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Milwaukee Truck Accident Lawyer – Attorneys

Truck accident and semi truck accident cases start with the same rules of the road that apply to automobile accident cases. Truck drivers must yield the right of way under specified circumstances, operate at a reasonable and prudent speed, and maintain control of their vehicles. These “rules of the road” are spelled out in Chapter 346 of the Wisconsin Statutes and our team of Milwaukee truck accident attorneys are well versed in the outlined rights and laws.

Why Should You Hire A Lawyer After A Truck Accident?

Truck accidents happen all the time and result in personal injuries or wrongful death claims. However, it would be mistaken to think that they are always easy to resolve. In addition to the “rules of the road,” the truck accident attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser understand the special duties imposed on commercial and public carriers, as well as the complex scientific and engineering principles often necessary to unravel just how an accident occurred and who was at fault. We are Milwaukee’s truck accident lawyers and we have the knowledge and ability to properly evaluate your injuries, as well as the economic and accounting rules needed to evaluate your damages.

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Table of Contents

Types of Truck Accidents

Sideswipe truck accident

Sideswipe Collisions

sideswipe truck accident, also known as a lane departure crash, occurs when the driver coasts into the adjacent lane, hitting another vehicle going in the same direction. Common causes of these accidents are:

  • A failure to check blind spots
  • A failure to signal a lane change
  • Distractions
  • Hydroplaning
Rear end truck accident

Rear Impact Collision

A rear-end truck accident occurs when a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it, often pushing the vehicle into yet another vehicle. Common causes of these accidents are:

  • Tailgating
  • Panic stops
  • Distractions
  • Lack of traction
Head-on truck accident

Head-On Collision

A head-on truck accident is one of the more dangerous types of crashes, especially when the vehicles involved have such a drastic difference in size. Typically these collisions occur when a truck strays out of its lane and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Common causes of these accidents are:

  • Distractions
  • Loss of control
Left turn truck accident

Left-Turn Collision

Left-turn truck accidents occur when a vehicle makes a left turn at an intersection into oncoming traffic, often resulting in a t-bone crash. A driver making a left-hand turn only has the right of way if they are acting on a left-turn arrow. Common causes of these accidents are:

  • Misjudgment of speed
  • Misjudgment of the distance between vehicles
  • Obstructed view
Failure to Yield Collision

Failure to Yield Collision

Wisconsin law clearly states the rules of the road and when to yield the right of way. A failure to yield commonly occurs at intersections and can cause a number of different accidents, such as head-on collisions and t-boning. Common causes of these accidents are:

  • Distractions
  • Malfunctioning traffic lights
  • Aggressive driving
Jackknife truck accident

Jackknife Collision

Jackknife truck accidents occur when a cab skids in one direction while its trailer goes in another, forming a 90-degree angle. A jackknifed tractor-trailer can often hit many vehicles across multiple lanes as it loses control. Common causes of these accidents are:

  • Bad brakes
  • Speeding paired with sudden stops
  • Road conditions
  • Driver inexperience
right-turn

Wide Right Turn Collision

Wide right turn truck accidents occur when there is not enough space between a truck and a car. When the truck makes a right turn, their cab then hits a car in the adjacent lane. Common causes of these accidents include:

  • Driver not starting far enough to the left to make the turn
  • Unchecked blind spots
  • No turn signal
cargo

Improperly Loaded Cargo Collision

Cargo that has been improperly loaded and secured in the cab of a truck can shift the weight moving around inside the cab, which can cause the tractor to sway or even spill its contents. Even if the contents themselves don't cause damage, it can influence drivers to swerve in their lane, possibly off the road or into other cars. A common cause of these accidents includes mishandling and loading the cardo incorrectly by the truck loaders.

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Why Truck Accident Laws Are So Complex

Because the trucking industry is heavily regulated, truck accident law is significantly more complex. Frequently, an action can be brought against both the driver, the driver’s employer (the trucking firm), and the insurance company. Therefore, you need a truck accident lawyer who has the experience and specialized knowledge to lead the investigation into the cause of the truck accident and to help you collect the maximum amount allowed under the law. We have extensive experience in representing the victims of accidents involving trucks. Our years of practice have resulted in our access to innumerable experts in a variety of specialty areas related to trucking and transportation litigation. This access and expertise enhances our ability to maximize a recovery for our clients.

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Liability in Truck Accident Cases

Our truck accident and semi truck accident attorneys in Milwaukee will explain that truck accident cases are similar to other personal injury cases, starting with the question of of liability:

  • Who is at fault, and are they entirely responsible for the truck accident?
  • Are there any other people responsible for the truck accident?
  • Is the person claiming injury partially responsible for the truck accident?

Also similar to other personal injury cases, truck accident cases involve issues of damages. The ultimate damage issue in a truck accident case, like any personal injury case is: what is fair and reasonable compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the truck accident? Each Milwaukee truck accident attorney at Murphy & Prachthauser has the answers for you.

