Truck Accident Attorney in Wisconsin
Although the trucking industry is an integral part of our economy, these vehicles are often involved in some of the most horrifying accidents on our roads. In truth, since a big rig tractor-trailer can sometimes weigh over 30,000 pounds, a passenger car will stand no chance against it in one of these catastrophic collisions. As a result, many of these crashes often result in death, debilitating injuries, and astronomical medical expenses that will forever impact a victim’s life.
However, if you have been involved in a Wisconsin trucking accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you should not be left dealing with these disastrous consequences on your own. Rather, you need trusted legal help on your side, fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Wisconsin truck accident attorneys are here to provide you just that, plus so much more.
About Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
The Nicolet Law Offices was founded in 2007 to provide the residents of Wisconsin with trusted, affordable, and tailored legal representation, ready to meet their needs. Today, the firm has done just that. With decades of combined legal experience, the knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at the offices of Nicolet Law can meet any unique challenge that comes their way and provide you with the guidance you require to make the most informed decision possible.
As a result of this dedication and drive, over the last fourteen years, Nicolet Law has helped thousands of injured clients get through this challenging time in their life and has also collected millions of dollars on their behalf in settlement awards and jury verdicts.
Yet, although we cannot guarantee these same results for every case we take on, you can rest assured that when you work with our legal team, we can fight hard to get every last dollar your injury has cost you.
Common Types of Trucking Accidents in Wisconsin
Although many different types of truck accidents can occur on the roadways, in Wisconsin, some truck crashes take place more often than others.
- Rollover Collisions: This refers to a deadly accident that results when the truck driver loses control of their vehicle, and the truck ends up sliding and rolling onto its side.
- Wide Turn Accidents: A wide turn crash occurs when a truck must occupy an additional lane of traffic to complete a turn safely. However, when they do this, they can trap other motorists in these lanes.
- Jackknife Crashes: A jackknife accident occurs when a truck suddenly slams on its brakes, and the trailer behind the truck swings out to a ninety-degree angle, creating a shape that resembles a pocket knife. However, this movement can cause the truck to roll over onto its side, often leading to serious injuries.
- T-Bone Collisions: These accidents, also known as side-impact truck collisions, are especially dangerous for passengers sitting in an automobile on the side of the impact. This is because these smaller vehicles do not provide their passengers and other occupants with much protection when a more significant and heavier commercial truck slams into the car’s side.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Trucks have large blind spots that can result in the truck driver losing sight of the other vehicles around them. Generally, these blind spots are located in the front of the truck, the back, and on each side of the truck. Even though truckers should do their best to check these blind spots before changing lanes, turning, or braking, sometimes they may still not be able to see cars or other vehicles if they are in these blind spot locations.
- Head-on and Rear-end Crashes: A head-on collision usually occurs when a motor vehicle crashes into another car head-on. In comparison, a rear-end crash results when a truck driver slams into the back of another vehicle. Although there are many differences between these two accidents, the result can often be the same—devastating injuries, excruciating pain, and in some cases, even death.
The Causes Behind Some of Wisconsin’s Worst Trucking Accidents
Studies show that almost a third of all truck accidents are due to truck driver errors. However, in Wisconsin, these errors are not the only cause of these tragic accidents. Some of the more common reasons behind these traffic collisions include:
Driving at Excessive Speeds
Truck drivers have the critical job of transporting goods and products all across the United States, often within strict deadlines, regardless of the traffic or any nasty weather that may occur during their trip.
Consequently, many of these drivers feel immense pressure to meet these deadlines, which causes some of them to take extreme action on the roads, such as driving at excessive speeds. However, if a trucker drives faster than what is appropriate for these massive vehicles, it can end up leading to a deadly accident.
Truckers often have to drive a long time across long distances. However, when these drivers need to do this for days on end, it can often lead to boredom and, as a result, distracted driving.
Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaging in different types of activities that distract the trucker’s attention away from the road, such as texting and driving, playing with the radio and driving, or eating and driving. Consequently, this distracted driving has been shown to compromise the safety of the driver, other motorists on the road, pedestrians, and passengers.
