What to do after your truck crash in Milwaukee Get a higher settlement with experienced trucking accident lawyers
What should I do after a trucking accident?
Never admit fault or leave the scene. Wait for the police and cooperate with their investigation. Document the accident by taking photos of damage, injuries, skid marks, conditions, etc. Exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved. Obtain witness names and statements. Seek any needed medical care for evaluation and documentation of injuries. Contact experienced truck accident attorneys immediately. When you work with us, you can focus on your recovery knowing your lawyer will fight to get you the maximum settlement you deserve. No fees unless you win!
4 Steps to Take after a truck crash in WI
1. Report the Incident Officially report the truck accident by contacting police while still on the scene. Provide a witness statement outlining events factually. Cooperate fully with law enforcement's investigation. Obtain a copy of the final police report for your records as evidence.
What to do:
Exchange information with the other parties involved, including the truck driver and any witnesses.
Note the road and weather conditions
Collect license plate numbers
Collect insurance information
What if the police report Is wrong?
If you notice inaccuracies in the accident report, inform the attending law enforcement officer immediately, politely and calmly pointing out the discrepancies. Request that corrections be made. Your statement must accurately reflect the incident. Consult with a legal professional to guide you through the process and protect your rights, especially if you suspect that the inaccuracies may have legal implications. Accurate documentation is crucial for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings, so don't hesitate to take these steps after a truck accident.
2. Seek Medical Care Get fully evaluated and treated as soon as possible after a truck accident even if injuries seem minor initially. This documents your health status right after the crash and a full diagnosis of issues like concussions may take days. Don't delay care as gaps can negatively impact your claim.
Following a truck accident, it is crucial to seek a thorough medical evaluation promptly, even if your injuries appear minor initially. This serves multiple critical purposes:
Documenting Health Status: An immediate evaluation documents your health condition immediately after the crash. This documentation is invaluable for building a strong case later on, as it establishes a direct link between the accident and your injuries.
Hidden Injuries: Injuries like concussions may not manifest immediately and can take days to become apparent. Early medical attention allows any underlying issues to be diagnosed and treated promptly.
Preserving Your Claim: Delaying medical care can have a detrimental effect on your personal injury claim. Insurance companies use gaps in treatment against you. The insurance company will argue that your injuries are not as severe as claimed or that they resulted from something other than the accident.
What are gaps in treatment? Insurance companies might use delays or gaps in treatment to cast doubt on the seriousness of your injuries, arguing that the injuries might not be directly linked to the accident. Another common mistake is discontinuing treatment prematurely. Completing the full course of recommended medical treatment is essential. Terminating treatment prematurely, without medical approval, signals to insurance adjusters that your injuries are resolved, potentially affecting your compensation. Follow your healthcare provider's advice. Hindering treatment or going against medical advice (AMA) is another leg insurance companies will stand on. They’ll argue your non-compliance hindered recovery.
3. Contact an Attorney Consult an experienced truck accident attorney immediately after seeking medical care. Early attorney involvement maximizes compensation by allowing full claim development within strict time limits. They know how to prove liability and negotiate optimally with insurance companies. A trucking lawyer knows Wisconsin trucking laws inside and out.
Consult with an experienced trucking accident attorney to:
Protect your rights
Navigate legal complexities
Can I settle the case myself?
Opting to settle a trucking accident case without legal representation is a risky decision. While it may seem like a way to save on legal fees, the potential pitfalls and disadvantages of going this route are significant. Without legal representation, you risk inadequate compensation, as insurance companies will exploit your lack of expertise.
Truck accident cases involve complex legal issues and nuances, while attorneys possess the skills to gather evidence, negotiate effectively and avoid common legal pitfalls. Should you receive a lowball offer, our trucking attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial if necessary. Involving an attorney allows you to focus on recovery and safeguards your rights. Wondering how to choose the best truck accident lawyer? Hire someone with proven experience, like Warshafsky Law.
What are the minimum insurance requirements for trucks in WI?
Trucks frequently traverse state lines, and those engaged in interstate travel must maintain insurance coverage ranging from $300,000 to $5,000,000, contingent on factors like the truck's size and cargo type. Even if the truck operates solely within Wisconsin, there are mandated minimum insurance levels in place. Requirements serve to protect individuals injured in truck accidents. An experienced semi-truck attorney, well-versed in these regulations, will diligently work to maximize settlements for those harmed in such accidents, ensuring they receive fair compensation as stipulated by the law.
4. Strengthen Your Case Aside from the initial police report in a truck accident case, your lawyer will collect evidence to strengthen your legal claim. Your attorney's responsibilities extend well beyond the initial police report. They play a pivotal role in amassing a wide range of evidence to fortify your legal claim. Work with your attorney to provide any key details requested.
To strengthen your case, your attorney utilizes:
Medical Documents Collecting medical records and bills to vividly showcase the extent of injuries, treatment and revlated expenses, solidifying the physical and financial impact of the accident.
