Hard-working Minnesota Truck Accident Attorneys
Did you suffer an injury in a truck accident in Minnesota? If so, you already know how life-changing these accidents can be. In the blink of an eye, a truck accident can turn your life upside down. When this happens, you deserve to have someone in your corner who can fight for you. You need a Minnesota truck accident attorney from Nicolet Law.
Semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents often cause severe, life-changing injuries. These injuries can result in burdensome medical bills, extreme physical pain, and debilitating emotional trauma. This can leave accident victims feeling powerless.
However, trusting the right attorney for your case can mean the difference between dealing with a pile of medical bills on your own and having the resources you need to recover from catastrophic injuries.
At Nicolet Law Office, we fight for victims’ rights across Minnesota. We are committed to guiding each of our clients toward a full physical and financial recovery.
We have the skills, knowledge, and experience to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company—or take the case to trial, if necessary. When you work with us, we will empower you to step forward and secure the compensation you deserve.
- Hard-working Minnesota Truck Accident Attorneys
- Why Choose Our Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyers?
- Understanding Minnesota Truck Accidents
- What Happens After a Minnesota Truck Accident
- How Much is My Minnesota Truck Accident Case Worth?
- Causes of Minnesota Truck Accidents
- Who is to Blame in a Minnesota Truck Accident?
- Determining Negligence in a Trucking Accident
- Dedicated Accident Attorneys Helping You Put Your Life Back Together
- Minnesota Truck Accident FAQ
- Contact Our Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyers
- Minnesota Locations
Why Choose Our Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyers?
After a serious trucking accident in Minnesota, you may find yourself facing an uncertain future. Your time and your energy are better spent on your recovery and treatment - not on chasing down insurance adjusters. Let us handle the legal burdens for you, so you can focus on what really matters - rebuilding your life after a serious Minnesota truck accident.
At Nicolet Law, our mission is to help all injured accident victims obtain justice. We do this by holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. We are skilled negotiators and litigators who aren’t afraid to fight the tough battles for our clients.
Our lawyers have collected more than 40 million for our injured clients over the last 14 years, and are a nationally recognized, award-winning law firm. While past success never guarantees future results, you can rest easier knowing you have a team of skilled and experienced trial attorneys in your corner.
With offices in Duluth, Hibbing, Minneapolis and Woodbury, our Minnesota truck accident attorneys are available wherever your accident occurs. We can meet with you at one of our convenient Minnesota locations, in your home, or even virtually at this time. To better serve you and help answer your questions, we offer FREE initial consultations for all injured truck accident victims.
Call us today to learn more about your legal options at 866-663-8774. We are available 24/7 and are here to help you through this difficult time.
Understanding Minnesota Truck Accidents
In Minnesota, commercial truck accidents are common, especially in inclement weather. As winter approaches, roads, freeways, and bridges become icy and difficult to navigate. Semi-truck drivers must use extra caution when traveling through Minnesota. When they drive negligently, they can cause serious and fatal truck accidents.
In 2017, more than 4,300 truck accidents occurred on Minnesota roads and highways. These accidents resulted in more than 1,300 injuries and 60 deaths. This was a 4 percent increase from previous years.
A fully-loaded big rig truck can weigh up to 80,000-pounds. In comparison, the average passenger car weighs just 3,000-pounds. Due to the sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks, semi-trucks, and big rigs, occupants in passenger vehicles suffer the majority of injuries and fatalities.
Minnesota Trucking Laws
The state of Minnesota has its own trucking safety regulations and laws. In addition, each truck driver and trucking company must also follow federal trucking rules and regulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. When they cut corners or break these rules and regulations, they can bear responsibility for truck accidents that occur.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation outlines the various Minnesota trucking laws and regulations. One of those laws is that each truck driver must have a truck driving qualification file that includes:
- Past 3 years employment
- Past 3 years driving history
- Annual driving records
- Annual certification of violations
- Certificate for road test
- Medical certificate
Truck drivers in Minnesota must also follow specific driving hours of service if they operate specific commercial vehicles. This means not driving over the recommended amount of time and taking frequent rest breaks. Other Minnesota laws include commercial driver’s licensing, record keeping requirements, and vehicle identification requirements.