Drowsy driving kills, taking almost 700 lives every year. Yet, when it comes to truck drivers, fatigued driving is often relatively common, especially because of the amount of pressure these drivers have to meet their company’s tight goals.
That is why, even with the various regulations in place that dictate the amount of time a truck driver can drive in one shift, many of these drivers are constantly breaking these rules to navigate through the night and skip mandatory breaks, so they can make sure they meet their target date.
Yet, when these truckers forgo sleep and rest, it can cause them to suffer slower reaction times, a loss of coordination, or even fall asleep behind the wheel, which can cause tragic accidents on the road.
If a trucker decides to drive their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even certain types of prescription medications, it can substantially impact their ability to make safe decisions on the road, often leading to devastating collisions.
Faulty Trucks and Truck Parts
Defective truck parts not only put the truck’s driver in danger but everyone else on the roads. These malfunctions are often not apparent to the naked eye. That is why trucking companies are supposed to inspect their truck to ensure it is in good working condition before it hits the road. However, many truck companies decide to put off these important checks because of the costs involved or the amount of time they take.
Dangerous Wisconsin Roads and Intersections
Even though a trucking accident can occur anywhere in Wisconsin, some roads and intersections are known to be more dangerous than others and prone to these collisions.
- Interstate 94, which is known as one of the deadliest interstates in Wisconsin
- Highway 49, from Verona to Belleville, which has been labeled as one of the bumpiest freeways in the state
- Interstate 41, Highway 45, and Capitol Drive in Wauwatosa
- Silver Spring Drive and Port Washington Road near the Bayshore Town Center
One important thing to note is even though this list indicates some of the more common causes of trucking collisions in Wisconsin, it does not show every single reason one of these crashes can occur.
That is why, no matter how your truck collision occurred, if another party’s reckless, negligent, or wrongful actions caused it, you should reach out to an experienced Wisconsin truck accident lawyer, such as those at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, as soon as possible. These attorneys can promptly go over your accident, figure out what happened, and help you fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
The Actions You Need to Take After a Wisconsin Trucking Accident
A truck collision is often a devastating situation for everyone involved, leaving people feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. However, as a victim of this crash, you must understand the steps you take after this horrifying accident can not only help to keep you safe but also ensure that your legal rights remain protected.
That is why following a Wisconsin truck accident, you should consider doing the following:
Contact 911 Immediately
Following a truck crash in Wisconsin, you need to contact 911 right away. This is the fastest way to alert the police of your accident, get the truck collision on record, and notify emergency medical crews that you or someone at the scene needs immediate medical attention.
Once the authorities show up, they will often perform a preliminary investigation and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue a legal suit following your truck crash, this report can provide you with detailed and helpful evidence regarding what happened and who was at fault.
Obtain Evidence From the Scene
Due to their sheer size and weight, most trucking accidents result in debilitating injuries that need emergency medical treatment. However, if, for some reason, this does not apply in your case, following the accident, you should try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible.
This evidence should include pictures and videos of your visible injuries, the vehicles involved in the crash and their placement on the road, the weather conditions at the time of the incident, skid marks on the street, traffic signs near the scene, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
Exchange Personal Information With the Other Drivers
After the incident, you will also want to exchange information with all the drivers involved in the crash, including names, contact details, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
Look for Witnesses and Get Their Contact Information
If witnesses saw the accident, get their names and phone numbers. They can often provide you with further valuable details regarding the crash and also help back up your claim.
See a Doctor as Soon as Possible
In rare situations where you do not need medical treatment right after your truck accident, it is still important that you see a medical professional after your collision. This is because symptoms of some severe injuries, such as internal bleeding, can take some time to manifest, yet the longer you wait to get treatment, the more deadly these injuries can become. For these reasons, do not delay seeing your doctor after your trucking accident.
In addition, getting this prompt treatment can also help your legal case. In many instances, insurance companies will do anything they can to get you to settle for less money than you deserve or to deny your claim altogether. As a result, by not getting immediate medical treatment after your accident, these insurers will try to argue that your injuries are due to a subsequent event or are not that serious.
When you get your injuries examined by a doctor shortly after the truck collision, they can create a medical report documenting all of your injuries and providing you with evidence of a direct connection between the injuries you sustained and the truck crash.
