Milwaukee Truck Accident Lawyer
When serious truck accidents occur, truck drivers are rarely injured or killed. Occupants of passenger vehicles, however, are not so lucky. The number of deaths from large truck accidents has increased 51 percent since 2009.
Truck accidents are common in Milwaukee, in the state of Wisconsin, with one of the highest truck-related accidents per capita.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured trucking accident victims and surviving family members who lost a loved one through another's negligence.
Contact a personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
When a semi-truck driver is negligent and causes an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian, they can be held accountable for their actions.
However, this is easier said than done, as trucking laws are complex and difficult to understand without legal assistance.
If you want to make sure that you receive fair compensation for your truck accident claim, then you must have help from a Wisconsin truck accident attorney who understands how these truck accident cases work.
Truck Accident Statistics
Large trucks are involved in more than 4,000 deaths and nearly 150,000 injuries each year. Yet, the trucking industry is not doing enough to protect the public from large-truck accidents.
There have been some reports that suggest the industry has actively worked against safety regulations for decades.
If you're a truck driver, your biggest concern is the safety of yourself and your cargo. So you have to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible without incident.
But if you're an occupant in a passenger vehicle or not riding in a vehicle at all – pedestrians hit or bicyclists – then your biggest concern should be avoiding accidents with large trucks.
Large-truck crashes are responsible for more deaths than any other type of motor vehicle accident in the US, and that number has been increasing steadily since 2009.
The number of deaths from large truck accidents has increased 51 percent since 2009! In 2018 alone, 112,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in 4,951 deaths and 150,000 injuries.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks accounted for only 3 percent of all registered vehicles on the road in 2016. Still, they were involved in 9 percent of all fatal crashes.
Regulating the Trucking Industry
The FMCSA regulates the trucking industry through vehicle maintenance inspections and mandatory physical examinations for drivers.
But the FMCSA is also responsible for conducting safety audits on interstate carriers to ensure they obey federal regulations designed to protect the environment and federal hours-of-service rules limiting how long a person may drive before taking a break.
In its 2018 report on large truck crashes, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made several recommendations to the FMCSA, including:
- Requiring all new large trucks to be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems
- Making collision avoidance technology standard on all large trucks
- Developing a comprehensive strategy to address fatigue management for commercial vehicle drivers
- Eliminating the exemption for livestock haulers from Hours-of-Service regulations
The trucking industry is not doing enough to protect the public from large-truck accidents. There have been some reports that suggest the industry has actively worked against safety regulations for decades.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many reasons why truck accidents happen, but some are more common than others. Here are the five leading causes of truck accidents:
- Truck driver Fatigue: Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Fatigued drivers may not stay focused on the road or react in time to dangerous situations. They may even fall asleep at the wheel and cause a collision or rollover in some cases.
- Truck driver distraction: Mobile phones have been blamed for many accidents involving passenger vehicles, but they can also be a factor in large truck accidents. If a driver is focused on something other than driving, such as using a Smartphone or texting, they may not see an obstacle in time to avoid it.
- Imbalanced Loads: When a truck is carrying an improperly balanced load, it can be difficult to steer and cause the vehicle to sway from side to side. It can make it difficult for the driver to stay in control of the truck and steer away from hazards.
- Road Hazards: Trucks and other large vehicles can create blind spots for other drivers, especially on the road. When these trucks turn or change lanes, debris and other obstacles may be hidden from view—causing accidents with smaller vehicles such as passenger cars and motorcycles.
- Aggressive driving: Most truck accidents in congested traffic are due to aggressive driving, where it is difficult for the truckers to stop tractor-trailers from swerving into other vehicles.
- A lack of training: In many incidents, the trucking company failed to properly train the trucker to avoid a truck crash or deal with an improperly loaded cargo. Any truck involved in a catastrophic accident creates a significant legal issue for one or more trucking companies and their insurance companies.
Common Catastrophic Truck Accidents
According to the NHTSA, common truck accident injuries and fatalities involve:
- Rollover Accidents: When a driver loses control of a tractor-trailer or semi, it is likely to roll over. Because trucks have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles, drivers may not avoid colliding with smaller objects in their blind spots. As a result, it can often cause the truck to roll over, leading to serious injuries or death.
