Many large trucks and buses are involved in fatal accidents each year in Idaho and around the country. If you are ever involved in a traffic accident with a commercial vehicle that was being driven recklessly or was improperly loaded or poorly maintained, you may want to pursue legal remedies by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party or parties that are responsible for the incident. If you do, the evidence you gather during discovery could prove to be crucial.
Police investigations and toxicology testing
When motor vehicle crashes cause serious injury or death, police investigations are usually thorough. When a large commercial vehicle is involved, a certified truck inspector may be dispatched to the scene as well. These inspectors are trained no to notice botched repairs, improper loading and neglected maintenance, and their findings can provide truck accident victims with powerful evidence in court. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations require truck drivers to submit to toxicology testing after serious accidents, and the results of these tests can also be used to establish liability in a lawsuit.
When a truck driver may have been fatigued or distracted in the moments before an accident, electronic data may be the most important evidence an accident victim can gather. All tractor-trailers now have electronic logging devices that keep track of how long drivers remain behind the wheel, and the information they provide may show that FMCSA hours of service regulations were being violated. When distraction is suspected, subpoenas could be used to obtain the truck driver’s wireless service records.
If you sue a trucking company after being injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, the evidence you gather during the discovery process could be extremely valuable. Police reports, toxicology tests, inspections carried out on damaged trucks and electronic data could all be used to establish what happened and prove negligence. However, this evidence can only be useful if it is preserved. That is why it is important to send a spoilation letter to lawsuit defendants that instructs them to preserve all pertinent records and reports.