Were you involved in a Wauwatosa truck accident? You are not alone. According to Forbes, trucks were involved in 476,000 of the six million crashes that took place in 2014, and they continue to be involved in a disproportionate number (based on the number of trucks on the road) of crashes that involve serious injuries and fatalities. Semi-trucks carrying a heavy shipment can weigh around twenty times what an average car weighs. The sheer difference in size means anyone involved in a collision with a truck can sustain serious injuries and property damage. Legal claims involving more extensive damages can quickly become complex and insurance companies will do their best to protect themselves financially. Before you get involved in a long battle with insurance companies, consult with an experienced Wauwatosa truck accident attorney.
Who Was At Fault?
One of our top priorities is quickly and accurately determining the cause of the collision and appropriating fault. There are many things that can go wrong on a large semi truck, from faulty brakes to improperly loaded cargo. However, the most common cause of serious truck accidents is driver error.
- Driver Error includes the following:
- Speeding, including taking a turn too fast;
- Aggressive or reckless driving,
- Driving while intoxicated or with drugs in the system;
- Drowsy or fatigued driving, which is common among truck drivers who are completing cross country trips with little sleep in order to meet deadlines; and
- Careless driving, including any type of cell phone use, watching TV or movies, eating, drinking, talking to another person, reaching for something, adjusting the radio, etc.
- Negligent Handling of Cargo includes the following:
- Overloaded semi-truck, which can cause sluggish steering, increased chance of rollover, or loss of brakes;
- Improper restraint of cargo (such as not properly tying or strapping down cargo), which can fall off the truck or fall inside and throw off the weight distribution; and
- Leaking of liquid transport goods, such as fuel.
- Faulty Mechanics, Poor Upkeep, or Equipment Failure includes the following:
- Loss of brakes;
- Defective steering;
- Defective turn signals or other lights;
- Transmission failure;
- Tire blow out;
- Trailer attachment failure; and
- Cracked or dirty windshield leading to poor operator visibility.
Our truck accident attorneys work closely with investigators and expert witnesses to get to the bottom of the crash’s cause. And based on the cause of the crash, we will be able to accurately place blame and seek damages from the negligent party. If the crash was caused by fatigue, the driver will be held accountable, and therefore the trucking company. If the cause of the crash was due to improperly loaded cargo, we may pursue the party responsible for loading. And, if a catastrophic tire blow out was the cause, we may direct our attention to the company that produced the faulty tire. Luckily, because most truck drivers and trucking companies are well insured, there will most likely be a large policy maximum that we can pursue, regardless of the party at fault.
Aggressive Driving? Truck Drivers Themselves Rarely Get Seriously Injured or Killed
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that in only 16 percent of cases of fatal truck collisions in 2015 was the occupant of the truck a casualty. Sixty-nine percent of those killed were occupants of passenger vehicles and 15 percent were bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. The sheer size of a semi-truck invokes a sense of invincibility among some truck drivers, who use that power to intimidate other road users. Aggressive truck driving is a serious problem, and one that needs to be addressed by an experienced attorney when it leads to serious injuries or fatality.
Drowsy Driving is a Serious Problem in the Trucking Business
Drowsy driving accounts for a very large percentage of truck collisions that end up injuring others. Truck drivers spend long, mindless hours on the road, day after day, with little sleep. Despite more strict rules and regulations regarding the maximum hours a truck driver can spend on the road per day, drowsy truck driving is still killing thousands of Americans each year. Federal rules mandate that a truck driver can only drive 11 hours in a 24-hour period, with a mandatory 30-minute break, and only 70 hours per week, with a mandatory 34-hour rest period in between this maximum work week, according to the New York Times. Yet, truck drivers routinely break these regulations. If you were injured by a fatigued driver, they must be held accountable.
Call the Wauwatosa Truck Accident Attorneys of the Groth Law Firm Today
At Groth Law Firm, our attorneys understand what to look for when investigating a truck accident and how to present a claim to an insurance company, and are capable of taking your case to the courtroom if necessary. Call us today for assistance.