How Do Attorneys Investigate an 18 Wheeler Accident?

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Collisions involving 18 wheelers often result in costly damages, severe injuries, and a higher chance of fatalities than other common accidents on the road. Big truck collisions can be devastating when they occur. It’s important that you have an experienced attorney on your side to investigate the accident, as there is a variety of evidence available in a claim against a trucking company that might not be available in a crash that only involves cars. However, it usually takes the know-how and experience of a practiced attorney to gain access to this evidence and conduct a thorough investigation of the driver of the 18 wheeler in addition to the trucking company they are working under to decide where liability falls.

After accepting your case, an experienced truck accident attorney will promptly begin an investigation.

It is important for the investigation to begin as soon as possible after an accident occurs to prevent evidence from being hidden, destroyed, or naturally dispersing. Types of evidence an attorney will collect in an 18 wheeler collision investigation will likely include but not be limited to the following:

  • Driving logs kept by the trucking company
  • Maintenance records for the vehicle
  • Employee driving records from the trucking company
  • Employee substance abuse test results
  • Training requirements for truck drivers
  • Data from the tracking technology embedded in many 18 wheelers
  • Video from the dashboard cameras installed in many 18 wheelers
  • Video from local surveillance cameras
  • Pictures or videos from the scene of the collision
  • Witness information and testimonies
  • Expert testimonies regarding both vehicles and the circumstances of the collision
  • Medical records regarding your injuries
  • Reports detailing the value and damage to your property

Truck accident attorneys have access to vital resources for the investigation, such as subject matter experts.

In addition to the types of evidence listed above, these attorneys have access to experts in engineering and accident reconstruction they can call on to evaluate the circumstances of your collision to decide what factors were at play, as well as the likelihood of negligence on the part of the truck driver and/or company. These expert testimonies can serve to greatly strengthen the validity of your claim, and may be hard to obtain on your own.

Immediately after a collision with an 18 wheeler, it’s imperative to call 9-1-1.

First and foremost, the victim of a collision with an 18 wheeler should seek medical attention for their injuries immediately after the wreck occurs. Many injuries in a vehicle collision may not be felt until days or even weeks after, but it’s important to seek medical care regardless. This ensures a medical record exists to prove the extent of and date your injuries were sustained further down the road.

Reporting the accident also ensures that law enforcement arrives at the scene and is able to preserve evidence before the trucking company’s own legal team can get to the scene and potentially alter evidence or attempt to frame the situation unrealistically to law enforcement in their favor. If you are unable to speak to law enforcement or take pictures at the scene due to your injuries, a loved one, friend, or attorney can do so on your behalf.

The sooner you contact an attorney after a collision with a large truck, the better.

It’s important to have an attorney begin their investigation into the accident as soon as possible after it occurs so they can begin to collect time-sensitive evidence and prevent the trucking company from hiding the truth about the collision to avoid liability. If you have questions regarding your rights after a collision with an 18 wheeler, or want to learn more about the investigation process, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel.

Written by AskTheLawyers.com on behalf of Raymond Hatcher with Sloan Firm.