You share the road with 18-wheelers and other semi-trucks on a regular basis. When you’re driving, you may assume you are safe with experienced and licensed commercial drivers behind the wheels of commercial trucks. Unfortunately, truckers often cause accidents . If you were involved in an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident, you may be experiencing serious or catastrophic injuries. As you are recovering both physically and emotionally from the crash, your next step should be to pursue compensation for your losses.
At Studinski Law, LLC, our semi-truck accident lawyers can help preserve evidence, investigate the crash, help determine liability, and move forward with a personal injury claim. Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule a consultation to discuss your rights and case options.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks are heavy, difficult to maneuver, and require trained professionals to operate safely. It does not take much for something to go wrong and lead to an accident. One mistake due to someone’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct can cause a significant crash.
Some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting or eating and drinking while driving
- Drowsy driving, which may include hours of service violations
- Intoxicated driving due to drugs or alcohol
- Speeding above the posted limit or what is appropriate for the conditions
- Unsafe and reckless driving practices, including following too closely or failing to look before changing lanes
- Inadequate or improper driver training or qualifications
- Improper loading, including unbalanced cargo
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- A defectively designed or manufactured part
- A defectively designed or manufactured vehicle
Who is Liable for a Semi-Truck Accident?
There are a number of individuals or businesses who may be legally responsible for a semi-truck or 18-wheeler accident depending in the cause of the crash. Some of the potentially liable parties include the:
- Truck driver
Many semi-truck accidents are caused by negligent driving. Generally, the driver’s employer, the trucking company, is responsible for the harm caused by the driver if the driver was acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the wreck. In other words, the trucking company is often vicariously liable for the actions of its driver.
- Trucking company
The trucking company is responsible proper hiring, training, retention, supervision, and firing of its drivers and other personnel. The company is also responsible for the condition and safety of its vehicles. If the driver or the vehicle was responsible for your accident, you may also investigate whether you have additional independent claims for negligence against the trucking company.
Many individuals or businesses may be responsible for loading the cargo onto or into the truck. If the loaders fail to pack, balance, and secure the cargo properly and the cargo shifts or is lost and is a reason for the crash, then they could be responsible for your damages from the accident.
Semi-trucks need to be designed, manufactured, and assembled correctly. If the manufacturer of the vehicle failed to properly design and construct an individual part of the entire truck and this defect caused the accident, then the manufacturer may be liable.
How to Prepare for a Truck Accident Claim
After being in a semi-truck accident, there are certain steps you should take to thoroughly prepare for a truck accident claim, such as:
- Contact an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer
- Take steps with the help of your lawyer to preserve potential evidence
- Conduct an independent and in-depth investigation into the cause of the crash
- Determine the potentially liable party or parties
- Hire expert witnesses like an accident reconstructionist to support your claim
- Follow your physician’s instructions closely
- Carefully keep track of all of your medical and accident-related expenses
- Work with your attorney to calculate your economic and non-economic damages
Preparing for your truck accident claim, which may include a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit, requires more than completing procedural or legal steps. You should work with your attorney, family, friends, and medical professionals to emotionally prepare for the ups and downs of a legal battle for compensation. Some trucking accidents are resolved quickly through an insurance settlement. However, other claims must go through the full legal process, which could takes months or years. At Studinski Law, LLC, we will work closely with you on your claim so that you always know what is going on. We are here to prepare you for every scenario.
Pursing Compensation Through a Personal Injury Claim
After being injured in a semi-truck accident that you did not cause, you should speak with an attorney about pursing compensation for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries. If another individual or business was negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful then you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. To do this, you may need to go through a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
During the insurance claim process, you will need to cooperate with the insurer. However, you also have the right to be represented by an attorney and present your evidence. If the insurer approves your claim, your lawyer can help you negotiate for a fair settlement.
You may also choose to move forward with a lawsuit. It is best to have an experienced trucking accident lawyer represent you at this time. An attorney understands how to fully utilize the discovery process in litigation to gain information and strengthen your case. They will also be confident in facing a judge or jury during trial where you must present evidence of the other party’s liability and your injuries.
Whether through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, you can ask for compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of society and companionship
- Property damage, when applicable
Let Our Wisconsin Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Help You
If you were recently injured in an 18-wheeler or other semi-truck accident, contact Studinski Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our experienced legal team is ready to take on your case and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule a time to talk about your case.