• November 08, 2019

Three Injured in Truck Accident on Interstate 41 in Washington County, WI

Washington County, WI -- On November 7, 2019, three truck drivers were injured when their vehicles collided on Interstate 41 in Washington County.

According to a statement from the county sheriff's office, the incident happened Thursday in the southbound lanes of I-41 near Highway 33. Investigators say a tractor-trailer stopped for a construction zone in the area, at which point a southbound box truck also stopped behind it. A second 18-wheeler then plowed into the back of the box truck as it tried to pull onto the shoulder to avoid the collision, causing the box truck to overturn on its side. The second semi truck then crashed into the trailer of the first one.

All three drivers were injured. Both semi drivers were taken to an area hospital while the box truck driver was treated at the scene. None of their injuries were considered life-threatening.

The crash remains under investigation. Impairment does not appear to be a factor.

Commentary

If the news has its facts straight it seems like the fault in this crash lies pretty clearly with the rearmost truck driver. Some may be assume that because it seems obvious that everything will settle quickly, but it's rarely that simple. Commercial trucking companies know very well that fault is often full of nuances and multiple factors--ones they're happy to use to try and escape liability.

For instance, we recently completed work on a case where a tractor-trailer plowed into stopped traffic and caused serious injuries to our client. He was eventually diagnosed with a major spinal injury that required extensive surgery and recovery. Even as he dealt with the big life changes that implied, we faced off with a trucking company that insisted somehow he was at fault--for stopping in the traffic that their careless driver slammed into. They tried to frame it as an issue of our client braking too suddenly for the crash to be avoided, so we dismantled their argument by proving the vehicles were far apart and the truck driver had plenty of time to react.

We defeated that argument and several others from the company before it accepted responsibility, but its behavior wasn't exactly surprising. We've said many times, and will many more, that companies fight tooth and nail against allegations of wrongdoing. That's why I always caution people not to assume that any case, no matter how clear it may seem, will be "open and shut" if it reaches a courtroom. The best way to make sure a slippery company can't get away with negligence is to face it with plenty of clear evidence and the right legal know-how to counter its defenses.

--Grossman Law Offices

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