Truck accident cases can be complex partly because of the number of parties that may be liable for the victim’s injuries. Identifying the liable parties is one of the first steps that a personal injury attorney will take in a truck accident case, but it’s not easy. In order to determine liability, the attorney will need to conduct an investigation to gather more information on the cause of the accident. Here’s how an attorney will investigate a truck accident:
Obtain the DQF.
Federal regulations require trucking companies to keep driver qualification files, or DQFs, for every one of their drivers. After an accident, an attorney can obtain a copy of the driver’s file to see if he had a history of reckless driving. An attorney will also ensure the driver was qualified to operate a truck. If the driver had a history of reckless driving or was not qualified, the trucking company may be liable.
Demand the black box recordings.
Every truck has an electronic on-board recorder that is referred to as the “black box.” This device records information that may be vital to your case, including the speed the vehicle was traveling, whether the brakes were used, and steering changes. An attorney can use this information to determine exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
Inspect the truck.
Attorneys will also inspect the truck that was involved in the accident with the help of accident reconstruction experts, professional inspectors, and mechanical engineers. The inspection will help piece together the events of the accident and reveal if the truck was maintained properly. If the truck was poorly maintained, the trucking company may be liable.
Consider the cargo.
Overloading or improperly loading cargo onto a truck is dangerous and can lead to accidents. That’s why an attorney will need to determine how much cargo the truck was carrying at the time of the accident and how it was loaded.
Attorneys will reach out to people who were involved in the accident and those who witnessed it to hear what they believe happened. Bystanders can often provide valuable information on the conditions of the road, traffic signs or signals that the truck driver failed to obey, and the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. Witnesses may have also noticed that the truck driver seemed intoxicated or extremely drowsy after the accident, which is information that your attorney will need to know. Their statements play an important role because they are not involved in the accident and therefore do not have anything to gain by blaming the truck driver.
In some cases, an attorney will also reach out to the police officer who responded to the scene of the accident.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys will immediately begin to investigate to determine the cause of the accident and identify the liable parties. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.