A collision with a large commercial truck can have a devastating impact on the lives of accident victims. In any trucking crash, passenger vehicles are at an extreme disadvantage due to their smaller sizes and weights. When a tractor-trailer collides with a car, the car’s occupants face great risk, as injuries and deaths are more likely in a trucking accident than any other type of motor vehicle collision.
In Wisconsin, there were 5,921 reported accidents involving a large truck, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. That averages to approximately 16 large truck wrecks every day in the Badger State.
The accomplished truck accident attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC have substantial experience in these difficult cases. That is important because trucking accident claims differ from other types of vehicle collision cases. A qualified attorney can provide the guidance and counsel you need in these complex matters.
Commercial trucking is a critical component of U.S. industry, and the need to haul materials and products across the country employs hundreds of thousands of truckers across the nation. Nearly 70 percent of all freight tonnage in the United States travels by truck, and the trucking industry moves more than 9 billion tons of freight every year.
Like many traffic accidents, commercial truck wrecks are often the result of human error. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents in Wisconsin include:
Although speeding is a dangerous behavior for a driver of any vehicle, the dangers are exacerbated when a large commercial truck is involved. Without a special permit for a higher weight, 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. With this kind of weight propelling a big rig, truckers must use caution to operate their trucks safely. Semi-trucks take more time and more road to slow and stop than passenger vehicles. When truck drivers speed, they place every other driver on the road at risk.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers who text while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to cause a wreck. To address this issue, the FMCSA has banned truckers from texting – and limited cell phone use in general – while driving. The regulation bans the following:
Violations of these rules can include serious penalties, such as a fine revocation of the commercial license for a trucker, and a civil penalty for the trucking company. Sadly, despite the known dangers of texting and otherwise using a cell phone while driving a big-rig truck, this completely irresponsible and negligent practice continues.
Driver fatigue is consistently a major factor in semi-truck accidents. Federal regulations limit the amount of time a driver can operate a large commercial vehicle to 11 hours per stretch and up to 77 hours per week. Unfortunately, truckers commonly push themselves beyond the legal limit to meet delivery date demands. This dangerous behavior can result from a driver’s individual decision to exceed legal limits, unrealistic time schedules imposed by the driver’s trucking company, or a combination of these factors. A lawyer can investigate both the driver’s qualifications and the trucking company’s logs to determine the cause of the wreck.
The owners and drivers of large commercial trucks have a duty to maintain and inspect their vehicles properly. When 18-wheelers are not adequately maintained, the results can be devastating. Examples of improper truck maintenance include:
When trucks carry cargo that is not loaded or secured properly, they are more likely to be involved in accidents. Drivers may have difficulty maneuvering the vehicle on roads and highways. Improper loading—such as unsecured boxes, crates, or barrels—can cause a sudden shift in weight significant enough to cause a truck driver to lose control of his or her rig.
The failure to secure cargo can appear in many forms, such as:
It can be difficult to prove that unsecured cargo caused your wreck without the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney who is familiar with these types of cases. This is another reason why it is so important to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible after a truck crash. The sooner you call an attorney, the faster your lawyer can begin gathering evidence to support your case.
After a serious collision with a semi-truck, you need a reputable law firm with substantial experience with these cases on your side. Studinski Law, LLC has built a record of success in truck accident litigation. Our experienced truck accident lawyers understand the hardships you may be facing after a severe injury and we know how to present a strong case on your behalf.
If you have been hurt or lost a family member in a truck wreck, call Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 for a free initial consultation. We serve clients in Plover, Marshfield, and other Wisconsin areas.