How regulations impact crash investigations

A review of trucking regulations shows why prompt investigation of tractor trailer truck crash is crucial to winning tractor trailer truck injury death cases.

You can count on the fact that, even before the dust from the tractor trailer truck crash settles, the truck company or its insurance company will send an investigator to the crash scene to interview witnesses and collect forensic evidence found in the road, captured by the tractor trailer truck’s data recording systems, or entered in the driver’s logs. This evidence tends to disappear if it is not immediately preserved. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) applicable to interstate trucking require the trucking company to retain much of this crucial information for only six months.

As discussed above, obtaining an accurate set of driver logs showing the truck driver’s hours of service may be critical to winning the case.

A skilled tractor-trailer crash attorney will begin a case representation by sending a letter to the trucking company forcing them to preserve evidence which they may otherwise be allowed to destroy. We immediately consult with the appropriate truck industry experts, hire an accident investigation team, and hire court reporters to transcribe all testimony connected to the traffic trial of the truck driver. In one case, our investigators located a tractor-trailer truck front bumper that had been removed from the truck by the trucking company.

The trucking company defended the case on the theory that its truck was not the truck that made contact with our client’s car. The bumper that we recovered proved otherwise. Thorough discovery of another case revealed that, long after the police left the scene of the crash, the trucking company sent a private drug testing company to the scene to test its driver. The driver tested positive for cocaine. These are just examples of the importance of prompt and aggressive investigation and discovery in truck crash cases.