Big Trucks Cause Big Injuries
There are crucial differences between crashes involving tractor trailers, dump trucks, and other types of commercial vehicles and the more common car accidents between passenger cars.
Know the Difference
The first major difference is the importance and applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which regulate trucking companies and truck drivers. These regulations cover trucking company business practices, the technology used in interstate trucking, how long and how often drivers can be on the road, and other areas crucial to your case that the vast majority of lawyers are unfamiliar with.
The second difference is how essential it is to immediately hire qualified South Carolina truck accident lawyers to protect the interests of you and your family. Trucking companies typically use “rapid response teams” to investigate collision scenes and collect evidence as soon as one hour after the collision occurs. These companies also work to repair the tractor trailer that caused the crash as quickly as possible, erasing crucial evidence of how the collision happened. If months or even weeks pass without the trucking company hearing from a knowledgeable lawyer on your behalf, vital evidence may simply “disappear.”
Don’t Give the Trucking Company a Head Start
In addition to preserving collision scene evidence and the tractor trailer itself, a huge amount of records that the trucking company is required to keep may be lost. The in-cabin computers and satellite messaging systems used by larger trucking companies generate a tremendous amount of data that may prove instrumental to your case. Some of the companies that provide these services to trucking businesses purge (delete) the data in as little as 14 days. All late model tractors also have engine control modules (ECMs) that act as a “black box” for the truck. The ECM keeps track of information such as distance traveled, speed, acceleration and braking, data that is critical to proving how the truck driver performed before, during, and after the wreck. ECM data must be downloaded by an expert and if not preserved quickly after the collision it may be lost.
Trucking companies typically have record retention policies calling for the destruction of records as soon as they are allowed to do so under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. For example, records such as the driver’s log books can be disposed of after six months. These documents regularly turn out to be invaluable in proving that the truck driver was fatigued or the tractor trailer was not safe to operate and should not have been on the road.
Don’t Delay – Contact Your Trucking Attorney Now
If you are injured in a crash with a commercial vehicle, the decision of whether to hire a truck accident attorney is one you should carefully consider. You need a firm that is experienced in handling trucking cases and will devote the time and effort to your case that is required to be successful. Contact our South Carolina truck accident lawyers for a free consultation. We are confident that you will be pleased with the decision. Get your free case evaluation today!
Remember, you don’t owe us anything unless we collect money for you!