In a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver, federal safety regulations and industry standards can play a role in proving the trucker’s and trucking company’s liability for causing the 18 wheeler wreck. This is much different from proving fault in a passenger vehicle collision. In order to know what documents you need from the trucker, the trucking company, and other sources, you need the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney who has handled many of these cases and understands the federal regulations and record keeping required of trucking companies.
Evidence That Could Help in Your Truck Collision Claim
You will still need the basic evidence required in many vehicle accident claims, such as pictures of the scene of the wreck, damage to the vehicles, and your injuries, witness statements, expert witness testimony, and your medical bills. However, you also need the following:
- Driver records. Some of the records regarding the trucker include specific information required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), such as his training file, his hours-of-service documentation, and pre and post-inspection records. These can help show whether he was qualified when he was hired, how much training he received, and whether he complied with federal regulations regarding how many hours he could work.
- Truck condition. Downloads of on-board system and communication devices, such as engine module, brake module, onboard communication systems, and GPS tracking systems, can help identify the cause of the crash. Maintenance and inspection records can also establish whether maintenance problems contributed to the wreck.
- Load and cargo. Bills of lading, weight tickets, trip envelopes, dispatch instructions, and delivery documents are a few of the documents that can help show that improper loading or other loading violations were the cause of your crash. These documents can also point to other at-fault parties.
- Insurance policies. Insurance policies, named insured, and additional liability insurance coverages are important documents necessary to determine the amount of liability insurance the trucker, trucking company, and other liable parties carry.
- Employer documents. Employee training and safety manuals and policies, trucker daily log, inspection reports, communications between the trucker and trucking company, dispatch records, and fuel receipts are a few of the documents that the employer should have that could help prove their fault. They may also show discrepancies between what the trucker said happened and what really happened in your crash.
These are just some of the documents that could be helpful in your case. Under FMCSA rules, the trucking company is only required to keep many of these records for six months to a year. It cannot be stressed enough how critical it is to hire an experienced truck wreck attorney as soon as possible after your crash. He can send the trucking company a spoliation letter right away to preserve this type of evidence so that it is not destroyed.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver, contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free case evaluation.