Minneapolis Metro Personal Injury Law Blog

Child struck by suspected impaired driver suffers head injuries

A parent's worst nightmare is losing a child or having him or her suffer grave injuries caused by a senseless and preventable accident. Sadly, every year, families experience the heartache of having a beloved child harmed while boarding or exiting their school buses. Recently, one Minnesota family received the horrible news that an 11-year-old girl suffered serious head injuries along with other injuries when she was struck after getting off of her school bus.

The young victim is in a coma, and physicians told her mother that she was not expected to survive the night. However, the girl remains hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors said that, while some of the brain swelling has subsided, it is unclear whether she will survive her traumatic injuries. Police stated that the driver who struck the child was released from custody while they await the results of toxicology testing.

Hit-and-run car accidents growing problem in the U.S.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there has been an alarming increase in a certain category of fatal motor vehicle collisions. Since 2006, the numbers of fatal hit-and-run car accidents has increased by an estimated 7.2 percent every year. Though Minnesota ranks in the bottom three for these types of tragedies, residents and visitors here could still be at risk.

Researchers with AAA discovered that there were an estimated 2,049 fatal hit-and-run crashes reported in 2016. That represents a nearly 60 percent increase since 2009. An estimated 680,000 hit-and-run wrecks occurred every year for the past nine years. Approximately 65 percent of these fatal crashes involved pedestrians or cyclists.

Light rail construction to close Minneapolis bike paths

As construction of the Southwest light-rail corridor moves forward, popular bike paths in Minneapolis and its western suburbs will close for up to three years beginning in May.

The popular Cedar Lake and Kenilworth trails connect downtown Minneapolis to the Greenway, St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Edina. They will close as soon as May 13, according to the “Star Tribune.”

New Minnesota law aims to reduce distracted driving car accidents

According to Minnesota's Department of Public Safety, distracted driving involving electronic gadgets played a role in an estimated 20 percent of the state's traffic collisions in both 2016 and 2017. In addition, citations issued last year for texting drivers increased substantially. Preliminary data from last year shows that approximately 178 people were injured in distracted driving car accidents in addition to the estimated 27 victims who suffered fatal injuries.

Earlier this month, the governor signed a bill into law that would restrict motorists to a hands-free mode for their devices beginning in August of 2019. The passage of this law comes after years of lobbying by the families of victims who were killed by the actions of a negligent driver. Both legislative branches have presented various forms of this type of bill in the past several years, but none had made it through both houses. The families of several victims planned to be in attendance when Governor Walz signed the new hands-free law.

Father seeks Minn Dot action to prevent serious car accidents

In less than a heartbeat, circumstances can combine that will result in heartbreaking tragedy. Along one stretch of Highway 12 in Minnesota, a particularly treacherous section has been referred to as the "Corridor of Death" due to the number of serious car accidents that have occurred. One father is now beseeching officials to take action to make improvements that might prevent more tragic deaths.

Earlier this year, an 18-year-old woman was driving along the infamous stretch of Highway 12 during a winter storm. According to the police report, the young driver purportedly lost control of her car along an icy patch and veered into the opposing lane. Her vehicle was struck by an oncoming tractor-trailer, which killed her.

Proposed policy improvements aimed at negligent property owners

Throughout several areas of Minneapolis, the need for housing often forces tenants to choose between personal safety and affordability. Many lower income tenants refrain from complaining about negligent property owners in order to keep a roof over their heads. However, proposed revisions of the Code of Ordinances may bring relief to those most in need of improved living conditions.

Minneapolis officials are contemplating a policy called Renter-First that would emphasis the needs of tenants. It is in answer to the concerns of many lower income renters who are fearful of violating rules if they speak up about serious concerns. One council member from Ward 3 spoke of his own experiences when renting as a sublease holder. Because subleasing was prohibited he was unable to bring serious fire code violations to the attention of city officials out of fear of losing a place to live.

Tips to survive the rest of the winter without an accident

This year’s winter has been especially nasty in Minnesota, with some areas dropping near -60 degrees F. That’s not far off from the United States’ lowest recorded temperature of all time at -80 F in Alaska of 1971.

If your car breaks down or you get into an accident at these temperatures, the situation could be deadly. Since Minnesota winters have been known to stretch all the way into May, it’s a good idea to winter-proof your car now if you haven’t already. Here are a few ways to get started.

Pedestrian accidents highest among Native American population

Discussions involving Minnesota frequently mention cold winters and one of the largest state fairs in the country. However, the state is also home to nearly a dozen Indian reservations. While these areas are often associated with casinos and various outdoor recreations, they are also the population with the highest number of serious pedestrian accidents.

The results of a recent study concluded that residents on reservations are at a high risk of suffering injuries due to car accidents. It is a serious public safety issue that has gone without widespread recognition. One of the reasons is attributed to a combination of residents resorting to walking as the most popular form of transportation, and the presence of major thoroughfares that run through reservation lands. The study was conducted by researchers for the Roadway Safety Institute, which is comprised of several universities in the Midwest that focus on traffic safety concerns.

Winter weather and ice formation can cause hazardous conditions

Those who live in Minnesota are experienced with the unpleasant conditions that accompany the long, cold winters. While most property owners and tenants are well-versed in the chore of removing snow and ice from their sidewalks and driveways, icy formations overhead may not merit as much of their attention. However, as one local family recently discovered, melting and refreezing icicles can create extremely hazardous conditions.

According to the report, the family had been enjoying a birthday celebration that was held in downtown Minneapolis. After the festivities, they returned to their vehicle that was parked near one of the city's covered skyways. As the parents were securing the younger children in their car seats, their 10-year-old boy was standing by the car. Without warning, the child was struck in the head by a large icicle that had fallen from the skyway.

Recent study of car accidents highlights need for improvements

Minneapolis City Council members were recently informed of the results of a traffic safety study that was conducted in parts of the city. While the study pointed out sections of the metropolitan area where many car accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles have occurred, there were concerns that other areas were not appropriately addressed. City officials stated that more work needs to be done.

The study was conducted as part of the Vision Zero Initiative that is focused on improving the safety of residents and visitors to the Minneapolis area. The group is working on finding ways to reduce the number of crashes to zero in the years ahead. While some of the highlighted targeted areas are well known for contributing to several serious and fatal crashes, there were other roadways that were not included in the data, as no serious crashes have yet occurred, though there have been several near-accidents.

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