At Nicolet Law, our Minnesota truck accident attorneys know Minnesota trucking laws and regulations inside and out. This knowledge helps us provide the best representation for our clients after a serious accident.
What Happens After a Minnesota Truck Accident
Immediately after a Minnesota truck accident, the trucking company and their insurers will go to work to minimize their liabilities. They may comb the accident site for evidence or even work to quickly get rid of black-box data. While they are working to build their case and protect their bottom line, you might be in the hospital fighting for your life.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a semi-truck accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer looking out for your rights and well-being during this time. The trucking companies will do everything they can to protect themselves, and the insurance companies will pull every trick in the book to avoid providing you just compensation. Thankfully, you can turn to the lawyers of Nicolet Law Firm during your time of need.
Unlike the trucking or insurance companies, the trusted Minnesota truck accident attorneys at Nicolet Law care about more than our bottom line—we care about you and your recovery. When you trust us with your case, we will focus on leveling the playing field. We will work tirelessly to secure a settlement or jury award that provides you with compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other damages now and into the future.
Our Minnesota truck accident attorneys will:
- Gather evidence at the accident scene
- Examine crash site and vehicles
- Speak to eyewitnesses
- Obtain police reports
- Work with your medical team
- Petition the courts to preserve black-box data
- Obtain maintenance records and shipping documents
- Review and preserve log books or other important crash documents
How Much is My Minnesota Truck Accident Case Worth?
After a truck accident, injured accident victims often want to know how much their case is worth. It is important to know that each case is different, and many factors determine how much your case is truly worth. At Nicolet Law, we work to evaluate your specific case and how your injuries will affect your life and your future. We then use this to push for the maximum compensation, so you have what you need to truly move forward in life after a catastrophic Minnesota truck accident.
Some of the factors that will affect how much your truck accident case is worth include:
- Extent of your injuries
- Cost of medical bills
- Estimate of future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Amount of insurance coverage
- Ability to work or continue in your profession
- Loss of future earnings
- Ability to continue your lifestyles
It is not uncommon for trucking accident victims in Minnesota to receive awards or settlements in the millions. However, to learn more about your legal options and how much your case might be worth, we encourage you to call our law firm and speak with one of our Minnesota truck accident lawyers. We can evaluate your case specifically and answer all your questions.
Causes of Minnesota Truck Accidents
Many factors can contribute to a commercial vehicle accident. Our legal team thoroughly investigates every detail of a trucking accident to identify its cause and determine liability so that we can secure maximum compensation for our clients.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the top 10 factors contributing to trucking accidents include:
- Brake problems: Defective or poorly maintained brakes can prevent a truck from stopping with enough time to avoid an accident. The FMCSA estimates that brake problems contribute to approximately 29 percent of trucking accidents.
- Traffic flow interruption: Previous crashes, traffic congestion, and other interruptions are the second leading factor contributing to truck accidents.
- Prescription drug use: Truck drivers must take regular drug and alcohol tests, but even prescription medications can impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle.
- Traveling too fast for conditions: Winter weather hazards, such as snow, sleet, and ice, are especially dangerous for commercial vehicle drivers. Driving too fast under any of these conditions may lead to an accident.
- Unfamiliarity with roadway: Truck drivers frequently have to pick up or drop off cargo in areas they do not know. FMCSA data suggests that around 22 percent of truck accidents involve drivers who are unfamiliar with the route.
- Roadway problems: Poor road conditions play a role in many serious trucking accidents. Common hazards include potholes, uneven lanes, and work zones.
- Failing to come to a complete stop: While standard-size vehicles have a stopping distance of around 316 feet, semi-trucks need about 525 feet to fully brake. Truck accidents often occur when drivers do not have enough time or space to stop.
- Over-the-counter drug use: Like prescription drugs, some over-the-counter medications have the potential to affect a driver’s motor skills, judgment, and reaction time.
- Distracted driving: All drivers are susceptible to distractions, including cell phones, vehicle controls, food or drink, and external stimuli. Individuals driving commercial vehicles need to remain particularly vigilant.
- Fatigue: When a truck driver does not get enough sleep, drives too long without a break, or engages in strenuous nonwork activities, they can cause serious and fatal truck accidents. Truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents in Minnesota.
