- Evidence in a Commercial Truck Accident Case
- December 30, 2015
- Law Firm: Wilshire Law Firm - Los Angeles Office
- Following a commercial truck accident, the negligent truck driver and his or her employer should be held liable for any damages that you sustained. However, companies in the commercial trucking industry (worth hundreds of billions of dollars) have the wealth and resources to hire investigators, lawyers and other experts who specialize in disputing claims. In order to obtain maximum recovery for your losses, you must present evidence of the driver’s and company’s negligence. Consult with an attorney who has experience handling such matters for assistance.
Evidence must be discovered, gathered and presented to the court in accordance with state evidence and litigation procedures. The following are examples of acceptable evidence in a truck accident case.
Delivery and Hours Logbooks
Under regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial truck drivers are required to keep careful records of their hours on and off the road to ensure that they do not violate any Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.
Fatigued driving is a significant issue in the trucking industry. Since many companies pay based on miles traveled and some even offer bonuses for faster delivery times, drivers may feel incentivized to violate HOS regulations and falsify their logbooks in order to secure bigger checks. For this reason, a close examination of a driver’s logbooks is always recommended in an accident investigation.
Information from the Truck Data Recorder or Camera
Many trucks today have data recorders ¿ also referred to as “black boxes” ¿ as well as cameras installed both inside and outside the cab. Black boxes record information like how fast a truck was going or whether its brakes were engaged at the time of an accident. Cameras record both the road in front of the truck and, often, the driver’s activities in the truck’s cab. The information recorded on these devices can be used to determine whether any negligent behaviors contributed to the accident.
Witness and Expert Testimony
While material evidence is integral to a case’s success, statements from witnesses and certain experts can be beneficial as well. A witness may have information that corroborates your side of the story or even helps identify the negligence that caused the accident and your injuries. In addition to witnesses, your attorney may also call upon accident reconstruction experts, medical specialists and other relevant professionals to testify on your behalf and use their authority to enhance the credibility of your case.
Other types of evidence that can be used to prove negligence in a truck accident case include the following:
- Blood test results;
- Police reports or citations against the truck driver;
- Traffic camera videotapes;
- Driving records or personnel files;
- Cargo-loading records; and
- Inspection and maintenance records.