Being involved in an accident with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler can be scary. Lots of emotions are likely running through your head, and that’s perfectly understandable. Our Milwaukee truck accident lawyer wants you to be prepared, not only before you get on the road, but if you have the unfortunate circumstance of being involved in one of these collisions.
From types of wrecks and common causes to how to find the best attorney for your specific case and how a truck accident lawsuit will work, check out our definitive guide to semi-truck and 18-wheeler crashes below.
Types of Truck Accidents Seen Throughout Milwaukee
According to our experienced Milwaukee truck accident lawyer, some of the common types of crashes that are seen throughout the state of Wisconsin include:
- T-bone crashes. Side-impact crashes can result in serious injuries. Trucks are not currently required to have side underride guards to prevent smaller vehicles from going underneath them.
- Rear-end wrecks. There are two different types of rear-end truck crashes that could result in injury. First, you may be hurt if a trucker crashes into you from behind. Second, you may be hurt if you hit a truck that is in front of you and that truck does not have adequate underride guards to prevent your vehicle from going underneath it.
- Head-on collisions. Head-on accidents result in more fatalities for people in passenger vehicles than any other type of truck wreck. Many head-on collisions are caused by truck driver error.
- Rollover accidents. Trucks have a higher center of gravity than passenger vehicles, and they are more susceptible to rollover crashes when truckers take tight turns, drive at excessive speeds, are distracted, drive on slippery roads, are driving poorly maintained trucks, or drive trucks with unsecured or unbalanced cargos. When a truck rolls over near a car or another vehicle, then the occupants of that vehicle may also be hurt in the crash.
- Left turn accidents. Left turn crashes are the most common type of truck wreck at intersections. Left turn accidents are often caused by driver error. For example, a crash could happen if a driver is distracted, drunk, or drowsy.
- Jackknife crashes. When the trailer of a truck swings away from the cab, a jackknife crash can occur. Jackknife accidents typically happen when a driver is speeding, when a driver is traveling too fast for weather conditions, when there is improper braking, or when there is unbalanced cargo that causes the truck to be unstable.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Many of the truck accident victims whom we represent were hurt for one or more of the following reasons:
- A distracted trucker caused a crash. Distracted truckers may have their attention off driving safely, their hands off the steering wheel, or their eyes off the road. They may be unable to stop or to react in time to avoid an accident.
- A drunk or drugged trucker caused a crash. Truckers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol may drive erratically. They may have slower reaction times and they may have delayed reflexes.
- A drowsy trucker caused a crash. A trucker’s job and lifestyle can contribute to fatigue. A fatigued driver suffers from many of the same liabilities as a drunk driver.
- A speeding trucker caused a crash. Trucker drivers may knowingly or unknowingly exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for the road conditions. This can make it difficult for truckers to stop quickly enough to avoid collisions.
- A trucker failed to check his blind spots and caused a crash. Large trucks have blind spots: or areas in front of, in back of, and on the sides of the truck that the trucker just can’t see even with the help of mirrors. Truckers must account for these blind spots when making turns, changing lanes, or stopping in order to prevent accidents.
- A trucker suffered a health emergency behind the wheel and caused a crash. A medical crisis behind the wheel can cause a trucker to lose control of his vehicle and put himself and other motorists at risk of serious injury.
- The truck’s cargo was unsecured or unbalanced and caused a crash. Unbalanced cargo can cause a truck to be unsteady and unsecured cargo can result in cargo spills. Either of these problems can lead to a crash.
- There were maintenance problems with the truck that caused a crash. Truck engines, tires, brakes, and other parts must be appropriately maintained in order for the truck to operate safely.
Injuries That Can Occur in a Milwaukee Truck Crash
Your specific injuries will depend on numerous factors including, but not limited to: the weight of the truck that hit you, the speed of the truck that hit you, the angle of the collision, and your overall health. According to our Milwaukee truck accident lawyer, some of the most common injuries that can result from a truck crash include:
- Brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury can occur if your head hits part of the car or if an object penetrates the skull and punctures the brain. A traumatic brain injury can result in lasting changes for you, depending on the part of the brain that was hurt.
- Spinal cord injuries. A complete spinal cord injury can leave you paralyzed below the point of injury and the damage may be irreversible. The costs of a spinal cord injury can be staggering, since your medical needs and living expenses may be high and you may be unable to work due to your injury.
- Broken bones. Any bone can break in a crash. Your recovery depends both on the bone that broke and the complexity of the break.
- Burns. A truck fire or combustible cargo can cause you to suffer significant burn injuries in a truck wreck. You may require hospitalizations, skin graft surgeries, pain medication and antibiotics in order to recover.
- Amputations. You may lose an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, or toe at the scene of the accident or afterwards due to significant nerve damage or a severe infection.
