If you or a loved one have been in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other big rig truck, you know how quickly it all happens. Drivers often recount that they never saw the other vehicle or the obstructing object coming. When involving large trucks, the trauma is often heightened. Unfortunately, many large truck-related accidents end fatally. Even when someone is significantly injured or dead due to the accident, a family’s first thought after safety is wondering how it happened. When an accident is so catastrophic, it’s hard not to wonder whose fault the accident was. With big-rig trucks especially, there are numerous ways to determine, or better understand, how the crash or collision occurred.
Most trucking companies are equipped with extensive data-collecting technology in their vehicles. This allows companies and drivers to know if their truck needs maintenance, and other information such as how quickly a driver was driving. If you ever find yourself or a family member in a trucking accident, do not lose hope. There are numerous ways in which we can piece together how the accident happened, and prove that it was the fault of the truck driver or company. Yes, sometimes it may be the fault of the company that owns the truck rather than the driver. If they did not maintain the vehicle as necessary or notify the driver of any ongoing issues, they may be the ones to direct attention to.
ELDs, or Electronic Logging Devices, are installed into all trucks to help ensure accuracy of drivers’ hours. With ELD, we have access to the exact driving times a person worked and when they took rest breaks. For example, if we find that a driver was on the road for over 24 hours, we can easily assume that they were fatigued, and therefore not fit to be driving. Truckers used to have to log their activity manually with paper logs. Paper logs are easily falsified and can conveniently go missing. ELDs help to avoid any tampered with logs.
A simple way to determine if a company is overlooking their trucks’ safety is to take a look at their maintenance records. If their vehicle was due for service and ignored that fact for an extensive period of time, their carrier is considered unsafe to be on the road. If brakes, headlights, oil or the engine are in need of care and were not accommodated, it is another indication that the truck driver or company may be at fault.
Truck Driver Profile
If the truck driver who caused, or was in, the accident has a record of complaints or infractions, the company is responsible for handling it. A company who allows an irresponsible or unsafe driver to be on the road shares the fault. Examples may be drivers with a history of DUIs or speeding.
Lastly, and of course, if the truck driver was intoxicated in any way, they are most likely entirely at fault for the accident. Whether they were under the legal limit or not, a driver who is not sober is not safe to share the road.
If you ever do find yourself in a trucking accident, there are a few things to be sure you take note of at the scene of the accident.
First, be sure you and any passengers are safe. Immediately call 911 for an ambulance if needed. Next, call the police. Regardless of the severity of the accident, it is best to have a police report on record. Be sure the truck driver is questioned about his day previous to the accident. Where they were prior to the accident and what their destination was may say a lot about the crash or collision. Ask what their last rest stop was, when they last slept and for how long.
Make sure that there are photos of the accident, and document all injuries incurred and property damaged. Take note of injuries and damage that come up in the days and weeks following the accident. Sometimes people will write off soreness as unimportant or not consider it painful enough to do anything about it, and then once the soreness dissipates, a much larger issue will arise. All medical treatments should be compensated by the party at fault. Do not wait for things to get worse.
Take down all contact information of the people involved in the accident, and any witness testimonies if possible. The more information and witness testimonies you have of the incident, the stronger your case will be.
Trucking companies are not unfamiliar to accidents and personal injury cases. They will try and take the easy way out with as little responsibility as possible. In trying not to be found liable, trucking companies will often try and offer up a pretty penny instead of the large sum of money you are actually owed. Many people will accept the money only to find out later that their case was worth twice or thrice as much. Do not let that happen to you and your loved ones.
Whenever you are in a trucking accident in Mississippi, ensure the safety of everyone involved, and then call a team of attorneys for proper legal guidance. Seek justice and receive the compensation you and your family deserve. Braddock Law offers free consultation sessions. Call our team of experts to review your case as soon as possible. We have a long history of success and are very proud of the service we offer. We hope to be able to assist you and your family in the event of a trucking accident.