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What Makes Truck Accident Cases Different?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee truck accident attorneyAny traffic accident has the potential to cause death or serious injury, but truck accidents can be especially problematic. A truck’s sheer size and weight can mean that truck accidents are especially likely to result in fatalities. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large trucks represented only four percent of vehicles on the road, but they were involved in eight percent of fatal accidents.

There are a host of factors that make truck accident lawsuits different than lawsuits about ordinary traffic accidents, however many of them stem from two causes. First, truck drivers are professionals, which mean that they have different regulations and legal duties. Second, collecting and managing evidence in cases with large truck accidents is very different.

Professional Drivers

One of the key differences between car accidents and truck accidents is that truckers are professional drivers. This changes a variety of things. For instance, all drivers are required to use reasonable care when they get on the road regardless of whether they are professionals or not. However, exactly what qualifies as reasonable care changes depending on the person's level of skill; the law holds professional drivers to a higher standard. Additionally, professional truck drivers also have special regulations they work under, such as limits on the amount of time they are allowed to spend on the road.

The fact that truck drivers are professionals can also mean that their company may be responsible for accidents that they cause. This can implicate separate legal principles known as agency law, and it may also open up new theories of liability, like whether the company that owned the truck was negligent in maintaining it properly.

Different Evidence

Truck accidents also produce different types of evidence than most ordinary accidents. For instance, trucking companies and their drivers keep logs of how long their drivers are on the road. These logs can often help show that a truck driver was driving for too long or driving too much in a short period. Similarly, many more advanced models of trucks have computerized monitoring systems in place that can provide victims with important evidence. These systems can shed light on how well maintained the truck was and what might have gone wrong during the accident.

These new types of evidence often require special procedures to handle. It is important to secure logs and electronic evidence quickly since trucking companies may otherwise get rid of it. The evidence may also require the retention of special expert witnesses to analyze it properly and get the most value out of it.

If you have recently been involved in a truck accident, you need a lawyer who understands what makes them different. Contact an experienced Milwaukee truck accident attorney today to learn more about your rights.

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