When a commercial truck accident occurs, the damages and injuries that the victims suffer can seem enormous. Many victims may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of building a claim and fighting for fair compensation from a large company, and this is a reasonable concern. Complex claims that involve several parties can take many months or even years before they reach a conclusion.
Unfortunately, without a strong claim, victims have few tools they can use to protect themselves. If you experienced a truck accident recently, you must make your injury claim a priority while gathering evidence is still possible. If you wait too long to begin, many kinds of evidence are no longer available.
This is true in all car accidents, but in truck accidents there are certain kinds of evidence that victims must request quickly, before they are gone for good or potentially altered.
All drivers of commercial trucks must keep logs of their time behind the wheel. This process tracks how often a driver stops on a long haul to rest, which drivers must do after driving a certain number of hours. If the law states that a driver must break to rest after 11 hours on the road, it is important to see if they exceeded that limit when an accident occurred.
If possible, ask for the driver's logs before leaving the scene of the accident. This helps avoid the possibility of the driver altering the logs after the fact or misplacing them. If you do not obtain them at the scene, it is important to formally request them in writing.
Electronic control module data
Modern commercial trucks include electronic control modules, or ECMs, which collect data about the performance of a truck and some of the driving and safety habits of the driver. These devices are sometimes called black boxes, like the devices that record airplane data in case of a crash.
The data may shine light on the driver's average speed, brake time and seatbelt usage, among other things. However, the data belongs to the party that owns the truck. If the driver owns the truck, they may legally delete this data because it is their property. They retain the right to delete this data until you request it in writing. The sooner that you make the request, the better.
Gathering these pieces of evidence may play an important part of any personal injury claim after a commercial truck accident. Don't wait to begin building your claim, to keep your options protected as you fight for a just resolution to your suffering and losses.