the wheel when they’re drunk or on drugs. Some drivers will take drugs that keep them awake, because they’re pushing far too hard to meet an unrealistic deadline. Needless to say, when those drugs wear off, the fatigue that results can be immediate. Whether they’re trying to stay awake, or they’ve chosen to drive after consuming far too much alcohol, the results will oftentimes be tragic.
Again, truck drivers are under an immense amount of pressure to meet deadlines. Or, they might want to get a delivery made so they can finally get back to their family. Whatever the motivation, truck drivers will sometimes try to extend themselves far beyond their limits, and be incredibly fatigued as a result. When this happens, an accident will almost be inevitable, since a fatigued driver won’t be able to react as quickly as normal should something out of the ordinary happen, such as unexpected traffic, or a car that has to suddenly slow down.
Breaking Trucking Regulations
Truck drivers are the only ones guilty of breaking the rules, and causing a severe accident. Trucking companies often want to maximize their profits, whatever the cost may be. They’ll demand their drivers continue to work in violation of regulations, or they’ll cut corners and fail to outfit the truck with new tires, or a new braking system. If this has happened in your case, we’ll make sure that trucking company faces full accountability for their greed.
Drivers are required to perform thorough inspections before they take a truck out on the road. This means checking the tires, testing the brakes, making sure there’s enough oil and power steering fluid, and much more. When they fail to do so, and they cause a wreck due to that failure, they could face a lawsuit as well.
There are some instances where an accident occurs due to factors out of the control of both the driver and the trucking company. The manufacturer of a defective part could cause an accident, and be part of a lawsuit as well.
How to Prove Negligence in a Minnesota Truck Accident Case
There are a lot of reasons why you’re going to need the help of a truck accident lawyer if you’re to have any chance of obtaining every penny you deserve. Gathering the evidence needed to prove your case is at the top of the list. An experienced attorney can conduct a detailed investigation into the accident, gathering all the facts to tell the story of what really happened.
Potential Liable Parties
This investigation will also show the attorney all the parties that may have played a role in causing the accident, and should be held liable as a result.
There could actually be several liable parties. Suppose the truck suddenly rolled over for no apparent reason. An investigation could determine that the cargo inside the trailer shifted due to negligent loading. This caused the driver to lose control, leading to the rollover crash. In this instance, you could very likely take action against the company responsible for loading that cargo.
How is a Truck Accident Different from a Car Accident?
In addition to the potential for multi-party liability, a truck accident will typically lead to injuries that are much more severe than those that occur during a car wreck. The simple reason is that a commercial truck is so much larger than a passenger vehicle. The drivers and passengers in those cars are subjected to much more powerful forces.
That’s part of the reason why a truck accident is not only different from a “regular” car accident, but it’s also more complex. Insurance policies covering trucks are routinely worth $1 million or $2 million. Carriers fight aggressively to protect those policies. The only way to fight that aggression will be to hire an attorney who has a great deal of experience in this area of the law.
Receiving Compensation for Truck Accident Damages
Your “damages” are the financial losses you’ve suffered due to the accident that caused your injury. These include “economic” damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as “non-economic” damages, including pain and suffering, as well as emotional and mental trauma.
In order to have the best chance of recovering those damages, you’ll have to hire a seasoned legal representative.