Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyer
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Get Compensation
If you or a family member has been injured or someone has died in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a lawsuit. However, Minnesota and Federal trucking laws are complicated, making mistakes can be costly, and insurance companies and their insurers have high-powered lawyers and experts on their side who will attempt to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. Going up against them is not something you should attempt on your own, as making mistakes can cost you the compensation you deserve.
Fortunately, there is help available to fight for your rights and a fair settlement. Our Minnesota truck accident lawyers at the Tyroler Leonard Injury Law have what it takes to win, whether through negotiations or in the courtroom. Attorney Isaac Tyroler and Rachel Sperling Leonard believe that clients come first, and spend the time necessary to work with you to make you feel comfortable and achieve the best results possible. They are skilled litigators, and many of their clients are referred by other attorneys who trust them to represent the people who have come to them for help in court. We are aggressive when going after the negligent parties, while caring for the families he serves.
Call us at 651-259-1113 for your free, no-obligation consultation today.
How Our Minnesota Truck Accident Attorneys Work for You
Why You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Minnesota semi-truck crashes can be similar to car crashes, but there are a number of differences. If you are involved in a crash with a semi-truck, it is important that you speak with our experienced Minnesota truck accident attorneys as soon as possible.
Because of the seriousness of the injuries often sustained in semi-truck accidents, many trucking companies hire attorneys and crash reconstruction experts right away. These attorneys often push immediately to inspect the vehicles and interview the witnesses, including the injured victim.
The trucking company’s investigation is typically one-sided. While they expect you to give a statement and let them inspect your vehicle for their crash reconstruction, the trucking company will not allow you to ask questions of its driver or get the dashcam video. You should never speak to a trucking company attorney or investigator without at least getting advice from a Minnesota truck accident attorney, especially if you are badly injured. An experienced attorney can make sure that all reconstruction information is shared and can hire an expert to make sure your rights are protected.
How Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
When you have Tyroler Leonard Injury Law on your side, our truck accident lawyers get to work to build your case right away. We will:
- Discuss the individual circumstances of your case to determine who the at-faut parties may be, and estimate what your case is worth and what kind of settlement we should be fighting for.
- Investigate the accident by examining the scene of your accident, interviewing eyewitnesses and first responders, and looking into the past safety records of both the driver and the trucking company.
- Gather evidence such as videos and photographs from traffic cameras; police, ambulance, doctor, and hospital records; the truck’s black box information; the truck driver’s cellphone records; and trucking company hiring and training records.
- Hire our own accident reconstruction experts and experts to testify as to your costs and damages and the care you will need into the future.
- File a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death and take care of all paperwork and court requirements in a timely manner.
- Deal with insurance companies and aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement. Insurance companies are more likely to take your case seriously if they know you have an attorney on your side willing to bring a lawsuit and go to trial.
- Take your case to court if necessary and present arguments on your behalf in front of a judge and jury.
Our Tyroler Leonard Injury Law legal team will be there for you at every stage of the legal process, from filing pre-trial motions, to presenting evidence and making closing arguments, to filing an appeal if appropriate. You should contact us quickly. When our truck accident attorneys are brought into a case immediately, vital records such as the driver and dispatcher logs, inspection and maintenance records, the truck’s “black box” and other evidence can be preserved and utilized to prove negligence, so call us at 651-259-1113 as soon as you can.
Compensation Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Minnesota Can Recover
We May Win a Settlement or Award that Covers Both Economic and Non-economic Damages
Damages are what a person lost as the result of their injuries and property damage. In a successful truck accident case, we can win a settlement that covers a range of losses. These fall under two general categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages in a Truck Accident Case
Economic, or monetary damages, for your financial losses may include:
- Past and future medical bills and care
- Past and future wage loss
- Property damage.
If you are not at fault and have medical bills and wage loss following a car accident, you will always be entitled to have those losses covered.
Non-economic damages are losses that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and anguish
- Loss of consortium and quality of life.
To have a case for pain and suffering or other “noneconomic damages,” you must first meet a “threshold” as defined by Minnesota law.
According to the law (Minn. Stat. 65B.51), the thresholds are:
- Medical bills in excess of $4,000, not including diagnostic X-rays
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent injury
- 60-day disability.
You must only meet one of these thresholds to have a claim for pain and suffering. Once you meet a threshold, you are entitled to be compensated for the way your life has been affected by your injuries from the truck accident. Even if you have not yet met a threshold, our Tyroler Leonard Injury Law truck accident attorneys can carefully scrutinize your situation to identify things that could qualify you for non-economic damages.
Our Truck Accident Attorneys in Minnesota Must Prove Fault in Your Case
To win your case, our attorneys would have to prove that another party, the defendant in the case, was negligent and at fault for causing the accident. Proving fault legally means our Minnesota truck accident lawyers must show the following elements existed:
- Duty — The defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm.
- Breach — The defendant violated that duty of care by actions or failure to act.
- Cause – This violation was directly related to causing the accident.
- Damages — You suffered damages as a result.
