Wisconsin Truck Accident Attorneys
While commercial trucks perform the critical task of transporting goods across the U.S., they can also cause horrible accidents that result in severe injuries and the tragic loss of lives. Not only are there more inexperienced truckers on the road than ever before, but trucking companies will also often place unreasonable schedules on drivers, who feel they need to drive while exhausted to keep their jobs.
A Penn Kestner & McEwen attorney will be here if you suffered a severe injury or the loss of a loved one due to negligence on the part of a truck driver or trucking company. You can learn more about how we can help by using our online contact form or calling (800) 732-3070 for a free review of your case.
Wisconsin Truck Accident Statistics
Like all states, Wisconsin has its fair share of accidents involving commercial trucks. From 2015-2020, an average of 70 people lost their lives in truck accidents, and another 2,046 suffered injuries, with 219 classified as severe.
Trucking Regulations in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has several trucking regulations in place that could lead to the suspension of the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) if a truck driver violates them.
For example, truckers can’t use hand-held mobile devices when behind the wheel. If caught texting while driving twice within three years, they could lose their CDL for 60 days. The penalty for three or more texting while driving offenses within three years is 120 days. Drivers could also face fines of as much as $2,750.
Other violations that can lead to suspension of a CDL include:
- Reckless driving
- Passing illegally
- Improper or erratic lane changes
- Following too closely
Drivers cited for committing these offenses two times within three years face a 60-day CDL suspension and a 120-suspension for three offenses within three years.
Common Causes of Wisconsin Truck Accidents
There are many reasons that truck accidents occur, of course, and the following are just a few of the more common ones.
- Fatigued drivers – Truck drivers will often stay behind the wheel past the point of exhaustion, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Lack of maintenance – The companies that own trucks will sometimes cut corners to maximize profits. They’ll ignore critical maintenance, such as checking a truck’s tires or fixing the brakes.
- Severe weather – Snow, ice and heavy rain can make operating a commercial truck even more dangerous.
- Aggressive driving – Whenever a truck driver engages in behaviors such as tailgating or speeding, that puts every other motorist on the road at risk.
- Lack of training – Trucking companies often hire unqualified people to drive their rigs, leading to terrible accidents.
- Driving while distracted – Like all other drivers on the road, truckers can be distracted by smartphones and other devices.
Associated Injuries and Their Costs
The costs of a severe injury resulting from a truck accident are often astronomical, including the following:
Even a supposed “minor” injury, such as a broken bone, can quickly get very expensive. If a victim has a break that doesn’t require surgery, they typically pay at least $2,500 – often more. If they do need surgery, the cost could be $16,000 or higher.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Damage to the spinal cord can be so severe that it leads to paralysis. Treatment can run anywhere from about $350,000 to $1 million in just the first year. Costs will typically run between $42,000 and $184,000 in subsequent years, depending on the type of paralysis the victim suffers.
Traumatic Brain Injury
When a truck accident victim suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), they will often not be able to perform the daily tasks that most people take for granted. The cost of treating a severe TBI can reach as much as $3 million over the victim’s lifetime.
How a Truck Accident Can Change Your Life
A truck accident can have a profound and lasting impact on a person’s life. The physical, emotional, and financial consequences can be devastating, and the recovery process can be long and difficult.
Physical injuries from a truck accident can range from minor bruises to severe and life-threatening injuries such as spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and amputations. These injuries can result in a lifetime of physical limitations and chronic pain.
The emotional toll can be just as devastating as physical injuries. Many experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the traumatic event. The emotional and psychological effects can also significantly impact personal relationships and daily life.
The financial consequences can also be catastrophic, especially if the victim can’t earn a living due to their injuries. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and other expenses can quickly add up and cause financial strain.
Steps to Take After an Accident Occurs
Taking the following steps can not only protect your health, but it can also help protect your case.
- Get medical help – Call 911 immediately to summon medical help for you and anyone else involved in the accident.
- Talk to the police – The 911 dispatcher will send police as well as emergency medical personnel. Tell the officer what happened as best you can. However, don’t say anything the officer could construe as you accepting responsibility.
- Take pictures – While pictures of the accident scene can greatly help your case, only take them if your physical condition allows and if you’re entirely sure it’s safe to do so.
- Talk to a lawyer – Once you’re in a safe place, call a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. You’ll need to do this quickly so your attorney can investigate the accident while the evidence is still fresh.
- Keep all your bills – Don’t throw away any documentation of your medical expenses. This documentation will help prove some of your accident-related financial losses.
Why Hire Penn Kestner & McEwen?
A Wisconsin truck accident attorney with Penn Kestner & McEwen will have the resources, experience, and skills needed to give you your best chance of obtaining maximum compensation. Contact us online or call (800) 732-3070 for a free consultation.