How Our Law Firm Investigates Trucking Companies
An experienced accident lawyer will hold them accountable
Cases involving truck accidents, like all injury cases, are decided based on evidence. In the case of a truck accident, though, the victim usually faces an uphill battle to get that evidence, and by extension, to get fair compensation for his or her injuries.
Why? Because most of the vital evidence is the trucking company's property. Logs. Records. GPS data. The trucking company starts the legal process with control of most of the facts, and that means their attorneys can control the outcome of your claim.
There's a way to level the playing field. You need a truck accident attorney with the experience and resources needed to investigate the trucking company and recover that information. For over 45 years, the attorneys at The Law Firm of Pajcic & Pajcic have been doing just that.
We leave no stone unturned to help our clients recover
Some of the evidence we'll seek to uncover in a truck accident case includes:
- Hours of Service (HOS) records: Strict federal regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. Truck drivers are required to take rest breaks and not to exceed these limits, and they're required to keep a log to show that they are in compliance with the law. One of the first steps we'll take when you contact us and retain our law firm is to contact the trucking company and make sure they do not destroy that log.
- GPS data: You may have heard of the "black box" in the context of airline accidents. Many commercial trucks have a "black box" as well, and it contains valuable GPS data including the truck's position, speed and direction of travel. Checking the black box data against the HOS log may show that the log was altered - for instance, the GPS may show that the truck was moving while the log states that the driver was resting. Again, we need to act quickly to make sure this information is not destroyed or overwritten.
- Hiring and Supervision records: Federal law mandates that trucking companies conduct background checks on all of their drivers, but some companies skip that step. In one $9.65 million recovery, our investigation revealed that the trucking company had fabricated a background check and made up a road test - before hiring a driver with a history of drugged driving. We may have a case for negligent hiring or negligent retention - that is, keeping a driver employed after the trucking company learned of a history of drunk or reckless driving.
- Maintenance records: Trucking companies are required by law to keep their trucks in good working order. If bad brakes, engine trouble or another maintenance issue caused your accident, we'll look at those maintenance records to determine what happened. That may mean the trucking company is liable for failing to have necessary repairs done - or that a mechanic or repair shop failed to adequately repair the problem.
- Witness testimony: A witness to the accident may be able to tell us that the truck driver was texting, speeding or appeared drunk. Sometimes, a critical witness isn't someone who witnessed the crash itself. Someone who saw the trucker before the accident, for example, may be able to testify that he or she was exhausted or under the influence. We'll also review the trucker's own statements to find anything that can allow us to prove fault for the accident.
Soon after an accident, a trucking company may send investigators to the crash scene. Their job is to gather evidence controlled by the company. The trucking company’s goal is to protect themselves, not to help you. Our attorneys know how they operate and are prepared to take steps to preserve important evidence.