Large truck crashes are responsible for thousands of deaths every year in the United States. Even if you survive such a collision, you are likely to sustain serious injuries that have lasting repercussions.
The hospital bills following such a wreck can be prohibitively expensive, but in states like Minnesota, accident victims can count on their own personal injury protection coverage (PIP) to alleviate some of the financial burden regardless of fault. Since PIP benefits are limited, though, many injured parties find that they must file a claim against the liable party, as well. In order for such a claim to be successful, it must be shown that defendant’s negligence was a proximate cause of the crash.
Proving negligence in any kind of personal injury claim calls for evidence of the following elements:
- A Duty of Care: The defendant must have owed you a specific duty of care. In truck accident cases, this duty is typically implied. For example, commercial drivers have an obligation to everyone on the road around them to follow all traffic laws. They must also avoid driving while drowsy. Since these duties are implied among all motorists, there is no need to provide proof of them during the claims process.
- A Breach of Duty: Drivers are negligent when they breach the duty of care owed to other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists on the road around them. The most damning evidence of this negligence will depend on the specific circumstances of the wreck. In general, though, evidence that might help your attorney prove a breach includes eyewitness testimony, dash cam footage, the results of chemical tests conducted at the scene, and black box data.
You will also have to prove causation and damages to recover fair compensation:
- Causation: The breach of duty must have been directly responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. If the trucker was speeding, for example, when you rear-ended him, it is unlikely that the speeding caused the collision. In such a scenario, there is no link between the breach and the accident.
- Damages: Proving damages is the final element of building a successful claim on the grounds of negligence. You must be able to demonstrate you sustained damages as a result of the breach. It is these damages that you will ultimately seek compensation for during settlement negotiations.
Call 320-259-5414 to Discuss Your Case with a St. Cloud Truck Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a collision with an 18-wheeler, contact Bradshaw & Bryant to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Even if you file a claim under your own PIP coverage, you may be entitled to additional compensation from the liable party’s insurer, and we can help you pursue it.
Our attorneys are proud to combine the personal attention of a small firm with the resources of a large practice. Call 320-259-5414 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer in St. Cloud
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.