Truck accident cases are more complicated than other traffic accident cases. This is partly due to the thorough investigations that must be conducted by a personal injury attorney immediately after the crash. These investigations will uncover evidence that can be used to prove liability and help the victim recover compensation for her injuries. What do these investigations consist of? Here's how a personal injury attorney investigates truck accidents:
Examining the Truck
A personal injury attorney may hire an expert to perform an inspection on the truck that was involved in the accident. The expert will carefully examine the truck to determine if the vehicle was properly maintained and if there are any signs that one of the parts malfunctioned while the truck was in motion. These clues can help the personal injury attorney narrow down the parties that could be liable for the accident.
Reviewing Company Records
Perhaps the most important step in the investigation is reviewing company records related to the accident. Your attorney will review the driver qualification file (DQF) to determine if the driver involved in the accident had a history of reckless driving or substance abuse. In addition to the DQF, a personal injury attorney will also need to see documentation that shows the driver was properly trained at the time of the accident.
Your attorney will need to obtain a copy of the data from the truck's electronic on-board recorder, which is a device that records information before, during, and after an accident. This data is incredibly valuable to your case because it can be analyzed to determine if the truck driver was driving recklessly, speeding, or fatigued at the time of the accident, which can be used to determine liability. For example, if the device shows that the truck was going well above the speed limit at the time of the accident, this means the truck driver and his employer could be at fault.
An attorney can also conduct interviews with the truck driver, the police officer that responded to the scene of the accident, and innocent bystanders that witnessed the collision. These individuals could provide valuable information as to what happened in the moments before the crash. For example, a witness may have noticed that cargo was flying off of the back of the truck right before the crash, which indicates that unsecured cargo could have caused the accident. Interviewing these individuals will help paint a complete picture of exactly what happened.
Conducting a thorough investigation of a truck accident is nearly impossible without the help of an attorney. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.