If you’re ever injured in a truck accident, it’s important to know your options.
You will likely have questions about how to file a claim and what to expect from the trucking company’s insurance.
That’s why the experienced team of Madison truck accident attorneys at Boller & Vaughan have put together some answers to frequently asked questions below.
Our truck accident lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of drivers who’ve been injured in an accident.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Wisconsin, please call us at 608-268-0268 for a free consultation with our attorneys.
How often do truck accidents occur in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin averages approximately 7,200 truck-involved crashes in 2018. Of that total number, 72 people were killed and over 2,100 people were injured.
These numbers haven’t changed much since 2013, indicating that truck crashes are, unfortunately, not rare in Wisconsin.
Do truck drivers have to have a special license?
Yes, large truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
To obtain their CDL, they must go through special training and testing. Depending on the truck they are driving and cargo they are carrying, they may be required to hold a special class of CDL which requires further training and testing.
Trucking companies are required to make sure that their drivers have the proper training and licensing before putting them behind the wheel.
What should I do if I was injured in a truck accident?
Immediately following a truck accident in Wisconsin (or anywhere in the United States), there are some general steps you can take to collect evidence and protect your rights.
Move off the road immediately
This keeps you safe from other vehicles on the road and allows you to assess injuries to you and anyone else in the car.
If injured, call for emergency care
Evidence-gathering from the accident can wait.
Contact the police
In accidents involving a large truck, you will likely need to file a police report. Answer all their questions honestly and calmly, and ask for a copy of the police report for your records.
You can also request a report if you were not on the scene when they arrived.
Collect Some Information
Gather names, contact information, and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident, and make sure to take statements and information from those who were eyewitnesses.
Take pics of your vehicle and its damage, the area where the accident occurred, the other vehicle, and any injuries received.
Seek medical attention following the accident.
Make sure you are caring for your injuries properly. Doctor visits create official medical records, which can serve as important evidence if you file a claim for your accident.
Report your accident to your insurance company.
It is important to state events factually and to not let the emotion or stress of the event affect how you report the accident.
Who is held responsible for truck accidents in Wisconsin?
In most accidents involving a commercial truck, the trucking company will be held responsible or partly responsible.
However, there can be other responsible parties depending on the cause of your accident:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck and/or accompanying trailer
- Maintenance personnel
- The vehicle’s maker
- Vehicle parts manufacturers
- Cargo loaders
- … and more
Additionally, there are many factors considered when determining liability, such as negligence, insufficient driver training, defective parts, and more.
It’s important to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to determine what the best course of action is.
It’s also important to note that trucking insurance companies do not want to pay for damages, so you may have to appeal claims.
Should I talk to the truck driver’s insurance company?
Don’t speak to the other driver or their insurance company without talking to a lawyer first. The other party’s insurance company will often try to contact you soon after an accident to discuss your case. They may ask you for a written or recorded statement.
If you agree to do this while you’re recovering from injuries, without the aid of a lawyer, you may agree to a settlement that’s less than what you deserve.
You may also say something that can be used against your claim. For this reason, do not speak to the other insurance company. If needed, you can contact a trucking accident attorney to help navigate this sort of claim communication.
Am I eligible to receive compensation after a truck accident?
If you were hurt in a crash with a semi-truck or other large truck, getting compensation is not as simple as accepting an insurance company settlement offer.
Determining liability and recovering damages for a truck or commercial vehicle accident is often a challenging process that involves thorough evidence-gathering and tough negotiations with multiple insurance companies.
Damages may include but are not limited to, property damage, wages, and medical costs. In the event of death, the family of the deceased may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
However, a trucking accident attorney can help you figure out what damages and compensation you are actually eligible for.
The truck driver was at fault for my accident, but I do not believe he can pay for my injuries and those of everyone else involved. Should I even bother pursuing this case?
In commercial and large truck accident cases, the trucking company can often be held responsible for your accident even when it seems that the truck driver was completely to blame.
This is because many trucking companies agree to be held liable for the negligent behavior of their employees while they are on duty.
Of course, the lawyers of Boller & Vaughan evaluate the merits of each Wisconsin truck accident case individually, and we’ll discuss your legal options with you in detail based on your unique circumstances.
Is there a deadline for filing a truck accident claim?
In Wisconsin, the personal injury statute of limitations is three years. That means you have a three-year deadline from the date of the accident to file a claim with the court.
If more than three years have passed and you attempt to file a claim anyway, the defendant will most likely file a motion to dismiss the case. The court will typically agree with the dismissal.
Contact our Truck Accident Lawyers
An experienced accident attorney can be very helpful following a truck accident. They can help you understand your rights to compensation and help prove your case against larger trucking insurance companies.
They can also negotiate with the other party’s insurance company while you recover.
Your initial consultation is free and we work on a contingent fee basis, which means we only charge you for our services if we help you win compensation.