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The complexity of investigations after a trucking accident

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Personal Injury

Trucking accidents are among the most devastating incidents on the road. They often result in severe injuries, fatalities and extensive property damage. Furthermore, the aftermath of a trucking accident is often marked by chaos and confusion, not only for the victims involved but also for the teams tasked with unraveling the events that led to the incident.

The complexity of these investigations stems from numerous factors, including the size and nature of commercial trucks, the variety of regulations governing their operation and the multiple parties that may be involved.

Initial response and evidence collection

The first phase of any trucking accident investigation involves an immediate response to the scene. Law enforcement and specialized accident investigation teams work together to:

  • Secure the area
  • Assist the injured
  • Begin the evidence-collection process

This stage is crucial for gathering physical evidence, such as vehicle debris, skid marks and electronic data from the truck’s event data recorder (EDR), which can provide vital information about the vehicle’s speed, brake application and steering movements prior to the collision.

Factors used to determine liability in trucking accidents

Commercial trucks operate under a strict regulatory framework set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Investigators must thoroughly review a trucking company’s compliance with these regulations, including:

  • Driver qualifications
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Hours-of-service logs

This review can reveal if regulatory violations, such as overworked drivers or poorly maintained vehicles, played a role in the accident.

Driver behavior is a leading cause of trucking accidents. Therefore, investigators must also consider the driver’s actions, such as:

  • Possible distractions
  • Fatigue
  • Impairment

Additionally, environmental conditions at the time of the accident, including weather, road layout and traffic signals, are analyzed to understand their impact on the incident.

Pursuing compensation following a trucking accident

Suppose a trucking accident victim is pursuing compensation following a trucking accident. In that case, they should know that insurance companies representing trucking companies are notorious for using tactics to minimize payouts or shift blame onto other parties.

Therefore, successful handling of insurance inquiries and negotiations requires a firm grasp of legal and procedural nuances. Thankfully, victims can engage an experienced legal team to act as a buffer between them and insurance adjusters. This can help ensure that the victim’s rights are advocated for and that they receive fair compensation for their injuries.

Trucking accidents present unique challenges that demand a comprehensive and methodical approach to investigation and resolution. By enlisting legal counsel, accident victims can level the playing field against insurance companies and opposing law firms and more effectively pursue the compensation they rightfully deserve.