If you were involved in a truck accident, it’s essential to understand how law enforcement officials conduct truck accident investigations and what you can do when it happens. Consulting a truck accident attorney will help you learn the investigation process and pursue a successful claim.
Overview of Truck Accident Investigations
The responsible parties in a truck accident should be punished for setting a bad example so that they don’t cause further damage to the roads and endanger other lives.
However, before this can happen, an investigation must determine all liable parties. As such, a truck accident investigation is a multi-dimensional process with specific standards and indications to ascertain who is at fault.
Due to its tedious nature, it’s wise to consult a lawyer to guide you on how the process works. The attorney will advise you on the investigation steps and help you get a fair claim for all your damages.
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What Should You Know About Truck Accident Investigations?
Investigations will be conducted after a truck accident to determine how the accident occurred and the cause. Investigations can still happen later to unravel what could not have been known immediately after the accident.
In most cases, investigations aim to prove the following:
- Design flaws
- Malfunctioned truck parts
- Reckless truck drivers
- Casual hiring process by the trucking company
- Negligent supervision
- Unreasonable delivery requirements
- Inadequate truck maintenance
Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stipulates the hours of service to curb drowsy or fatigued driving, some truck drivers operate their truck when tired, so they end up causing accidents.
What Are the Steps for Truck Accident Investigations?
Truck accidents are more complex than the fender benders that happen daily. Many factors contribute to truck accidents, and they can change with each accident. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to investigating truck accidents.
Although all relevant parties, like trucking companies, attorneys for each party, and insurance companies, need to be involved, the investigation steps include:
Security and Scene Preservation
The first step is to secure the accident scene. A truck accident can be caused by multiple factors, such as cargo shift, truck driver fatigue, or mechanical failure. Preserving the location is important because a slight change in the evidence can affect the whole investigation and lead to inaccurate findings.
The second step involves collecting data from the scene to help determine what happened. The data collected might include images, video footage, measurements, or other information that can help piece together the events that led to the accident.
Truck Driver and Company Records Review
Here, the investigators will examine the driver and company records of the trucking company involved in the accident. This will include obtaining the truck driver’s driving history, criminal background, training, and employment records. It will also include identifying who employed the driver and examining the company’s inspection, maintenance, and repair procedures for its vehicles.
Witness Identification and Interviewing
This step involves identifying any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can disappear after an accident, so this step is crucial to getting information on what happened. We advise getting witness statements right away instead of waiting until later as they may not be as accurate as they were right after an accident occurs.
Truck’s Data Recorder Analysis
Many trucks now have black boxes to record speed, braking distance, the engine’s revolutions per minute (RPM), and other factors that might be useful in determining the causes of an accident. The truck’s data recorder must be located and analyzed before it’s destroyed or erased.
You may have to consult automotive engineers or other experts to help you get more information about the trucks or other vehicles involved in an accident. The information provided by these experts can be used in collecting evidence concerning the cause of the accident.
Investigators must check all the truck parts, such as tires, braking system, and steering, among others, to ensure they are functioning correctly. A detailed inspection provides crucial information concerning how the driver operated the vehicle before the accident.
Contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers for Legal Help
Truck accident investigations do not get far along into the process if a preliminary investigation indicates that the driver or the trucking company is at fault. The fault will immediately be determined in most cases, and any further questions or evidence collecting might become unnecessary.
If you’re a truck accident victim, contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers for legal help with your case. Our lawyers will help with the investigations to find the liable parties and strive to get you fair compensation. Contact us to discuss the way forward for your case.