Truck accidents can be devastating while victims can have a tough time dealing with insurance companies and medical providers after a life changing injury. No matter what, gathering evidence after a Utah truck accident is crucial.
The Motor Carrier Act was passed by Congress in 1935 due to the hazardous conditions brought on by large commercial trucks. The Bureau of Motor Carriers of the Interstate Commerce Commission created under the Act formulated rules and regulations for truck drivers and trucking companies, known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).
According to Salt Lake City, UT truck accident lawyers, drivers, and carriers are required to maintain a comprehensive range of records. This includes the number of hours driven, a record of maintenance and repairs, vehicle inspection reports, and more.
The process of discovery
What is most unfortunate is that they do not need to keep the records for as long as the statutes of limitations that governs personal injury claims. This results in valuable records often being destroyed before a victim can file a lawsuit. Therefore, Utah truck accidents have always stressed the importance of beginning the process of discovery immediately.
The process of discovery is the pre-trial stage when evidence can be obtained by the plaintiff and the defendant. For the most part, the process of discovery in a truck accident begins with a letter advising the trucking company and the insurance carriers of the injury claim. The letter also describes the documents and inspections to be initiated and also notifies the recipient that failure to maintain the evidence could result in a separate claim.
Driver’s logs and other records
One of the major causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. According to FMCSR, it is mandatory for the trucking company to maintain driver logs and any supporting documentation for 6 months along with maintenance and repair records, and inspection records for 18 months. However, driver’s logs are usually destroyed by many trucking companies after the 6 month period.
Therefore, it is crucial for any evidence to be gathered as quickly as possible within 6 months of a collision. If the filing of the claim is closer to the 6 month deadline, your legal representative will request the insurance carrier that evidence must not be destroyed. If, for any reason, the deadline has passed, your Utah truck accident attorney could make an attempt to acquire these records from the driver, since some drivers maintain their own logs.
Data recorders and in-truck cameras
Truck accident attorneys also seek to gather evidence from data recorders that provide valuable information on whether the driver violated any traffic laws at the time of the collision. Some trucking companies install cameras on their trucks that record the road and the driver’s activities in the cab. These cameras could provide helpful information on whether the driver made dangerous maneuvers, was tailgating, or was even drinking or distracted by a cell phone, which could prove negligent behavior.
Testimonies by witnesses and medical experts can also prove valuable in any accident lawsuit. There are several other pieces of evidence that your Utah truck accident lawyer may gather to make sure you have a rock solid case. If you have been in an accident involving a truck, don’t hesitate to call an attorney and determine the available options to seek recovery for the injuries and damages you sustained.
Your truck accident lawyer will also explain how the legal process works and how the trucking companies and their insurance carriers do their best to avoid liability. Not sure where to find legal help? Bills piling up? Family needs screaming at you? Do not sign any settlement until you hop on this site and find a lawyer worth their weight in salt. That will not take too long using that website which is http://accident.usattorneys.com/utah/.