Fully-loaded large trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds and carry hundreds of gallons of highly-flammable diesel fuel. So, when truck drivers cause collisions, these wrecks often cause catastrophic losses to property and people. A truck accident often takes away a family’s sole method of transportation. More importantly, the serious burns and other injuries produce thousands of dollars in medical bills. Victims need help, and they need it immediately.
At Holland & Holland, our dedicated legal professionals hit the ground running to get you the assistance you need. During our years of experience, we have developed proven methods that get results in car crash cases. Your full recovery is our number one priority, and we will do everything we can to make that happen.
In a truck accident or other vehicle collision claim, driving records may be admissible in court. They help the jury get a better picture of the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) vehicle operation skills or lack thereof. Even if the records are not admissible, they help attorneys establish settlement values during pretrial settlement negotiations. So, your lawyer does not waste time asking for too much or too little money.
For both legal and practical reasons, truck driver records are difficult to obtain. Stronger privacy laws sometimes apply in these cases. Furthermore, many truck drivers operate in several different states.
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed the SMS. The Safety Management System is a tremendous help in this area. The FMCSA keeps a database of driver safety records in areas like:
Significantly, the SMS draws on law enforcement data as opposed to court data. So, if a truck driver got a speeding ticket and took defensive driving to get it dismissed, the ticket may not show up on a formal driving record, but the SMS would record it.
Victim/plaintiffs have the burden of proof in truck accident cases. They must establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Electronic evidence is an important piece of the puzzle. Tech-savvy jurors respond well to such information. Assuming the device was working properly, it is almost impossible for insurance company lawyers to successfully challenge this evidence in court.
Many truck drivers do not even know that their vehicles have Event Data Recorders. These gadgets, which are similar to the black box flight recorders in commercial jets, track things like:
Attorneys need special skills to use EDR information in court. These devices are technically sophisticated. A lawyer needs a lot more than a screwdriver and a laptop to access their information. Furthermore, many insurance companies “accidentally” destroy physical evidence, including the EDR. To prevent this outcome, attorneys must hit the ground running and immediately send spoliation letters to insurance companies.
When it comes to compensation in truck accident cases, the early bird often gets the worm. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, contact Holland & Holland. You have a limited amount of time to act.
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