Were you or a loved one injured in a truck accident in Wisconsin? If so, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to call Studinski Law, LLC. We work with clients immediately after truck accidents so that we can begin an independent investigation right away. It’s important to begin investigating a truck accident quickly to preserve evidence for your claim.
Truck accident cases are far different than car crashes. There is a great deal more information to gather and review, and liability is often more contentious. Additionally, truck accidents typically lead to more serious injuries and fatalities, resulting in higher claims. At Studinski Law, LLC, we are highly experienced in investigating truck accidents and pursuing compensation on our client’s behalf. We are not intimidated by large trucking companies, insurers, or the highly regulated trucking industry. We are prepared to fight for your compensation.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
If you were in a truck accident and are not seriously injured, then there are steps you can take while still at the scene to help yourself in an upcoming claim. Always put your safety first. If you are hurt, obtain care from emergency responders. Do not hesitate to go to the hospital after a truck accident. If you stay at the scene, always be sure to stay out of the way of traffic.
If you are able to move around after an accident, then you should:
- Contact the police. Unless you know another driver, passenger, or witness has called 911, do so yourself. It is important to have the police and emergency responders come to the scene to offer other individual’s help, determine if the other party violated the law, and to make an official report of the crash. Keep in mind, the officer is not there to conduct a thorough investigation. The police are focusing on getting everyone medical attention, directing traffic, and then clearing the scene.
- Take photos and video. If your phone was not broken in the crash, use it to document the scene. Take photos and videos from different angles and distances from the crash. Remember to stay out of the way of traffic. If you can, take pictures of debris and marks on the road or other property. Take pictures of traffic control equipment, like signs and signals. Take pictures of anything you believe may be relevant to why the crash occurred.
- Exchange information with other drivers. You should not speak with the other driver too much, and never apologize or admit fault. Speak with the other drive enough to gather their name, employer’s information, contact information, their driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Ask for witnesses’ information. If witnesses have stopped to help or speak with the police, ask for their names and contact information. You truck accident lawyer may wish to contact these witnesses for statements in the upcoming days or weeks after the crash.
- Call a truck accident attorney . At Studinski Law, LLC, we see many people who think they can wait days or weeks to handle a truck accident claim. The truth is that you should act as fast as you can. If at all possible, call us while you are still at the scene. We understand many people do not think to call a lawyer in the minutes following a wreck or they realistically cannot. You or a family member should contact us as soon as possible for us to get started on an independent investigation.
What the Trucking Company Is Going to Do
After an accident, if the truck driver is physically able to do so, they are going to notify the trucking company. That business will likely send out one or more investigators. That individual or group is there to gather evidence at the site, prevent the trucker from saying something they shouldn’t, and talk to witnesses. This is a trucking company employee or consultant, and they are there to protect the businesses. Their investigation is skewed and is unlikely to benefit you.
A trucking company investigator or investigation team means that the trucking company’s interests are represented and protected at the scene while yours are not. To balance the situation, call a Wisconsin truck accident lawyer right away. If you can obtain a lawyer at the scene, you can have someone to begin investigating the crash with your best interests in mind.
You Benefit From an Independent Investigation
When you call us immediately following your accident, we will jump into action. A trucking company will want to get its truck off the road as quickly as possible and the police will agree. The sooner they can clear the scene, the better. We want to document the scene before that happens. Our legal team will investigate and reconstruct the accident from the ground up.
A truck accident attorney from Studinski Law, LLC will:
- Take accident scene photographs;
- Document aspects of the scene including final resting position of the vehicles, placement of physical debris, skid or gouge marks in road or other property, weather and road conditions, traffic conditions and patterns, traffic control equipment at the scene;
- Conduct drone flights to record video and data;
- Obtain 3D mapping of the scene;
- Gather witnesses’ information to contact quickly after the accident;
- Obtain video or audio statements of witnesses;
- Seek to preserve all potential evidence;
- Request law enforcement documentation and records of the accident;
- Conduct in-depth analysis of trucking company records and trucker log books;
- Investigate the trucking company and driver’s history; and
- Hire expert witnesses, such as an accident reconstructionist.
At Studinski Law, LLC, our lawyers are on your side, and we will not rely on the trucking company’s investigation or its insurer’s findings. We conduct an in-depth and independent investigation into what happened. This provides us with a great deal of evidence to utilize in negotiating a settlement on your behalf, or in rare cases, fighting for your compensation at trial.
We Will Immediately Seek to Preserve Evidence
One step we will take to ensure evidence related to the truck accident does not disappear is to send the trucking company and other relevant parties Preservation of Evidence letters.
