Commercial truck drivers can be negligent, overworked, under trained, or just victim to mechanical failure.
Being involved in an accident with a tractor trailer can be a life-altering event. These types of accidents are known to cause very serious injuries or even death. In addition, becoming the victim of a truck accident can cause devastating emotional and financial stress.
Because truck accidents often result in a very complex lawsuit, they require a thorough investigation and also an accurate knowledge of the federal laws and regulations that govern truck drivers and trucking companies. If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving a tractor trailer which was caused by a negligent truck driver, do not let their reckless actions go unpunished.
What Makes a Truck Accident Case so Complex?
First of all, tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles dwarf most of the vehicles that they share the road with. When an 18-wheeler is fully-loaded, it can weigh 80,000 pounds. When a vehicle that size traveling at highway speeds collides with a smaller vehicle, it often produces catastrophic, or even fatal, injuries such as:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Broken Bones
- Internal Injuries
- Nerve Damage
Receiving compensation for your injuries requires a thorough investigation of the exact cause of the accident. Accidents involving tractor trailers or other commercial vehicles can be very complex. An in-depth investigation is needed in order to identify all of the responsible parties.
Truck Accident Investigation
FMCSA, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, have regulations mandating that every trucking company maintains a DFQ, or driver qualification file. This information is typically an essential part of a truck accident lawyer’s truck accident investigation.
There is a long list of information that must be included in a DFQ. Some of the them include:
- Driving records, for both the driver and the truck
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Training certificates
- Copies of licenses
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Roads test results
- The driver’s employment history
- Personal records
- Records of annual reviews
A truck accident attorney will obtain a copy of a DFQ. However, trucking companies are often reluctant to produce a copy of a DFQ file, especially if it may contain information that could lead to liability for the company or their driver.
A skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer will investigate numerous factors including whether the truck driver had consumed alcohol or drugs, information recorded on the truck’s black box, and how much time the driver was on the road since his last break. In addition, they will:
- Work with an accident reconstruction expert
- Interview the truck driver
- Interview on-scene law enforcement
- Examine the truck that was involved
- Interview witnesses to the accident scene
Free Truck Accident Consultation
Commercial truck drivers can be negligent, overworked, under trained, or just victim to mechanical failure. Over 86% of those killed in large truck accidents are passengers in smaller vehicles. Many times the innocent driver is killed and the trucker is able to walk away unfazed. If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident you may feel helpless. Trust our St. Louis truck accident lawyers to work to make sure trucking companies are held responsible for their failure to protect your safety.