Trucking Is Highly Regulated

The transportation industry is governed by a complicated set of laws enacted by both the state and federal government.

  • The laws set limits on driving time for truck drivers
  • Mandate certain rest periods
  • Requires inspections and vehicle maintenance
  • Imposes strict documentation rules

The laws and rules specify what is necessary for driver’s qualifications, including their training, and their physical ability to drive. The rules also specify minimum equipment requirements for operation of these vehicles on the public roads.

Understand A Personal Injury Case From Start to Finish

Understanding Fault and Liability in Truck Accident Cases

The liability issues are commonly decided with reference to the “rules of the road,” which are statutory rules enacted by the legislature and contained in Wisconsin Statute Chapter 346. That statute sets forth a driver’s duties in broad terms and requires drivers to operate at a reasonable and prudent speed, to yield the right of way under certain circumstances, and to maintain their vehicle under control. There are numerous duties set forth in this statute, and a truck driver who violates these rules and is in an accident is considered negligent. In addition to the statutory rules, all truck drivers have a duty to act with “ordinary care.”

Our Milwaukee truck accident attorneys will explain that something called the “common law” requires each person to act with the care which a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances. A person is negligent when, without intending to do harm, does something or fails to do something that a reasonable person would recognize as creating an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to another.

Our truck accident attorneys understand that in an truck accident case, there is often more than one party who is responsible:

  • Sometimes the injured person is partially to blame.
  • All drivers have a responsibility to comply with the rules of the road and must comply with the rule of “ordinary care.”
  • If more than one person is negligent in causing a truck accident, a jury is asked to compare the negligence of everyone responsible for causing the accident.

If a person suffers injury in a truck accident as a result of the negligence of a truck driver, he or she is entitled to make a claim for damages. The categories of damages include wage or earnings losses, medical, hospital and related expenses, and pain, suffering and disability. A spouse, child or parent of an injured person may have what is called a ”derivative claim,” sometimes known as a loss of consortium claim, or even a claim for their emotional distress if they witnessed the event. A truck and auto accident lawyer with Murphy & Prachthauser will explain that these claims are highly fact dependant, and you should consult an experienced truck accident attorney for more details. Our attorneys understand that if aggravating circumstances exist on liability, for example, if the other driver was intoxicated, there may be a punitive damage claim. The law is developing in this area, but texting while driving may be another area for damages which are designed to punish the offender: punitive damages.

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Common Causes of Truck Accidents

According to the United States Department of Transportation, there are 500,000 estimated truck accidents every year.

The most common causes of truck accidents are:

  • Non-commercial driver error
  • Poor vehicle maintenance, including improper cargo loading
  • Equipment failure
  • Weather
  • Truck driver error, including truck driver fatigue, unrealistic schedules
  • Inclement weather

As with any type of accident, a lawyer can review the details of your case and determine the presence of negligence, liability and fault. As your team of lawyers, we will work hard on your behalf to help determine the merit of your case and help you recover the compensation you may deserve.

What Should You Do After A Truck Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, there are certain steps you should take immediately. Take a look below at our overview of what to do after a truck accident:

Take down insurance and contact information.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Make and model of their vehicle
  • License plate
  • If possible, get witness names and contact information

Get medical help. Call an ambulance in case of injury, and always call the police if estimated damages exceed $1,000 dollars.

Take photos of the accident scene. Make sure you get photos of the truck involved in the accident as well as your own vehicle.

Call a lawyer right away. Even if you don’t think you need legal representation, it is important to call a truck accident attorney right away. An attorney can help you obtain police reports, obtain traffic cam footage (which is often deleted every 72 hours) and they can also help you manage medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

Notify your insurance company. You may not need to make a claim against your own insurance company, but you should still provide notice of an accident.

Don’t post about your accident on social media. Wait until you talk to your attorney before posting anything on social media. Anything you post can be found by insurance companies and used against your insurance claim and potential settlement.

Don’t settle. You are not required to settle your case unless you feel it is the right choice. It is important to find a lawyer who doesn’t just settle every case as fast as possible. In fact, it’s best to have a legal team that is willing and able to take your case to court and win. Preparing every case like it is going to trial means your legal team is behind you 100 percent, not just hoping to settle your case and move on to the next. 

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Understanding Your Legal Rights

Truck accidents happen almost every day. Many result in severe personal injuries and death. Our Milwaukee truck accident attorneys know that truck accident victims and their families confront a variety of questions:

  • Who is paying for the doctor bills from this truck accident?
  • Who pays for the damage to my car following a truck accident?
  • Will I be reimbursed if I rent a car?
  • Will I be compensated for the time I miss from work due to this truck accident?

Every truck accident attorney at Murphy & Prachthauser has decades of experience handling truck accident cases. Call one of our Milwaukee area truck accident attorneys if you want answers to your questions. Each attorney at Murphy & Prachthauser is happy to take the time to talk to you about your case, explain the process, and answer your questions about your truck accident case. There is no charge for a phone or in-person meeting with one of our truck accident attorneys.

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Additional Truck Accident Resources:

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