Accidents occur frequently, and most drivers will be involved in one at one time or another. Luckily, most car crashes are minor. Unfortunately, some accidents are serious and result in severe injuries or fatalities. Accidents between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles often cause devastating injuries. Truck accidents are more complex than other types of crashes and often require you to obtain important data about the truck, the driver, and the trucking company.,
Electronic Logging Devices
Most people are familiar with black boxes on airplanes. Most large trucks are required to have black boxes called electronic logging devices (ELDs). Black boxes in trucks operate in much the same ways they do in airplanes. Their job is to record and preserve critical data about the vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires ELDs as a way to improve safety and ensure compliance with the many rules and laws that govern commercial trucking. ELDs are necessary because paper logs cannot be trusted to be complete or accurate.
Data Provided by ELDs
ELDs record a great deal of data and can be extremely useful to help determine the causes and contributing factors of a truck accident. ELDs can typically record such things as:
- Speed of the truck at the time of the crash
- Whether cruise control was engaged
- The exact moment the truck’s brakes were applied
- The average speed of the truck
- Precise gear and clutch settings
- Whether the driver used the seat belt
- If and when the airbags deployed
- If and when the engine loses pressure
- The exact location of the truck at the time of the crash
- The number of accidents the truck was previously involved in
This data is crucial in proving negligence in a truck accident case. It is important to note that in North Carolina if a driver has any portion of negligence or responsibility for the crash, it may pose challenges in any attempts to collect compensation.
Trucking Company Logs
The trucking company is also responsible for keeping maintenance logs on its fleet of trucks. They must be able to provide this information if it is needed as evidence in a personal injury claim. The logs may prove that the vehicle did not have adequate servicing before the accident, which could have contributed to the crash. In addition to information about the truck, the company also has records about the driver. This may include essential data such as how long the driver was employed and how long the driver was behind the wheel before the crash. Drivers can only drive for a limited number of hours before they must stop to rest. Fatigue is a common factor in truck accidents, and therefore you must be able to learn this information to help prove negligence.
Gathering Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
It is not enough to just hope that the trucking company will preserve electronic information. Generally, this data is routinely recorded over as a standard business practice. It may be necessary to obtain a court order that requires the company to preserve electronic data and other information. Companies may be unwilling to provide information that could implicate them in a legal case. Do not wait long to request information about the crash. Your attorney will be extremely helpful in working to obtain the data and, if needed, getting a court order requiring the company to provide it.
Truck accidents can be very complicated, and immediate action is often required to get the information you need. Count on our experienced legal team to assist you during this difficult time. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone, or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to: Camp Lejeune related injuries, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life and that the effects often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are dedicated to helping clients determine their claims’ strength and aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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