Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be devastating and stressful, but broadly speaking, it’s a straightforward process. You exchange insurance information, file your claim, treat any injuries, and move on. Truck accidents are different from car accidents, though, for a number of reasons – and one of the most important is the sorts of evidence your case will involve.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident while in a passenger vehicle, be aware of the importance of these 3 forms of evidence. With all of this information on your side, you’ll be well-positioned to argue your case.
Among the major causes of commercial truck accidents, about 12% of crashes are caused by non-performance – the driver fell asleep or was otherwise suddenly incapacitated by a heart attack or seizure. Unsurprisingly, most of those cases are related to sleep, not a medical emergency, and there’s usually a good reason that drivers fall asleep behind the wheel. Under pressure to meet deadlines, truck drivers often remain behind the wheel for many more hours than is safe. If you’ve been in a crash, then, it’s important to request the timesheets as part of evidence. Driver logs are one of the most powerful tools you have when making a criminal case.
Sensors And Data Recorders
Trucking companies are under a lot of pressure to reduce accidents in the industry, and as a group these companies have identified a large number of problems they’ll need to tackle on the road to decreased risk. To that end, many of these companies have installed Heavy Vehicle Event Data Recorders (HVEDRs) that collect a wide range of operating data. These systems are full of high-value information for your case and working with your truck accident attorney, you can use this data to establish liability in your case.
Car maintenance has always been central to safe vehicle operation, but the importance of upkeep is multiplied when you’re dealing with a tractor trailer. Unfortunately, for the same reasons that drivers work for much longer hours than is safe, many also drive vehicles that are overdue for inspection or repair work – in fact, poor maintenance is a leading cause of accidents. Your lawyer should be sure to requisition the maintenance records for the truck that injured you to determine whether equipment failure was a likely cause.
Know Who To Talk To
While your lawyer will handle most of the key communications, it’s important that you know who’s responsible for the truck that hit you. Many trucking companies avoid liability either by hiring drivers as contractors, rather than as employees, or by hiring independent truck owners; yes, trucking companies may not even own the trucks they run. If the drivers independently own the trucks and are simply taking on routes for a company, then the trucking company isn’t liable for maintenance.
Trucking accidents may be more complicated that traditional passenger vehicle accidents, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing them to the fullest extent possible. By working with an experienced personal injury lawyer and gathering evidence from all key sources, you can get justice.