These accidents often result in death or catastrophic injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, lost limbs, and fractures. At Nicolet Law Firm, we understand that these injuries can have long-term implications for accident survivors. We will settle for nothing less than the full compensation our clients need to recover.
Who is to Blame in a Minnesota Truck Accident?
When an injured victim negotiates compensation after a Minnesota trucking accident, the process comes down to identifying the accident’s cause. This often involves the concept of negligence, or a failure to exercise reasonable care. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a common example of negligent driving.
While truck drivers may cause serious accidents due to negligence, they can also share the blame with other entities. At Nicolet Law, our legal team will work hard to identify every party responsible for truck accidents in Minnesota.
Some parties to blame after a Minnesota truck accident include:
Vehicle manufacturer. Manufacturers have a duty to produce parts and equipment that are safe for roadways. When accidents result from manufacturing defects or equipment failures, the truck’s manufacturer may be liable.
Trucking company. A trucking company may be considered negligent if it fails to inspect or maintain its vehicles properly, sets unrealistic expectations for its drivers, or hires an inexperienced or unqualified driver.
Owner-operator. An owner-operator is an independent contractor who owns a commercial vehicle. Although these individuals typically work for larger trucking operations, they are personally responsible for maintaining their vehicles. If equipment failure or poor maintenance results in an accident, the owner-operator may be held legally responsible.
Cargo loader. Those who load cargo onto a truck are responsible for ensuring the load is secure. If an accident happens because a trailer has been loaded haphazardly, the cargo-loading company or team may be liable for damages.
Determining Negligence in a Trucking Accident
When a victim negotiates compensation after a trucking accident, the process comes down to identifying the accident’s cause. This process often involves the concept of negligence, or a failure to exercise reasonable care. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a common example of negligent driving.
Other than the truck driver, several parties may be found negligent in a trucking accident. At Nicolet Law, our legal team is committed to identifying every party responsible for an accident.
Vehicle manufacturer: Manufacturers have a duty to produce parts and equipment that are safe for roadways. When accidents result from manufacturing defects or equipment failures, the truck’s manufacturer may be liable.
Trucking company: A trucking company may be considered negligent if it fails to inspect or maintain its vehicles properly, sets unrealistic expectations for its drivers, or hires an inexperienced or unqualified driver.
Owner-operator: An owner-operator is an independent contractor who owns a commercial vehicle. Although these individuals typically work for larger trucking operations, they are personally responsible for maintaining their vehicles. If equipment failure or poor maintenance results in an accident, the owner-operator may be held legally responsible.
Cargo loader: Those who load cargo onto a truck are responsible for ensuring the load is secure. If an accident happens because a trailer has been loaded haphazardly, the cargo-loading company or team may be liable for damages.
If you or a loved one has been in a truck accident, we recommend contacting an accident attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer will immediately begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your accident to ensure you have what you need to recover from your injuries.
Dedicated Accident Attorneys Helping You Put Your Life Back Together
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a semi-truck accident, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer looking out for your rights and well-being. The trucking companies will do everything they can to protect themselves, and the insurance companies will pull every trick in the book to avoid providing you just compensation. Thankfully, you can turn to the lawyers of Nicolet Law Firm during your time of need.
Unlike the trucking or insurance companies, the trusted attorneys at Nicolet Law care about more than our bottom line—we care about you and your recovery. When you trust us with your case, we will focus on leveling the playing field. We will work tirelessly to secure a settlement or jury award that provides you with compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other damages now and into the future.
Minnesota Truck Accident FAQ
Trucking crashes in Minnesota have been known to result in devastating injuries, often leading to permanent disabilities, excruciating pain, and astronomical medical expenses that can forever impact the victim and their loved ones.
However, if this truck crash was due to another person’s wrongful actions, you should not be left dealing with these catastrophic repercussions on your own.
That is why in this blog post, we have prepared the following FAQs that our clients often have after this horrifying accident. We hope with the below responses, you have a better understanding of the legal remedies you can pursue to secure the financial compensation you need.
What Are The Main Causes of Truck Accidents in Minnesota?
