One of the most important parts of any civil claim is gathering evidence to demonstrate that a person or company has acted in an improper manner that resulted in injury to someone. Accidents with trucks and tractor-trailers demand a significant amount of proof to indicate negligence on behalf of a driver or company. These types of cases usually involve serious or catastrophic injuries and require lawyers who know how to prove these complex cases.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry and puts in place many safety rules and requirements. Commercial trucks are outfitted with a variety of tools that can provide a wealth of evidence after a crash – and gathering this evidence is crucial to building a strong case if you or a loved one are injured in a serious truck accident.
Our attorneys can help collect this information. Some of the most important documentation includes:
- Accident reports. When authorities arrive at the scene of any accident, they write up an official report. You can get a copy of the accident report for your own records, as well as for your attorney’s records. Additionally, after a truck accident, the state police may send a certified truck inspector to examine the big rig before it is towed from the scene to check for issues that may have caused the accident.
- Alcohol and drug tests. FMSCA regulations call that commercial truck drivers involved in fatal or injurious accidents undergo drug and alcohol testing. It is well-known that driving while impaired reduces driver reaction time and can cause serious accidents.
- Electronic driving logs. The law requires truck drivers to stick to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which lays out how long truckers can drive and when they are required to take breaks. Commercial trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices that record whether drivers are following HOS rules. Our attorneys can find out if a truck driver violated these rules and, if so, whether the violation led to your accident.
- Spoliation letters. Our attorneys can also ask for evidence in a truck accident case to be preserved through a spoliation letter. This document is a notice we send to an opposing party asking for evidence relating to an accident to be saved. This request can include certified truck inspection reports, dispatch reports, driving logs, and the results of alcohol and drug testing.
- Witness statements and photos. We advise injury victims to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible, provided they are able to do so. You should, as safely as possible, take pictures of the road conditions, the scene of the accident, the position of both vehicles, and various angles of the damage done to the vehicles and/or property. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses, and request police get their official account of the accident. Ensure you also document your injuries, both via photograph and medical paperwork.
At McGowan, Hood & Felder, our South Carolina truck accident attorneys understand how to take on commercial trucking companies and win. If you were injured in a tractor-trailer accident, we can help. To schedule a free consultation, call 803-327-7800 or reach out to us through our contact page.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood