Evidence is absolutely crucial in proving your case in an accident involving a commercial truck or 18-wheeler. Truckers must not only drive conservatively and observe the same traffic regulations as everyone else, but they must also follow the FMCSA’s federal rules.
If you are involved in a car accident while traveling in Texas, it may be possible to obtain compensation for any damages related to the wreck. However, the odds of obtaining a favorable outcome in a personal injury case involving a truck accident depend largely on the strength of the evidence that you’re able to collect.
Obtain statements from anyone who saw the wreck happen.
A statement from a credible witness may significantly increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement or jury award. An eyewitness may be able to confirm your version of what happened before, during, and after the motor vehicle accident took place. This individual may verify that the other driver was going too fast for road conditions when the wreck occurred. Alternatively, the eyewitness may confirm that the driver was impaired or distracted when the collision occurred.
Was the driver in compliance with state and federal laws?
Generally, you’re entitled to a copy of any records that might help determine if the person who caused the crash was in compliance with state and federal licensing laws. You may also be entitled to information that could help determine if a driver was in compliance with hours-of-service regulations at the time of the crash. You should ask for the results of any drug or alcohol tests that were conducted at the crash scene.
A personal injury settlement may enable you to cover medical expenses and lost wages in the event that you can’t work after a motor vehicle wreck. If settlement talks don’t yield a favorable outcome, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash and/or the company owning the truck. You generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a suit. Call us at (903) 999-2653 if you’ve been injured in a car-truck collision.
The Importance of Evidence in a Truck Accident Case
Commercial truck accidents are typically treated differently than incidents involving two passenger vehicles. If you have a personal injury claim, be aware that the truck driver’s insurance company will try to divert blame or dismiss your claim in any way they can.
Personal injury coverage for passenger cars is typically $60,000, whereas semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are typically insured for over a million dollars. As a result, their legal team is likely already investigating the accident and reviewing evidence. You need an attorney on your side collecting and preserving any and all evidence that supports your claim in order to offer yourself the best opportunity for a successful settlement.
The electronic logging device on the truck.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set severe limits on how long a commercial truck driver can stay on the road in an attempt to reduce the number of truck accidents caused by driver weariness. The hours-of-service of the driver are recorded in a logbook or (more typically) by the vehicle’s electronic recording equipment (ELD). In every car-vs-truck accident case, this is critical evidence.
Electronic logging devices store extensive information about their driving hours and rest periods. It can reveal whether the driver was overworking themselves to fulfill a certain delivery quota on any given day, or whether they were overexerting themselves by driving long distances without stopping.
If the logs reveal that the driver worked longer than their authorized hours, this data might be quite helpful in supporting your claim. It’s best if you can have this evidence as quickly as possible.
The electronic control module of the truck.
The electronic control module (ECM), sometimes known as the black box, is a device that collects data on the voltage regulator, throttle, brakes, fuel injectors, and other aspects of the engine.
Not only can this information help with accident reconstruction, but it can also provide indisputable proof about the truck driver’s speed at the time of the crash, when the brakes were applied, and an indicator of the trucker’s overall driving tendencies.
Video evidence from dash cams and other sources.
In order to gain a complete image of their drivers’ performance, most trucking companies now install dash cams in their vehicles. When it comes to determining culpability in a car accident, this video might be really useful.
It may, for example, reveal a fatigued truck driver drifting in and out of their lane, as well as any driver distractions (such as cell phone use) that may have contributed to the collision. It can also be used to determine road conditions at the time of the accident.
One of the many traffic cameras that line Texas roadways may have captured your accident. Although neither the trucking firm nor the organization in charge of the highway traffic cameras will make it simple for you to access this material, your lawyer can and will insist that it be kept and provided over.
The history of the truck’s maintenance, repairs, and inspections.
Trucking businesses may occasionally cut corners when it comes to vehicle maintenance in order to save money. Vehicles are more prone to break down or malfunction at inconvenient times if maintenance is not performed on a regular basis. This may be enough to establish the negligence component of your claim.
The vehicle’s inspection history is also important since it tells us whether the corporation has been fined for not keeping up with repairs and maintenance.
It is critical to understand how to obtain this type of evidence in order to preserve it. Our attorneys, as one of the Dallas leading truck accident injury law firms, can assist you in obtaining this evidence at no cost to you. In fact, we don’t get paid unless (and until) we win your case and get you money. For a free consultation, call (903) 999-2653 today.
Free Consultation with a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer
McKay Law truck accident attorneys are happy to chat with you about your prospective case at no cost. If we can assist you with your claim, we will do so at no cost to you. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (903) 999-2653 or use our contact form.