Anyone injured in a truck accident has the right to seek compensation from a negligent trucker. In many ways, a truck accident case is like a car accident case. When someone fails to operate a motor vehicle with sufficient care, they are liable for any injuries or damage caused in a wreck.
However, there are key differences between truck accidents and car accidents. In particular, different types of evidence are available in truck accidents. This evidence is hard for most victims to obtain, so contacting a California truck accident lawyer is helpful. We can take the necessary steps to preserve this evidence for future use.
What Evidence Is Available In Truck Accident Cases?
These cases often turn on the trucker’s mistake that caused the crash. Our lawyers can seek:
- Electronic logging devices. These are installed on many modern trucks and record helpful information. Cars do not have equivalent systems.
- Trucking company screening and employment records. We use this evidence to see if the trucking company engaged in negligent hiring.
- Employee drug tests and physical exams to see if the trucker was healthy enough to be behind the wheel.
- Inspection and maintenance records for the truck involved in the crash.
- Testimony from those who loaded the truck.
This evidence can help us establish fault—who is responsible for the accident. If the trucker isn’t at least partially at fault, you can’t sue him. So gathering all helpful evidence is critical to a successful truck accident claim.
Why Is The Electronic Logging Device Important?
This device continually records information about the truck while it is in motion. Based on this evidence, we can often find out:
- The speed the driver was traveling before the crash
- Whether the driver applied the brakes before impact
- How long the truck had been in motion
This information can help us reconstruct your crash. It also might show the driver was negligent. For example, a trucker could have crashed due to fatigue. The trucker could easily falsify how many hours he had been driving with a paper log. But the electronic device should give us an exact number, which is hard to fake. If the trucker drove too long, he’s probably liable for your wreck.
Why Are Employment Records Important To My Case?
Trucking companies owe a duty to the public to use sufficient care when hiring and training truck drivers. Typically, this means they perform adequate background checks. If they don’t—and a dangerous trucker hits you—the trucking company could have independent liability for the crash.
Why Does A Trucker’s Health Information Matter For My Case?
The trucker’s health information matters in your case to establish liability. The truck driver might have fallen asleep due to narcolepsy or had a heart attack behind the wheel. Truckers must pass a physical exam before they can be employed. They also need regular physical exams afterward. The purpose of these exams is clear: to ensure that healthy drivers are behind the wheel.
We might find that a trucking company overlooked a serious medical condition, or they didn’t require an exam. In these examples, the trucking company has probably been negligent.
Can I Request This Information Without A Lawyer’s Help?
You could. But many accident victims don’t act fast enough. We can immediately get to work representing you. We know how to notify trucking companies that they must preserve evidence, including electronic logs.
Regarding health information, important federal rights prevent people from accessing it quickly. A lawyer knows how to request this information.
Why Do Maintenance Records Matter?
Trucking companies must maintain their fleets, which means having trucks inspected and repaired when problems come to light. Most trucking companies are diligent about keeping the safety of their vehicles. Some aren’t. Those who cut corners might also try to hide evidence or falsify documents. We can request maintenance records to see how diligent the trucking company has been. We might add the trucking company as a defendant based on what we find.
Can Unbalanced Loads Lead To Accidents?
Yes. This is why we might request information from the loading company. They can tell us how much cargo was loaded onto the truck. They might also help us understand if it was loaded improperly.
Tractor-trailers are long and thin, which makes them inherently unstable. If cargo isn’t loaded correctly, trucks can roll over or jackknife. We might sue the loading company for these accidents.
What Other Evidence Is Helpful For My Truck Accident Case?
We can also rely on evidence you might use in a car accident:
- Eyewitness testimony. These people can testify as to what happened in the moments before a collision, which helps establish fault.
- Dashcam footage or surveillance video. Having the accident on film helps clarify what happened.
- Pictures of the accident scene. You can help your case by taking photographs of your car and the truck.
- Any statements the truck driver made. Some truckers might admit liability for the crash. Or the trucker’s speech could be slurred, suggesting fatigue or intoxication.
As always, you should call the police after an accident. The officer could uncover information that might also be helpful. For example, the truck could be overweight, which prevented it from stopping in time. Or the truck driver might blow a high number on a breathalyzer. We might use this evidence in your case.
Will The Trucking Company Pay Compensation If They Are Liable?
Yes. Suing a trucking company is often ideal. They have deep pockets and substantial insurance policies. If you suffered catastrophic injuries, you’d need maximum compensation. Adding a trucking company as a defendant is one way we often increase the pot of money available.
Finding Answers After A California Truck Accident
The complexity of truck accident cases dwarfs those of car accidents. Many victims don’t know where to begin. Still, California gives you a limited time to bring a lawsuit. If you have questions, please contact our legal team today by calling 888-848-5084. Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC can review your case and determine your rights to compensation in a free consultation.
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