Wisconsin Truck Accident FAQs
Following a Wisconsin truck accident, you likely want answers regarding the legal remedies you can pursue, the types of compensation you may be entitled to, and other specific things you need to know about the legal process involved with these claims.
For these reasons, the experienced trucking accident lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have prepared the following frequently asked questions that clients often have after a Wisconsin trucking accident. We hope with the below responses, you have a better grasp of the legal options you have and what you need to do to secure the maximum compensation you deserve following this devastating accident.
1. How Do You Know If You Have a Valid Legal Case Following a Wisconsin Trucking Accident?
One of the first things victims want to know following a Wisconsin trucking accident is if they have any available legal remedies they can pursue to get the compensation they need for the losses and injuries they sustained.
However, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as many people hope it to be. In fact, before you can get an answer to this question, there are many factors and elements of the case that need to be considered.
- Did the trucking accident result in significant injuries and losses?
- What was the extent of these injuries?
- Did these injuries and losses lead to extensive financial damages?
- Do you still have time to bring a legal claim following this trucking accident?
- Is there any insurance available for you to collect from?
Because there are so many factors that can impact whether you have a viable claim, it is important to reach out to a skilled truck accident attorney, like those at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, as quickly as possible. These attorneys can promptly review your case, determine if you have a viable claim, and help you pursue the compensation you need.
2. Who Can You Hold Accountable for a Wisconsin Trucking Accident?
Unfortunately, when it comes to a trucking accident, the situation is often much more complicated than a standard car collision.
This is mainly because passenger car accidents are usually between two motorists, while a truck accident can involve multiple parties, such as:
- The at-fault truck driver
- The trucking company
- Cargo owners
- Cargo loaders
- Any mechanics that worked on the truck
- The truck’s owner
- Manufacturers and retailers of the truck or its parts
- Other motorists that contributed to the accident
- State or governmental agencies responsible for road maintenance or design
- Freight brokers
That is why to ensure that all the liable parties for the truck crash are held responsible for the damages you sustained, you should reach out to a knowledgeable trucking accident lawyer as soon as you can. We can investigate the collision and figure out exactly who caused the harm you endured.
3. How Much Time Do You Have to Bring an Injury Claim Following a Trucking Accident in Wisconsin?
Before you can file an injury claim following your trucking accident, you need to verify that you have enough time to bring this suit. To do this, you will need to verify what the statute of limitations is in the state.
The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the total amount of time a person has to file a suit after an alleged offense. If the individual does not bring their legal claim within this deadline, they can't collect compensation for their injuries and losses.
In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim following a trucking accident is three years. However, exceptions to this rule often can impact a person’s time to file their case by shortening or extending this statutory period. For these reasons, it is best not to wait to pursue legal action.
Rather, you should reach out to a skilled truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. For instance, if you work with the legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our lawyers can promptly go over your accident, figure out the maximum amount of time you have to file your case, and ensure that all your legal documents and motions are prepared properly and filed before the statute of limitations expires.
4. If You File a Lawsuit Following a Wisconsin Trucking Accident, What Types of Compensation Can You Pursue?
Following a Wisconsin trucking accident, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation if you have been harmed because of another person’s wrongful actions. Typically, this compensation includes the following:
Economic Damages: These damages are the actual and verifiable losses the individual suffers after an accident.
- Past, current, and future medical expenses related to their hospital stay, surgeries, doctor visits, emergency services, assistive medical devices, and prescription medications
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- At-home nursing care
- Replacement services such as child-care, cleaning services, or even grocery shopping services
- Rehabilitation services, including physical therapy and occupational therapy
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-Economic Damages: These damages refer to the subjective losses that an individual faces following an accident.
These losses are not easy to quantify and usually include:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of a limb
In addition, in some instances, you might receive punitive damages. However, unlike other damages, which compensate the victim for their losses following an accident, punitive damages punish the defendant for their wrongful actions and deter others from committing this same act.
For these reasons, punitive damages are not awarded in every injury case, but only if the victim’s lawyer can prove to the court that the defendant acted maliciously toward the victim or with an intentional disregard of their rights.
