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Appleton, WI truck collision attorneyThe injuries sustained during a collision with a semi-truck are often quite serious due to the large size and weight of commercial vehicles. Trucks tend to have increased stopping distances and more blind spots than the typical car. Although many circumstances can contribute to a truck accident, such as distracted driving or poor weather conditions, a lack of truck maintenance can contribute to serious truck accidents. If you have been in a crash involving a truck, it is not uncommon to experience severe physical injuries and emotional pain and suffering, as well as major damage to your vehicle. In these cases, you should speak to a personal injury attorney to determine your options for filing a claim for compensation.

Why Lack of Maintenance Leads to Accidents

Truck drivers, especially those who drive long distances, spend their entire working day driving. This high level of use can lead the many parts of a commercial truck to break down much more quickly than they would in passenger vehicles. Because of this, trucks must have regular inspections to monitor for signs of wear and tear, and routine maintenance should be performed to address these issues before they become a threat to the safety of people on the road.

There are certain truck parts that are more at risk for wear and tear, and problems with these parts can directly lead to a collision on the roads. The truck parts most in need of regular maintenance include:

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Green Bay, WI trucking accident attorneyWhen a passenger vehicle is involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler truck, the crash and the resulting aftermath can be catastrophic. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for 2017, approximately 121, 000 trucks and large buses were involved in crashes that resulted in serious injuries. Due to the heavy loads and long stopping times of semi-trailer trucks, their drivers must take a great deal of care to operate these vehicles safely. Negligence by truck drivers can lead to deadly accidents, and drivers and passengers of other vehicles are likely to be seriously injured or killed in these types of collisions. If you or a loved one have sustained a serious injury as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, you should consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine how you can hold the liable party or parties responsible.

Truck Driver Negligence

Most car accidents are caused by the negligence of at least one of the drivers, and that is true of truck accidents as well. Truck driver negligence comes in many forms, including:

  • Lack of attention to the road (e.g., texting or reading a map)
  • Truck driver fatigue (e.g., failing to stop and rest after driving for a certain number of hours)
  • Speeding 
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Failing to keep up with truck maintenance 
  • Knowingly driving an overloaded or poorly maintained truck
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving with an unmanaged medical condition

As with any car accident, a truck accident victim should document as much as possible after a collision. This includes photographic evidence, eye witness statements, and detailed logs of the victim’s physical symptoms and the medical treatment received. 

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Green Bay, WI inadequate truck maintenance attorneyTractor-trailer trucks are massive vehicles, dwarfing the passenger cars and trucks that most people use in their daily lives. The size and weight of commercial trucks makes them incredibly dangerous, and those who are involved in a truck accident are likely to be seriously injured or killed. Because of this, truck drivers and trucking companies are required to take steps to protect the safety of the public. However, one way they may fail to do so is by failing to perform proper maintenance on a truck.

The Dangers of Inadequate Maintenance

Semi-trailer trucks should be regularly inspected, and scheduled maintenance should be performed to ensure a truck is operating safely. In addition, truck drivers should inspect their vehicles before and after trips and address any issues they discover. Truck accidents can occur if the following types of maintenance are not performed:

  • Brakes - The air brakes used by semi-trucks are complex and have many parts which can fail if not maintained properly. Brakes should be checked to ensure they are adjusted properly and to discover any issues with parts such as brake shoes or air valves.
  • Tires - If tires are underinflated, this can affect a truck’s weight distribution and cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Worn or overinflated tires can cause a blowout, and if this occurs at a high speed, a rollover accident or other type of collision may occur.
  • Suspension - A truck’s shock absorbers and other components of its suspension system can become worn, especially if the truck carries a lot of weight. Suspension system failure can lead to bouncing or shaking that may affect a truck driver’s ability to avoid a collision.
  • Steering - Deterioration of a truck’s steering system can result in a driver losing control of their vehicle and colliding with other cars or trucks.
  • Engines - Leaks in engine fluids such as oil or coolant can cause a truck’s engine to overheat or catch on fire.
  • Trailer couplings - Flaws in the systems used to attach a trailer to a truck can result in a trailer becoming decoupled, which can lead to dangerous collisions.
  • Lighting and electrical - If headlights, taillights, or other lights on a truck or trailer are not working properly, other drivers may be unable to see or react in time to avoid a collision with a truck.

Contact an Appleton, WI Truck Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer truck, the injuries and damages you suffer may affect you for years, or even for the rest of your life. When these injuries occur because of a negligent trucking company or driver that did not perform the proper maintenance, they should be held responsible for the harm that was done to you. To learn how our Green Bay personal injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for a truck accident injury, contact our office at 920-730-7366 to arrange a free consultation.

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Green Bay falling truck cargo injury lawyerWhen another vehicle collides with a commercial truck, the driver or passengers in that vehicle are likely to suffer serious injuries. Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but unsecured cargo is one particularly dangerous issue that can affect everyone on the road. When a truck’s load is not properly secured, cargo may fall from the truck. This can damage other vehicles and harm drivers or passengers, or it may create debris in the roadway that leads to collisions between other vehicles. Cargo that is not loaded properly may also affect the balance of a truck, resulting in a rollover accident, and cargo that shifts during travel can cause a driver to lose control of their truck and collide with other vehicles.

Responsibility for Properly Securing Cargo

When a truck’s cargo is not secured correctly, and a truck accident occurs as a result, there may be multiple parties who are liable for the injuries and damages suffered by victims. These parties may include:

  • The truck driver - If a driver did not properly inspect their truck to ensure that the cargo was fully secured, this is considered negligence. Drivers should not only inspect cargo after it was loaded, but they should also perform regular inspections throughout the course of a trip.
  • Truck loaders - The person or company who was responsible for loading cargo on a truck must follow the proper loading procedures and ensure that cargo is secured correctly. A company may be liable for injuries which occurred because it failed to meet these requirements or because it did not provide proper training to its employees.
  • The trucking company - If a trucking company did not provide the equipment necessary to safely secure a load, if it did not perform the proper maintenance or replace worn equipment, or if it did not properly train truck drivers on cargo inspection, the company may be liable for injuries suffered because of unsecured cargo.
  • Equipment manufacturers - If the equipment used to secure a load was faulty or defective, the manufacturer of this equipment may be held responsible for damages that occurred as a result.

Contact Our Appleton Unsecured Cargo Accident Lawyers

Unsecured, overloaded, or falling cargo can be incredibly dangerous. If cargo-related issues cause a truck to collide with another car, truck, or motorcycle, or if debris in the road results in a pileup between multiple vehicles, those who were responsible for the accident should be identified, which will allow victims to recover compensation from all liable parties. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our Green Bay truck accident attorneys will investigate the circumstances of your accident and work to ensure that you are fully compensated for your damages. Contact us today at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation.

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Appleton truck accident attorney driver fatigue

Tractor-trailer trucks are a familiar sight on the roads in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Because many people are used to driving around large trucks, they may not realize the dangers that these vehicles present. Unfortunately, the drivers and passengers in other vehicles are likely to be seriously injured in a collision with a semi-trailer truck. In fact, out of the 4, 102 people who were killed in truck accidents in the United States in 2017, only 683 were the drivers or occupants of trucks. Occupants of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians made up 82% of the fatalities in semi-truck accidents, demonstrating the risks that these massive vehicles present. 

Truck drivers are required to take extreme care to protect the safety of those on the road. Unfortunately, negligence on the part of truck drivers or trucking companies can result in serious or fatal accidents. One common cause of these accidents is driver fatigue.

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