At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we will do everything possible to hold negligent trucking companies accountable for their actions. We will carefully investigate whether regulations were violated, including:
- The number of hours the driver could work legally
- The driver’s driving, alcohol and drug use history
- The truck and trailer’s maintenance schedule
- The level of training the driver received
- Whether there was negligent retention or hiring on the part of the trucking company
- Whether there is a record of past citations for violations such as speeding or safety violations.
In many cases there may be multiple parties responsible for the truck accident. For example, negligent parties may include not only the truck driver who hit you, but the trucking company the driver worked for, the truck maintenance company, the cargo company that improperly loaded the truck, the manufacturer of a faulty part that failed, or a road repair company or municipality that left debris on the road.
Our truck accident attorneys would name every potentially liable party as a defendant in your lawsuit, as they all may have insurance or assets that can go toward a settlement.
When More Than One Party is At Fault for a Minnesota Truck Accident
Minnesota is a comparative fault state. So if more than one party contributed to the accident, each party is assigned a percentage of fault by the courts. If you did something that contributed to the accident and are 50% or less at fault, you will have a claim against the other driver or their insurance. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage you are at fault, but our attorneys will fight for the full percentage of damages that correspond to how much the other parties were at fault. For example, if your case is worth $100,000 but you are 20% at fault for the car accident, our attorneys will potentially be able to collect $80,000.
How Much Will My Damage Award Be in My Truck Accident Case?
Our Minnesota Truck Accident Attorneys Use Factors to Value Your Case
There is a wide range of damage amounts that may be awarded in a successful truck accident case. Amounts range from the thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the factors involved. It is difficult to accurately determine the value of your case until enough time passes so that the extent of your injuries is known, as well as what’s involved in your recovery.
Factors which may affect a settlement amount include:
- Actual costs of your losses and expenses
- The extent and permanence of your injuries
- Whether you will require continuing care
- Your age, earning capacity, and family situation
- Lost earnings and whether you will be able to work in the future
- Whether a wrongful death occurred
- How much insurance coverage and defendant assets are available
- Whether a settlement can be negotiated out of court
- The individual jurisdiction, judge, and jury if there is a trial
- The skill and negotiating power of your attorney.
Truck Accident FAQs
Our Truck Accident Attorneys Answer Common Questions
Truck accidents are extremely complicated, so it’s natural to have questions and concerns. Here are some answers to questions our clients often ask our truck accident lawyers:
DO I HAVE NO-FAULT BENEFITS IF I AM IN A MINNESOTA CAR CRASH WITH A SEMI-TRUCK?
In Minnesota, you are entitled to $20,000 of benefits for medical bills and another $20,000 for wage loss and replacement services. No-fault benefits are not different if you are hit by a semi-truck. The difference comes when it is time for a settlement from the truck company’s insurance. In a typical Minnesota car accident, the insurance company that pays no-fault benefits does not get that money back. However, when the driver of a commercial vehicle is at fault for an accident, Minnesota law requires that the insurer for the commercial vehicle pay back the no-fault insurer.
If the truck’s insurer makes a settlement offer, your attorney must make sure they appropriately addressing the issue of paying back your no-fault insurer, or you could end up costing yourself thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
HOW DO I MAKE SURE THE TRUCKING COMPANY KEEPS VIDEO FROM THE ACCIDENT?
The best way to make sure video is preserved after a truck accident is for the police or state patrol to pull the dashcam memory card at the scene. If they do not, then you must make sure the trucking company is saving the video.
Getting a semi-truck accident attorney right away can help. An attorney can send a detailed “preservation letter” outlining everything that the truck company must preserve. Once a preservation letter is sent to the trucking company and its insurer, they will be required to keep the video safe. If they do not, the fact that the video was destroyed or lost may be able to be used against them later.
WILL THE SEMI-TRUCK HAVE INSURANCE TO COVER BOTH MY INJURIES AND VEHICLE DAMAGE?
Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires interstate semi-trucks weighing over 10,001 pounds to carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance. This coverage will apply to both property damage and injury claims resulting from a Minnesota semi-truck accident involving an interstate trucking company. If the commercial vehicle operates only in Minnesota, there are various minimum insurance requirements that can be found here.
DO TRUCK DRIVERS HAVE LIMITS ON HOW MUCH THEY CAN DRIVE?
Yes, the FMCSA has various limits on how many hours a truck driver can drive. Those limits can be found here. It is always a good idea to demand the driver’s log after a crash. This will tell you if the driver was following regulations, whether there are other claims against the trucking company and, depending on how bad the violation is, whether punitive damages may be appropriate.
HOW ARE MINNESOTA SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIMS DIFFERENT FROM MINNESOTA CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS?
In some ways, the claims are similar against the driver of a car and of a truck. However, in truck accidents, you also may have additional claims that can help you get full compensation from the insurance company.
Trucking companies will always be responsible for the negligence of their drivers. This is a legal principle called respondeat superior. In addition, semi-truck companies have requirements to properly hire, train, and retain their employees. Depending on the facts of the case, a direct claim against the truck company can be made for negligent hiring, training, supervising, or retaining their employees. For hiring, the truck company has an obligation to run background checks and make sure its drivers will be safe.