5. If You Were Injured in a Wisconsin Trucking Accident, How Much Money Can You Get For Your Injuries?
If you were injured because of another person’s wrongful actions in a trucking accident, you likely need money for all the harm you suffered, especially to pay the skyrocketing medical bills that keep piling up.
However, even if your attorney determines that you have a viable legal case and can proceed with legal action against the at-fault party, no lawyer can guarantee that you will succeed in your case or how much money you can get for your damages. This is because there are just too many unique elements that can impact the value of your claim and, as a result, the amount of money you can receive.
For example, following a trucking accident, the factors that can most often influence your potential recovery include:
- The severity and the extent of your injuries following the collision
- The type of medical treatments you will need after this accident
- Whether you need ongoing medical treatment or nursing care now or in the future
- The prognosis of your injury and the chance of a full recovery
- Whether you can work following this accident, or ever work again
- Whether you suffered extensive pain and suffering because of this incident
- Whether you can take part in the routine activities as you did before the accident
- Whether your lawyer can present credible evidence and witness
- The degree of the defendant’s culpability
Although each of these factors can influence the amount of compensation you receive, working with an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you prepare a case ready to respond to each of these factors and help you fight for the maximum damages you deserve.
6. If Your Loved One Passed Away in a Wisconsin Trucking Accident, Do You Have Any Legal Options You Can Pursue?
If a family member passed away in a Wisconsin trucking accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. These lawsuits are a particular type of personal injury claim that arises when an individual passes away following an accident from their injuries.
As a result of this death, the deceased’s family can proceed with a wrongful death claim to seek justice for their family member’s untimely passing and also get the financial recovery needed to help offset some of the losses they experienced from this death.
However, in Wisconsin, only certain family members can recover from a wrongful death lawsuit.
These individuals include:
- The surviving spouse
- A domestic partner
- A child under the age of 18
- A parent
- Or a guardian of the deceased
That is why, due to these legal complexities, if you lost a loved one in one of these horrifying accidents, you should reach out to a skilled Wisconsin truck accident lawyer like those at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers as soon as you can. These attorneys may not only verify whether you can proceed with a wrongful death claim, but can also assist you as you pursue the compensation you need.
7. How Long Does a Truck Accident Lawsuit Take to Resolve in Wisconsin?
Many factors can influence the length of time a truck accident claim takes to resolve.
For instance, the following elements can all affect your suit:
- The length of time the liability investigation will take
- The interactions with the insurance company
- The medical treatments involved
- How long before you have a better understanding of your injuries
- Negotiations with the other side and whether they are willing to work with you
As a result of these issues, these claims can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to complete. Fortunately, when you work with a skilled Wisconsin truck accident attorney, these lawyers can make sure they help you through this whole legal process from start to finish. They can also make sure that you are not taken advantage of by the insurance company or accept a settlement amount that does not cover all of your current expenses and future ongoing care.
8. How Can the Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Law Firm Help Following a Wisconsin Truck Accident?
No amount of money can ever help you fully recover from these catastrophic trucking accidents or ever erase all the damages, pain, and stress you had to endure because of them. However, at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we know that obtaining compensation for your injuries can help you start rebuilding your life after this devastating incident and give you the peace of mind that justice has been served.
That is why our goal is to help you get through this challenging ordeal and get you the financial recovery you are entitled to.
To accomplish this, we:
- Go over your case with you in detail, evaluate your legal claim, and figure out the legal options you should pursue.
- Answer all the concerns and questions you have regarding your case.
- Thoroughly investigate the accident and secure the evidence required to prove what happened and who was responsible for your injuries and losses.
- Bring in expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists, doctors, engineers, and financial specialists to substantiate your claim.
- Handle all the negotiations and discussions with the other side and the insurance company and go after the just settlement you want.
- Proceed to trial if the other side is unwilling to negotiate fairly or get you the money you need and fight for maximum damages.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a Wisconsin trucking accident, do not wait any longer to secure the legal help you need. Instead, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (715) 226-6149 for a free case evaluation, and let our legal team show you how we can fight for you, your rights, and the financial damages you deserve.
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