Initial Truck Accident Investigation by an Attorney

Conducting a proper track accident investigation requires planning and strategic thinking. It is a crucial and often decisive stage of case building. By knowing how to do an initial truck accident investigation, the attorney doesn’t just help their clients restore justice; they also help prevent devastating accidents in the future.

truck accident investigation

How to Conduct an Initial Truck Accident Investigation as an Attorney

Investigating a truck accident is not as simple as it may seem at first glance. An inexperienced attorney can be tempted to skip the investigation and base their case solely on the police report. But to prove someone’s fault in a civil trial takes much more than that. To build a successful case, a lawyer needs to master the art of investigation.

truck accident investigation

Securing Accident Scene and Preserving Evidence

Ideally, attorneys or their aids should be at the accident scene immediately after an event to gather strong evidence: talk and exchange contact information with witnesses and the truck driver, take pictures of the scene, and document any relevant details like weather conditions, and any breaking marks on the road.

However, victims of truck accidents can wait a few months before hiring a lawyer. By then, some evidence can be permanently lost or liquidated by the truck company. In this case, to guarantee the preservation of all remaining evidence, an attorney must issue a spoliation letter to the defendant. This document will legally prevent the defendant from tampering with the evidence. It can, for example, prevent the trucking company from fixing any mechanical issues in the truck.

Gathering Police Reports and Witness Statements

Although it is important to gather police reports, they should not be the only evidence in the case. Police look for signs of criminal violations, not civil ones. This is why their reports often exclude facts and details that can make a major difference for the jury. For example, a police officer’s report can include a statement from the witnesses found at the crash site, but there are other types of witnesses that can testify in court. A subject matter expert – a physics professor, an experienced truck driver, a truck company owner, a truck mechanic, etc. – also can serve as a witness in court. Such witnesses can contribute valuable, expert-level insights into the situation and help the jury decide who was at fault.

Reviewing Trucking Company Records and Driver Logs

Another important piece of evidence that is typically omitted from police reports is trucking company records and driver logs. These documents include the trucking company’s safety policies, training procedures, maintenance protocols, driver’s working hours and mandatory breaks they took (or didn’t take), documents demonstrating the driver’s qualifications, etc. These records can become a decisive factor in proving the driver’s or their employer’s reckless and negligent behavior and must be carefully examined.

Frequency of Trucking Companies Hiring Disqualified Drivers and the Role of a Truck Accident Lawyer

Prior to becoming a truck driver, a person must meet several requirements connected to age, health, knowledge of the English language, and very specific licenses. When trucking companies have issues finding qualified candidates, some of them choose to take the easiest route: ignore the regulations.

How often do trucking companies hire disqualified drivers?

In 2022 alone, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cited a total of 14,965 federal and state violations of code 391, which outlines truck drivers’ qualifications criteria and the employer’s obligation to evaluate and monitor these qualifications. This statistic shows that trucking companies provably fail to conduct a proper assessment of their driving personnel or choose to ignore federal and state regulations completely.

How can a truck accident lawyer help?

Trucking companies that hire disqualified drivers put a great number of people in danger. By doing a diligent investigation and shedding light on a trucking company’s misdoings truck accident lawyers help make the roads safer and prevent devastating collisions in the future.

At the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, we are dedicated to promoting traffic safety. We work hard to investigate truck accidents and hold trucking companies accountable for legal violations.

If you want to learn how a truck accident lawyer can help you after a truck accident, reach out to us today via phone at 215-673-7733 or online for a free case evaluation.

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