Injuries from collisions involving trucks and other commercial vehicles can be life-changing. Having an experienced legal team on your side can significantly affect the outcome of your truck accident damages case.
At the law offices of Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, our truck accident lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for our Wisconsin personal injury clients, including $540,000 that was obtained by attorney Mark Sewall, on behalf of a truck driver that was injured in a two-vehicle collision.
For nearly 100 years, our law firm has been providing legal counsel to Wisconsin residents and we welcome the opportunity to help with your potential truck accident lawsuit.
Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about your legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront costs. We only get paid if we obtain compensation through a settlement or court victory.
For help with your claim, call (877) 888-5201.
Recovering Compensation For Your Injuries
Truck accident cases can be complicated and proving negligence is an important component when developing them. There may be multiple parties that are responsible (or partially responsible) for the accident, and an experienced legal team must explore each and every possibility while developing a case.
These may include:
- The truck driver – Driver error is a common cause of truck accidents. The truck driver may be held liable for negligence, and/or for not following proper safety protocols. This may include speeding, driving while intoxicated, driving while fatigued or failing to conduct proper vehicle maintenance.
- The trucking company – The company that hired the truck driver may also be held responsible. Negligent acts may include the company cutting corners regarding safety, setting unrealistic expectations for the driver or failing to complete a vehicle inspection before the driver departed. Truck companies may also be responsible for monitoring how many hours each employed driver is driving each day, along with the training of each driver.
- The owner of the truck – If the trucking company does not own the truck but uses the truck for its driver, the owner of the truck may be held accountable for an accident. Many trucks are operated by independent truck drivers who work as independent contractors. Truck owners are responsible for making sure that all the internal and external workings of a truck are safe and operational.
- The truck manufacturer – If a malfunction in the truck leads to a tire blowout, brake failure or some other type of mechanical issue, the manufacturer of the truck and its parts may also be held liable.
- The maintenance company - Often, truck owners will outsource the maintenance of their vehicles. In the event that a vehicle was not maintained correctly - and an issue from that lack of maintenance contributed to a collision - the company responsible for the maintenance of that vehicle may hold some liability for the incident.
- The cargo or loading company – If improperly loaded or secured cargo causes an accident, the cargo loaders or the cargo loading company may be held accountable. The shipper or loader of the cargo has a responsibility to make sure the cargo is carefully inspected and secured prior to departure from the loading station.
With a proven record of recovering significant amounts of compensation for truck accident clients, our Appleton truck accident attorneys pay close attention to each detail of the incident, so that we can pursue the full amount of compensation you are eligible to receive.
Need help? Call (877) 888-5201.
Handling Inquiries From Insurance Companies
Shortly after an accident, victims are often contacted by insurance company representatives. They may call to offer a settlement in an effort to quickly resolve the claim.
It is very important that you speak to a licensed injury attorney FIRST before accepting any offers from these insurers. Their primary goal is to pay the LEAST amount to settle the claim. Their duty is to the shareholders of the insurance agency they work for, not to the victim in a collision. We have your best interests in mind and can take care of filing any and all insurance claims on your behalf.
The state of Wisconsin has specific - and sometimes mandatory - insurance requirements for various types of commercial vehicles. Some of these include:
- Uninsured motorist
- Non trucking liability insurance
- Primary liability
- General liability
- Bobtail insurance
- Physical damage
- Trailer interchange
- Umbrella policies
... and more.
Many plaintiffs are not aware of these additional policies, which may be eligible to be claimed against. Our truck accident attorneys have detailed knowledge of these requirements and can apply that knowledge to your specific truck accident damages case.
Trucking companies are also required to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance, to cover injuries and damages to other parties when the driver is at fault in a collision or injury-causing incident. The amount of coverage may depend on the type of cargo the truck is transporting across state lines.
- Trucks with non-hazardous cargo weighing less than 10,001 pounds must have at least $300,000
- Trucks with non-hazardous cargo weighing more than 10,001 pounds must have at least $750,000
- Trucks with non-bulk hazardous materials must have at least $500,000 in insurance
- Trucks with bulk hazardous materials must have at least $1,000,000 in insurance
By having an experienced accident lawyer from our law firm on your side, we can help to protect you from the prying phone calls and messages from insurance companies, so that you can focus on recovering and moving forward with your life.
Filing a Claim if The Other Driver Has Limited Insurance
In some instances, an at-fault motorist may have insurance, but not enough insurance to cover the amount being pursued in a lawsuit.
While this may seem to be a challenge, an option may be available where we can file an underinsured coverage claim against your own insurer.
However, there can be certain requirements that need to be met and as each case is unique, we recommend that you contact one of our truck accident lawyers today. We can review the details from your specific collision, and determine how we may be able to help you.
Call us today at (877) 888-5201.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
Being involved in a truck accident can be a harrowing experience and many victims are unsure of what to do next.
There are several steps victims can take following a collision, that may be useful should you decide to pursue a damages lawsuit, including:
- Call 9-1-1 immediately and report the accident to local law enforcement. The officer will assess the situation, fill out an accident report, and instruct you on what steps to take next. Be sure to request a copy of the report to keep for your records and use as evidence should you go to trial for the crash.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, whether you believe you are seriously injured or not. Certain injuries may not become apparent until days or even weeks later. Let a doctor examine your injuries and follow any treatment plan prescribed to try to help improve your chances for obtaining compensation.
- Exchange information with other parties involved in the accident. Be sure to document the driver’s name, address, phone number, license number, insurance company and policy information.
- Check for any witnesses present at or near the scene of the accident. Take down their contact information or collect a witness statement, if possible. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable insight into how the accident occurred and who may be held responsible for the injuries you have suffered.
- Document the accident scene by taking photos or video. Take photographs of the scene, vehicle damage, your injuries and anything else that could be used as evidence to prove liability for the accident. You can also record the level of pain and suffering you are experiencing in an injury journal.
- Be careful about what you say to anyone involved after the accident. Provide only the basic facts and do not admit any wrongdoing or guilt. The other party's insurance company will try to obtain a recorded or written statement, but you should seriously consider declining to make a statement until you have spoken with an attorney.
- Contact an experienced attorney who handles truck accident cases. He or she can conduct a detailed investigation of the accident, determine liability for your injuries, calculate the value of your claim, and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf to work to obtain just and fair compensation.
While this information can often be useful in a truck accident case, at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, we begin compiling this information with our own team shortly after we take on a truck accident case. Our goal is to help you focus on the recovery process while we handle the details of protecting your rights.
Contact Our Legal Professionals Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident, there may be time limits to file your damages claim. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations is commonly three years from the date of the accident. If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations is extended to the minor’s 20th birthday. However, this can vary greatly depending on the details of your specific case.
The Appleton truck accident lawyers at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham have handled many truck accident cases in our nearly 100-year history and established a proven track record of success. Our legal team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff have the knowledge, resources and experience to fully litigate your claim. We offer a free, no-obligation, initial consulation and if we are unable to obtain a recovery for your case, we do not get paid. This means there are no upfront costs or fees.
For help today, call our team at (877) 888-5201.