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Truckers and trucking companies have huge investments in their operations. So when a serious truck accident leaves you or a loved one with catastrophic injuries, they turn to their teams of lawyers and insurers bent on safeguarding the company’s bottom line. This usually means short-changing, if not outright denying, any claim coming from an injured party. At Zlotolow & Associates, our Queens truck accident lawyer fights for the full and fair compensation to which our clients are entitled. Contact us today.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Investigates Cases in Queens
Our skilled truck accident attorneys in Queens thoroughly investigate claims to identify why a crash occurred and who should be held responsible. If contacted soon enough after a truck crash, our team will rush to examine the accident scene, where skid marks, crash debris, roadway problems, or other factors may shed light on the cause of the crash.
We also seek evidence that belongs to the motor carrier that owns the truck, or to the trucker or other parties. Typically, we must obtain court orders for access to this evidence.
During a tractor-trailer accident investigation, our team may seek such evidence as:
- Witness Statements. In addition to talking to you, passengers in your car, and/or other accident witnesses, we interview trucking company employees and other third parties to shed light on company operations that may have contributed to the accident.
- Hours of Service Records. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration strictly regulates a trucker’s time behind the wheel and mandatory rest periods, and drivers are required to record their activities. A driver’s hours of service (HOS) logs, as well as delivery receipts, may indicate fatigued driving (too many hours behind the wheel) or speeding (when driving hours are compared to miles covered).
- Carrier Personnel Records and Contracts. It takes multiple people to put a commercial truck on the road, including those who drive the truck, maintain it, load cargo, dispatch trucks, and more. Negligent hiring or training, or retaining personnel or third-party brokers with violations on their records, could leave the carrier liable for negligence that contributed to a crash.
- Truck Maintenance Logs. Gaps in maintenance records may indicate the carrier put off necessary work. This may suggest a mechanical reason behind an accident and provide evidence the carrier knowingly allowed an unsafe truck on the road.
- Recall Notices. If the semi-truck or other commercial vehicle involved in an accident was known to have unsafe components or mechanical problems that were not resolved, and their failure contributed to the crash, the truck owner could be held liable.
- Event Data Recorder (EDR). Commercial trucks contain “black box” devices, Event Data Recorders or EDRs, that record a variety of data about operation of the vehicle just prior to a crash. A download from the truck’s EDR may tell us about:
- The truck’s speed
- Engine speed
- Brake status
- Clutch status
- Throttle (gas pedal) position
- Cruise-control status
- Steering angle
- Forward collision warnings
- Lane departure warnings
- Truck’s last stop
- Incident Event Report (e.g., sudden deceleration/acceleration, quick stop, hard brake event, etc.)
- Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) from truck system sensors that report data outside normal values
- GPS-based positional data
- In-Cab Cameras. Some trucking companies have installed video systems in truck cabs. Footage from these devices may show negligence or recklessness, such as the driver yawning repeatedly or nodding off, aggressive driving (tailgating, illegal passing, frequent lane changes, etc.), distracted driving (cellphone use, texting, eating, or drinking, etc.), or other dangerous behavior.
In particularly complex truck accidents, we may enlist accident reconstruction specialists to help explain the crash. These forensic experts investigate and create detailed reports for us. When necessary, they present expert testimony accompanied by multimedia presentations to the judge and jury, which prove informative as well as persuasive.
Our Queens truck accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies from a position of strength due to the solid cases we prepare. When insurers refuse to settle cases appropriately, we are ready to go before a jury with a solid argument for maximum compensation for our clients.
You should not take on a lasting financial burden from an accident that someone else caused. Let our skilled legal team demand the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Contact us online now to schedule a free consultation, and get started seeking justice in the aftermath of your truck accident.