Hear from our Milwaukee clients

​Krista LaFave and Victor Harding made a recovery for almost nine times more than is allowed by law!​ My husband was killed in an auto accident because a municipality failed to erect warning signs alerting drivers of a road closure ahead. Early on, I was told that a municipality is protected by a $50,000 cap and that was the most that could be recovered for his wrongful death. A statutory $50,000 cap enacted 35 years ago is meaningless in today’s dollars. It provides no accountability or consequences for a municipality’s gross negligence. ​Krista and Victor discovered a statute that rendered the $50,000 cap inapplicable in certain situations. The statute written 60 years ago had never before been tested. Through their perseverance in applying this law, I was able to recover far more than the cap. I can only pray that this result causes the municipality to change its ways.​You can’t find better representation out there than can be provided by Warshafsky.

Deidra U on

I had the pleasure to work with Krista G. LaFave at Warshafsky law firm. Not only was Krista available for my questions, but she worked hard to get more money than I expected. Because of her insight, and professional advice, I listened to her. I was very anxious and wanted to just get this over with. Krista explained that she wanted to fight harder for me to end up with a better payday. I totally trusted her, I could tell she was fighting for me like I was a family member of hers. So happy to have had Krista fighting for me. I ended up with literally double the amount I had anticipated. Thank you again Krista. 

Jimi M on

My husband was in a very bad accident. A truck crossed the center line of the highway and hit his vehicle head on. We recognized right away the need for an experienced lawyer that we could trust. The insurance company representing the company responsible for the accident, called us within the first 24 hours of the accident. Our family lawyer recommended Frank Crivello of Warshafsky, Rotter, Tarnoff & Bloch. We knew from our first meeting that we were in good hands. Frank made us feel comfortable and inspired confidence in how to proceed. It was an enormous weight off of our shoulders, and we were allowed to focus on the recovery of my husband. Throughout the 3+ years of multiple surgeries, Frank and his paralegal Sandra were by our side. He kept us informed of every action needed, and had a long term plan for either settlement or trial. He always had our best interests in mind, and spent a great deal of time laying out pros and cons every step of the way, and most importantly, he helped us understand in layman's terms the legal terms and actions. His negotiating skills are second to none, and he always had a solid plan of action. He was always available to us, and provided his undivided attention. Frank's in-depth understanding of my husband's medical issues and surgical procedures gave us great confidence during the development of the case and during depositions. Frank, Sandra, and this firm exceeded all our expectations and achieved a settlement that we were pleased with. We recommend Frank and his firm to anyone in need of personal injury experience. The professionalism, concern, and care for our wellbeing for over 3 years made all the difference in the world. The settlement or recovery met our best interests and would not have been possible without Frank and Sandra.

Mary W on

The Money

 

How much is my truck accident settlement worth? 

No attorney can give you an exact number without first understanding the factors surrounding your accident. Some factors that might affect your settlement include: 

  • Severity of injury
  • Amount of damage to your vehicle
  • Length of hospital stay and anticipated recovery
  • Whether there is permanent disability or life-long injury
  • Time away from work 
  • Your health and lifestyle pre-accident 
  • Your age
  • The overall negative impact on your life

What damages are available for victims of a truck accident?

After a truck collision, you may be able to recover several types of damages for your injuries and losses. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will make it easier to get compensated for your accident. Compensation can generally include the following 5 economic and non-economic damages:

  1. Medical expenses (current and future medical bills)
  2. Lost wages (for the time you aren’t able to work)
  3. Pain and suffering (mental anguish, humiliation, scars, disfigurement)
  4. Loss of enjoyment of life (inability to do the things you used to enjoy)
  5. Property damage (damage to your vehicle)

How damages are calculated?

Damages are typically broken down into two main categories: 

  • Special damages: Losses that are easy to quantify. These include medical bills, property damage, and lost wages due to time missed at work. 
  • General damages: Losses that aren’t so easy to quantify. These include pain and suffering, physical discomfort, mental anxiety, stress, and other negative impacts. 

In order to reflect these hard-to-quantify damages, a multiplier (between 1 and 5)  is applied to the overall settlement. The multiplier is higher or lower depending on the severity of your injuries, driver fault, and other aggravating circumstances. 

For example, if you were involved in a truck accident where the driver was drunk, your multiplier would probably be 5 or more. Say you suffered $50,000 in combined medical, property, and wage loss— your estimated settlement would be somewhere around ($50,000 x 5), or $250,000. 

Obviously, many factors will affect your compensation and this method is just a way to provide a rough estimate. Talk to an attorney before making any settlement demands. 

What is Wisconsin’s minimum payout for truck accidents?

Wisconsin has no minimum payout for truck accident cases. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss your case.

