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Green Bay, WI truck accident lawyer for negligent maintenanceSemi-trucks are large vehicles with thousands of moving parts, and if one of those parts is damaged, defective, or otherwise working improperly, it may ultimately lead to an accident. If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to work with an attorney who can thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether improper maintenance may be a factor, and if so, who all may be liable for the damages you have suffered.

Poorly Maintained Truck Parts May Cause Accidents

A poorly maintained truck can cause a crash in many different ways, but some improperly maintained parts are more dangerous than others. Some of the most common causes of truck crashes involving improper maintenance include:

  • Tires and wheels: Worn or improperly inflated tires may rupture on the road, causing a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Misaligned wheels can also severely hinder a driver’s ability to keep such a large, heavy vehicle under control.
  • Brakes: Poorly maintained brakes can greatly increase the time necessary for a driver to bring a truck to a stop, and failed brakes can be especially dangerous when a truck is driving on a steep incline.
  • Lights: When a truck’s lights are not fully operable, it can be difficult for other drivers to see the truck at night or in other conditions of reduced visibility.
  • Windshields and mirrors: On the other hand, a damaged windshield, dysfunctional wipers, or improperly aligned mirrors can reduce the truck driver’s ability to see the road in a way that may lead to a collision.
  • Improper loading: The height, weight and distribution of an enclosed load can play a role in the handling of a semi-tractor trailer, particularly on curves or hills, or when responding to emergencies, and this may in fact contribute to an accident. Loads that are not properly secured on flatbed trailers may fall off the trailer during transport and cause accidents.

At-Fault Parties in an Improperly Maintained Truck Crash

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require that commercial trucks be regularly inspected, including by the driver at the end of every driving day, and trucking companies and drivers must keep detailed records of inspections and repairs. In the event of a defect that hinders safe operation, repairs must be performed as soon as possible before the truck returns to the road. If an accident occurs due to a lapse in following these regulations, the driver, maintenance professionals, and the companies that employ them may all be partially responsible.

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Green Bay truck accident attorney for unsecured cargoWisconsin sees more than 7,000 accidents involving large semi-trucks each year, with many resulting in injuries. In some cases, a crash happens solely because of the negligence of the truck driver, perhaps due to drunk, distracted, or fatigued driving, or simple driver error. However, sometimes the cause of a truck accident is more complicated, including in cases involving loose or unsecured cargo.

Why Is Loose Truck Cargo Dangerous?

Unsecured cargo can cause or contribute to accidents and injuries in a variety of ways, some of which include:

  • Falling onto other vehicles: Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles often carry tens of thousands of pounds of cargo, and heavy objects that fall off a truck and onto other vehicles can cause serious injuries.
  • Obstructing the roadway: Loose cargo that lands on the road can cause an accident directly if another vehicle collides with it, or indirectly if a vehicle attempts to swerve or stop to avoid it and crashes with another vehicle as a result.
  • Shifting the truck’s balance: Trucks must be carefully balanced to ensure they can be driven safely, and if heavy cargo shifts inside the truck, the vehicle can become more difficult to control and may be at risk of rolling over.

Determining Negligence

As with any car accident resulting in an injury, it is important for you to get medical help and contact an attorney as soon as possible. We can help you gather timely evidence from the scene of the crash, including pictures of the vehicles involved and any cargo obstructing the road, camera footage of the crash, recordings of 911 calls, and witness testimony, all of which can help you establish the facts when making a claim for compensation from the negligent parties. This may be especially important if the truck was not directly involved in the collision.

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Green Bay truck accident lawyer for distracted drivingThe prevalence of smartphones and other mobile devices in the modern world unfortunately means a greater risk of distracted driving accidents, and that risk applies to commercial truck drivers as much as, if not more so than, the drivers of passenger vehicles. Drivers of semi-trucks require more time and distance to react to other vehicles or conditions on the road and slow down or come to a stop. A distraction from a text or phone call can cost valuable seconds. Furthermore, accidents involving trucks are often more severe due to the substantial size and weight of the vehicles. If you have been injured by a distracted truck driver, a personal injury lawsuit can help you obtain the financial relief you need for your damages and medical expenses.

Laws and Regulations for Truck Drivers and Cell Phones

Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the State of Wisconsin prohibit commercial truck drivers from handheld use of a cell phone while driving. This means that drivers may not hold a phone in their hands, but they are also prohibited from dialing a phone by pressing more than one button or reaching for the phone in a way that removes them from a normal seated position, except for in an emergency situation. Federal penalties for a violation can include the disqualification of a driver’s commercial license and fines of up to $2,750, with additional state fines of up to $40 for a first offense and up to $100 for a subsequent offense. This is not to mention financial consequences related to liability in a personal injury case.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Distracted Truck Drivers

If you have been injured in an accident with a distracted truck driver, the key to recovering full compensation is clearly demonstrating the driver’s negligence. You should hire an attorney as soon as possible so that we can help you obtain vital evidence to support your claim, which in these cases may include photographic evidence of your injuries and the scene of the accident, as well as police reports and sanctions against the driver that specifically mention inappropriate cell phone use.

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Green Bay, WI truck accident attorney for drowsy drivingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was responsible for at least 795 fatalities and 50,000 injuries in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available. If you are injured in a car accident involving drowsy driving, it can often be challenging to demonstrate the other driver’s fatigue because concrete evidence tends to be lacking. However, if the accident involves a commercial semi-truck, trucking industry regulations may make it possible to collect additional evidence to strengthen your case for compensation.

Truck Drivers Are Susceptible to Drowsy Driving

Driver fatigue is a common issue after long stretches of driving without a break or when driving late at night. Unfortunately, the nature of truck drivers’ work means that they frequently find themselves in both of these situations as they try to complete shipments as quickly and efficiently as possible. When drivers become drowsy, they may be more likely to cause accidents due to slowed reaction times or a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving accidents involving trucks can be especially dangerous due to these vehicles’ large size and weight.

Truck Driver Regulations and Accident Liability

To reduce the risk of drowsy driving accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set limits on the number of hours a commercial truck operator can drive. Specifically, drivers are limited to:

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Appleton personal injury attorney truck accident

In the United States, the commercial trucking industry plays a massive role in exporting and importing goods nationwide. Recognizing the integral involvement that the trucking industry has in our economy, it should come as no surprise that millions of commercial truck drivers travel on American roadways each day. Unfortunately, when accidents involving these large vehicles occur the results can be disastrous. Due to the sheer size difference between a commercial truck and a standard motor vehicle, the injuries suffered in these accidents tend to be severe or even fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a collision with a commercial truck, it is important to seek legal assistance to protect your rights to compensation. 

Injury Statistics and Commercial Trucking 

According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), approximately 4,136 Americans died in commercial trucking accidents in 2018 alone. Out of all of the commercial trucking fatalities that occurred that year, only 16 percent of those who died were commercial truck drivers. In other words, the overwhelming majority of people killed in these accidents are other travelers. Despite the fact that commercial trucks only make up a small portion of vehicles on the road, 11 percent of that year’s car accident fatalities were a result of large truck crashes. If a family member suffered fatal injuries in an accident involving a commercial trucker, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a collision with a commercial truck, a skilled attorney can assist you in securing the personal injury compensation your family needs to pay for medical expenses and potential loss of income (if the injured party was an income provider). 

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