Commercial trucking accidents often result in expensive and devastating damages. The size and weight of commercial trucks are much greater than a regular passenger vehicle. This means that the injuries resulting from commercial trucking accidents are often more severe than a regular car crash. Sometimes these collisions are lethal.
If you’ve been the victim of a commercial truck collision then you will need to prove that the driver, their employer, or other third party, is responsible for the damages to collect financial compensation. Having an experienced truck accident attorney on your side is a crucial part of proving the other party’s fault in the matter.
One of the first steps that your truck accident attorney may take following the consultation is to send the trucking company something called a spoliation letter. This letter advises the company that you have a potential claim and that they should not destroy information that could be considered evidence.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Fault
Your attorney will begin an investigation of the accident to enforce your claim. Here is some of the evidence that may be collected to prove fault in the truck accident:
- Drug and alcohol screens. Certain regulations require a truck driver to undergo an alcohol and drug screen following a collision that resulted in injuries or death. The results of such screenings can be used to prove that the driver was impaired while operating the commercial truck.
- Eye witness reports. If eyewitnesses are available from the scene of the accident then their report of the collision may be used as evidence in your claim. This is particularly helpful when the witness doesn’t have a relationship with either the truck driver or the victim.
- Driver records. Commercial truck drivers are required to keep detailed logs of their rest hours, driving hours, and maintenance inspections. These logs can act as evidence to show that maintenance was neglected or the driver went too long without a break.
- Truck camera and black box. The truck itself may have records of useful evidence to prove fault in the case. Cameras equipped in commercial trucks can record the driver’s actions before the collision. This can reveal if the driver was eating, talking on their phone, or engaged in any other number of distractions that could lead to a wreck. This footage could be destroyed or taped over so it’s important to have the evidence secured as soon as possible. Likewise, if there’s a black box recorder equipped then it may also contain crucial evidence. The black box can record information such as driving speed, fuel consumption, hours driven, and braking patterns.
- Accident reconstruction. Your attorney may find it necessary to involve the help of another expert in your case. An accident reconstruction expert can take the evidence obtained from the collision to recreate the wreck. The recreation can be used to demonstrate the truck driver’s fault or negligence in the collision. This is particularly helpful if the trucking company disputes your claim or denies their fault.
This is not an exclusive list of the evidence needed to prove fault in a trucking accident. Each situation is unique. Your attorney will look at your individual case and gather the evidence needed to prove your claim for compensation.