Can I still receive compensation if I'm partially responsible?

Yes. Wisconsin has a modified comparative negligence rule that means you may be able to recover damages if you are no more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of the accident that has been determined to be your fault. So, for example, if you are 20% responsible for the accident, you can only receive up to 80% of the settlement. 

How to deal with insurance companies

Accident victims are often anxious to accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company so they can begin paying off their medical expenses. To someone working without the experience of an attorney, the settlement amount provided by an insurance company will seem fair.

DO NOT accept the first offer. Insurance companies will lowball your claim, 100% of the time. Consult with an experienced accident attorney for the largest cash settlement. Many law firms are hands-off settlement mills that try to reach a settlement as quickly as possible. Warshafsky's attorneys are aggressive advocates that will fight for what's right. Contact our office as soon as possible after the crash, and we will begin fighting for you. The sooner you act, the sooner our investigators can start compiling the most robust possible case for the highest potential payment.

The Legal Process

 

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident? 

The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in the state of Wisconsin is three years. Don’t delay— contact Warshafsky before the three-year anniversary of your Wisconsin truck accident. 

Who is liable for a truck accident in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, liable parties may include:

  • The truck driver: liable for negligence like speeding, reckless driving, driving while tired, or intoxicated driving
  • The trucking company: liable if the driver was not an independent contractor
  • The shipping company: liable if the cargo was overloaded or loaded unevenly
  • The truck mechanic: liable if maintenance was improper or incomplete
  • The truck manufacturer: liable most commonly for a defective vehicle part

Liability in a truck accident is complicated. Consult with an experienced Milwaukee car accident attorney to determine who is at fault. 

How much does a lawyer cost?

At Warshafsky, we understand that after a crash, you’re likely dealing with heavy financial burdens. This is why we pride ourselves on being a no-win, no-fee law firm. We handle all costs upfront and then take a percentage of the final settlement once you win. 

Will my case go to court?

Less than 5% of Wisconsin personal injury cases end with a jury trial. However, all of our cases are funded to go the distance if necessary. We will fight for you to get the settlement you deserve.  

How long will my case take?

Case length will depend on the severity of damages suffered. When damages are severe, the case might take a year or longer. Other factors might affect the case’s timeline, including: 

  • Crucial evidence being held up, like CCTV or dashcam footage
  • The other party being unwilling to cooperate
  • Case factors being disputed by the opposing party
  • Discrepancies or mistakes on certain documents
  • Court and/or judge availability 

How do you prove negligence in a truck accident case?

Proving negligence in a truck accident can be difficult, so we’ll conduct a thorough investigation of all the factors that led to the crash: 

  • Truck maintenance 
  • Drug and alcohol tests for the driver
  • Truck safety inspection adherence 
  • Weight restriction compliance
  • Loading procedure compliance 
  • Accident reconstruction 

Truck accident resources

 

Wisconsin State Legislature: Injury to the person. Wisconsin Statute § 893.54 (2022). Duty to report an accident; assistance following an accident. Wisconsin Statute § 346.70. Provisions of motor vehicle insurance policies. Wisconsin Statute § 632.32.

61 truck accident fatalities in 2020

Per the Wisconsin DOT statistics from 2020, there were 5,921 large truck accidents resulting in 1,287 injuries. Out of the 593 auto crash fatalities, 61 were a result of large truck crashes. Fatalities from truck accidents dropped 15% in 2020 to 61 from 2019’s 72. 2021 total truck crash data is not yet available.

Milwaukee truck accidents 2015 - 2020

2020 also saw a 35% decrease in large truck crash injuries going from 1,986 in 2019 to 1,287. Since 2015, there has been a yearly average of 2,046 truck accident injuries with 219 of them being serious injuries. 

Milwaukee County alone accounted for 87 car accident fatalities in 2021, making it the county with the most accident fatalities in Wisconsin. Dane County follows closely with 48 fatalities, a 45% increase from the previous year. 

Other Wisconsin counties reporting high fatalities levels in the past few years include Rock County, Waukesha County, Racine County, Brown County, Fond du Lac County and Kenosha County. 

Check out more Milwaukee car accident stats. 

