If you’ve been injured in traffic accident, you should always speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. But, if you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, it is even more important to talk to a lawyer right away. There are many important pieces of evidence that could be lost if too much time passes between an accident and you having a lawyer start an investigation.
Recently, a driver in Texas was outside his car on the side of the highway when he was struck and killed by a semi-truck. The trucker drove another 1,400 miles; changed his tires, which were then lost; and eventually abandoned the truck in a parking lot in California before it was recovered by the trucking company and left in an outdoor storage lot for three months. During this time much of the important evidence was lost.
Anytime there is an accident involving a plane there’s always talk of the “black box,” that mysterious source of all information about the crash. Just like a plane, many commercial trucks carry a similar “black box” and, just as with a plane, that box can be just as important in a traffic accident. Called an Event Data Recorder (EDR), these truck “black boxes” contain all kinds of data about the condition of the truck – its speed at the time of the crash, whether the driver braked before the crash, how often the truck has been maintained, and a lot of other information important in a civil lawsuit. But all this data isn’t saved for long and can be easily lost if action isn’t taken quickly.
There are many other considerations when looking into a civil suit against a commercial trucking company or driver, including the driving history of the truck driver and the industry safety rating system. Most trucking companies use the Comprehensive Safety Analysis system to monitor drivers and their actions. This score is updated every 30 days and is based on seven different categories: (1) unsafe driving; (2) fatigued driving; (3) driver fitness; (4) drug and alcohol use; (5) vehicle maintenance; (6) load securement, and size and weight faults; and (7) crash history. Any or all of this information could be useful in a civil lawsuit and might not be available if too much time passes.
An attorney can send preservation letters, find and secure the truck, and find and secure your car to preserve evidence. After suffering a crash caused by a commercial truck, don’t get hit again with the loss of evidence because you didn’t get an experienced and dedicated attorney involved as soon as possible.
If you have been injured as the result of a crash caused by a commercial truck, see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions. We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of a negligent driver. Our initial consultations are always free.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.