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Truck Accident Investigations: Who Is at Fault
Accidents involving large commercial trucks, such as semi-truck and tractor-trailers, are all too common on the nation’s roadways. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were more than 146,000 truck accidents in the United States in 2019, leading to more than 4,600 fatalities and 68,000 injuries.
After these commercial vehicle accidents happen, investigations immediately take place and are often more complicated than other automobile accident investigations. It is important for you to have an attorney on your side to look over the process of the investigation conducted to make sure all of the evidence is collected and preserved for your case.
Who Investigates Truck Accidents?
Usually, local law enforcement will conduct the initial investigation, but the trucking company and their lawyers quickly arrive on the scene to investigate truck accident.
Immediately after an accident, the truck driver is responsible for contacting and informing the trucking company about the accident. The trucking company or motor carrier then immediately sends out a team of investigators to the accident scene to find evidence that helps them avoid liability. Who will be on scene looking out for your best interests? Nobody, unless you hire a truck accident lawyer right away. Depending on the severity of the accident, that trucking company may dispatch a team that can include lawyers, experts, and interviewers.
Occasionally, in wrongful death accident cases, state authorities will also launch an accident reconstruction investigation. However, state investigators may have little or no experience investigating heavy vehicle semi-truck accidents.
What Evidence Should Be Collected?
In performing a proper investigation, your attorney’s job is to collect and preserve evidence that helps prove how the accident occurred. The types of evidence that are especially important to preserve after truck accidents include vehicle inspection reports, event data recorder (black box information), and mobile devices like GPS data.
Otherwise, depending on the circumstances of the accident, important aspects of investigation may include collecting evidence such as:
• Cell phone data showing whether the driver was using the phone at the time of the accident
• Trip manifest, tickets, bill of lading, gas receipts, maintenance receipts, and other paper materials that reflect hours of service
• Log books documenting the driver’s rest and driving times
• Physical evidence such as debris at the scene or photographing such things as skid marks
• Driving history of the truck and trailer
• Weigh-in documentation
Further investigation on the part of your legal team may include reviewing intersection camera footage, interviewing witnesses and talking to medical staff, and bringing in consulting with accident reconstruction experts.
Who Is at Fault in Truck Accidents?
Determining who is responsible for a truck accident is a complicated process because there may be many parties that contributed to the accident. Looking at all potential responsible parties at play, which may include these parties:
• Truck driver
• Employer of the truck driver
• Owner of the truck
• Owner of the trailer
• Trucking company leasing the vehicle
• Truck and truck part manufacturers
• Freight shippers
• Loading company
• Manufacturer of cargo materials
• Insurance companies
Bottom line is, like in any other accident case, a negligent party must be identified. Your truck accident legal team can help you determine who was liable for the accident.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a truck accident, contact the Detroit Metro Truck Accident Attorneys of The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm. Our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 248-352-2110 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and serves the entire State of Michigan. Past results are not a guarantee of future results, and the outcome of your particular case or matter cannot be predicted using a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. Contacting us through our website does not create an attorney-client privilege. This website is attorney advertising.
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