Collisions involving a big rig are not handled as standard car accidents are. In the minutes after a crash, the driver involved will usually contact his or her employer. A trucking firm investigator, typically hired by the trucking company’s insurance company, departs for the scene of the accident. He or she hopes to limit and contain press coverage while discussing statement options with the involved trucker. The investigator also attempts to retrieve the truck’s black box, which recorded how long the truck was operational, its average speed, its speed at the time of the accident and its braking patterns leading up to collision.
The event date recorders contain information that the plaintiff’s attorney will need to build a case for compensation. As such, the company investigator typically beats the police to the scene. The defendant’s attorney and insurance company would rather not part with such information if possible.
In response, truck accident attorneys must be intimately familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the requirements of the Federal Department of Transportation. Most attorneys that handle big-rig cases employ DOT investigators and accident reconstructionists to comb through an accident scene thoroughly within hours of the collision.
In cases like this, the plaintiff’s lawyer must send the trucking firm a preservation letter immediately, instructing it to keep and preserve all data contained in the black box. The truck must not be touched or altered in any way before the plaintiff’s experts have a chance to examine it. Often, trucking companies prefer to conceal all information to be had at the wreck that would affect their case.
Most families who have lost a loved one in a crash or who are dealing with a badly injured family member are not very concerned with who caused the collision in the immediate aftermath. However, the trucking firm and its lawyers will be interested in cause above all else. Protect yourself and your family by calling a trucking accident lawyer immediately.