Being involved in an accident with a truck is serious business. Injuries from trucking accidents (not to mention vehicle damage) tend to be severe and sometimes catastrophic. Victims of crashes that weren’t their fault deserve ample compensation for their injuries and losses. However, trucking companies have a lot of legal and financial resources behind them, and will go a long way in an attempt to deny responsibility for their drivers’ actions.
The proof is in the evidence
After a North Dakota truck accident, you may be eligible to bring a personal injury case against a negligent driver or company. Successful cases typically hinge on strong evidence, and successful cases hinge on having experienced Minot injury attorneys who know how to find this evidence.
Aside from typical evidence like crash scene photographs and police reports, there are a number of other ways a truck crash victim can prove liability.
Black box recorders
Most commercial trucks are equipped with black boxes – similar to airplanes – that record speed, braking, airbag deployment information, and fuel consumption. They also, crucially, record the number of hours the trucker was driving, which is critical in proving whether the driver was following hours-of-service regulations.
Modern trucks and tractor-trailers have internal cameras for security purposes. The footage from these cameras can help determine if the driver was engaged in distracted or reckless driving – like talking on the phone, eating or drinking, or texting behind the wheel. Note that it’s important to have your attorney secure this footage as soon as possible before it is destroyed.
Drug and alcohol testing results
According to federal regulations, truckers must submit to drug and alcohol screenings after any accident that causes injuries or fatalities. The outcome of this testing can prove that a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Driver records and logs
Truck drivers are required to keep detailed records of their driving and resting hours, as well as their pre- and post-trip maintenance and inspection checks. If your attorney finds that the trucker was driving too long without a break, or that the vehicle was improperly maintained, this can be proof the accident was not your fault.
Trucking companies are required to maintain thorough records regarding their vehicle fleet as well as their drivers. Their truck inspection and maintenance records must be up to date, as well as their employees’ information. This should include their driving and accident history, any medical issues, training certification, and any other relevant information. Sometimes this information can uncover negligent hiring practices.
Any third-party witnesses who saw your accident may testify or submit statements as to how it occurred. Corroboration, especially by neutral parties, can be a powerful tool in the courtroom.
An accident with a semi-truck can leave passengers and drivers in other vehicles with serious injuries. When a trucking company attempts to deny liability for an accident, you’ll need help seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. The Minot truck accident attorneys at Larson Law Firm, P.C. can provide assistance. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney in Bismarck or Minot, please call 701-484-HURT, or fill out our contact form.