As one of Texas’ leading law firms representing people injured in truck accidents, we have seen time and again the difference a prompt, thorough investigation makes to the success of an injured person’s legal claim. In the chaotic aftermath of a truck wreck, it is all too easy for evidence to disappear or go unnoticed—evidence that could help build the victim’s case for compensation.
In this blog post, our Dallas truck accident lawyers will discuss some of the key pieces of information that we gather and review whenever we handle a big rig crash case for a client. After decades of experience, we can say that these investigations are very complex and require a certain tenacity. This is because there are so many entities involved: the police, the trucker, the truck company, the insurance company…the list goes on. It’s a challenge that we embrace and we’re proud to represent injured people across Texas.
Key Pieces of Evidence
Every truck accident is different, but every successful injury claim resulting from a wreck requires evidence. That evidence is gathered by your attorney and a team of professionals your attorney may work with (such as an accident reconstruction expert).
During the investigation, we’ll obtain and review potentially hundreds of pieces of evidence. A handful of the most important items are:
- The police report: These reports provide important information gathered at the scene by a police officer, who is impartial and simply wants to know what happened. It usually includes the contact information of the truck driver, the trucking company, the insurance company and any witnesses on the scene.
- Eyewitness testimony: Police often include eyewitness testimony in the police report. We review the statements and, if necessary, contact the witnesses to have them deposed. A deposition is where an attorney questions a witness to get more information than was available in the report.
- Electronic data: The law requires commercial trucks to have data recorders on board. Experts can review the data in the recorders to find out how fast a truck was moving at impact, whether a driver applied the brakes and many other useful data points.
- Driver’s logbook: A truck driver’s time behind the wheel is strictly limited by federal law. Every driver must take breaks and sleep enough and record this activity in the log. This is designed to prevent driver fatigue, which nonetheless remains a major cause of truck accidents.
- Truck maintenance records: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires trucking companies to keep thorough maintenance records on their trucks. It is sometimes necessary to subpoena these records.
- Cell phone records: Cell phones are a major distraction for truck drivers, and texting while driving is illegal. Phone records will show if the phone was in use at the time of the crash.
Our Dallas Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you or someone you love was hurt in a truck wreck in Texas, the sooner you call a lawyer the sooner the investigation can begin. The attorneys of Ted B. Lyon & Associates, in Dallas, are highly experienced in running these investigations and are ready to hear about your situation. Get a free consultation by calling 800-TedLyon
or email us.