If you are involved in a truck accident, you may experience serious injuries, pain, expensive medical treatment, and a long recovery period. After an accident, it is best to seek medical treatment and then contact The Burkett Law Firm for assistance. Evidence must be gathered while it is still available to help prove your claim.
You have the legal right to seek representation from an attorney who can utilize the services of accident investigators to preserve evidence. Here you can learn more about the truck accident investigation process and how it can benefit your truck accident claim.
The Truck Accident Investigation Process
In any personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (victim) must show that the defendant acted negligently and that this negligence caused their injuries. Since several parties may be at-fault in truck accidents, the process is often more complex.
Because of this, the claims usually begin with lawyers investigating the circumstances that caused your injuries.
Investigators must get to work immediately after an accident occurs to preserve evidence. Just like with any other MVA (motor vehicle accident), an investigator has to look for the cause of the accident, who could be at fault, and if alcohol or drugs may have been involved.
According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), trucking companies must cooperate with the investigations being done.
Steps Involved in the Truck Accident Investigation Process
Usually, investigating a truck accident will involve the following steps:
- Collecting evidence: Collecting evidence after a truck accident may include taking photos or videos of the crash site, vehicle damage, and debris caused by the accident.
- Examination of the truck company and driver’s records: This step involves an investigator taking a deep dive into the log books maintained by the driver, the driver’s driving record, and their personnel file (which is kept at the trucking company) for any possible safety violations.
- Identify and interview witnesses to the accident: The investigator will find and interview anyone who saw the accident or who was involved. They will also interview first responders who were at the accident scene.
- Finding and analyzing the data recorder from the truck: Some people call this the truck’s black box, and in many commercial trucks, it is used to record data, including accident data.
- Consult with experts: The investigator will consult with medical providers, forensic toxicologists, life care providers, and crash reconstruction experts to help strengthen your claims.
- Truck examination: The process of examining the truck is done to determine if there was defective equipment or an equipment failure. It is also used to assess the truck’s overall mechanical condition.
The truck accident investigator who handles each step will use the information they acquire to determine liability.
Understanding How the Truck Driver Is Investigated
Right after a truck accident occurs, police (or other authorities) will take statements from anyone who saw what happened and examine the truck. A critical step that has to occur is investigating the truck driver involved in the collision.
When this is done, the investigator may find evidence that would not have been known.
The investigation of the truck driver will also include finding out what led to the accident, such as:
- Negligent supervision
- Design flaws
- Negligent hiring process
- Failed truck parts
- Unsafe or unreasonable delivery requirements
- Poor truck maintenance
- Negligent truck drivers
Many truck drivers are on the road while fatigued or drowsy. This is a leading cause of accidents.
The FMCSA has established hours of service restrictions to prevent these situations; however, they still occur.
Examples of How a Truck Accident Investigation Should Not be Handled
The information above outlines the proper way to investigate a truck accident. Unfortunately, there are some incorrect ways to conduct this investigation, too. The best way to ensure these practices are not used is to hire an experienced law firm.
Some truck accident attorneys do not realize how important it is to get to the scene of a truck accident and begin the investigation as quickly as possible. This is necessary to preserve evidence that is needed to prove liability in your accident claim.
Sometimes, attorneys do not investigate. Instead, they base the entire case on the information contained in the police report. The issue with this is that the police report may not adequately represent all the factors leading to or contributing to the accident. Often, the reports are inaccurate or incomplete compared to other types of evidence that a truck accident investigator would gather.
Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Helps with Your Claim
When you hire a truck accident attorney from The Burkett Law Firm, you can feel confident that you have a dedicated team to collect as much evidence as quickly as possible. We have investigators who know what to look for during the investigation process.
We are also familiar with the tactics used by trucking companies to win their case. We have a positive track record of taking on trucking companies successfully.
Modern Trucking Companies Must Meet High Standards
When searching for evidence to use against a truck driver or truck company after an accident, it is necessary to understand the rules and regulations they must follow. Trucks are extremely dangerous to other vehicles and, as a result, are held to higher standards of safety.
At The Burkett Law Firm, we understand these regulations and will work on your behalf to help you collect the compensation you are entitled to. A truck accident can result in significant losses and long-term costs. We will help you get the recovery you deserve that accounts for all costs – current and future. Contact us for more information.