Why are there so many horrible truck collisions here?
Last week in Dallas there was another catastrophic collision between an 18-wheeler and a vehicle that took someone’s life. And last night near DFW Airport the tractor-trailer shown here crashed and caught on fire. We see these wrecks far too often in North Texas.
The federal government recently released a study that showed that 120,000 truck crashes happened in two years, and this was back in the early 2000’s. Since then, the population and number of vehicles have exploded, so the number is much higher. Seeing a speeding or reckless 18-wheeler driver or resulting crash is common.
If you or someone you love have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, you need the best legal assistance — and fast. There are three reasons:
- A good lawyer will investigate liability, hire accident reconstruction experts, interview police officers and eyewitnesses, secure evidence, and prove that the trucking company driver and his company were at fault. On the other hand, the truck company will send out its attorneys and investigators to the scene immediately to do the exact opposite.
- Survivors often suffer from permanent injuries. The attorney can arrange necessary medical care, help get expensive bills paid, and secure a good settlement or verdict to pay for damages.
- Multiple vehicles and insurance policies are usually involved.
The key to winning your case is to obtain as much evidence as possible. By doing so, a victim of a truck crash will greatly increase his or her chances of receiving the best financial results.
Critical evidence needed
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the injured person or family needs to prove that the truck driver, trucking company, and/or vehicle manufacturer were to blame for the crash.
To do so, it is essential that the following data and documents are obtained:
- Electronic logging devices: Fatigue and exhaustion are responsible for hundreds trucking accidents in Texas each year. For decades the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration required truck drivers to keep a “paper and pencil” written log of their hours. Starting this year, new laws are phasing in the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) across the country. After a trucking accident, it is essential to obtain data from the ELDs before they are lost, overwritten, or destroyed.
- Black box data: Many people are familiar with black boxes being on airplanes. However the majority of large trucks today also have built-in crash computers that record impact data, pre-collision braking and speeds, and other crucial information.
- Maintenance records: By looking at a truck’s maintenance records, you can determine when the vehicle was last serviced. Maintenance records can also reveal if the truck has had any underlying issues in the past. Failure to properly maintain the vehicle is the fault of the trucking company as well as the driver.
- Dash cam videos: If you or the truck driver had a dash cam record the wreck, the footage may be invaluable to your case.
- Witness statements: While high-tech gadgetry can certainly bolster your case, some of the best evidence to support accident claims comes from eyewitness accounts. This includes passengers, onlookers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
- Traffic camera footage: Depending on where your trucking accident occurred, the collision may have been recorded on a traffic camera. However, you must act fast because the images can be erased quickly.
- Driver qualification records: Trucking companies must keep a driver qualification record. This file shows a driver’s compliance and safety violations, age, qualifications, and training. If a driver is underage, yet to be trained, or unqualified to operate a semi-truck, the trucking company may also be at fault for your accident.
Every Texas trucking accident is different. Only after reviewing the details of your case can an injury attorney determine your best path forward.
We can help you
Berenson Injury Law has 38 years of experience representing truck accident victims throughout Texas. We understand what’s on the line with your accident claim and we are ready to work diligently to help you get the money you deserve.
Please call us at 817-885-8000 (toll-free at 1-888-801-8585) or contact us online today if you have any questions.
Our firm has a separate truck blog that can answer questions you may have including these posts:
— Who pays your damages after an 18-wheeler crash?
— Four defense tactics trucking companies use to avoid liability
— How to prove truck’s maintenance violations to get higher award