According to information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 761 people died in crashes on Kentucky roads in 2015. This represents a 13 percent increase in deaths from motor vehicle accidents from 2014. Deaths involving large trucks in Kentucky increased by 19 percent from 68 deaths in 2014 to 81 deaths in 2015.
Large truck accidents are extremely dangerous for the occupants of other vehicles. In a large majority of crashes, the passengers of other vehicles sustain the injuries and deaths from the collision. In 2014, occupants of other vehicles comprised 73 percent of the deaths in large truck accidents. Of the people injured in large truck accidents during 2014, 74 percent were passengers of other vehicles.
One of the main reasons for the large difference in who sustains the injuries and deaths in a commercial truck accident is the difference in size and weight of the vehicle. A passenger vehicle is no match for a commercial truck in a collision. The passenger vehicle does not afford the same level of protection that a semi-tractor does for its occupants. Therefore, we see horrific and traumatic injuries for the people in the other vehicles.
Using Evidence To Recover Compensation In A Truck Accident Case
To recover compensation in a commercial truck accident case, the victim must prove the truck driver or another party was negligent in causing the collision. Evidence in a truck accident case can be more complex than evidence in a crash involving only passenger vehicles. Furthermore, some evidence in a commercial truck accident case can “disappear” if you do not act quickly to preserve the evidence. It is vital that you hire a Louisville truck accident attorney who understands how to investigate a commercial truck accident to identify, gather, and preserve the evidence needed to prove fault for the collision.
Examples of evidence used in a truck accident case include:
Black Boxes and Truck Cameras
Black boxes are data recorders similar to those used in airplanes and trains. The black box records data that can be very helpful in proving fault in a truck accident. The black box records data about the operation of the truck, including speed and whether the driver engaged the brakes immediately before the collision. However, the information on a black box can be lost if an attorney does not put the truck’s owner on notice to preserve the data. It is imperative you act quickly before the information is erased or recorded over.
The same applies to a camera on the truck. Many commercial trucks have cameras installed. It is very important that the attorney requests this footage before it can be taped over or otherwise destroyed.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
The FMCSA requires truck drivers to submit to drug and alcohol screening after an accident if the accident resulted in serious damage, death, or bodily injury. The results of these screenings can assist in proving driver error as the cause of the collision.
Driver Log Books and Other Records
Truck drivers must maintain log books. These books contain valuable information that could be vital in proving fault. Another important record to request is the truck maintenance record. The maintenance record may contain information proving the truck company failed to maintain and inspect the truck before the accident. Other records an attorney may request in a truck accident case include driver health evaluations, employment records, accident and driving history, dispatch records, hours of service for the truck, and training records.
NTSB Accident Investigations
In some cases, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts an independent accident investigation. An experienced Louisville truck accident attorney knows to request copies of the NTSB reports and findings. The information can contain important evidence the victim can use to prove fault.
Expert Reconstruction Analysis
An accident reconstructionist uses evidence from the accident scene, black box data, the weather conditions, and other information to “reconstruct” the collision to determine the cause. In a case in which fault is in question, reconstructing how the collision occurred can provide the critical information needed to prove fault.
Contact A Louisville Truck Accident Attorney
It is a traumatic event to be injured in a large truck accident. Don’t trust your case to an attorney who lacks experience handling these complex motor vehicle cases.