In Trucking Personal Injury Cases, Time is of the Essence

October 30, 2009

truck 2.jpgInvestigating and litigating civil cases involving interstate trucking collisions and automobile wrecks is significantly different due to the Federal Motor Safety Regulations governing the operation of Interstate Motor Carriers as well as the technology on board today's tractor-trailer. As a former lawyer for some of the nations' largest trucking companies, I was often called to the scene of major collision within hours of the incident. When there is a trucking accident that causes serious injury or death, trucking companies immediately begin gathering experts and building their defense. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, it is important to consult with a Georgia trucking lawyer as soon as possible for a variety of reasons to level the playing field.

First, significant evidence can be lost forever if the accident is not investigated immediately. Accident reconstruction engineers, hired by your trucking lawyer, can determine many important facts from promptly inspecting an accident scene, such as speed, braking, and lane of travel. This can be determined from skid marks, yaw marks, road gouges, and other evidence that might be completely gone after a few days or weeks. Additionally, many tractor-trailers have various types of on-board technology that record invaluable crash data that can be lost if not downloaded and stored promptly. For example most diesel engines have accessible electronic control modules (ECMs) or electronic control units (ECUs), that upon hard braking, record and collect various data including truck speed and braking. Often this data is lost if is not downloaded soon after the accident and the truck is put back into service. Some tractor-trailers even have accident reconstruction computers that record extremely detailed crash and pre-crash data. The sooner an accident is investigated the more likely it is that important facts and data will be captured and preserved.

Second, serious trucking accidents are often caused by driver error, improperly trained drivers, improper vehicle maintenance, over weight vehicles, or drugs or alcohol, which can often be determined from review of the documents trucking companies are required to keep. For example, the most common cause of driver error is fatigue, which leads to inattentive drivers and sleeping at the wheel. Government regulations attempt to prevent driver fatigue by limiting the number of hours a trucker can drive and requiring driver's time logs. Comparison of driver logs with fuel receipts or Qualcomm data can often determine whether a driver has falsified his log books to cover up driving over hours. Many trucking companies have a policy of destroying log books, fuel receipts and other documents after six months. A trucking lawyer can send a proper non-spoliation letter to make sure these important documents are preserved.

If you have been seriously injured in a trucking accident in Georgia please seek the help of Georgia trucking lawyer as soon as possible. At the Persons Firm we use our expertise and experts to get the best possible results for those killed or injured in trucking accidents. Please call 770-424-5125 for a free consultation.