After you suffer injuries in a Wisconsin truck accident, you could find yourself with thousands of dollars in medical bills, missing out on weeks or even months of work, and long-lasting injuries and disabilities that you have to manage. You may be able to obtain compensation for your truck accident injuries and losses through a personal injury claim. To prove your injuries and entitlement to compensation, an experienced truck accident lawyer will need to obtain the following records to support your claim.
Whenever a crash occurs involving a truck or other commercial motor vehicle, law enforcement should be called to respond to the scene of the crash and complete an accident report. Within municipal limits, the local police department is usually the law enforcement agency that responds to motor vehicle accidents. In areas outside of municipal limits, or on state highways, the sheriff’s department or Wisconsin State Patrol may respond. The Wisconsin State Patrol also does inspections of trucks or other commercial vehicles following collisions. Regardless of what law enforcement agency prepares the Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Accident Report, that report will list your and the other driver’s information, information about your vehicles, and any applicable insurance information. In addition, the police report may also identify any eyewitnesses to the accident. Sometimes, the investigating law enforcement officer will also interview or obtain statements from witnesses, which could also be valuable in your claim.
Under Wisconsin and federal law, all trucking companies must maintain their vehicles properly and regularly. Failure to maintain a truck can result in severe consequences – and you could hold the company liable if they did not take proper care of their fleet. After your accident, your attorney can request maintenance records from the trucking company to determine if they complied with federal regulations and whether poor maintenance played a part in your accident.
These maintenance records will explain any issues with the engine, brakes, tires, and other important components in the vehicle. These records can help establish liability in your claim, whether it is toward the company, the manufacturers of any parts, or the inspection facility for the vehicle.
Depending upon the severity and/or number of vehicles involved in a crash involving a truck, an accident reconstruction may be done by law enforcement. In Wisconsin, some sheriff’s departments have employees with specialized training in conducting accident reconstruction reports, but more often, accident reconstructions are done by the Wisconsin State Patrol. Unfortunately, there is usually a delay of several months before accident reconstruction reports are completed, and key evidence may be lost in the meantime. An experienced truck accident lawyer can determine whether additional steps should be taken to hire an experienced accident reconstruction engineer to conduct an accident reconstruction rather than rely upon the reconstruction and conclusions reached by law enforcement, which will not be known until many months after the crash, when it will likely be too late to do another accident reconstruction at that time due to the loss of critical evidence.
In order to obtain compensation for any injuries or losses you sustained in the crash, you will have to prove that you suffered injuries in the first place. If you are hurt in a truck accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will examine you and provide detailed information about your injuries and their cause, which you could use as evidence in your claim or lawsuit. You should continue to receive follow up medical care so long as you are continuing to experience pain or symptoms following a trucking accident. You should also make sure to follow through and do everything your physician orders. Your experienced truck accident lawyer will obtain your medical records and use them to document and support your injury claim. In addition, your attorney will need to collect your medical bills to help calculate your final settlement amount.
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