18 Wheeler Truck Accidents: Investigations
Lawsuits for injuries inflicted as a result of 18 wheeler accidents will require expert handling and experienced investigation. When trucks collide with motor vehicles in Texas, serious injuries or even death is commonly the outcome due to the immense size of the 18 wheeler.
The victims of such crashes will require serious compensation to offset their often tremendous damages, including massive medical expenses, long term injuries requiring time off work, and pain and suffering.
Truck accident investigations are far more involved than car accident investigations and will include obtaining evidence that most people would not know even exists. Some crucial investigation eliminates are addressed below.
The Driver Qualification File
In many truck accident cases, you will have a claim against not just the truck driver but the trucking company as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require that every trucking company maintain a Driver Qualification File (DQF) for every driver employed.
Some information in this file could prove crucial to your case. Required information includes:
- All employment applications
- Driving records, including records of all accidents of which the truck or driver has been involved
- Road test results
- Alcohol and blood test results
- Vehicle maintenance records
- The driver’s employment history
- Valid licenses
Your attorney will be able to secure a copy of the DQF and examine the information found within to uncover evidence of liability.
The Black Box
Commercial trucks are fitted with what is known as a black box. The black box is similar to that found on jet aircrafts. It allows authorities to investigate truck accidents after their occurred. The information contained within the black box can prove critical to uncovering what transpired in the moments before the accident.
Data found within the box may include:
- Sudden braking
- Sudden changes in velocity
- Speed at which the vehicle was traveling
- Changes in the engine’s RPMs
- Gear shifts or changes
If the truck additionally has a GPS tracking device, the vehicle’s exact location just prior to impact would be easily determined. This could prove essential to determining whether the truck driver’s conduct contributed to the accident.
Hours of Service Logs
Federal regulations mandate the maximum number of hours a driver can be on the road before stopping and sleeping. They also mandate break times and what drivers can haul. The hours of service log book will contain all such records. Your attorney will obtain and review the log in order to assess whether the driver was in compliance will all federal and state regulations.
Sometimes, drivers will exceed the hours of service requirements and falsify log records. Your attorney can seek evidence of record falsification, which could include checking time stamps on gas receipts, lading records, and more.
If the driver was in excess of the number of allowable hours, this could be monumental to your case as it substantiates negligence on the part of the driver and potentially the trucking company as well.
Zinda Law Group: Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys With Investigation Know How
Prompt and thorough investigation following a truck accident is vital to the success of your case. The Texas Truck Accident Attorneys at Zinda Law Group understand the investigation steps necessary to uncover evidence of truck driver, trucking company, or manufacturer negligence and more.
We explore all avenues of potential liability and skillfully gather the evidence that will result in your full award of compensation.
We offer a free consultation to new clients and have office locations across Texas. Call Zinda Law Group toll free at (800) 863-5312 to start us fighting for your full recovery.