The aftermath of any collision on the road is traumatic and confusing, but this is even more true after a crash that involves a commercial truck. Multiple parties are often liable, and the injuries are far more serious, resulting in accident victims pursuing a great deal more in damages. All of these factors present challenges when filing a legal claim. To overcome them, accident victims need solid evidence that will prove their case and help them obtain the full settlement they deserve.
The first 30 to 60 days following a crash involving a commercial truck are the most important for obtaining this critical evidence. Our Miami truck accident lawyer explains what this evidence is, and will help you gather it.
The Importance of an Evidence Preservation Letter
The majority of people do not realize how quickly evidence will disappear after a truck accident. The trucking company will send an investigator to the scene right away and they may even destroy evidence that indicates someone with the trucking company was to blame. For this reason, it is of critical importance that you work with a Miami truck accident lawyer who can send an evidence preservation letter that can ensure the evidence remains intact. Within this letter, a lawyer may demand:
- The truck driver’s daily log, which is required as part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations
- The daily inspection reports truck drivers are required to maintain, also as part of the FMCSA’s regulations
- Dispatch records for the driver, tractor, and trailer, which should include telephone records and call-in logs for the truck driver
- Motel and hotel receipts, meal receipts, fuel receipts, and toll receipts can establish how long the truck driver had been on the road
- Maintenance records for the trailer and tractor involved
- Lease or ownership records for the truck, including the tractor and trailer, as they sometimes differ
- Bills of lading, shipping involves, manifests, waybills, routing slips, and delivery schedules
Individuals and companies involved in the trucking company are legally required to keep and maintain these records for a certain period of time. Even so, it is important to work with a lawyer that has the necessary experience to draft evidence preservation properly so it includes all of the important evidence you need.
Electronic Control Modules and Event Data Recorders
The documentation listed above is critical to any truck accident case, but there are two important pieces of physical evidence, as well. These include the event data recorders (EDRs) and electronic control modules (ECMs). Together, these components are often referred to as “the black box” and they can provide a great deal of information about the accident.
The black box will provide crucial information about the truck before and during a crash. For example, a black box can establish the speed at which the truck was traveling prior to the crash if the brake systems within the truck were deployed, and even where the truck was located in the moments and hours leading up to the crash. An evidence preservation letter should also request that these important devices be kept intact.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Miami Can Collect Evidence on Your Behalf
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our skilled Miami truck accident lawyers know which evidence is most important to your case, and how to obtain it. Call us today at (305) 371-2692 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.