Truck Accidents are catastrophic events. Because of the weight of the vehicles, injuries are almost always guaranteed in any accident involving a tractor trailer. However, most people aren’t aware that truck accidents can begin long before the accident itself takes place. A truck driver is supposed to adhere to certain rules when driving, and when they don’t they are far more likely to get into an accident. But how does a lawyer find out whether or not a truck driver broke their rules before the accident?
In this FAQ, Gary details the different steps lawyers take to see if a truck driver was following the rules of not before they caused an accident. If you have any questions about this FAQ, or have a current accident case that you need help with, call or contact our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis now. We don’t charge any fees for our consultations, and we don’t require any attorneys fees unless we win your claim. Contact our team now at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222.
How do Lawyers Investigate Truck Accidents?
With any accident, there is going to be evidence. There is going to be the direct physical evidence, such as where did the accident happen, did the truck brake, did the truck cross the median, etc. Then there is going to be the logged or notated evidence, such as was the driver logging their miles, how long had they been driving, were they over their allotted amount of time, were they checking the weight of their vehicle, etc. What a lawyers job is to find this evidence and see if any of the factors attributed to the accident. So what are the steps to collecting this evidence, and what evidence should a lawyer try to get? Listed below are several types of evidence a lawyer should go after.
1. Get log books from the defendant driver – The log books are going to directly detail how many hours the driver had been logging, where they had been driving, and any other events that occurred along their route.
2. Hours of Service of when they were allowed to drive and when they weren’t – Truck drivers have certain hours they are allowed to drive, and when they go over those hours they run a risk of driving fatigued or tired, which can increase the chances of an accident happening.
3. Has the vehicle been inspected when it was supposed to be? – Commercial Trucks have to undergo several inspections throughout the year. These inspections guarantee that the truck is safe to operate on the highway. If a truck driver hasn’t had their truck inspected it’s either because they forgot, or because they are trying to skip the costs that can come with the inspection.
4. Check and verify their weigh-ins at different places – If the driver claimed to weigh in at certain weigh stations, those logs can be checked to make sure that they either did weigh in there, or that the driver lied on their logs and did not weigh in.
5. We’re they deadheading at any point? – Deadheading can significantly increase the chances of an accident. Empty trailers are prone to rolling over, so if the driver was deadheading during the accident this definitely places more blame on their actions.
6. We look at the data or the ECM which is the trucks black-box – These black boxes perform the same functions as the ones in planes. It lets us now how fast the driver was driving, what the state of the vehicle was, and any other pieces of data that only a computer can log.
7. We look at the inspections post-incident – Knowing the state of the vehicle after the accident helps determine how the accident happened, how severe the accident was, and the actions the driver took before, during, and after the accident.
8. Collect all additional evidence, skid marks, witnesses, photos, etc. – Every other piece of possible information is also collected. Were there any witnesses? If so, we get their statements. Are there any other photos? We get those photos. We collect everything piece of information and evidence that we can.
And lastly, if you have questions about this and need a lawyer, call me. I’m Gary Burger again. I’m at at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We answer all questions for free for anybody on auto accident issues but many other issues as well. If we represent you, we do not take a fee unless we recover money for you. Thank you.