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What to Do After a Truck Accident in Minnesota

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Accidents involving big trucks are no small matters. There is typically major damage and severe injuries when a large truck and a car collide. You may need some answers about what to do next. The following information will provide you a summary of Minnesota law and help you figure out what you need to do after a truck accident in Minnesota.

What to Do After a Truck Accident: First Steps

All accidents require the same basic steps but truck accidents even more so. If there are injuries, those are your first priorities. In addition, most truck drivers do not own their vehicles. So, you should report even minor accidents to the police. The basic steps to take are as follows:

  • Make sure you and your passengers are safe and then call 911.
  • Exchange contact information with the other driver
  • Exchange vehicle and driver's license information
  • Exchange insurance information
  • Take pictures and document the details of the accident.

Minnesota requires accidents involving death, injury, or property damage that exceeds $1,000 to be reported within 10 days.

Minnesota Truck Accident Laws: The Basics

After your accident, you may have questions about your rights and responsibilities that can only be answered by reading Minnesota's traffic laws. However, laws and statutes are sometimes difficult to read and understand. To help you, below is a summary of the laws and regulations pertaining to Minnesota truck accidents, written in an easy-to-read format.

Statutes

Minnesota Statutes

Federal Statutes

Liability and Negligence

No-Fault Insurance State

Minnesota is a "no-fault" state, which means that if you are injured in an accident, your insurance will cover basic economic benefits under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your policy. Your medical expenses, lost wages, and replacement services (i.e. housekeeping, funeral expenses, etc.) will be covered under the terms of your policy regardless of who was at fault. It does not cover damage to your vehicle.

Damage to your vehicle may be covered under the collision insurance portion of your insurance policy, if you have elected that type of coverage. If the other driver was at fault, then you may make a claim against their policy for liability that exceeds your coverage for injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Damages

You may receive recovery or damages for out-of-pocket expenses and the inconvenience and pain you have suffered.

Economic Damages

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Diminished earning capacity

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Comparative Negligence

Minnesota allows for recovery of damages even if both drivers contributed to the fault of the accident, but damage recovery will be reduced. Minnesota Statute section 604.01.

Federal and State Trucking Regulations

Truck accidents are different from other accidents in that federal regulations apply to the operation and maintenance of the truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) administers these regulations. Minnesota has mirrored these regulations in their state statutes. They are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

If the truck or the driver involved in your accident violated one of these regulations, you may file a claim with the FMCSA. Before filing a claim, you will need to establish that a violation occurred. Violations of the regulations can include:

  • Exceeding the number of hours the driver may work within a specific time frame;
  • Use of alcohol and drugs;
  • Improper maintenance of trucks and trailers; or
  • Insufficient driver training.
Statute of Limitations

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Minnesota Truck Accident Laws: Related Resources

Seek Legal Help With Your Minnesota Truck Accident Claim

Accidents involving commercial trucks can be catastrophic. It is not uncommon to have severe injuries that require numerous visits to medical professionals and extensive time off work. You may need help to receive the compensation that you deserve. Speak with an experienced Minnesota automobile accident attorney near you today.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.