Pittsburgh, PA – Commercial vehicles present a high level of danger on the roads due their size and potential to damage property and injure people. In addition to regulations that are meant to help prevent accidents and keep the roads safe, there are also a number of things that happen after an accident to determine the cause and find important pieces of information.
A number of different groups and individuals will likely be involved in the process to investigate the truck crash. This includes local and state police, insurance companies and adjusters, the company that owns the truck, and lawyers for either the plaintiff or defense. There may even be expert opinions from engineers, members of the local fire department, and others who are familiar with accident reconstruction. A more serious accident will generally require significant resources to be investigated.
Either the police, fire department, or other experts will likely arrive on the scene and try to preserve and gather evidence as soon as possible. There may be inclement weather or traffic that can disrupt the scene, so time is a crucial issue at this step. Things like marking or debris on the road, the position of the vehicles during and after the crash, testimony from witnesses who saw what happened, and other items may be important. Formal accident reports are usually prepared based on this kind of evidence alone, because they tend to be generated within the following weeks. More lengthy reports may come later if there is an extensive investigation due to fatalities or severe losses.
Looking for mechanical problems
An obvious part of commercial vehicle investigations is to determine if there were any mechanical issues that caused or contributed to the collision. Things like tire and brake failures are very common causes of truck accidents. There may also be some kind of faulty or defective parts that need to be recalled, and products liability lawsuits may be necessary.
If more resources are invested in the investigation, there can be a detailed analysis of the data and evidence by experts. This can include accident reconstruction, looking at black box data, engineers examining problems with the road or vehicles, and looking into the possibility of foul play or criminal activity.
Lawsuits against the party at fault
If the investigation finds that a truck driver, the driver’s employer, vehicle manufacturer, or any other party was at fault for the collision, they will likely be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit. This allows the victims to receive compensation for their injuries and other losses after a trial or through a settlement.
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