Traffic accidents involving trucks are quite different than those that involve other kinds of motor vehicles, and the aftermath of a truck crash often results in catastrophic injury or death. The size differential between a truck and an average-sized passenger car is vast, and in a collision the smaller vehicle stands little chance of coming out unscathed.
Negligence claims can always be tricky, and accident reconstruction is a vital part of any investigation into an accident. But when it comes to commercial vehicle drivers, in particular those driving 18-wheelers whose training and experience should make them safer on the road, there are a number of key ways to establish not only driver culpability, but also third-party liability when there is an accident.
Following the evidence
There are strict federal and Georgia state regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that uphold strict safety standards when the trucks are on the road. These measures prevent accidents from happening due to faulty equipment, lack of standard vehicle maintenance, proper cargo placement as well as noncompliance with hours-of-service regulations which limit the driver’s number of consecutive hours on the road, number of rest breaks and time when they must be off-duty.
When these regulations are violated, it is up to a strong legal team that specializes in truck accidents to investigate the causes. Evidence of negligence on the part of the driver, the trucking company, equipment manufacturers or cargo loaders can be discovered through an examination of:
- Driver logs
- Post-accident drug and alcohol testing results
- Accident registers or driver qualification files
- Bills of lading, weight tickets and hotel receipts
- Inspection reports and maintenance repair records
- Driver cams and on-board recording devices
Identifying responsible parties
An analysis of key evidence is crucial to establishing the underlying causes of the accident as well as the responsible parties. Third-party entities can be culpable such as the truck company for not properly maintaining the vehicle, equipment manufacturers for faulty equipment, or cargo loaders for not properly balancing the load of making it secure.
Driver error resulting in behaviors such as speeding, failure to yield the right of way, distracted or careless driving and impairment contributes to most fatal crashes involving large trucks.
If you or a loved one is suffering after a serious accident, it is important to have skilled legal counsel serving the Savanna community to give meticulous attention to your claim in order to achieve the optimal results.