With nearly 3,000 truck crashes that cause injuries in California each year, commercial trucking accidents are an ugly reality – and if you’ve been in one, you don’t want to pursue your claims alone.
At Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer, & Frankel, LLP, we’ve helped thousands of clients who were the victims of traffic accidents, many of them involving commercial trucks. One factor that distinguishes truck accidents from other traffic accidents that just involve cars is the additional types of evidence that are often available in truck accident cases.
Because the trucking industry is regulated by both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the California Department of Transportation, it is often the case that in trucking accident cases there are records and data that can be accessed to gain further insight into the cause of the crash and who may be liable.
Types of evidence in truck accidents
Just like with car accidents, you’ll want to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene on your own, including:
- Insurance information of the other driver or drivers
- A written account of what happened, including any statements the other driver or drivers made
- Statements from nearby witnesses
- Photos of the damage to your vehicle and other vehicles involved (these will be used to demonstrate the environment, damages and the positions of the vehicles (unless you had to move them)
But when commercial trucks are involved, there are certain other pieces of evidence you can’t access at the scene that will help to build your case. These include:
- Event Data Recorders: Also known as the “black box,” event data recorders and similar devices are lodged in many commercial vehicles and record extensive data about the vehicle’s operation prior to the crash. An event data recorder can tell how fast the truck was going immediately prior to the crash, when the driver applied the brakes, and what condition the vehicle was in.
- Dashboard Cameras: Just as many commercial vehicles are equipped with event data recorders, many carry dashboard cameras as well. Retrieving the footage from these dashboard cameras often provide very useful evidence in demonstrating the facts of the accident from an impartial perspective.
- Company Records: The trucking company should have a plethora of log books and records documenting the driver’s driving history, mileage, shift hours, and any traffic violations in the past.
- Truck Inspection and Maintenance Reports: These are crucial in demonstrating the negligence of the trucking company in not maintaining their vehicles properly.
- On-site Drug and Alcohol Testing: Having the police administer breathalyzer and similar tests at the scene will also help to determine if the other driver was driving under the influence.
These are just a few examples of the types of evidence that will lead to crash victims getting the compensation they deserve.
If you have been in a crash involving a commercial truck, having an attorney experienced in truck accident lawsuits by your side will be your most powerful asset in establishing liability to receive full compensation for your losses.
Hire an attorney in California to help you gather evidence
Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer, & Frankel, LLP approaches every case with the compassion and attention to detail necessary to provide our clients with the best representation they can get.
Over the years, we have won more than $600 million for victims of defective vehicles, truck accidents, and distracted drivers.
While every case is unique, we have the experience and resources to provide aggressive and competent representation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.