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Wisconsin Truck Accident Attorney
Big rigs and other large trucks are essential links in the national economy. They are also some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Any collision with a semi, tractor-trailer, cement truck, or fuel truck can result in serious bodily injuries, property damage, and pain. It is no exaggeration to say that many victims’ lives are never the same.
Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC, is an experienced law firm dedicated to helping those injured in truck accidents. If you reach out to us, we can begin reviewing your case in a free consultation. Wisconsin law gives many people the right to bring a legal claim against a truck driver, trucking company, or other entity for financial compensation. Our Wisconsin truck accident attorney can explain more when we meet.
Truck Accident Cases Are Unique
Anyone injured in a crash should hire a lawyer with experience in Wisconsin truck accidents. This is a unique area of law. The industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which sets many regulations for the industry, including:
- Maximum hours (called “hours of service”)
- Requirements regarding drug testing after accidents
- Physical exam requirements for truck drivers
The Administration also has the power to suspend someone’s ability to haul across state lines for various reasons, such as multiple drunk driving arrests. Because the administration is so powerful, it is the regular focus of intense industry lobbying.
FMCSA regulations come into play in many truck accident cases. Your Wisconsin truck accidents injury lawyer should always stay up to date on changes to any regulation and fully grasp how they impact your legal right to financial recovery.
What Causes Most Truck Accidents in Wisconsin?
Many studies have shown that most truck accidents are caused by:
- Aggressive driving
- Driver fatigue
- Chemical impairment
- Failure to observe surroundings
- Cell phone use while driving
- Illegal lane changes
- Brake failure
- Overloading a truck
- Blown tires
Assigning Fault for Your Wisconsin Truck Accident
Truck accidents happen so quickly that it’s often a mystery what happened. Many people wake up in the hospital only to find out their car was totaled in a wreck. One reason to hire a truck accidents lawyer in Wisconsin is to obtain assistance in finding out the cause of the crash.
In our state, you can seek compensation from a person or business that is responsible for the accident (called being “at fault”). We end up suing the following for most wrecks:
- Truckers—negligent truckers drive too fast, make illegal maneuvers, or else they crash due to fatigue or chemical impairments.
- Truck driver’s employer—in Wisconsin, an employer is automatically liable in most cases when one of their employees hurts someone negligently.
- Truck owner—a dangerous truck shouldn’t be put on the road, and the truck’s owner could have liability when the defect leads to the crash.
- Loading companies—the owner of the freight often loads it onto the truck, and they should secure it properly. When they don’t, they might be liable for an accident.
- Mechanics—any mechanic who fails to identify a defect or fixes it improperly could have liability for the crash.
Contact a Wisconsin truck accident attorney at our firm as soon as you can. The trucking company will usually send an investigator to the crash site within an hour or two to begin collecting everything relevant about the wreck. You deserve someone who can collect evidence for you.
Serious Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents cause devastating bodily injuries. These trucks usually weigh several tons and will leave victims with disabling conditions, including:
- Multiple fractures
- Burn injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Chest injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
Can You Seek Compensation?
We have found that our clients struggle with huge out-of-pocket expenses, as well as less tangible losses. Our goal is to make sure you receive fair treatment and as much financial compensation as possible.
Medical Bills. After the wreck, you probably need all kinds of medical care:
- Pain relief and prescription drugs
- Casts for broken bones
- Doctor appointments
- X-rays and other diagnostic tests
- Ambulance transportation
We can seek compensation to cover all past, present, and future medical care to treat injuries caused by the truck collision.
Lost Wages. Painful bodily injuries keep most people out of work, at least for a few weeks. You should receive money to make up for any economic loss like lost wages, lost income, and loss of gig or part-time income.
Property Damage. A big truck like a semi will crunch a smaller vehicle, like a passenger sedan. You should seek compensation to have your car repaired or replaced. Car repair costs have increased recently, so we focus on getting as much compensation as possible to fix damaged property.
Pain and Suffering. Any settlement for a truck accident should include compensation for pain and emotional distress. Truck accidents often force people to stay home for months, unable to socialize with friends or family, with disrupted sleep patterns. Our Wisconsin truck accidents injury lawyers strive to obtain meaningful compensation for your suffering.
