Madison Truck Accidents

Anyone who has been involved in a truck accident has probably seen their life flash before their eyes. These imposing vehicles can weigh up to 20 times as much as the average passenger car and are capable of causing life-altering injuries and unimaginable damage.

Many people who are struck by an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, big rig, or some other type of commercial truck sustain fatal injuries. Those who survive could suffer an aftermath of excruciating pain and emotional trauma. The sudden upheaval in their lives may also include financial stress due to mountains of medical bills and missed time at work.

While these shocking consequences cause many truck accident victims to despair, it is vital to remember that you may be eligible for compensation for your injury-related losses. With the help of an experienced Madison truck accident lawyer from LawtonCates, you can hold the at-fault party accountable for their wrongdoing.

At LawtonCates, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys can maximize your chances of success in your truck accident claim. We’ve been in practice since 1958, and we’ve successfully handled many truck accident cases over the years. Contact us today for a free case review to learn more about how a truck accident lawyer in Madison can help you.

Why You Should Hire a Madison, WI, Attorney for Your Truck Accident Claim

The vast majority of truck accident injury cases settle out-of-court. For this reason, many people believe they can handle their claims themselves. However, the claims process is confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating if you’ve never been through it before.

One of the most significant obstacles to successfully recovering truck accident compensation is the insurance adjuster. Insurance companies are for-profit entities that employ insurance companies to protect their bottom line. Insurance adjusters use a broad range of tactics to delay payouts, minimize compensation, and pin the blame on victims to avoid paying them anything.

But an experienced Madison truck accident attorney from LawtonCates will be well-versed in insurance adjusters’ ploys. Our legal team knows how to use aggressive negotiation skills to fight for the settlement you deserve.

Another challenge for claimants without lawyers is that they tend to undervalue their losses. Insurance adjusters often take advantage of this tendency by offering a quick, lowball settlement. While these offers can initially seem generous, they are almost never sufficient to cover the losses an accident victim has sustained.

When you turn to a skilled semi-truck accident attorney from LawtonCates, they will:

  • Thoroughly analyze your expenses and losses;
  • Compare your case with similar ones in the past; and
  • Consult with medical and economic experts to determine the total value of your claim.

Finally, Wisconsin personal injury law is complex. A knowledgeable attorney can help you avoid pitfalls, file all necessary paperwork accurately and punctually, and advocate for you in court if necessary. With a dedicated legal professional from LawtonCates on your side, you can focus on healing.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Taking the following steps can help maximize your compensation in your Wisconsin big rig truck accident case:

  • Seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not believe you have injuries.
  • Follow your medical professional’s advice regarding treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Maintain all medical records and hospital bills to prove the extent of your injuries and their related expenses.
  • Keep all correspondence regarding lost income, such as payslips and correspondence with your human resources department.
  • Avoid posting on social media or making public statements about the accident, as the other side can use your comments against you.
  • Contact LawtonCates a reputable Madison truck accident law firm, as soon as possible and let them handle all communications with the insurance company.

How Come Trucking Accidents Are More Complicated Than Other Motor Vehicle Collisions?

While all motor vehicle accidents have the potential to cause severe injuries and upend lives, commercial truck accidents can be particularly destructive. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, large truck crashes result in an annual average of 73 fatalities and 1,748 injuries.

Due to the size disparity between commercial trucks and other vehicles, the occupants of a passenger car experience a tremendous force of impact in these crashes, which can result in catastrophic and life-threatening injuries.

Further, the following aspects of trucks contribute to their increased level of complexity when compared to other car accidents:

  • Handling – Operating a semi-truck is complicated and requires specialized training. Small mistakes when driving a truck can lead to significant adverse consequences.
  • Cargo – Imbalanced or improperly loaded cargo can make the handling and movements of a truck even more unpredictable, leading to jackknife and rollover accidents.
  • Braking Time – Trucks require much greater stopping distances than smaller vehicles due to their size and weight. Road hazards and inclement weather conditions require additional attention to avoid catastrophic accidents.
  • Fatigue – Many truck accidents occur due to trucker fatigue. Trucking companies often pressure employees to ignore federal Hours of Service regulations to save time and increase revenue.
  • Blind Spots – Large blind spots around trucks make collisions with unsuspecting motorists more likely.

