ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION EXPERTS IN TRACTOR TRAILER CRASHES
Complex accident cases can require an expert in crash investigation to get answers and develop key evidence. Many such experts are former highway patrol officers trained and experienced in accident cases. Other experts include physical engineers with an emphasis on crash investigation. It is amazing what these individuals can determine and prove. They carefully examine crash points, damage to vehicle and roadway, skid marks, direction and extent of debris. They can input this data into computer models and create a three dimensional animation of how the crash occurred and what happened. These models can then be used in court to show a jury the critical details and prove why a trucking company and its driver should be held accountable. As you can imagine, there is a vast amount of information available that must be preserved and collected quickly. It is critically important to retain an experienced tractor trailer accident attorney so that they can get started as soon as possible. Evidence lost is lost forever.
Below is the important information needed as part of any serious tractor trailer accident case:
1) driver’s complete Employment Application;
2) driver’s complete driving record (in all states ever licensed);
3) driver’s Complete Qualification file including 3 years of written employment references, DOT drug screen results, DOT physical certification, road test certification, annual driving reviews;
4) driver’s complete Hours of Service logs for the 6 months prior to the collision (looking for patterns of bad driving or records alteration);
5) driver’s fuel card records and receipts for the 6 months prior to the collision (looking for patterns of speeding or harsh driving);
6) company dispatch records for this driver for the 6 months prior to the collision (looking for driving records alteration);
7) bill of lading for the cargo the driver was carrying at the time (looking for overloading issues);
8) driver’s post collision alcohol and drug testing (looking for drunk driving and possible punitive damages);
9) pre- and post-trip inspections by driver of the tractor and trailer involved in the collision for the 6 months prior to the collision;
10) maintenance records for tractor and trailer involved in the collision for the 6 months prior to the collision;
11) any available satellite, GPS and/or Qualcomm data for the 6 months prior to and including the time of the collision;
12) a complete download of the Electronic Control Module data from the involved tractor’s engine;
13) any available VORAD system (crash avoidance device) data on the tractor for the 6 months prior to and including the time of the collision;
14) whether the tractor trailer involved in the collision is in the same condition as it was at the time of the accident, or, if not, what alterations or repairs have been made and whether damages parts were preserved.
After the above questions and requests have been satisfied, you are now able to make a considered assessment of what occurred and who is responsible. This is a lot of information to review and prepare. This is why you need experienced tractor trailer accident lawyers investigating and preparing your case for trial. These cases are very document intensive, often resulting in literally boxes of records. They are also expensive to fully prosecute given the expert witness costs. Make certain before hiring a law firm that they have the ability and training to go the distance and get you the results you deserve.
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