Steps to Take After a Crash
We recommend that anyone involved in a crash take the following steps, if at all possible:
- Call the police after the crash. An officer will perform an important investigatory role. They can identify witnesses and speak to the trucker. You should also get a police report about the crash.
- Swap information. If you aren’t crippled with pain, you should swap personal and insurance information with the truck driver.
- Note anything unusual about the trucker. A drunk, high, or fatigued trucker will behave strangely. For example, his eyes might be red rimmed, or he yawns uncontrollably. These facts matter for your case, so make sure to tell your lawyer later.
- Talk to witnesses and ask for a phone number. They can provide critical evidence about how the accident occurred.
- Photograph the accident scene. Our truck accidents lawyers in Wisconsin find it helpful to actually visualize the accident. If you can move around, use your phone to photograph all the vehicles and the accident scene.
- Never give a recorded statement to an insurer. You should hold off until you hire a lawyer of your own.
- Do not accept a settlement without first securing a lawyer’s services. We can look to see if the settlement is fair.
Why You Deserve a Lawyer
Truck accidents are more complex than any other motor vehicle accident. The trucking companies aggressively defend themselves against all insurance claims, and they hire large teams of investigators to work for them. This company will have a tremendous amount of information at their disposal.
You need help uncovering useful evidence for your claim. For example, we can seek to use evidence in the possession of the trucking company. They should have travel logs, electronic data, medical records, and drug tests which might prove useful in a personal injury claim. They also could have failed to perform necessary background checks before hiring a trucker.
We can also submit questions to the trucking company, loading company, trucker, and other parties to answer. These questions help us pin down who is to blame for the crash. Once we have that information, we can negotiate a fair settlement with the correct defendants.
Some trucking companies will defend a case all the way to trial. Our lawyers are familiar with courtrooms in Wisconsin. We will jump in and fight to prove you are not to blame for your own accident.
Trucking companies routinely blame motorists for contributing to an accident. Many legal defenses rest on blaming injured victims for tailgating, cutting off a truck, or lingering in a blind spot. In other cases, they might even blame you for driving while distracted, such as using a cell phone.
Wisconsin Statutes § 895.045 is the state’s comparative negligence law. It states you can receive compensation if you are 50% or less responsible for the crash. If you are more at fault—say 51% or more—then you will not be able to recover any financial compensation.
Further, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. As an example, someone who is 40% at fault will not receive 40% of their damages. This can make a big difference in a case, and our law firm makes sure to argue that your own fault, if any, was trivial.
Call Us Before the Deadline
Any accident victim in Wisconsin needs to file a lawsuit in a timely manner. The statute of limitations, Wisc. Stat. § 893.54 gives you three years to file a suit. If you happen to go over this deadline, then you can lose the ability to sue entirely. That will mean no compensation from the defendant for your injuries—even if they were 100% at fault for the crash.
Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC, stays on top of all upcoming deadlines because we understand the importance of the statute of limitations. We ensure your case is filed in the correct court before any deadline to protect your rights.
Speak with a Truck Accidents Lawyer in Wisconsin for Free!
Our firm is available if you reach out by phone or online. We offer free, no-risk consultations to anyone hurt in a truck collision.
Attorney William SkempMelissa, Source: Avvo
"Mr. Skemp was so thorough in handling my case.
He was literally the junk yard dog I was hoping to hire and fought for me the whole way. Even when I felt like giving in. His staff is so helpful and kind as well. "
Attorney David FitzpatrickGeorge, Source: Google
"If you been denied SSI, call them they will fight for you and pay nothing unless they win."
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Attorney SCOTT BUTLERAbby, Source: Google
"We hired Attorney Scott Butler after a motor vehicle accident. Immediately a weight was lifted off our shoulders, as he handled everything with the insurance companies, medical paperwork, etc so that we could focus on healing and getting on with life. He is highly attentive, kind and genuine. His communication is fabulous-frequently reaching out just to check on us, prompt in returning calls/emails. Couldn't have had a better experience with our case. My family would highly recommend Scott Butler to anyone."