Truck accidents are commonly the result of negligence by truck drivers and trucking companies. When these parties commit negligent actions and inactions, serious accidents may result, and drivers and passengers may sustain serious injuries.
Whenever a large truck, big rig, or tractor-trailer strikes a much smaller vehicle, it is almost always the occupants of the smaller vehicle who suffer debilitating injuries.
If you or a person you care about recently suffered injuries in a truck accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you are not alone. A truck accident attorney in Baraboo can investigate the cause and circumstances of your accident, draft a settlement letter, and submit a demand package to the insurance company on your behalf.
Your lawyer can also handle all settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives, supporting your case. If the insurance company refuses to take your case seriously and compensate you for your accident-related losses, your lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf in the court system in pursuit of the monetary recovery you deserve.
Throughout the entire process, your lawyer will be in your corner advocating for you at every stage of the proceedings, unlike the insurance companies that are only out for themselves.
Your attorney can answer all your questions, explore all your legal options, and provide you with the necessary information, enabling you to make informed decisions throughout your case.
Why Do Truck Accidents Unfortunately Occur?
Truck accidents typically happen when truck drivers (and, in some cases, the trucking companies that employ these drivers) commit negligent actions and inactions.
One typical example of truck driver negligence that may lead to a truck accident is fatigued driving. Many trucking companies offer employee truck drivers a strong financial incentive to drive fast and arrive at their final destination ahead of schedule. Consequently, drivers frequently drive for hours on end without taking long rest breaks.
When truck drivers become fatigued, they may lose their ability to concentrate on the road, increasing their chances of causing an accident. Similarly, if a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, they will lose total control over their vehicle, potentially bringing about multiple collisions with other vehicles.
Truck accidents may also happen due to distracted driving. Instead of regularly looking into their mirrors and paying attention to their surroundings, some truck drivers may adjust the volume on their stereo, make a phone call without using a hands-free Bluetooth device, text and drive, or look away from the road for some other reason.
When a driver fails to observe the road, they may not see a nearby vehicle or pedestrian, bringing about a severe accident that results in debilitating injuries.
Truck drivers also frequently cause accidents when they drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Although passenger vehicle operators are typically intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent, the legal standard is much higher for commercial vehicle operators, including commercial truck drivers.
The law holds commercial truck drivers to a higher standard because they operate motor vehicles for a living. In addition, the potential consequences of a drunk driving accident are frequently catastrophic and deadly.
When truck drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may lose their ability to concentrate and experience impaired judgment, delayed reflexes, delayed reaction time, poor eyesight, and poor muscular coordination. As a result, they may not see other vehicles in the vicinity or judge the distance between their truck and another car.
Besides that, truck accidents may occur when truckers drive recklessly or carelessly. When truck drivers engage in road rage, such as by speeding, weaving through heavy traffic, cutting off other cars in heavy traffic, or failing to use their turn signals, they significantly increase their chances of causing an accident.
Other standard traffic law violations, such as failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate time, may also bring about a serious accident.
Finally, truck accidents can occur when truck drivers and trucking company employees violate state and federal motor carrier regulations. These regulations aim to promote safe truck driving and prevent cargo from sliding off a truck and onto the road.
Some of the most common motor carrier violations that truck drivers and trucking companies commit involve truckload limits, overhead and undercarriage lighting, properly securing cargo on a truck, and proper loading and unloading procedures for various types of truck cargo.
When a trucking company employee or truck driver fails to follow state or federal motor carrier regulations, the truck may not be visible to other drivers, thereby bringing about a severe accident.
Furthermore, the truck’s center of gravity may become offset, and the truck may become top-heavy, causing it to overturn in the middle of the road, resulting in a series of accidents. Additionally, loose cargo may slide off a truck and into the middle of the road, bringing about a series of separate accidents.
If you suffered injuries in a recent truck accident that resulted from a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, you have legal options that you can consider.
