There are several ways commercial trucking companies may cause accidents. They might hire unsafe drivers, neglect routine maintenance or ignore other regulations. There may be a documented history of unsafe practices that can become useful evidence in a truck accident case.
The following examples are types of evidence that might be useful after a truck accident:
- Hours of service logs: Hours of service rules exist to prevent fatigued driving accidents. Commercial truckers must keep written or electronic logs that show their compliance with these regulations. If truckers ignore these rules and cause an accident, discrepancies or violations may appear in hours of service logs.
- Maintenance and inspection logs: Trucking companies must keep maintenance, repairs and inspection records. If a truck accident occurred because of faulty equipment, these logs may show maintenance or repairs were neglected. Drivers must perform pre-trip inspections on brakes, windshield wipers, tires and other equipment.
- Driver records: Trucking companies sometimes hire drivers with unsafe driving records, such as a history of drug and alcohol violations. Companies must perform careful background checks on drivers. If an unqualified or unsafe driver causes an accident, that driver’s poor record may become useful evidence in a lawsuit. This is especially useful evidence if the trucking company knew of the bad record beforehand. Driver records may also contain pre- and post-accident drug testing information.
- Data from the “black box” or ECM: The electronic control module (or ECM) in most semi-trucks might record average speed, time driven, number of hard stops and other important data. Records from an ECM are extremely important after an accident, because they can show what happened before an accident.
Are There Other Types of Evidence in a Truck Accident Case?
This is not an exhaustive list of records or evidence that might be useful in a truck accident case. The medical records of accident survivors are also very important. An experienced truck accident lawyer will leave no stone unturned, meaning there are possibly hundreds of other examples not listed on today’s blog.
The New Jersey truck accident attorneys at Keefe Law Firm can help victims of negligent commercial trucking companies.