Truck accidents are a traumatic experience that often result in serious injuries and exorbitant medical expenses. When a truck accident is the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company, or another motorist, injury victims have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to work with the right personal injury attorney, one with experience conducting truck accident investigations.
J&Y Law routinely handles truck accident claims throughout the state of California. Based on our experience, we know that trucking companies are quick to dispatch their own investigators. Through the combined efforts of their attorneys and insurance companies, truck companies work to deny or limit their liability.
We have the skills and resources to level the playing field and hold the negligent parties accountable. Once we determine there is a valid claim, we work tirelessly to help our clients obtain just compensation. When you consult us, we will handle all the details of your claim so that you can focus on recovering.
California Truck Accident Investigations
After a truck accident, it is crucial to conduct official truck accident investigations as soon as possible. At J&Y Law, we routinely collaborate with a network of accident reconstruction specialists to determine who is at fault in a truck accident. By visiting the accident scene, our team can inspect the road conditions, measure the length of skid marks, if any, ascertain whether the driver was speeding, take and examine photos of the scene, and collect any other evidence to determine the root cause of the accident.
Other critical evidence we will gather includes:
- Driver qualification files (DQF) — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require trucking companies to maintain a DQF for all drivers, which contains information about the accident history of both the truck driver and the vehicle. The file also includes the driver’s employment record, road test results, records for service hours, vehicle maintenance records, drug and alcohol test results, and other pertinent information, all of which is important to your truck accident claim.
- Truck driver’s log books — Truck drivers are also required to maintain detailed written records of all their activities while driving. If a trucker fails to keep such records, the trucking company can be fined by the FMCSA. The most relevant information in the driver’s log will be the hours the trucker drove in one stretch and the number and length of break times.
- Police reports — Law enforcement will prepare a report of the accident which contains diagrams showing the position and direction of the truck and the other vehicles, as well as any statements made by the truck driver and any witnesses.
- The Truck/Maintenance Records — Our investigators will examine the truck as well as its maintenance records to determine whether a defect or negligent maintenance caused or contributed to the accident.
- Witness Testimony — Our truck accident attorneys will identify and interview all witnesses such as drivers and passengers involved in the crash, mechanics who may have worked on the vehicle, and eyewitnesses such as other motorists or bystanders. Witness statements can help to support your truck accident claim and prevent the driver from changing his or her story.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys will assess factors such as whether the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI/DWAI), and the period of time the trucker was driving since his or her last break. We will also seek out information from the truck’s black box (e.g. the truck’s speed when the brakes were applied, velocity changes, gear shifts, sudden braking), and the truck’s CPS device to determine the truck’s precise location and speed. Ultimately, conducting a comprehensive investigation is essential to determine the cause of the accident and serves as a basis for ascertaining which party is liable.
Who is liable in a truck accident?
It is worth noting that state and federal truck safety laws apply to both trucking companies and truck drivers. Trucking companies are required to maintain and routinely inspect their vehicles and maintain logs of inspections and repairs. These records are required to be made available to federal regulators in the event of an accident. If vehicle defects caused or contributed to the accident, such as faulty brakes or tires, the trucking company may be held liable.
Moreover, trucking companies are required to ensure that all of their drivers are licensed and properly trained. A trucking company that fails to conduct an adequate background check or puts a new truck driver on the road to quickly may be held liable for accidents that arise from driver error (speeding, failing to yield, taking turns to fast, DUI).
In addition, federal regulations limit the amount of driving time for truck drivers and also require them to take rest breaks. If the driver violates driving limitations and rest break requirements, both the truck driver and the trucking company can be held liable if driver fatigue is determined to be the cause of the accident.
Contact Our Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
J&Y Law provides truck accident victims with unmatched skills, and experience and resources. We have a proven track record of holding negligent parties accountable for truck accidents and helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to contact us as soon as possible so that we can a thorough investigation. We offer free consultations and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win compensation for you. Please contact our office today to learn how we can help.