There are more than 112,000 miles of public road in Wisconsin, including more than 11,000 miles of state highways. Most of these roadways are open to commercial trucks, which means every day motorists in passenger cars and trucks must share the road with much larger and heavier vehicles. While many drivers share the roads well, there are times when truckers or their vehicles cause serious accidents. Wisconsin had 7,461 large truck crashes in 2016, which lead to 79 fatalities that year.
If you were one of the individuals impacted by a fatal trucking collision, call us at Studinski Law, LLC to speak with an experienced Wisconsin fatal truck accident lawyer. Truck accidents can become complicated quickly and it benefits you to have an experienced lawyer who will fight to preserve evidence and seek to obtain you the maximum compensation possible.
Call us today at (715) 343-2850 for help with your fatal truck accident case.
How Truck Accident Claims Differ From Car Accident Claims
It can be easier to investigate and handle a car wreck case than a truck wreck case. In car wreck cases, most drivers are in their own vehicles and cause a crash due to their carelessness or recklessness, sometimes due to actions like drunk driving or running a stop sign. When you or a loved one are hurt in a typical collision, you file an insurance claim and recovery compensation through an insurance settlement. However, truck accidents are often far different than car accidents.
Compared to car accidents, truck-related collisions more often:
- Lead to significant bodily injury and death.
The size and weight of commercial vehicles often results in more significant, catastrophic, and fatal collisions than during car accidents.
- Involve a greater amount of technology and electronic data.
Semi-trucks are like airplanes in the fact that they have what is known as a black box. This piece of technology captures and records information regarding the driver’s actions and truck’s movements leading up to the accident. It must be preserved as quickly as possible since it is often integral evidence in personal injury and wrongful death actions.
- Involve an employment situation.
Many truck drivers are employees of a trucking company and their employer may be liable for the crash. The employer may be liable simply due to being responsible for their employee’s actions or through their own negligence.
- Are heavily regulated by the state and federal government.
Truckers and trucking companies must follow numerous complex regulations, such as hours of service laws, which dictated when and how long tuckers can drive. When truckers and companies are not compliant, this may be evidence of negligence and their liability for your loved one’s death.
- Require expert witnesses.
Since the cause of a trucking accident may be more complex than a driver running a red light, your claim may require numerous expert witnesses to talk about what went wrong and who is responsible for the crash and your loss.
Importance of Preserving Evidence After a Truck Crash
There is usually more potential evidence involved in a truck accident case than after a car crash. Since much of this evidence is in the hands of the trucker or motor carrier – like driver’s logs, the truck itself, the truck’s black box, and the company’s employment and maintenance records – you have to be proactive in requiring that this evidence be maintained and not destroyed. An experienced Wisconsin truck accident attorney will immediately reach out to the other parties involved in the crash with a preservation of evidence letter, which lets them know there will be consequences if they destroy or lose any evidence potentially meaningful to the case. By calling for potential evidence to be stored, it gives you and your attorney the opportunity to ask for copies to use during your own investigation of the cause and liability for the crash.
Wisconsin Survival and Wrongful Death Actions
There are two types of legal actions you or your loved one’s estate may be interested in bringing following a fatal truck accident: a survival action and a wrongful death action.
A survival action is a legal claim that can be pursued by a decedent’s estate to seek compensation your loved one would have been entitled to had they lived. This action is about recovering compensation for the injuries your loved one suffered between the time of the accident and their death. The estate may be able to obtain compensation for your loved one’s:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of earning capacity
A wrongful death action is a legal claim brought by a spouse, parent, child, or potentially others. It is a legal action that seeks compensation for you and your other family members’ losses – not your loved one’s injuries. You may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial contributions
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of society and companionship
Contact Our Wisconsin Fatal Truck Accident Lawyer for Advice Today
If you unexpectedly lost a loved one in a fatal crash, call us at Studinski Law, LLC as soon as possible. We know it feels as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders right now. That is why we want to take on some of the burden for you. We will investigate the truck accident, seek to preserve evidence, and build the strongest case possible for you to obtain compensation. Recovering the maximum compensation possible for you and your family will always be our main priority.
Let us explain your rights and legal options. Call us today at (715) 343-2850.