Accidents involving commercial trucks, such as semi-trailers, are different than a typical car accident. This is partly because of the significant damage that can result from a commercial trucking accident. According to federal regulations, the gross vehicle weight for commercial trucks is a maximum of 80,000 pounds. This means that a commercial truck is a heavy vehicle that can cause serious injuries and extensive damage to the other motorist involved in the accident.
Georgia laws allow for the victim of such accidents to collect compensation for the damages incurred. In order to collect fair compensation in a timely manner, it’s crucial that the injured party enlists the help of a qualified attorney as soon as possible. A skilled truck accident attorney with experience in trucking accident cases will conduct an investigation to ensure the best possible outcome for their client.
Commercial Trucking Accident Investigations
Following a consultation, your truck accident attorney will immediately begin an investigation to prove that the commercial trucking company, or other third party, is responsible for the collision. The sooner the investigation is started the better the chance of collecting the necessary evidence. Here is how a trucking accident is investigated and the potential evidence that will be collected.
Immediately following the accident, the responsible commercial truck driver will likely call their employer. The employer will then try to determine if the driver is responsible for the wreck or if it could have been prevented. Many times, the company will involve their own defense attorney at this point that will begin their own investigation. This is part of the reason that it’s so important to hire an attorney to represent your case.
Upon taking your case, your attorney will begin an investigation on your behalf that includes looking at the truck driver’s employment and driving history, as well as their training records. The law requires commercial truck drivers to take appropriate rest breaks on their drive. Failure to take these breaks could have possibly contributed to the accident and be considered negligence.
The trucking accident investigation will also include a review of the commercial truck’s maintenance records. Failure to provide proper maintenance could result in a mechanical failure. Mechanical failure may not be the fault of the trucking company. An investigation may show that a third party, such as a manufacturer of a defective automotive part, may be responsible instead.
It’s important to begin the investigation as soon as possible while crucial information can still be recovered. Most commercial trucks are equipped with an electronic on-board recorder, or EOBR, that records service records and schedule information. Advanced models may even record the truck’s location and speed at the time of the wreck. The investigation will also include a thorough examination of the accident scene. Accident reports, first responder records, and medical records when available will be examined.
When the evidence has been gathered, your attorney will be able to take the next step. Whether you need to push for a settlement or take your case to court, a professional attorney will help you make the right decision for your case. The sooner you consult with an attorney the better chance you have of preserving the necessary evidence and getting the fairest compensation possible.