What Kind of Proof Is Used in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

What Kind of Proof Is Used in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?While the black box in a truck (the electronic control module or ECM) is important for understanding what happened in an accident, it’s not the only thing lawyers consider. While the black box provides data about the truck’s performance, like its speed and brakes, to prove who’s responsible for the accident, other factors need to be examined. For example, lawyers check if the truck driver was driving recklessly, and if the trucking company properly maintained the truck. Eyewitness accounts, company policies, and other evidence help paint the full picture. So, while the black box is helpful, it’s just one piece of the puzzle lawyers use to show who should be held responsible in a truck accident.

Three main factors Richmond lawyers look for in a truck accident case

In a truck accident lawsuit, our lawyers look for these three things to build a strong case, and to prove liability lies with the truck driver, trucking company, and/or another party:

  • Driver’s actions and fault. First, we review what the truck driver did during the accident, paying attention to specific things like driving recklessly, speeding, or not following traffic rules. The initial review starts with the crash report, but we can also request access to cellphone data, black box data, surveillance or dash cam footage, and so forth.
  • Truck maintenance and company behavior. We examine truck maintenance records and whether the company followed safety rules. Regular maintenance is important. If the trucking company didn’t maintain the vehicle properly or didn’t follow rules about driver training and work hours, they could be considered negligent, which might contribute to their responsibility for the accident.
  • External factors and precautions. Apart from the driver and the company, we also look at other things that might have influenced the accident, including weather or road conditions to determine whether the driver and the company took the proper steps to handle these conditions safely.

After determining what needs to be proven, the next step is searching for the best evidence that demonstrates negligence or recklessness by the defendant/s.

What evidence is examined to determine fault?

In a truck accident case, proving who’s responsible and supporting your claims requires  various types of evidence gathered from the scene of the accident and from the truck itself.

Evidence often used when determining liability for a truck accident case includes:

  • Accident scene evidence. Pictures and videos of the accident scene that show vehicle damage, skid marks, and road conditions help to tell the story. Accident reconstruction experts recreate the accident using data to explain how it happened in detail.
  • Eyewitness testimonies. Statements from people who saw the accident firsthand can describe the truck driver’s actions and other important details.
  • Driver and company records. Checking the driver’s logbooks reveals if they followed rules regarding driving hours, highlighting potential fatigue issues. Additionally, records of the driver’s training and qualifications help prove (or disprove) their ability to drive the truck.
  • Maintenance and inspection records. Regular maintenance and inspection records of the truck are important, and gaps might suggest negligence on the part of the trucking company.
  • Electronic data. Many trucks have electronic systems – such as a black box – recording data on speed, braking, and engine performance to offer g insights into the truck’s behavior.
  • Weather and road conditions. Information about the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident helps determine whether external factors played a role.
  • Police reports. Official reports filed by law enforcement officers contain valuable information, including statements from involved parties and fault assessments.
  • Expert testimonies. Experts in various fields, like accident reconstruction specialists and meteorologists, explain complex issues in simpler terms and offer opinions on the cause of the accident.
  • Trucking company policies and procedures. Reviewing the trucking company’s policies can reveal whether they had safety measures in place and if these were followed.
  • Previous violations and incidents. Records of past violations, accidents, or safety issues involving the truck driver or the trucking company establish a pattern of negligence.

Collecting and presenting a combination of these types of evidence strengthens the case and creates a strong argument regarding who was at fault and the damages involved in a truck accident lawsuit.

At Phelan Petty Injury Lawyers, our truck accident attorneys in Richmond leave no stone unturned when it comes to gathering evidence in support of our clients’ cases. Beyond the data provided by the truck’s black box, we meticulously examine other evidence to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the incident. Our team focuses on establishing driver negligence, scrutinizing company policies and practices, and delving into maintenance records, and use eyewitness accounts and expert opinions to strengthen our narrative. Through this thorough approach, we create a compelling case that proves liability and maximizes our clients’ chances of securing the compensation they deserve. If you have been in a truck accident in Virginia and need advice about how to proceed, schedule a free consultation by calling our office or filling out our contact form. We’re here to help.

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