Conclusive evidence is an elusive but vital prerequisite to establish fault in an automobile accident. Unfortunately, if you are the victim in a car or trucking accident, identifying and gathering evidence on your own can be an extremely difficult proposition. Especially when you have to spend most of your time, money, and effort in trying to recover from your injuries.
Identifying, collecting, and analyzing evidence is a critical part of any automobile accident investigation. However, accidents involving tractor-trailers, semis, and big rigs, are different from car crashes and other small motor vehicle crashes in many ways.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation are the two federal agencies that regulate the trucking industry. Some of these federal regulations that the commercial trucking industry needs to follow, call for gathering and substantiation of additional types of evidence for personal injury lawsuits.
Experienced legal counsels and Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, have the wherewithal and competence to identify, pursue, and gather each and every piece of evidence to bolster your claim and recover the maximum compensation that you deserve for your personal injuries and other losses.
What Critical Evidence Do I Need for My Injury Claim in a Commercial Truck Accident?
Litigation in any court of law calls for credible evidence to be presented, to prove the plaintiff’s case in a decisive manner. It is no different in a case where you are seeking to claim compensation for your injuries in a commercial truck accident. Critical evidence in a trucking accident case typically includes:
The motor vehicle that you were in at the time of the collision is perhaps going to be the most compelling piece of evidence in your trucking accident claim. All visibly obvious damage to your motor vehicle throws up vital information about the nature and scope of the accident.
Therefore, it is critically important that the vehicle remains in the exact condition it was in just after the crash. Any repairs carried out on the vehicle before its submission as a piece of crucial evidence may result in a major setback for your case.
Commercial trucks require regular inspections to ensure that they are roadworthy at all times, and not a hazard for others on the road. If the truck involved in the accident does not have up-to-date inspection reports as per federal regulations, it will be considered negligence on the part of the trucking company and prove beneficial to your case.
Regular maintenance of a commercial truck as per the stipulated guidelines is as important as inspection. The maintenance records will establish if basic maintenance was performed before the truck was sent out on the haul. If the maintenance logs show any disregard or oversight on the part of the maintenance company, it may have been a probable cause of your accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) rules stipulate the maximum number of hours that commercial truckers can drive before they need to rest. A commercial truck’s driving log will depict a clear picture of the number of hours driven on the particular day, or the week when the accident occurred, which may prove to be significantly relevant information for your case.
A fully-packed and overweight 18-wheeler can result in a braking system or other failures, thus bringing to fore the importance of collecting the cargo documents that reveal the cargo weight present in the truck at the time of the accident.
Black Box Data
A commercial truck has provisions to automatically collect electronic data that includes relevant information about the speed and other aspects of the operation of a truck. If the driver had worked extra hours over and above what is legally permitted or was going over the speed limit, it will be recorded.
Alcohol and Drugs Test Reports
Trucking companies usually conduct random alcohol or drug tests to make sure that their drivers are not driving under the influence. However, not every trucking company may do this, so collecting any such reports and their results can establish whether or not intoxication played a role in the accident.
This could be any relevant information about the trucking company and the protocols it follows, or the truck driver and their background. Any additional information may prove useful for your attorney to build up a strong case on your behalf.
Contact a Seasoned Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident and needs help with gaining access to relevant evidence that can strengthen your case, let the experienced Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, handle it for you.
Our competent and compassionate attorneys will do their best to help you win the maximum compensation you deserve, while you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 800-752-0042 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential legal consultation.