What is Involved in a Truck Accident Investigation?
Road accidents are messy and chaotic. Besides, the series of events can be confusing and overwhelming for the parties involved. There are many critical clues in the scene of the accident that you can miss out in the ensuing confusion and chaos.
If you are involved in a truck accident in Michigan, you must know how a Michigan lawyer will investigate the crash. You must understand how the parties involved will be investigated.
Investigation of the Scene of the Truck Accident
The accident scene has crucial evidence that can help a Michigan truck lawyer identify the cause of the accident. Your Michigan lawyer will check the accident scene for the following:
- Road Signs
- Vehicle Damage
- Road Conditions
- Skid Marks
- Any Debris on the Road
- Damage to Nearby Structures
If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident. The responding police officer will also be inspecting the interior of the truck, for anything that could have caused the accident. Investigators will be inspecting for alcoholic drinks or mobile devices which could have affected the driver’s focus on the road.
Interviewing The Witnesses
Truck accidents often occur on highways and freeways with many people and motorists nearby. If possible, take note of the names and contact numbers of the eyewitnesses in the accident scene. The eyewitnesses can provide a critical first-hand account of the events during the accident and the state of the involved parties.
You and your lawyer must speak to the eyewitnesses as soon as possible, while the memory of the accident is still recent and fresh.
Inspecting the Truck Driver’s Data Box
Most commercial trucks have a data recorder, also known as its black box. The event data recorder contains information about the truck just before the accident. This information may include:
- The truck’s speed moments before the crash happened
- If the truck driver stepped on the brake
- The manner at which the driver stepped on the brake
Investigation of Logbooks
Commercial truck drivers maintain logbooks where they record the number of miles they have traveled and their loading.
Truck drivers are required to adhere to the trucking hours of service rule, which sets limits to a truck driver’s driving hours. A truck driver’s logbook can help determine if he has violated the federal law on their allowed driving hours causing fatigue. It can also establish if the driver was overworked or fatigued when the accident happened.
Investigation of Relevant Truck Records
Truck accident lawyers will investigate other relevant truck records to help establish the case. These records may include but will not be limited to the following:
- The truck’s inspection records
- The truck’s maintenance records
- The truck’s repair history
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires trucking companies and drivers to maintain and keep these records. Your truck accident lawyer will also investigate the nature of the cargo loaded in the truck on the time of the accident.
Investigation of the Driver’s Background Records
Your truck accident lawyer will investigate the professional record of the truck driver. He will check the truck driver’s previous records of negligence and violations which may indicate a pattern on his driving behavior.
The records that your truck lawyer will check on the driver will include:
- Alcohol or drug violations
- Traffic accidents that involved the truck driver
- Any criminal record or history
The FMCSA requires commercial trucking companies to perform random drug tests on their truck drivers, and background checks for any incriminating records. The truck accident lawyer may request these records. The lawyer will want to check if the involved truck driver is qualified to drive a commercial truck.
Examination of the Truck Involved
The truck will be evaluated and examined to check for engine failure or any problem that may have caused the accident. The mechanical condition of the truck will be checked to assess its state before the accident.
Reconstruction of the Accident Scene
Your truck accident lawyer will attempt to reconstruct the scene using available evidence and information. It will give him a clearer understanding of how the accident took place. He may hire an accident reconstruction experts for an accurate interpretation of what transpired.
Do You Need a Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer? Contact The Clark Law Office Now!
Truck accidents can result in severe injury, loss, and death. If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, it is crucial to hire a reputable lawyer immediately. An experienced Michigan truck accident lawyer can help you build your case.
We at The Clark Law Office dedicate ourselves to helping you get the justice that you seek. We can assist you in getting the compensation that you deserve. Contact us, and we will help you every step of the way.