Strong Advocates For People Injured In Trucking Accidents
Commercial trucking accidents in Wisconsin tend to involve very different issues than your average car accident or SUV crash. The Hayward trucking accident attorneys at Lein Law Offices understand the legal complexities of tractor-trailer and semi-truck accidents.
We recognize that with the significant personal injuries you have endured, you are likely going to be facing a mountain of medical bills, weeks or months away from the job, and the possibility that your life and family may never be the same again.
We have not only the skills but the resources to help you take your trucking accident case all the way to trial. Defendants may include not just the driver, but the driver’s employer, owner of the truck and possibly others.
Trucking accident lawsuits in Wisconsin are often highly complex, not only for the fact that the injuries involved are often severe, but because commercial motor carriers and their insurers specifically put roadblocks in place to make it tougher for you to collect damages.
For instance, many drivers are technically classified as “independent contractors,” meaning you cannot automatically pursue a claim of vicarious liability, as you could if the driver was considered an employee. (Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, you need not prove an employer was negligent to establish liability if the negligent employee was acting in the course and scope of employment.)
The good news about that is just because a trucking company labels a driver a contractor doesn’t necessarily mean that’s legally what they are. Your attorney may suggest you challenge that assertion.
There may be numerous companies involved in moving a single truckload – from commercial carriers to truck owners to third-party logistics firms to temp agencies that hire drivers. Untangling those contractual knots and helping you identify all defendants against whom you have a claim – and pursuing those claims – is a job our Wisconsin trucking accident attorneys take very seriously.
We identify all lines of insurance coverage and pursue all responsible parties for their liability. These cases almost always require an extensive time commitment, expert witness testimony and a willingness to take the case all the way to trial if necessary.
Liability For Large Truck Accidents In Wisconsin
Trucking companies are bound by both federal and state laws, and in all cases owe other motorists a duty of care to make sure their drivers are properly trained, vetted and supervised, that their trucks are properly maintained and in good condition and that truckloads are properly stacked. A failure on any one of these fronts can lead to crashes resulting in catastrophic injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports in a single recent year, large truck accidents killed more than 4,300 people. Of those, more than 70 percent were the occupants of the other vehicles. Large-truck drivers involved in deadly crashes had the highest percent of previously-recorded crashes, compared to drivers of other vehicle types.
In Wisconsin, the NHTSA reports large truck crashes comprised 8 percent of the total number of fatal accidents. Of the nearly 70 people killed in those collisions, approximately 80 percent were occupants of those other vehicles.
What that means is it’s not the truck drivers who are suffering the bulk of these serious injuries or deaths when collisions happen. It’s the other drivers, their passengers, pedestrians and people on bicycles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports large trucks are involved in fewer crashes than passenger vehicles per 100 million miles traveled (38 compared to 132), but trucks tend to do far more damage when they do crash.
Causes of Truck Accidents In Wisconsin
Although the causes of large truck accidents in Wisconsin can be as varied as any other type of crash, there have been some noted trends. The FMCSA points out some of the top factors they identified after analysis include:
- Truck driver fatigue (particularly when motor carriers stretch the hours-of-service regulations);
- Truck driver medical issues (i.e., heart attack, seizure, etc.);
- Truck driver distraction (i.e., smart phone use, distracted by something inside the truck, etc.);
- Speed/ trucker traveling too fast for conditions/ following too closely;
- Brake problems in truck;
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion/ crash);
- Unfamiliarity of the roadway;
- Problems with the roadway;
- Over-the-counter drug use (which is still considered impairment);
- Inadequate surveillance by trucking carrier;
- Tire problems;
- Feeling pressure/ stress from truck carrier;
- Alcohol/ illegal drugs.
Mind you, none of these are considered excuses or viable defenses. However, understanding the reasons helps us identify which parties may be legally responsible, and to what degree.
Working with a trucking accident attorney in Sawyer County who is experienced, skilled, dedicated and prepared, gives you the best chance of recovering the full scope of damages to which you are entitled.
Contact Lein Law Offices for information about your trucking accident in Hayward, Winter or elsewhere in Sawyer County or Wisconsin by calling toll-free at 877-712-4023.