What Evidence Do I Need To Prove My Truck Accident Claim?
Truck accidents are different from other types of car crashes, as the injuries sustained are almost always more severe and the property damage far more catastrophic. Furthermore, truck drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with more federal and state regulations, which can have implications when attempting to hold someone liable for a crash. Because the damages tend to be so much worse after a truck accident, it is especially important for accident victims to file a claim against the people who caused the collision. This in turn, will require the gathering of strong evidence, much of which will likely be in the hands of the trucking company and so may require the help of a legal representative to obtain.
Black Box Recordings
Some of the most important evidence for a truck accident victim is the data from the truck’s Event Data Recorder (EDR), which records and stores critical information about the truck, including:
- Its speed prior to the crash;
- Whether the driver engaged the brakes prior to the collision;
- The number of hours the driver was on the road;
- Its average RPMs; and
- Its rate of acceleration.
Unfortunately, this data is usually only stored for 30 days, or less, so it’s important for accident victims to move quickly to obtain this evidence after a crash.
In-Cab Camera Footage
Many trucking companies install rear and front-facing video cameras in their vehicles. Front-facing cameras will show the driver, including whether he or she was distracted, drowsy, or engaged in other dangerous behaviors before the crash. A rear-facing camera, on the other hand, will show the view of a truck and can reveal whether a driver was speeding, driving too closely to other vehicles, or making unsafe lane changes. Again, trucking companies don’t keep this data indefinitely, making speedy requests for evidence of the utmost importance.
Truck Driver Log Books
Under federal law, truck drivers are only allowed to drive for a certain amount of time before they must take a rest break. They are also required to log the hours they have driven and rested during their shifts in specific log books. The information in these books can play a critical role in demonstrating either the negligence of the driver, or a trucking company’s practice of overextending its drivers.
Truck Maintenance Records
Truck drivers and their employers have a duty to inspect, maintain, and repair their trucks. They must also record their inspections, maintenance efforts, and repairs. These records can also be used by accident victims to show that a truck was in poor condition and the trucking company ignored it or failed to address it in time, which resulted in an accident.
We Can Help You Collect Evidence
At Anderson & Anderson, our dedicated Tampa truck accident attorneys and support staff have been honing our investigative skills for nearly 40 years. We can help you collect the evidence you’ll need to improve your chances of filing a successful claim after your accident. Call us at 813-251-0072 to learn more.