Truck accidents can occur for several reasons. However, in Minnesota, these collisions frequently result from the following:
- Tired driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Overloaded trucks
- Faulty truck parts
- Poor maintenance
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
Additionally, hazardous roadways and intersections can also play a major role in these devastating crashes.
For instance, in Minnesota, the following roads and intersections have been ranked as some of the most dangerous in the state, resulting in countless accidents:
- The intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and East 26th Street
- The intersection in St. Cloud, at state highways 15 and 23
- The intersection in Brooklyn Center where Minnesota Highway 252 meets 66th Avenue
- The I-94 corridor
Although this list describes some common causes of truck collisions, it is not all-inclusive. For these reasons, no matter how your truck collision occurred, if another party’s wrongful actions caused this accident, you should reach out to an experienced Minnesota truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can go over your crash, figure out what happened, and help you go after the financial recovery you deserve.
Who Can You Hold Accountable in a Minnesota Trucking Collision?
If you have been involved in a Minnesota truck crash, you would think that determining liability would be relatively easy. However, unlike a passenger car crash, which is usually between two vehicles, trucking accidents can often involve multiple parties. As a result, figuring out who was responsible for your collision can end up becoming a complicated process.
For instance, consider the following parties that are often held liable for a trucking collision:
- The At-Fault Truck Driver: If the truck driver was responsible for the accident because of their negligent, intentional, or reckless actions, they can be held liable for the damages, losses, and injuries that result.
- The Truck Company: If a truck driver is an independent contractor, they most likely will have to carry all the responsibility for the truck collision themselves. Yet, if these drivers were employees of a truck company, in some instances, the company can also be held partially to blame for the collision.
- Third Parties: Sometimes, a truck collision can result because of other parties on the road. For example, if a third party such as a bicyclist, pedestrian, motorist, or even a motorcyclist caused the crash, they can be held responsible for the trucking accident.
- Government Agencies: If a government agency was responsible for maintaining the roadways in Minnesota, and a truck collision occurred because of the road’s poor conditions, the agency can be held accountable for the losses and injuries that occurred.
Thankfully, when you work with an experienced Minnesota truck accident lawyer following your collision, you will not have to worry about figuring out who was responsible for the crash by yourself. These attorneys can promptly investigate the accident, figure out liability, and make sure to hold all those responsible for the collision accountable for the harm you sustained.
How Much Time Do You Have to File an Injury Claim Following a Trucking Accident in Minnesota?
The statute of limitations is a law that indicates the specific amount of time you have to file a legal claim following an alleged offense. If you do not file the suit within that allotted period, you can be barred from collecting compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered.
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations to file an injury claim after a trucking collision is typically six years from the date of the accident. However, there may be exceptions to this rule that can impact this filing period.
That is why, following a truck accident, you should speak with a trusted Minnesota truck accident attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers as quickly as possible. We not only can verify the maximum time you have to file your case but can also file all your legal documents and motions before the statute of limitations expires.
What Do You Need to Do Following a Minnesota Truck Crash to Protect Yourself?
Even though the situation following a trucking crash can be chaotic, stressful, and overwhelming, victims of this collision need to understand that the steps they take after this accident can not only help keep them safe but ensure that their legal rights remain protected.
For these reasons, following a truck accident, you should:
- Contact the Authorities Immediately. After a truck collision in Minnesota, you need to call 911 right away. This is the quickest way to alert the authorities of your accident, get your crash on record, and notify emergency medical crews that you need immediate medical assistance. Once the police arrive, they can perform a preliminary investigation of the accident and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action after the crash, this report can provide you with valuable details about the incident.
- Gather Evidence From the Scene. Most truck crashes will result in debilitating injuries that require immediate medical intervention. However, if this is not the case in your situation and the area is safe for you to do so, you should try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible. This should include videos and pictures of your visible injuries, skid marks on the road, the road conditions, the weather at the time of the accident, the vehicles involved in the crash, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
- Exchange Information With Others. After the truck crash, you will want to exchange details with everyone involved in the accident, including names, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and contact details.
- However, as you speak to these individuals, you also want to watch what you say. This means you will want to avoid making definitive statements about what happened, taking the blame for anything that occurred, or apologizing after the accident. These types of comments can end up hurting your case and the amount of money you receive.
