Truck accidents result in some of the most severe injuries of any auto accident. These injuries come with medical bills, long-term pain and suffering, and a lengthy healing process. You may be unsure how to proceed with a truck accident claim for damages, but an experienced attorney can help you proceed with your case. A truck accident investigation happens to make sure the truth is uncovered.
You need evidence to prove your claim in court. Judges and juries require evidence to determine how much you should be paid. Hire a team who will help you collect evidence from a truck accident investigation. They should be connected with experts who will reconstruct the events, use the black boxes to gain information, and get witness testimony to recreate the scene.
Your legal representative will help guide you through this investigation process to ensure that you have the right evidence for your case.
Steps of a Truck Accident Investigation
Here is an easy breakdown of an ideal investigation process following a truck accident.
1. Collecting Evidence
This step is done at the scene of the accident immediately after it occurs. You will need to have a camera and notebook or just a smartphone to log important information that will be needed later. Collect images of the weather, the road, the crash site, and the damage done. Write down witness names and contact information. Exchange information with the truck driver.
2. Obtain Police Report
Police are required to attend the scene of a commercial auto accident. You will need a copy of their police report detailing the accidents.
3. Requesting Black Box Data
Like airplanes, trucks have “black boxes” that record data about their speed, the driver’s hours, and the truck’s maintenance. It is important to collect this information to have event data on the truck and driver’s state at the time of the crash.
4. Examining Trucking Company’s Data
Look for safety violations in the logs and files of the trucking company. This could be a violation on their part, in their policy, or on the driver’s part.
5. Interviewing Witnesses
Other drivers are legally obligated to stop if they have witnessed a truck accident. Although police will collect their information, it is good practice to get their contact information as well. Your attorney can collect witness statements to help further your case.
6. Consulting Experts
Experts may be crash reconstruction experts, medical providers, black box specialists, toxicologists, or other truck drivers/company owners. These are individuals with expertise that can strengthen your claim. Typically, your attorney will provide you with these experts and arrange to have them testify for you.
7. Examining the Truck
A physical examination of the truck is required to determine its function at the time of the accident. Trucking companies often try to hide this information, so it is vital to have a truck accident lawyer who will immediately lobby to have this done before they can destroy any evidence.
8. Collecting Medical Records
Proving that the accident happened is just one part of the process. You also need to prove that it caused you physical harm. Preserving doctors’ reports, medical bills, and treatment schedules will help prove your injuries and your commitment to healing.
Black Boxes in Truck Accidents
Modern commercial trucks have three devices that, when combined, are commonly referred to as “black boxes”. These devices work in tandem to record information about the truck’s operation and the driver. Your attorney will request this data as soon as possible so accident reconstructionists can create a more realistic scenario to study.
The three devices are electronic control modules, electronic logging devices, and event data recorders. Although only the data recorder is specifically designed to hold crash data, the other two devices can similarly paint a picture of the events. These black boxes hold data such as:
- Average speed
- Sudden deceleration
- Average tire RPMs
- Driver hours and break schedules
- Engine malfunctions
- Changes in speed or driving patterns
Who can be found liable for the truck accident?
Truck investigations will help you determine who is liable for your truck accident. Trucking companies often try to cover up evidence, as they are often included in claims due to their culpability. It is important to hire an attorney who can help you file legal motions to protect evidence and ensure that authentic copies of the data are provided to both legal parties.
This evidence may prove that any of the following are liable:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of the goods being shipped
- Government entity
Potential Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident
The damages of a truck accident are immense. Not only do they cause grave physical injuries due to the force of the collision, but they can also cause life-long emotional distress.
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath understand the severity of these damages and the effect they have on your life. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that you get the damages you deserve for things like:
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
If you have experienced any of the above losses due to a truck accident, contact us today. We will help you pursue legal action and investigate the truck accident to ensure the liable parties are held responsible.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
An experienced truck accident law team has access to every resource you need to build your case and conduct a truck investigation to determine who is really at fault. This means that we find you the right experts and ensure that your claim is handled as efficiently as possible.
If you have experienced an injury due to a trucking accident and need assistance investigating your case, please contact our expert legal team for a free consultation today. We will review your case and help you determine your next steps.