When it comes to an accident involving a commercial truck or 18-wheeler, evidence can be key to proving your case.
Not only must truckers drive defensively and follow the same traffic laws as everyone else, they must also adhere to federal rules laid out by the FMCSA. If you’ve been hurt in a car-vs-truck crash, call us today at 1-877-405-4313.
Accidents involving commercial trucks tend to be handled very different than accidents involving two passenger vehicles. If you have an injury claim, understand that the truck driver’s insurance company is going to look for every way to deflect blame or otherwise deny your claim.
While passenger car insurance policies generally carry $60,000 in personal injury coverage, semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are generally insured for over a million dollars. Because of this, their team of attorneys are likely already investigating the accident and going through evidence. In order to give yourself the best chance at a successful settlement, you need an attorney on your side working to collect and preserve any and all evidence that helps support your claim.
The truck’s electronic logging device.
In an attempt to limit the number of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put in place strict limits on how long a commercial truck driver can be on the road. The driver’s hours-of-service are logged either in a logbook or (more-commonly) by the vehicle’s electronic logging device (ELD). This is a vital piece of evidence in any car-vs-truck accident case.
Electronic logging devices contain detailed information their hours on the road, as well as their rest periods. It can show whether the driver was overexerting themselves by driving long distances without rest, or if they were being overworked in order to meet a certain delivery quota during the course of any given day.
If the logs show that the driver had exceeded their allotted hours of service, this evidence can prove invaluable when it comes to proving your claim. The sooner you can obtain this evidence, the better.
The truck’s electronic control module.
Also known as the black box, the big rig’s electronic control module (ECM) is a device responsible for collecting data about the voltage regulator, throttle, brakes, fuel injectors and other aspects of the engine.
Not only can this information be extremely helpful in regard to accident reconstruction, it can provide irrefutable evidence about the truck driver’s speed at the time of the crash, exactly when the brakes were applied, and can give an indication of the trucker’s overall driving habits.
Dash cams and other video evidence.
Most trucking companies now install dash cams in their trucks in order to get a holistic picture of their drivers’ performance. This video can provide invaluable evidence when it comes to determining fault in an auto accident.
For instance, it may show a drowsy truck driver drifting in and out of their lane, any driver distractions (such as mobile phone use) that may have led to the wreck, and can even be used to determine road conditions at the time of the accident.
Your accident may have even been caught on one of the many traffic cameras that line Texas highways. Neither the trucking company, nor the agency who controls the highway traffic cameras will make it easy for you to obtain this footage, but your attorney can and will demand such evidence be preserved and turned over.
The truck’s maintenance, repair and inspection history.
Trucking companies may sometimes skimp when it comes to maintaining their vehicles because they are looking to save money. Maintenance may not be done regularly, making it more-likely for vehicles to break down or malfunction at an inopportune time. This in and of itself may help prove the negligence portion of your claim.
The vehicle’s inspection history is also vital since it helps us get a picture of whether the company has had fines levied against them for not being on top of things as far as repair and maintenance is concerned.
In order to preserve this kind of evidence, it is important to know how to access it. As one of Dallas’ premiere truck accident injury law firms, our attorneys can help you obtain this evidence for no out-of-pocket cost. In fact, we never earn a fee unless (and until) we win your case and put money in your pocket. Call us today at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.
Speak With a Dallas Truck Accident Attorney For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.