Minnesota Trucking Laws: How Can You Recover The Damages After A Truck Accident?

Trucking Business
Trucking Business

Like many other states in the US, Minnesota’s economy is driven by the trucking industry. Let’s have a look at the numbers. Overall, there are more than 20,000 trucking companies in the state, and 137,530 jobs are produced in the trucking industry annually, meaning 1 in every 19 jobs in Minnesota is a trucking profession. In the United States, truck accidents are still a major cause of many injuries and even death. There were almost about 5500 truck accidents in the year 2019 alone.

If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident in Minnesota, you must have many questions running through your head. What are the various Minnesota laws? How should you recover compensation for the damages involved? Truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, so it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer for your case early on.

We have compiled the most common Truck Accident FAQs to make it easy for you.

What are the trucking laws in Minnesota?

In the United States, automobile insurance laws are governed at a state level. A state can choose to be a no-fault state, a tort liability state or a hybrid of both laws. Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state. A no-fault insurance type is a contract in which drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, under which they have to cover their own injuries and damages in case of an accident. The Minimum coverage limit for drivers in Minnesota is –

  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $60,000 for an accident and
  • $10,000 for property damage liability
  • The PIP cover is: $40,000

The insurance company pays for the damages if the driver was at fault and injured another person or damaged any property or vehicle. However, if you are involved in a major accident and your damages exceed the PIP limit, you have the right to claim against the liable party or file a personal injury lawsuit against them.

In short, if you are injured in a truck accident in Minnesota, you must have personal injury protection to claim coverage. That’s why it is difficult to file a lawsuit in a no-fault state like Minnesota.

Who are the liable parties you can claim for the compensation in case of a truck accident?

  • The truck driver and the trucking company
  • The truck manufacturer when the accident was a mechanical failure at the manufacturing end.
  • The cargo loader
  • If the road was poorly built, which resulted in the accident, you can sue the construction company.
  • The government entity who is responsible for the maintenance of the road.

What is the statute of Limitations in Minnesota?

Victims of truck accidents have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the liable party.

How much will the attorney charge you?

You might fear that lawyers can make a huge dent in your pocket. However, that’s not the case. Most lawyers charge their fees on a contingency basis, which means they charge you nothing upfront. The lawyer will charge legal fees from the settlement amount they recover for you.

What compensation and losses can you expect to recover?

According to Minnesota law, if you were injured in an accident caused by the other party’s negligence, you are entitled to ask for compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages. The examples include-

Economic damages

  • Past and future Medical expenses
  • Vehicle damage
  • Property damage
  • Physical disability

Non-economic damages

  • Missed wages
  • Loss of society
  • Emotional suffering

Getting compensation for economic damages is easy. However, to claim for the non-economic damages, you must meet a threshold limit as stated by Minnesota law. The thresholds are:

  1. Permanent body disfigurement
  2. Medical bills that exceed the $4000 limit
  3. Any major injury or permanent injury
  4. Fatality
  5. A minimum of the 60-day disability period

An expert truck accident attorney can sometimes get you compensation for the non-economic damages, even if you don’t meet the threshold limit.

One biggest mistake made by people after a truck accident is trying to pursue it without the help of a truck accident attorney. We advise you to consult a personal injury attorney right after the truck accident.