- Check for Witnesses. If there were individuals at the crash scene who saw what happened, you will want to ask for their names and contact information. These witness statements can often provide you with valuable details regarding the crash and also help back up your claim.
- Get to a Doctor Right Away. In the rare situation where you do not require emergency medical treatment following a trucking accident, it is still important that you get to a doctor right away after the collision. Many times, symptoms of serious injuries such as brain trauma can take days to even weeks to appear. Yet, the longer you delay treatment, the more serious the condition can become. For these reasons, do not wait to get to a doctor, but rather get seen by a medical professional immediately after your trucking collision. Besides, getting prompt medical treatment is also important to your legal case. Insurance companies are always looking for any reason to deny your claim or pay you less money than you deserve. If you do not seek medical help right away after the trucking accident, the insurance company will try to argue that your injuries resulted from a subsequent event or are not that serious. When you get checked over by a doctor following your crash, these medical professionals can jot down information regarding your injuries in their medical report, providing you with evidence of a direct connection between the harm you sustained and the trucking accident.
What Damages Do You Deserve Following a Minnesota Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a Minnesota trucking collision due to another person’s intentional or reckless actions, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation. Generally, in Minnesota, this compensation includes the following:
Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual and verifiable losses that result from an accident, such as:
- Medical bills including past, current, and future medical expenses related to doctor visits, surgeries, hospital stay, emergency services, and prescription medication
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- Replacement services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic Damages: These damages refer to the subjective losses that occur after an accident. They are not easily quantifiable.
- Pain and suffering
- Sexual or reproductive harm
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of companionship
In some instances, you may receive punitive damages. However, unlike the other compensatory damages, which compensate the victim for their injuries, the court provides punitive damages to punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter others from committing this act. To obtain these damages, the victim’s attorney needs to show through clear and convincing evidence that the harm resulted because of the defendant’s deliberate disregard for the rights or safety of others.
How Much Is a Trucking Accident Case Worth in Minnesota?
Unfortunately, no lawyer can tell you exactly how much money you can be awarded following a Minnesota trucking collision.
This is because there are just too many factors that can impact this value, such as:
- Your age
- The extent of your injuries after the truck crash
- The type of medical treatment required now and in the future
- The duration of these treatments
- The timeline and the prognosis for recovery
- The impact of the injuries on your daily life
- The defendant’s culpability
- The credibility of the evidence and witnesses presented
Even though no attorney will be able to guarantee you a specific amount of compensation following your Minnesota truck crash, when you work with an experienced truck accident attorney, these lawyers can go over these factors, figure out which ones can impact your claim, and prepare the strongest case in response to them—making sure to go after the maximum damages you deserve.
Why Do You Need to Reach out to Us After Your Minnesota Truck Accident?
To bring a successful legal claim following your trucking accident, you need to provide relevant evidence and strong legal arguments proving what happened and who caused your injuries. However, following one of these devastating truck collisions, this is probably the last thing on your mind.
With a skilled truck accident attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers on your side, you will not have to take on this legal battle yourself. Rather, you can focus on what matters—your recovery—while we go after the justice you deserve.
Once you retain us, we can:
- Evaluate your case, determine if you have a viable claim, and figure out what legal options you should pursue.
- Investigate the truck crash and secure the evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
- Bring in expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists to substantiate your claim.
- Handle all the negotiations with the other side, such as the insurance company, and pursue a just settlement.
- Proceed to trial, if needed, and go after maximum damages.
If a Minnesota trucking accident harmed you or a loved one, do not wait to secure the legal help you need.
Contact Our Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyers
It will cost you nothing to find out how we can help you recover. We offer free initial case evaluations to all of our personal injury clients so that you can explore your legal options without committing to a payment plan. Furthermore, we take semi-truck cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t charge a fee unless we collect compensation for you.
Call us toll-free at 1-855-NICOLET or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Russell Nicolet represented me for a personal injury case. He was kind, compassionate, and professional. He made my concerns his concerns. He was quick to respond to my calls and emails. He kept me up to date on the progress of the case. Every interaction with Russel and his staff was a positive experience. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney, I highly recommend Russell, or his colleagues at Nicolet Law.”
Review by: Deanna S.
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