Vehicle Records Examining maintenance logs, inspection reports and records detailing the truck's condition, providing insight into potential vehicle defects or lapses in maintenance.
Electronic Data Recorders (EDRs) Extract data from the truck's EDR, when available, to uncover critical information about speed, braking and other operational details leading up to the collision.
Driver Logs Scrutinizing records of the truck driver's hours of service, rest breaks and adherence to federal regulations, especially if driver fatigue is a potential factor.
Cell Phone Records Reviewing the driver's cell phone records to determine if distracted driving was involved, a significant concern in many accidents.
Dashcam Footage If the truck was equipped with a dashcam, this footage can offer an invaluable firsthand account of the accident's events.
Employer Records Examining the trucking company's records, including hiring practices, training and any history of safety violations, to assess liability.
Weather and Road Condition Reports Accessing reports on weather and road conditions at the time of the accident to evaluate environmental factors that may have contributed to the crash.
Property Damage Estimates Gathering assessments and repair estimates to quantify the financial implications of vehicle damage.
Can a trucking company hide evidence?
The trucking company has control over a lot of evidence that could be useful to your recovery. This evidence includes the truck itself, driving logs for the trucker, inspection and maintenance reports and the results of the trucker’s alcohol and drug testing. Many trucking companies are large businesses - this isn’t their first rodeo. According to Wisconsin trucking statistics, multiple crashes occur every day. Your attorney knows the legal papers to file to compel the trucking company to preserve evidence.
What NOT to do after a truck accident 11 BIG mistakes
After a traumatic truck crash, mistakes made in the aftermath can severely undermine your injury claim or ability to recover fair compensation.
Avoid these common errors that plaintiff attorneys see compromise clients’ cases:
Failing to Report the Accident Leaving the scene without contacting law enforcement makes proving your version of events difficult. Police reports provide vital evidence. Always report the incident no matter how minor it appears.
Declining Medical Care Refusing evaluation and treatment gives the impression injuries from the truck accident were non-existent or not serious. Get checked out immediately, even if you feel fine. Diagnosis of certain conditions takes time.
Not Calling an Attorney Quickly Truck crash cases have rigid regulations on evidence timing and strict deadlines. An attorney starts building your claim immediately, long before filing a lawsuit. Delaying contacting counsel squanders valuable prep time.
Missing Work Deadlines Employers often require prompt incident reports after injuries. Tardy paperwork can invalidate workers’ compensation claims. Your attorney can ensure compliance.
Failing to Document the Scene Without photos of damage, conditions, markings, etc., reconstructing the accident during litigation is challenging. Thorough documentation provides visual evidence.
Not Preserving Truck Records Not Preserving Truck Records
Making Statement on Social Media Speculating about the cause, parties at fault or your injuries on social media hands the defense ammunition. Avoid posts about your accident.
Providing Recorded Statement Defendants want a recorded statement hoping for damaging admissions. Decline to provide one without counsel present.
Accepting Quick Settlement It takes months to fully calculate damages like medical bills, lost wages and other losses. Settlements offered immediately are likely below actual worth.
Relying on Police Report Police likely did not witness the accident, so reports often contain errors favoring the trucking company. Witness statements, photos and other evidence provide a clearer picture.
Getting Your Vehicle Fixed Too Soon Your vehicle may be significant evidence in your case. Accordingly, you should talk to your personal injury lawyer before your vehicle is fixed.
Do Not Speak With the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company
Frequently, the insurance company representing the truck driver involved in the accident will make an effort to reach out to you before you've had a chance to secure legal representation. Agreeing to provide a statement to the truck driver's insurance company is a risky move.
Such statements, far from being helpful, often have the potential to adversely impact your case. It’s the name of the game and trucking companies do it well.
A better approach is to provide the insurance company with the name and contact information of your attorney. Once they are informed that you have legal representation, they are obliged to cease direct contact with you. Your attorney can manage the communication, negotiations and legal aspects of your case on your behalf. It's a vital step in preserving the integrity of your trucking accident case and optimizing your chances for a favorable outcome.
Lowball Offers: What if the case can’t be settled
If your attorney can’t secure a full-value settlement for your truck accident case, the next step is initiating a lawsuit. Your attorney will electronically file a Summons and Complaint in the appropriate county, the venue for the case. Written interrogatories and a document production request will be served on the truck driver, the trucking company and their insurance company simultaneously with the Summons and Complaint filing.
The insurance company that provides coverage for the truck driver and the trucking company will hire a lawyer to represent the defendants. This attorney has 45 days following the service of the Summons and Complaint to file an Answer with the Court. Usually, the lawyer for the defendants will deny all liability and deny that you sustained any significant injury and damages in the truck accident.
Warshafsky truck accident lawyers will advise you on what to do after a truck accident in Milwaukee and Southeast WI. Contact us for a free case evaluation. No fees unless you win!
Milwaukee’s Car Accident Lawyers & Personal Injury Attorneys