Trucking Accidents: Who is Liable?
Wisconsin residents and truck drivers often use highway I-43 as a means to travel through the state. Although I-43 is the best way to travel from Milwaukee to Green Bay, it is also the scene of many traffic accidents. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in 2012 there were a total of 5,882 crashes involving large trucks. An accident involving a semi truck can be a traumatic experience resulting in severe injuries or even death. Any type of collision involving a truck on a highway can be catastrophic due to the large size of trucks compared to other vehicles on the road.
Truck Driving Laws
Since truck drivers usually utilize several highways throughout the United States to travel from one state to another, the federal government regulates the laws governing their conduct. Typically, the government sets specific procedures that truck drivers and trucking companies must adhere to when involved in an accident. More specifically, the United States Department of Transportation limits how many hours a truck driver can drive per day and how many hours he or she should rest in order to prevent accidents from occurring.
Who is Liable for a Trucking Accident?
There are several people involved in addition to the drivers when a truck accident occurs. Depending on the facts of the case, the following parties may be held liable:
- The driver of the truck;
- The person who owns the truck;
- The company who leases out the truck;
- The truck manufacturer; and/or
- The party responsible for shipping and loading the truck.
It is important to note that although most of the liable parties carry insurance, often times the above parties disagree as to whose insurance company should be held responsible. Usually, after a truck accident occurs, the involved parties reach out to the police and file a police report to determine how the accident occurred. Some trucking companies may send out a certified truck inspector to the scene to carefully inspect the truck before it is removed from the scene of the accident. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure that all of the mechanical parts of the truck were in working order at the time of the accident. Additionally, trucks are sometimes equipped with a “black box” that can reveal important driving information such as how fast the truck was moving and whether the driver used his or her brakes during the time of the accident.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, contact one of the Appleton personal injury attorneys or Green Bay personal injury attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. We have offices located in Appleton, New London, Oshkosh, and Green Bay and will carefully review the facts surrounding your case to help you receive the compensation you deserve.