What Evidence Matters In 18 Wheeler Trucking Or Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Those injured in a trucking accident will often inquire as to what types of evidence can be used to help win their case. It will almost never be the case that there is a video of what happened. Typically the facts must be pieced together from a variety of different sources.
If they are able to do so, the persons involved directly in the accident will be given an opportunity to explain what they saw and experienced. This can be critical evidence in establishing what happened. But as one can imagine, two people’s recollections as to what happened will rarely be the same. This is particularly true when one of those parties is attempting to avoid responsibility.
Fortunately, other evidence can be used by lawyers and the courts to establish what truly happened. This includes:
- Eyewitnesses – Eyewitnesses can be very important to establishing critical facts. Eyewitnesses may be able to attest how fast the truck was going, whether there were any signs of braking, whether the truck swerved, etc. Unlike those involved directly in the accident, eyewitnesses ordinarily cannot be accused of being biased, and thus can be very helpful in establishing the truth to a judge or jury.
- Crash site evidence – Evidence at the crash site itself can be instrumental in establishing what happened. This includes tire skid marks, gouges and scrapes, fluid spills, damage to guardrails, etc.
- Documents related to the truck driver – In nearly every trucking accident, it is important to review the driver’s file, including documents reflecting the driver’s qualifications and certifications, safety performance, their training, the number of hours they have been driving, driver inspection records, and post-collision drug and alcohol screening records.
- Truck records and data – Documents and information regarding the truck involved in an accident can be used to shed light on why the accident occurred, including downloads from the onboard systems and data event recorders, the truck’s maintenance records, the truck’s inspection records, and data from onboard GPS devices.
- Inspection of the vehicle – Oftentimes, it is appropriate and feasible to inspect the actual vehicles involved in the accident. This may include looking at and photographing the steering system, braking system, wheel and tire system, and any other system or component that may have been involved in causing the accident. An inspection of the vehicle could also include examining the vehicle for any pre-existing damage. Sometimes, evidence from inside the cabin can also be important, because it provides insight into the conduct of the driver before the accident.
- Documents related to the cargo – If the condition of the cargo is an issue, potential evidence that should be consulted includes bills of lading, weight tickets, trip envelopes, delivery documents, and dispatch documents.
The Texas truck accident lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard can determine what evidence is necessary to pursue your commercial motor vehicle or 18-wheeler truck accident. They have the skills and experience to help you and your family secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact us now for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your options. Your consultation will be kept secret, and it does not obligate you to hire our law firm or file a claim.