A skilled truck accident attorney near you can put those options on the table and provide you with the information necessary to select the appropriate course of action for your case. Your attorney can handle every step of the claims-filing, settlement, and litigation processes in your case.
Injuries That Result from Truck Crashes
Drivers and passengers may suffer severe injuries in a truck accident that involves a large tractor-trailer, big rig, or 18-wheeler.
The force of a collision from one of these large and heavy vehicles may cause an accident victim’s body to move around abruptly inside their vehicle, leading to severe injuries.
A part of the accident victim’s body might also make contact with a vehicle component, like the door, window, headrest, or steering wheel, causing a bone fracture or traumatic brain injuries.
Other common injuries that victims of truck accidents may suffer include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Eye injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Mouth and teeth injuries
- Rib fractures
- Permanent cognitive impairments
- Spinal cord injuries
- Complete and incomplete paralysis injuries
Upon suffering injuries in a truck accident, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible and continue your medical treatment until a medical provider or facility formally discharges you from care.
By seeking ongoing medical treatment, you show the insurance company that your injuries are severe and that you take your medical treatment seriously. Consequently, the insurance company may offer you favorable compensation to settle your case.
While you focus on getting the medical care you need, your truck accident lawyer can start advocating for your legal interests. Specifically, your attorney may begin gathering police reports, medical records, medical bills, and other documents that are necessary to prove your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Proving the Elements of a Truck Accident Case
The accident victim must prove several legal elements to recover financial compensation in a truck accident claim or lawsuit.
Those elements include:
- That the at-fault truck driver or trucking company owed them a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances, including a duty to follow all applicable traffic laws, as well as state and federal motor carrier regulations
- That the at-fault party breached or deviated from the applicable legal duty of care under the circumstances
- As a result of this breach, the truck accident occurred
- As a result of the at-fault party’s negligence and the resulting accident, the accident victim suffered one or more physical injuries and compensatory damages, including medical expenses and lost earnings
To satisfy this legal burden of proof, your truck accident lawyer can retain one or more experts who can testify as witnesses in your case or draft favorable reports.
For example, an expert accident reconstructionist can investigate the truck accident circumstances and determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
Similarly, a designated medical expert can determine if you suffered a permanent injury in your accident and may causally relate your injury to the accident.
Recoverable Truck Accident Monetary Damages
A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can pursue the total monetary damages you need to become whole again after your accident.
Since the circumstances surrounding every truck accident differ, not all accident victims will receive the same monetary compensation for their injuries.
The total financial settlement award or litigation award that an accident victim recovers typically stems from the circumstances surrounding their accident, the specific injuries they suffered, the medical treatment they underwent because of their injuries, and the total cost of their related medical care.
First, truck accident victims may be in a position to recover compensation for all of their past and anticipated medical costs, including the fees of doctor visits, medical procedures, and physical therapy. Additionally, if they lost income due to their injuries, they can make a claim for lost income or loss of earning capacity.
Similarly, a truck accident victim may pursue compensation for non-economic damages, which compensate accident victims for their intangible losses.
Potential non-economic compensation may include damages for mental distress, loss of spousal consortium, permanent scarring, humiliation, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of the ability to use an injured body part, lost quality of life, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and long-term or lifetime care costs.
Your attorney can determine your eligibility for these various items of monetary compensation and will do everything they can to achieve the highest settlement award possible in your case.
Speak With a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you recently sustained injuries in a local truck accident, time is of the essence in your case. This is because, according to the statute of limitations, truck accident victims must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of their accident date.
Otherwise, the court will prevent them from pursuing and recovering the monetary damages they need.
A qualified truck accident attorney in your area can explore your legal options, file a claim on your behalf, or pursue litigation in the court system.
Your attorney will do everything they can to maximize the total settlement or litigation compensation you receive in your case, allowing you to become whole again to the greatest extent possible while you recover from your injuries.
No matter what the cause of your truck accident, exercise your rights. Protect yourself by getting the proper medical treatment right after the truck accident. Then, seek legal representation to learn your options.
Seek your free case evaluation with a truck accident attorney now.