Who Is Responsible For Your Serious Injuries And Devastating Loss In A Truck Accident?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a Minnesota truck accident, you need to know who is responsible for covering the expenses. If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or truck company, who is responsible for wrongful death damages?
There were 4,623 total truck crashes in Minnesota during the latest reporting year. These incidents caused 1,345 injuries and killed 44 people. In many cases, the truck driver and trucking company may be liable in the aftermath of the crash. There are several factors that go into determining liability, some of which we will look at here.
Were the road conditions safe?
Truck drivers should not operate when road conditions are deemed to be unsafe for the proper operation of a large vehicle. The Minnesota DPS says that the following roadway conditions were responsible for many crashes:
- Wet roadway – 522 crashes
- Snow on roadway – 570 crashes
- Slushy roadway – 73 crashes
- Ice or frost on roadway – 466 crashes
When roadway conditions are unsafe, truck drivers should take precautions and consider not driving until the conditions improve. However, many truck drivers make the choice to operate in unsafe conditions in order to meet deadlines. Often, trucking companies pressure drivers to operate even when it is not safe to do so.
It should be noted that there were nearly 3,000 total truck accidents in Minnesota when the roadway was dry and presumably safe. This shows that there are other factors that can contribute to truck accidents aside from roadway conditions.
Was the commercial truck properly maintained and services?
According to regulations set forth by the FMCSA, every motor carrier that falls under their jurisdiction “shall systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control.”
The regulations go on to state that all truck parts and accessories must be in safe and proper working order at all times. Pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights must be inspected every 90 days.
Aside from regular inspection and maintenance by the motor carrier, drivers are required to complete daily written post-trip reports. Their inspections must identify the vehicle and list any deficiencies discovered that could affect the safe operation of the vehicle or result in a mechanical breakdown.
A poorly maintained truck can result in serious accidents on the roadway. Failure to properly inspect or maintain a large truck could result in liability for an accident falling onto the truck driver or trucking company.
What kind of compensation is available for these cases?
If a truck driver or trucking company is found to be responsible for an accident that causes harm to another person, they could be liable for the following damages:
- Coverage of all medical expenses for injured persons
- Any lost income of truck accident injury victims
- Pain and suffering damages of all victims
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages for victims
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
The amount of compensation awarded to a truck accident victim will vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the injuries, the length of a person’s recovery, the total cost of medical care, whether there are any disabilities, and more.