Getting Evidence from a Trucking Company after an Injury Accident

Getting Evidence from a Trucking Company after an Injury Accident

By Neil Kalra

When you take legal action against a trucking company for legal damages after an accident, you have a right to request and obtain certain records. You should be assisted by a seasoned truck accident lawyer due to the very complicated nature of your case. Going it alone is recipe for disaster.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces strict regulations on the trucking industry. The trucking company must retain certain vital records for a certain period of time: usually between six and 12 months. So it’s important to move quickly before these time limits expire.

At the beginning of your case, your attorney sends a letter to the trucking company. It clearly informs the company of your pending legal action and politely reminds the company that it must retain certain records for that purpose.

Each case is different, but some of the types of evidence that are usually very helpful in truck accident claims include the following.

Logbooks: The driver’s logbook, which may be paper or electronic, shows any violations to the FMCSA’s hours of service rules all Over-the-road truckers must follow. For example, if the trucker drove more hours than allowed, driver fatigue may have contributed to your accident.

Employment file: Records in the driver’s personnel file could also prove useful. Did the driver have a history of accidents? Was he adequately trained? Did he have any health issues which affected his ability to drive safely? If the company did not fulfill its duty to investigate drivers for competence prior to putting them behind the wheel of a big rig rig, injured victims may hold the firm liable for their injuries

Maintenance records: These and DOT inspection reports on the truck in question may reveal inconsistencies in required maintenance checks or failures to fix known problems. They also show if the driver performed required periodic cargo checks to ensure it was properly secured immediately before the wreck. If a mechanical or other truck component caused the accident, maintenance records can be compelling evidence that proves truck company negligence.

Post-accident drug/alcohol testing: The FMCSA commands that all commercial truck drivers involved in any injury accident submit to drug and alcohol testing immediately after the wreck. Your attorney needs a copy of these test results because any presence of drugs in the driver’s system at the time of your accident is almost an automatic stamp of negligence.

Cell phone records: FMCSA regulations strictly prohibit commercial truck drivers from talking on the phone, texting, or surfing the internet while driving. If the driver’s phone records show he was using his phone when the accident occurred, proving your liability case becomes much stronger.

If you can obtain proof from the company records that indicates that the driver or carrier violated a standard or otherwise acted carelessly, you can use that as evidence to support – and hopefully win – your claim.

These records, in conjunction with your attorney’s stringent investigation, police reports, witness statements and forensic evidence uncovered by your lawyer’s expert witnesses all combine to build compelling arguments against the trucking company and its driver that you are owed the fullest and fairest compensation for an accident caused by these defendants’ negligence.

Whether you or a family member was injured due to a car accident, commercial vehicle accident, or semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve. The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting car accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. Call our New York City and Queens car accident lawyers today if you have any questions about a car accident you were involved in. Call us at (718) 897-2211

Tags: Features, Health and Safety, Law and Politics, New York

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