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7 Causes of Milwaukee area truck accidents

  1. Speeding: Trucks traveling at a high rate of speed cannot make sudden slowdowns or stops. Having to suddenly slow down in a truck can lead to jackknifing, rollovers, runaway trailers, and other dangerous situations.
  2. Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers pull long shifts on the road and are only required to take a break after 14 hours of straight driving. Driver fatigue can set in before this time allotment and irregular sleep schedules on the road further exacerbate fatigue.
  3. Road Conditions: Rainstorms, hail, wind, fog, and icy roads complicate visibility for trucks and tractor-trailers. Driving in dangerous weather requires a truck driver’s added awareness and distance to change lanes or come to a stop.
  4. Drunk or Impaired Driving: Impaired driving remains a vital issue on Wisconsin roadways. Regardless of whether the truck driver or other motorists used alcohol or drugs, driving drunk or under the influence impairs driver vision and greatly increases the risk of an accident.
  5. Aggressive Driving: Road rage and unpredictable maneuvers by truck drivers put other motorists at risk. Brake checking, sudden lane changes, and tailgating greatly reduce the other driver’s ability to react, leading to potentially serious accidents.
  6. Overloaded Cargo: A truck that is carrying unbalanced or overloaded cargo is at serious risk of leaks, spills, and potential rollover. Unbalanced truckloads increase the driver’s risk of losing control at higher speeds or sharp maneuvers.
  7. Mechanical Failures: Poorly maintained or neglected brakes, hydraulics, and other mechanical items on a truck pose a large safety risk for other motorists on the road. Having fully functioning brakes on a truck is required when stopping a load of up to 80,000 pounds.

9 types of truck accidents

  1. Jackknifing: When a big rig’s trailer swings out and folds itself to the cab of the truck, it has the potential to cause a serious multi-car crash and block roadways. Jackknifing is the result of a truck driver braking too hard and quickly. 
  2. Tire Blowouts: Having newer tires properly inflated on semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other commercial trucks is vital when bearing large loads. Tire blowouts are one of the leading causes of truck crashes in America, with an estimated 11,000 crashes occurring every year resulting in an average of 200 deaths.
  3. Rollovers: A truck driver losing control of a tractor-trailer can lead to rollovers. A semi sliding and rolling onto its side can block roadways and create catastrophic crashes.
  4. Head-on Collisions: Head-on contact with a tractor-trailer is often the most deadly. Those who are lucky to survive a head-on collision with a truck are often left with severe and potentially life-long injuries.
  5. Sideswipe: A side collision with a semi-truck can knock you off the road and lead to a serious accident. Referred to as a blind spot accident, these crashes typically occur from lane changes and merges.
  6. T-Bone: T-bone collisions often occur at intersections and can lead to serious injury. Known as side-impact collisions, nearly 1 in 5 car accidents were the result of t-bone collisions in 2017 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  7. Lost Load: A lost load is often the result of unsecured cargo, a responsibility of the driver. Loose cargo and securement issues can pose multiple threats of an accident and can cause further accidents if the debris becomes littered on the road.  
  8. Runaway Trailer: A runaway tractor-trailer can lead to a deadly crash. While runaway ramps provide a safe exit for out-of-control trucks, if the ramp is unavailable or the driver chooses to forgo using the ramp, accidents can occur.
  9. Underride Collisions: Underride accidents occur when a car crashes into the back or side of a tractor-trailer and gets caught underneath. These kinds of truck accidents are among the most fatal, killing more than 300 people across the US each year.

Milwaukee’s 3 most dangerous highways

Warshafsky’s main office is located in downtown Milwaukee, so our truck accident attorneys are familiar with the area and have helped with tractor-trailer accident cases on Milwaukee’s most-dangerous highways. These include: 

  • Interstate 41/Highway 45
  • Interstate 94
  • Highway 164

 

Frequently Asked Milwaukee Truck Accident Questions

What should I do after a truck accident?

After a truck accident, stay on the scene and report the crash to the police. Seek medical attention ASAP, especially if your injuries are severe. Obtain contact information from all involved parties & witnesses. Take photos and videos of the crash for evidence, and contact a personal injury attorney to learn how to get compensated for property damage or injuries.

Should I hire a personal injury attorney for my truck accident claim?

Yes. Having an experienced trial attorney on your side will increase your chances of a fair settlement. Never accept an insurance company’s initial offer. They will always lowball the claim. Insurance companies like to avoid the courtroom and will settle for a greater amount when a reputable attorney adds some pressure.

Who is at fault in a truck accident in Wisconsin?

The Shared Fault law in Wisconsin is used to determine fault in an accident. Each person involved can be held partially responsible for the accident. Compensation for damages is increased or decreased depending on the percentage of fault assigned to you. Police officers at the scene will usually determine fault. An accident investigator can help you examine all evidence to determine liable parties.

How much will you get paid if an 18 wheeler hits you?

Wisconsin does not have a database of injury settlements. Insurance companies have their own data and experience on how they determine offers. A lawyer may be able to increase the offer they give and will advise you on what damages you should pursue.

What is Wisconsin’s minimum payout for truck accidents?

Wisconsin has no minimum payout for truck accident cases. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss your case.

Milwaukee truck accident settlement & judgment amounts

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