- Underride Accidents: Occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear end of a tractor-trailer and is run over by the truck. These accidents often result in fatalities because the weight of the larger truck crushes the smaller vehicle. Underride accidents often lead to fatalities because of how much heavier and larger commercial trucks are than passenger vehicles when it comes to weight and size. As a result, smaller vehicles can be crushed easily under the weight of a truck, leading to devastating injuries or death.
- Dangerous Cargo: An over-the-road truck transporting hazardous or flammable materials can be a recipe for disaster. If a collision or fire occurs, the cargo can easily ignite and cause a large-scale explosion. In addition, the trucking company failing to load the cargo correctly could lead to severe injuries and fatalities for anyone in the vicinity of the accident.
- Tire Blowouts: A tire blowout can easily cause a truck to lose control and crash. When a large truck has a tire blowout, it can be difficult for the driver to regain control and may end up in a serious accident.
These are just a few of the most common types of catastrophic truck accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident, call today for a free initial consultation at (888) 424-5757.
It is crucial to speak with Wisconsin truck accident lawyers to find out if you may file a lawsuit.
How to Avoid a Truck Accident
If you're driving a passenger vehicle, there are some steps you can take to avoid an accident with a large truck. Remember that semi-trucks have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles, so staying out of them is important.
Here are some simple things you can do to avoid a large-truck accident:
- Keep your distance: Never tailgate a truck, even if it's on cruise control. If the road ahead is clear, allow enough room between yourself and the truck so that you can pull around safely in case you need to.
- Pass with caution: When passing a truck, be sure to do so cautiously. Ensure the lane is clear ahead and behind the truck before passing.
- Stay out of blind spots: Semi-trucks have large blind spots on both the left and right sides and in front and in the back of the vehicle. Do your best to avoid driving in these areas, and always use your mirrors to check for large commercial trucks before changing lanes.
- Use caution at intersections: Many truck accidents occur when a truck turns at an intersection. Therefore, be sure to use extreme caution when approaching or crossing intersections when a truck is present.
If you're riding a bicycle or walking, there are a few things you can do to stay safe around large trucks:
- Stay visible: Wear bright colors and reflective gear when biking or walking in low-light conditions. It will help drivers see you, even in bad weather.
- Avoid blind spots: Just as with cars, it's important to avoid the truck's blind spots. Always walk or bike on the side of the road opposite the truck.
- Cross at intersections in front of a truck and be sure to cross at an intersection rather than in the middle of the block. It will give the truck driver more time to stop.
- Move out of the way: If you see a truck coming your way, move out of the way. Don't stand in the road or walk between parked cars and the truck.
Following these tips can help you avoid a serious car accident involving a truck. However, if you are involved in a collision with a truck, it's important to seek legal assistance.
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help truck crash victims pursue maximum compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
What to Do After a Serious Trucking Accident
The first step you take in the moments after a trucking accident could save a life or minimize the time it takes to heal.
Truck crash victims should:
- Call 911: Call for help if you are injured in a trucking accident. If possible, send somebody to the accident scene to call for help.
- Move your vehicle out of harm's way: If you can move your vehicle safely, do so. It will help emergency responders reach the scene quickly and reduce the chances of further accidents.
- Do not touch anything: Do not remove any damaged cargo from the truck or move any vehicles involved in the accident. It could jeopardize any potential evidence at the scene.
- Gather information: As you wait for emergency responders, try to remember as many details about the accident as possible, including:
- How it happened: What caused the truck to crash? Was there heavy traffic or a mechanical error?
- Location and time: Make sure you know exactly where and when the accident occurred. This information will help investigators during their investigation.
- Seek medical attention: Trucking accidents can cause severe injuries. If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Go to the emergency room or urgent care clinic even if you believe your minor injuries. Only a competent doctor with the best diagnostic tools can accurately determine the extent of your health and injuries.
- Do not admit guilt: It can be difficult to resist the urge, but accepting responsibility or apologizing could damage your case later. Instead, always speak with a truck accident attorney before speaking with insurance companies about the accident.
- Gather evidence: If you can, gather evidence from the accident scene. It includes photos of the scene, vehicle damage, and skid marks.