When filing a truck accident claim, working with an attorney with extensive experience investigating these factors and holding trucking companies accountable is vital.

Who Could Be Liable for a Trucking Wreck in Wisconsin?

Determining liability in trucking accidents can be complex, as multiple parties often may share fault. These include:

  • The truck driver, for reckless or distracted driving, intoxication, speeding, etc.
  • The trucking company, for inadequate driver screening, training, or vehicle maintenance, or for pressuring drivers to violate regulations
  • Manufacturers of defective truck parts that malfunctioned and caused an accident
  • Government entities, for poor road design, construction, signage, or maintenance

An experienced attorney from LawtonCates will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all potentially liable parties and build the strongest case for your claim.

What Compensation Could You Recover in a Truck Accident Claim?

Depending on the nature of the accident and your injuries, you may be eligible to recover compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income due to missed time at work
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death for those who have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident

Consult an experienced Madison truck accident lawyer at LawtonCates to learn how much your case might be worth.

What Happens if You’re Partly to Blame for a Trucking Accident?

Wisconsin has a comparative negligence law. That means you can recover compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident as long as you bear less fault than the other parties involved. However, the amount you recover will be reduced proportionately by your percentage of fault.

Insurance adjusters like to use comparative negligence to reduce the compensation they owe you. But a seasoned lawyer from LawtonCates can build a case arguing that the other parties were entirely or overwhelmingly to blame for your losses.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin’s personal injury statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. In general, you have three years from the date of the crash to file a truck accident lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you miss the deadline, you may be barred from pursuing compensation in court. It’s best to contact an attorney at LawtonCates to find out the filing date specific to your case and to get your lawsuit started.

What Is Considered a Truck in Wisconsin?

According to Wisconsin law, a truck is a large commercial vehicle with a registered weight of over 26,000 pounds or a vehicle that tows another vehicle with a registered weight of 10,000 pounds or less.

Common Types of Commercial, Big Rig, and Semi-Truck Accidents in Wisconsin

Due to their large size and unique handling challenges, trucks are prone to certain types of accidents, including:

  • Rollover – Top-heavy loading and high centers of gravity increase the risk of rollovers on curves or during evasive maneuvers.
  • Jackknife – Sudden braking can cause a tractor-trailer to fold and jackknife dangerously across roadways.
  • Underride – When a car slides under a truck, the smaller vehicle’s passengers can be catastrophically injured.
  • Wide Turns – Trucks require extra space when turning. The chances of sideswiping other vehicles increase when they turn from one road onto another.
  • Load Shifts – Unbalanced or unrestrained cargo can cause handling difficulties and tip-overs.
  • Fires – Flammable cargo and mechanical issues elevate the odds of catastrophic truck fires.
  • Backing Up – Limited rear visibility makes reversing trucks prone to backing collisions.

What Injuries Can Someone Sustain in a Truck Accident?

Some of the adverse health effects people experience due to truck accidents include:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries – The immense force of a truck collision can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in partial or total paralysis. This may require extensive rehabilitation and assistive equipment for the rest of the victim’s life.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries – Head trauma from striking interior surfaces or being jostled violently can lead to concussions, bleeding in the brain, and permanent cognitive deficits.
  • Internal Organ Damage – Internal bleeding, organ rupture or failure, collapsed lungs, and other severe internal injuries frequently require complex surgeries and can be fatal if not treated promptly.
  • Orthopedic Injuries – Fractures, crushed bones, amputations, and torn ligaments are common in high-impact truck crashes. These lead to excruciating pain and may never properly heal.
  • Psychological Trauma – Many accident survivors experience PTSD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia long after their physical wounds have healed. Extensive counseling is often necessary.

Contact a Madison Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Madison, contact the attorneys at LawtonCates today. Our compassionate and experienced legal team will fight for the maximum compensation available in your claim. Call us today or contact us online for a free case review to learn more about how we can help you.