Have you suffered a truck accident? Were you the driver or the victim? Either way, you will need to know what happens in the investigation.
Every year, thousands of truck accidents in the US take place. These accidents are often fatal, causing an average of around 4,000 deaths per year. When you are in a truck accident, you must treat your injuries and then seek legal advice. Whether you are a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, or a driver in another vehicle, there will be an investigation. The truck accident investigation determines what happens and plays a large part in informing the judge of who was at fault.
This article contains all you need to know about truck accident investigations. Read on to find out what happens next.
Are Truck Accidents Common in the US?
Did you realize that there were 118,000 accidents involving trucks on the road in 2019? That was pre-pandemic. Those with their ear to the road know that the US is in the middle of a dangerous driving epidemic. Experts speculate that the empty roads brought about by Coronavirus in 2020/21 has led us to a massive increase in road traffic accidents and deaths. The NSC reports 4,965 deaths due to truck accidents in 2020. Estimates for 2021 show that truck accident fatalities were up by 13%.
What Happens in a Truck Accident Investigation?
It is important that you seek representation in light of any accidents. You can hire a truck accident lawyer today to help guide you through the legal process. Otherwise, here is an outline of what happens during the process.
Examination of the Scene
The first thing any investigator – be it police, lawyer, or insurance company, will look for, are track marks on the road. They will examine the whole scene to look for evidence of what happened. Trucks are heavy goods vehicles with lots of weight to them. Usually, they leave marks on the road when the driver slams on the breaks. Similarly, there may be damage to road furniture or to the verges which helps piece together the story.
The first thing a lawyer will do for you, is to review the trucking company records. Not every company follows the strict regulations on working codes for truckers. If there is a breach, the company is partially to blame.
The Black Box
Trucks have black boxes although we call them Event Data Recorders. By US law, all trucks should have these installed in their cabs. The device records speeds, driving times, and other useful information.
Your lawyer and the opposition’s legal team will interview any witnesses to the accident. They will interview them and issue depositions if you need them. Witnesses often pick out details that cannotbe read from a black box. They might report swerves, or being offroad, or out of control vehicles. They can even tell you if the other vehicles were out of control.