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St. Paul Minnesota Car Accidents Legal Blog

Can you sue after a car accident if you were partially at fault?

Sometimes, determining fault in a car crash in Minnesota is relatively straightforward. For example, say you are waiting at a red light when you are rear-ended by a drunk driver. It is likely that the drunk driver will be considered at-fault in the crash.

However, other times there are many factors at play in a car accident. For example, say you are driving 10 mph over the speed limit when you are hit head-on by a distracted driver. It may seem likely that the distracted driver should be held liable for the crash, but, at the same time, you were speeding. In situations like this, you may wonder if you can pursue a lawsuit after a car accident if you were partially at fault.

Fatigued drivers can cause serious motor vehicle accidents

Drivers of large commercial vehicles must be very careful to avoid causing an accident. This is because a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial vehicle weighing tens of thousands of pounds can be very catastrophic. Commercial vehicle drivers must obtain a special license to operate their vehicle, and like all motorists, must drive with due care.

However, commercial vehicle drivers -- especially those who drive semi-trucks -- often have a financial incentive to make as many trips as they can as quickly as possible. Despite federal regulations limiting how long a commercial vehicle driver may be on the road before being required to take a rest break, many commercial vehicle drivers in Minnesota will ignore these rules and drive while fatigued. This is a very dangerous practice not just for them, but for everyone else on the road.

Where to turn after a car accident

The snow has started falling in Minnesota and that means residents will be driving in winter weather conditions for the coming months. While most motorists will drive carefully when roads are slick with snow and ice, there will always be those who ignore the dangerous road conditions and drive recklessly. When this happens, a negligent driver can cause a car accident that injures or kills another person.

Car accidents can cost more than just one's health - they can have a significant financial impact on a person as well. Depending on the severity of the injury, a person could face tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. If the injury prevents the victim from working, they may be unable to afford their daily living expenses. And, if the victim is killed, their family will have to go on without the income and support their loved one provided.

What should motorists do to avoid causing a pedestrian accident?

Winter may be coming, but pedestrians and bicyclists will still be on Minnesota roads. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, every year from 2011 to 2015, an average of 35 pedestrians and seven bicyclists lose their lives after being struck by a vehicle. Combined, they constituted almost 11 percent of all traffic deaths. Most of these collisions -- 72 percent -- took place in urban parts of the state.

While it is important for bicyclists and pedestrians to follow the rules of the road, motorists must pay attention to everyone in their vicinity to avoid a pedestrian accident. The following safety tips should be followed by motorists who may encounter bicyclists or pedestrians on the road.

How to teach teens to avoid distracted driving

The news is littered with stories about distracted driving accidents. You see a new one every day. You read about people suffering from serious injuries. You read about fatalities. You find yourself constantly worrying about getting hit by a driver who is talking to friends or looking at a cellphone.

Worse yet, you have a young teen in your family. They're going to be driving soon, if they're not already. You know that young people often get in these distracted driving accidents. How do you teach your teen to avoid this danger? How do you keep them safe? It keeps you up at night, wondering what you should do.

Multi-tasking behind the wheel can lead to car accidents

Many people in Minnesota like to think they are great multi-taskers. However, multi-tasking is not always easy -- or even possible. For example, when one tries to drive a car and talk on their phone at the same time, their brain must switch back and forth between these actions. This slows down the driver's reaction time. And, if a driver does not react quickly to driving conditions or motorists around them, they could cause a car accident.

Moreover, some people might think that talking on the phone while driving isn't any different than talking to a passenger in the car. However, there is one key difference. Other passengers in the car can alert the driver to changes in driving conditions or the actions of other motorists. However, the person on the other end of the phone call is not in the car and cannot alert the driver to anything. This is another way that talking on a cellphone while driving could lead to a car crash.

What is uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage used for?

By law drivers in Minnesota are required to carry auto insurance that contains liability coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. Optional types of coverage include collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Today we are going to focus on uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. What are the differences between these two types of auto insurance coverage?

Underinsured coverage comes into play when a person is injured in a car accident and the responsible party does not have enough liability coverage to cover the victim's medical expenses. Underinsured coverage pays, within stated limits, for policy-covered medical expenses. Underinsured motorist benefits can be used alongside PIP benefits.

Semi-truck drivers must not cause motor vehicle accidents

Semi-trucks are a vital part of commerce in Minnesota and across the nation. Many companies rely on semi-trucks to transport their goods for sale. Therefore, they may encourage drivers to complete as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. However, this does not absolve a semi-truck driver of their duty to drive with due care. The failure to do so could lead to a truck accident resulting in injuries or fatalities.

There are numerous causes of truck accidents. The first boils down to driver error. Truckers are human, and, thus, make mistakes. For this reason, they must complete special training and they must obtain a special license to operate their vehicles. Studies of motor vehicle accidents involving trucks indicate that 22 percent of truck accidents are due to an error made by the truck driver. Truck drivers must drive with due care to avoid causing a collision.

Minnesota motorists must practice motorcycle awareness

Summer may be over, but Minnesota's trees will soon be bright with fall colors. An autumn ride on a motorcycle is a popular way for some people to enjoy these scenic views. However, this also means that other motorists must be aware of motorcycles to ensure everyone on the road remains safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents often occur when a motorist violates the motorcyclist's right of way. Motorcycles are smaller than standard vehicles, and, thus, less visible. Motorists may be distracted, and do not anticipate the motorcyclist's movements. And, a motorist may fail to check their blind spot before turning or changing lanes. All of these actions could lead to a motorcycle collision.

Follow these tips for safe highway driving

If you find yourself driving on the highways in and around St. Paul, you know just how dangerous it can be. Even when you're following the rules of the road and doing your best to maintain your safety, there are other drivers who don't seem to care much about you.

The best thing you can do is follow a variety of safe highway driving tips, as these will help prevent trouble on the road:

  • Be careful when merging: Accelerate at the proper speed to ensure that you safely merge into the flow of traffic.
  • Think before passing a vehicle: For example, you may assume that passing a truck on the right is a good idea, but this actually increases the risk of an accident. You should only pass in the left lane.
  • Pick a lane and stay there: It's commonplace for drivers to maneuver from lane to lane, especially when traffic is heavy. You should pick a lane and stay in it until it's time to exit.
  • Watch for stopped vehicles: Things can and will go wrong on the highway, so you should always watch for stopped vehicles, such as those that are disabled. If possible, move as far away as you can from a stopped vehicle.
  • Take breaks when necessary: Regardless of the length of your trip or destination, if you're too tired to drive you should pull over. A quick break may be all you need to refresh your mind and body.
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