Spoliation of evidence is a real concern during truck accident cases. Spoliation refers to evidence being destroyed, lost, contaminated, or ruined. Important trucking company records can easily be disposed over during the claim if you do not have a lawyer to take steps to prevent it. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation only requires trucking companies to keep logs for six months. A trucking accident lawyer from Studinski Law, LLC we ensure the logs for the six months prior to the date of the accident are maintained and not destroyed while your claim is ongoing.
Physical evidence can be destroyed too. Trucking companies will take their trucks off the road as quickly as possible. They may remove the truck’s “black box,” inspect the vehicle and then alter the truck. They may take the truck apart for scrap or remove parts that can be used for the fleet’s other vehicles. They may send the truck to be repaired. All of these actions mean you lose out on the chance to have your own experts inspect the physical evidence related to the crash.
The preservation letter tells the other parties involved in the crash to maintain certain records for an extended period of time, such as driver logs, dispatch records, on-board computer or “black box” data, trucker’s cell phone data, and trucking company records related to the driver and vehicle.
The “Black Box” After a Truck Accident
Immediately following the crash, the trucking company is also going to work with the police to have the truck removed as quickly as possible. Once the truck is under the business’s control, it will remove the “black box,” which is an electronic data recorder in the truck, similar to the black box in a plane. It is also known as an electronic control module or event data recorder. It will retrieve and review the data from that device, which is something you will also want your lawyer to see.
A Wisconsin truck accident lawyer at Studinski Law, LLC will include the black box in the preservation letter. This device can contain a wealth of information that is essential to proving fault, including:
- The truck’s speed prior to the crash;
- Whether the truck sped up or slowed down right before the crash;
- Whether the trucker applied the brakes before the crash;
- Whether the trucker was utilizing cruise control;
- The truck’s activity for a period of time, such as the previous day or month;
- When the trucker was wearing a seat belt;
- When the airbag deployed;
- The number of hard stops the truck meant and the RPMs between stops;
- Tire pressure;
- GPS location for the truck; and
- Communications between the trucker and trucking company.
This data can provide important information or insights for an accident reconstruct expert. We will work with an appropriate expert to retrieve, verify, and analyze black box information, preparing us to present this evidence in court, if necessary.
The Importance of Starting Right Away
After a trucking accident that caused you harm, your best interests are served by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. There is no such thing as calling an attorney too soon. Once you hire Studinski Law, LLC, we will begin to preserve and gather evidence.
Our legal team will review and analyze all types of evidence beyond the physical evidence related to the crash. We will dive into the trucking company’s maintenance records, safety practices, hiring policies, and training policies. We will dig into the trucker’s history and look for education and training information, complaints, traffic tickets, and DUI/DWI convictions. We want to know more than what happened on the road that day. We want to know the real reasons why there was a preventable accident.
It is essential that we get to the all the evidence as fast as we can. The longer you wait to hire a truck accident law firm, the more time the trucking company has to destroy, lose, or contaminate relevant evidence. In Wisconsin, there are rarely repercussions for spoliation of evidence by a trucking company. To begin with, very few cases go to trial. For the cases that do head to trial, Wisconsin law dictates that the jury is instructed to presume that if evidence was not preserved, it may have been detrimental to the trucking company. If the business lost or destroyed evidence, it is rare for it to be penalized during a case, which means the only party disadvantaged due to spoliation is you. That is why you need a lawyer to preserve evidence and do everything they can to prevent spoliation.
Let Us Investigate Your Accident and Help You
Our truck accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC are proud to serve residents throughout Wisconsin, including in Wisconsin Rapids , Marshfield , Steven’s Point, and Wapaca . We can come to you or we are happy to meet with you at our Plover or Marshfield offices. Whether you live in Wisconsin or are from out of state, whether the accident was in a rural or urban area, you deserve to fight for compensation. You deserve to hold a negligent truck driver or trucking company responsible for the harm they caused. We are here to build a strong personal injury case for you and advocate for the compensation the law entitles you to.
Very few trucking accident claims go to trial. We will gather evidence and build your case so we could confidentially go to trial. This will strengthen our position against the trucking company’s insurer and give us leverage for negotiating the maximum amount of compensation possible.
While we cannot guarantee you a certain outcome to your case or amount of compensation, we have a track record of obtaining beneficial settlements for our clients. For example, we obtained $3,596,360 for a young woman who was rear-ended by a semi near Madison, Wisconsin. We also obtained $1.5 million for a middle-aged woman who was struck by a semi in the early morning in central Wisconsin.