- Speak to Eyewitnesses: If there are any eyewitnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information. They could help piece together what happened.
- Contact a Milwaukee truck accident attorney: If you are injured in an accident, seek legal assistance. The Milwaukee truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can answer your questions and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Milwaukee truck accident lawyers will work on your personal injury claim by speaking with the trucking company, large commercial truck drivers involved, and insurers to maximize your compensation.
Typically, truck accident claims take up to two years or longer to completely resolve.
During this time, your truck accident lawyers will ensure you receive the utmost medical care for your truck accident injuries without needing to pay your doctor upfront.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Truck Accident Compensation Claim?
Often, claims adjusters working for insurance companies will attempt to minimize the financial compensation they offer to resolve the truck accident case.
However, it is crucial to know that the insurers are generating profits for their shareholders, often at the expense of the injured victims.
Dealing directly with the insurer without legal representation often leads to receiving insufficient funds.
Typically, personal injury lawyers specializing in truck accident cases will slow the process down, ensure you are receiving all the medical care you need, and assess the extent of all your damages, including:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical expenses
- Hospital costs
- Rehabilitation, therapy, and additional surgeries you'll need to heal completely
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from your injuries
If you are injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It is important to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney to ensure that you receive the full amount of damages that you are owed.
The Milwaukee truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have years of experience representing truck accident victims in personal injury claims.
We understand the complex process of filing a claim and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Filing a Civil Compensation Case
Within the first days after commercial truck accidents, victims will likely be required to file an insurance claim with the responsible party's insurer and possibly their insurance carrier. Claim adjusters will notify the victims that they are handling your truck accident case within the next few days and need answers.
Were you in a truck accident? Our personal injury attorneys would advise you not to speak directly with the claims adjuster until after legal representation.
Any statement you have given written or oral form could reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Instead, consider hiring a commercial truck accident attorney to work on your behalf who will build your case on numerous contributing factors, including:
- Investigate the accident scene to determine who caused the collision
- The extent of your injuries and the need for future care
- Other expenses and lost earning
- If you have temporary or permanent disabilities from the accident
- Your need for rehabilitation and therapy
- Any additional costs associated with your accident
Once all the information is gathered, commercial truck accident attorneys working on your behalf will submit a demand letter to the insurance company seeking compensation.
At that point, the insurance company will respond with a "good-faith" offer to resolve the case. However, if the amount is not substantial to cover all of your damages, your attorney will request a resolution meeting to negotiate a better settlement.
If the insurance company is not ready or willing to meet your financial demands, your truck accident attorneys will file a lawsuit in civil court to take the case to trial.
Should the defendant and their insurance company still fail to meet your demands, your lawyer will build a case to present evidence before a judge and jury.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a catastrophic commercial truck accident have legal remedies.
First, the state of Wisconsin seeks financial compensation from those responsible for causing the crash. Typically, qualifying family members include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and others.
If the decedent fails to leave a will or name the will's executor, the judge will appoint someone to administer the estate and bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the survivors.
To prove that the defendant was negligent in causing the death of their loved one, family members must show:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- That breach caused the death of the victim
- The victim suffered physically or emotionally as a result of the injuries
- Damages that resulted from the death of the victim
- The amount and type of damages will depend on several factors, including:
- Types and severity of injuries incurred by the deceased person
- Amounts owed to the deceased person in life, such as monetary support or child care duties
- Other relevant factors
A wrongful death claim can include normal damages, which compensate the victim's survivors for their loss, and punitive damages intended to punish the defendant.
However, Wisconsin has several restrictions limiting or preventing these damages in some instances.
Though you likely do not want to think about what will happen after your loved one dies, it is better to be prepared should the worst-case scenario arise.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys are very experienced in dealing with these situations and look forward to assisting you through this difficult time.
Hiring Personal Injury Lawyers to Hold The Trucking Company and Truck Drivers Accountable
Were you the victim of a truck accident in Wisconsin, or did you lose a loved one through another's negligence?
The law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can work on your behalf to ensure your family receives maximum compensation for your damages.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our law office accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.
This promise ensures you do not pay anything into your Milwaukee truck accident attorneys resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.