When trucking companies hire drivers with recent DUIs and careless driving convictions who then cause a crash, the employer is liable for failing to properly hire safe drivers. If drivers do not receive the proper training, a direct negligence claim exists against the trucking company if that bad training leads to a truck crash. Our experienced Minnesota trucking attorneys know how to research these issues.
HOW DO I FIND A SEMI-TRUCK THAT HIT ME AND LEFT WITHOUT STOPPING?
The best thing you can do to find the truck is to take pictures of identifying marks on the truck before it drives off, specifically the license plate and DOT number. However, that is a challenge when you are dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident and may have serious injuries. So, if that is not possible, then try to at least identify the name of the trucking company. This is not hard, as the logo is usually written on the side or back of a truck. Once you are in a safe place, contact the police immediately so that you can make a report. Trucking companies are sophisticated entities with GPS on their trucks. Even if they will not admit it was their truck, down the line as our truck accident lawyers investigate your case, we can demand records from them. It is likely they will have GPS tracking showing that they had a truck in that location at the time of the accident.
WHAT ARE SOME CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS?
Trucks are more difficult to drive and steer and take longer to brake than smaller vehicles, and they require more skill, training, and are subject to more regulations. While the FMCSA has firm regulations in place as to the amount of time a commercial truck operator can work. Drivers do not always adhere to regulations. Additionally, company owners may encourage them to work longer hours, so a common cause of big-rig accidents is driver fatigue.
Other types of negligence than may cause truck crashes include:
- Poor load balance
- Truck system failure, such as brakes or steering problems
- Distracted driving
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Bad road conditions and bad signage if roadwork is in progress
- Driver impairment from medication, drugs, or alcohol
- Poorly loaded and unbalanced cargo — Improper load securement could be the responsibility of the trucking company or the cargo company
- Poor training and supervision of drivers
- Trucking company demands to driver faster and work longer hours than is safe.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Your Actions Can Impact the Case Our Truck Accident Lawyers Build
What you do after your accident can be extremely important for your case. Before consulting with our truck accident lawyers, you should be prepared with detailed information regarding the accident and injuries and bring documents like the insurance policy, initial information exchanged at the scene, medical records and more.
If it’s possible, here are things you should do before speaking to our truck accident attorney:
- Call the police and file a report as soon as possible. It is necessary to get an accident report, and it will be an important piece of evidence later.
- Seek immediate medical attention. It is important have all your injuries, treatment and therapy documented. If you miss this step, it can create a gap in treatment which can negatively impact your case.
- Inform your insurance company and file a claim with them.
- Don’t get overwhelmed by the by opponent’s insurance company. They will try to offer you minimum payments when representing the at-fault party or try to hurt your case by getting you to say something that shows that you were at fault. Don’t talk to them about your accident until you get legal help. Tell the insurance company to speak to your truck accident attorney, and let Tyroler Injury Law handle all dealings and negotiations with insurers.
- Keep a detailed journal of your costs, injuries, and symptoms, and how they negatively affect your case.
- Get a truck accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible to avoid making mistakes. Truck accidents require detailed knowledge of the law. Also, the longer you wait, the more chances there are of witnesses disappearing and evidence becoming stale.
Don’t Delay Finding a Truck Accident Lawyer to Work on Your Case
The statute of limitations, in most cases, for semi-truck accident claims is six years in Minnesota. The 6-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is codified at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. There are a few exceptions to this time frame, which a skilled personal injury attorney can explain to you.
Don’t delay. If you try to file your lawsuit after the statute of limitations deadline has already passed, the defendant is sure to ask the court to dismiss the case, and the court is very likely to do so.
Injured in a Truck Accident?
Turn to Our Minnesota Truck Accident Attorneys
In a crash, smaller vehicles such as passenger cars can be decimated by a heavily loaded truck such as an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, tractor or trailer. Large trucks are difficult to maneuver, and when loaded with freight, they may take 20 to 40 percent longer to stop than a car does. It’s no wonder that an accident with a truck may result in catastrophic injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, paralysis, and even death. Injured victims face mounting medical bills and expenses at a time they are suffering and may be unable to work, and their lives and those of their families may never be the same.
We discuss a plan so that every client knows not only what we expect of them, but also what they can expect of us. We want every client to know that this is a collaborative relationship where we work together to achieve the best result for the client. At the end of your truck accident case, the single most important thing for us as a law firm is to know that you have closure and were satisfied with the result.
If you have questions about a Minnesota truck accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for your free consultation.
At Tyroler Injury Law, we work entirely on a contingency basis, meaning you will not pay any fees unless we are able to recover money for you. We are happy to give advice to help you in any way we can.
You deserve to have compassionate, experienced representation. Please see why we are the right choice for you.
We offer a no-obligation, confidential, free consultation. Contact us at 651-259-1113 to discuss your case and let our Minnesota truck accident lawyers handle the legal hurdles while you concentrate on your recovery.