There are 5.6 million semi trucks registered for use in the United States, driving about 140 billion miles every year. These big trucks keep our economy running, but when they are involved in a semi truck accident, the results can be devastating. There were 59 semi accidents resulting in death in Wisconsin in 2016, the last year for which we have official statistics. Given Wisconsin’s population, that’s over 10 per million, an increase over 2010’s numbers. When a semi accident in Wisconsin happens, call the semi truck accident experts at Clifford & Raihala.
Semi trucks are huge—up to 53 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.5 feet high. And they weigh up 80,000 pounds. To put this in context, that is 25 to 30 times the weight of a typical passenger vehicle. When a vehicle that size collides with a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or passenger car, significant injury is likely, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Death is not uncommon. In 2016, 4,213 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, and 55,633 were involved in crashes resulting in injury. The vast majority of these semi accidents involved the semi and another vehicle (over 60%).
On a tonnage basis, hazardous materials make up almost 20% of all freight shipped. When you’re involved in a semi accident involving a semi hauling hazardous material, risk increases significantly. Flammable liquids accounted for 60% of hazardous material releases from cargo compartments in semi accidents that resulted in fatalities, and 52% of those resulting in nonfatal injury. The Wisconsin semi truck accident lawyers at Clifford & Raihala understand the variety of hazardous materials that semis carry and will investigate their implications for crash victims fully. A semi accident is bad enough; adding hazardous material transportation means more complicated injuries and the possibility of longer-term chronic impairment.
An accident involving a semi truck is very different from a typical vehicle accident in a number of ways, and not only because of the size of the vehicle. Trucking is a highly regulated industry, and semi drivers are professional drivers who have Commercial Driving Licenses. They have undergone more training and have a greater duty of care. The drivers and the companies are subject to regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association to protect public safety. As of December of 2017, all semi drivers must use Electronic Logging Devices to monitor the number of continuous hours they work, for instance. The expert truck accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala can disentangle all the intricacies of responsibility in a semi truck accident.
Semi accidents in Wisconsin require semi truck accident lawyers who really know how to investigate the crash and pursue the best possible outcome. The semi truck accident lawyer will examine the trucking company’s records, including the driver’s personnel file, to determine if there were disciplinary incidents in the past or inadequate training, for instance. We will work with special accident reconstructionists, and call on other experts, like load securement experts (particularly important in hazardous materials transportation accidents). When you’ve been involved in a semi accident in Wisconsin, trust the semi truck accident lawyers at Clifford & Raihala.