- Respiratory injuries. Breathing problems or respiratory issues can occur if your lung collapses or if you breathe in toxic fumes due to the hazardous cargo a truck was carrying.
- Death. Many of the injuries described above and others can result in death. Unfortunately, among all the different types of crashes you can get in while driving a car, collisions with trucks result in the most fatalities.
Damages You May Be Able to Recover
The specific damages that you might recover, and the amount of those damages are dependent on the unique injuries that you’ve suffered. Your damages could include compensation for your past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses. All of your healthcare costs—including hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ visits, medications, assistive medical devices, and rehabilitation therapies—should be included.
- Lost income. Any income that you lose—whether it is partial or complete—should be included in a settlement or court verdict.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any costs that you incur, including but not limited to child care costs, household help, and funeral costs (in a wrongful death case) should be part of your recovery.
- Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and emotional suffering cannot be taken away, but they should be financially compensated in a lawsuit or settlement.
In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. In Milwaukee, you may recover punitive damages if you can prove that the defendant acted maliciously toward you or with intentional disregard for your rights.
How a Truck Accident Lawsuit Works
Before you file a truck accident case in a Milwaukee court, it is important to know how a lawsuit will work. Specifically, you need to know:
- If you have standing to file a truck accident lawsuit. You can file a truck accident injury case in a Wisconsin state court if you were the one who was hurt in the crash, if you are the parent or guardian of someone who was hurt in the crash, if you are the personal representative of someone who died in a truck crash, or if you are someone with the legal right to recover benefits in a wrongful death case after a truck accident.
- If you have time to file a truck accident lawsuit. In most cases, you have three years to file a truck accident injury case in a Wisconsin court. However, the statute of limitations may be extended or shortened in some circumstances.
- Who you are going to sue. Truck accident cases can be complicated and an investigation may need to be done in order for you to name the right parties as defendants in a truck accident case. Some potential defendants include the trucker, the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer, and the truck’s maintenance workers.
- What happens if you were partly to blame for the truck crash. You may still recover damages even if you were partly to blame for the crash so long as you were not primarily responsible for the crash. The amount of damages that you may recover may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you.
- Whether you need expert witnesses. Expert witnesses can be important in truck accident cases. Depending on the unique circumstances of your crash, and the other evidence available, you may benefit from hiring expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, economists, and others.
- Whether you need a Milwaukee truck accident lawyer. You can be sure that the trucking company and its insurer have attorneys working hard to minimize your financial recovery. You deserve the benefit of an attorney working for your fair recovery instead of against it. Our Milwaukee truck accident lawyer is not paid hourly and instead are paid only if your claim is successful.
- How to deal with insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters can be tricky and can try to get you to say or do something that will hurt your potential settlement. Your attorney can communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
- How settlements work. Settlements often require skilled negotiation. An experienced truck accident attorney in Milwaukee can work hard to negotiate a settlement on your behalf and identify a fair settlement when and if it is made.
This overview provides you with important things to think about before pursuing a truck accident injury case in Wisconsin. However, there are still many details that need to be addressed before you move forward.
How to Find the Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Milwaukee
Finding the best Milwaukee dog bite lawyer is essentially the same as finding the best plumber in Milwaukee. Follow the steps below and you should be able to find either one.
- Testimonials Matter. Reviews from past clients, whether on a law firm's website or on a review site like Google, will go a long way. Understanding how an attorney interacted with past clients, will give you a glimpse into what you can expect.
- Ask Friends and Family for Suggestions. People tend to lean on their friends and family for advice about everyday things, and it should be no different when it comes to finding a lawyer. Past experiences from people you know can be very helpful.
- Ask Potential Attorneys Lots of Questions. Almost all personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation. Just because you choose to meet with an attorney does not mean you have to hire them. Schedule a consult and be prepared to come with questions that you think would impact your decision.
- Money is NOT the Most Important Factor. As we mentioned above, many attorneys will offer a free consultation. Not only that, many attorneys, including our here at Hupy and Abraham, work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we don't get paid unless you get paid. Don't let your current financial situation influence your decision. Find the best Milwaukee truck accident lawyer for you, and move forward with confidence.
Our Milwaukee Truck Accident Lawyer Knows How to Get You the Compensation You Deserve
Injured in a Truck Crash? Contact Our Truck Accident Attorney in Milwaukee for a Free Consult
Were you or a loved one recently injured in a crash with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler? If so, then it is time to contact our truck accident attorney in Milwaukee for a free consultation. Our team has been practicing law in Wisconsin for over 50 years, and have seen every type of truck collision there is.
To schedule a consult with our experienced Milwaukee truck accident lawyer, start an online chat, fill out our convenient contact form or call 1 (800) 800-5678 today!