If you have been injured in a truck accident it is very likely you have been severely injured. Know that claims against trucking companies and their insurers are very difficult. Not every lawyer can handle these claims.
This is because trucking companies and their insurance companies are sophisticated and ruthless in defending against claims brought by accident victims. The employ these tactics because the stakes are so high.
The trucking company's insurance attorney's job is to defend the money. That's all they care about. They don't care about you or your family. They just care about defending the company's money and giving you as little as possible for your injuries.
Above all, we know your case is not just a case. It's your life.
How Lawton Cates Can Help You
As your Wisconsin truck accident attorneys at Lawton Cates, our job is to get as much of the trucking company's money and as much of their insurer's money in your pocket as we possibly can. Our personal injury attorneys specialize in trucking accident cases. We have tried these cases to juries. Our proven track record of success reflects our expertise.
Above all, know that you can't win the most money in a trucking accident case by using a cookie cutter approach from a mass marketing law firm. You need skilled, tenacious lawyers on your side, primed to go all the way to trial and beyond to fight for the all of the money you deserve.
Unlike the impersonal, mass marketing corporate law firms (many of whom don't even practice in this state) our personal injury attorneys live and work in Wisconsin. We'll give you and your case the personalized attention you deserve. When you call your truck accident lawyer at Lawton Cates, you'll talk to your lawyer.
How Common Are Large Truck Accidents?
Wisconsin is home to several major trucking interstates and highways, including I-94, I-43, and I-90. With thousands of trucks transporting goods and products throughout the state every day, it is no surprise that these vehicles are frequently involved in serious accidents.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT):
- There were 5,921 large truck accidents in the state in 2020
- 61 people died and 182 suffered serious injuries in truck accidents in 2020
- In total, truck accidents in 2020 resulted in 1,469 injuries
- On average, there are more than 7,500 large truck accidents in Wisconsin every year (based on a five-year average from 2015 through 2019)
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Large truck accidents are alarmingly common in Wisconsin—but what causes these collisions? There are many factors involved in these accidents, some of which can be attributed to the truck driver and others that involve third-party negligence.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver error or negligence
- Speeding, including driving too fast for conditions
- Distracted driving, such as using a cellphone or GPS device
- Operating while intoxicated, or drunk/drugged driving
- Traffic law violations
- Hours-of-service regulation violations
- Failure to uphold or follow safety standards and protocols
- Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo
- Inadequate truck maintenance or failure to perform truck maintenance
- Insufficient or incomplete truck repairs
- Defective trucks and truck parts, such as tires or brakes
- Negligent hiring or supervising practices
- Failure to conduct background checks on truck drivers
- Failure to properly train new drivers or other employees
- Dispatch errors or negligence
- Poor weather or road conditions, including defective roadways
Because Wisconsin follows a fault-based system, it is important that we identify the exact cause of your accident. This allows our attorneys to pinpoint the liable party or parties and bring the appropriate action against them.
How Is Liability Determined in Truck Accident Cases?
Cases involving large truck collisions tend to be much more complex than standard motor vehicle accident claims for many reasons, but the most important of these is the issue of liability. In a standard car or motorcycle accident claim, the person or party who caused the accident is typically the one who is also liable for the injured party’s damages. However, this is not always the case in truck accident claims.
Because truck drivers are operating their vehicles within the scope of their employment, their employers (the trucking companies) are often liable when they cause accidents with other motorists. This is because employers are generally considered liable for the conduct of their employees when those employees are actively carrying out activities or duties on behalf of the employer.
However, this only applies when the truck driver is classified as an employee; employers are not generally liable for the conduct of “independent contractors.” To complicate matters even further, neither the truck driver nor the trucking company may be liable. Sometimes, large truck accidents are the result of third-party negligence. One common example is accidents caused by defective truck parts.
Say a crash occurs when a truck driver attempts to brake for slowed traffic, but the truck’s braking system fails. If it is found that the braking system was defective, the manufacturer responsible for developing or installing the braking system could be liable.
Comparative Negligence in Wisconsin Truck Accidents
In some cases, multiple parties are to blame. In such instances, Wisconsin’s rule of modified comparative negligence typically comes into play. As long as you can prove that you were not more than 50% to blame for the accident, you can file a claim for compensation.
If you are found to share some of the fault, however, the amount you are seeking will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. So, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the collision, you could only recover 70% of the total amount you are seeking in damages.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
Although it is always important to talk to an experienced Wisconsin truck accident attorney after an accident, this is especially true when the accident involved an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, or another large commercial vehicle. Trucking companies and their insurance providers tend to aggressively dispute liability claims. They have teams of lawyers working for them; you should also have a team of experienced and proven legal professionals in your corner.
A Wisconsin truck accident lawyer can help you by:
- Expertise in Truck Accident Laws
- Investigating and Gathering Evidence
- Determining Liability
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies
- Calculating Damages
- Representing You in Court
- Giving You Peace of Mind
Put 60+ Years of Experience on Your Side
When you choose Lawton Cates, our Wisconsin truck accident attorneys will handle every legal detail, allowing you to focus on getting the care you need to heal. We can ensure that you understand your rights and will provide personalized, one-on-one attention and communication throughout the process.
We are compassionate when it comes to helping our clients navigate the legal system and aggressive when it comes to advocating for the maximum compensation they are owed.
There are no legal fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you. Our team is available to answer your questions and address your concerns, and we offer same-day and weekend appointments by request.
"Terry took the time to comfortably explain all and discuss options and decision-making that could be done along the way with clear pros and cons and asking me how I’d like to proceed."Jim R.
Compassionate, thorough, & made it easy to understand what’s going on.Riley G.
Lawton & Cates has been the most supportive and helpful!Rachel
"Everyone was so very kind to me... We were all made to feel welcome, made to feel supported, and made to feel like we belong there. That was very important to me since I was pretty stressed out a lot of the time."Susie