Truck accidents are among the deadliest of all motor vehicle collisions in the US. The dangers affect all motorists traveling on our nation’s roadways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that there are almost 3,700 crashes involving semis, 18-wheelers, and other large rigs every year, leading to more than 60 deaths and injuries to around 2,250 victims. It is reassuring to know that Maryland truck accident laws provide you with options if you were injured or lost a loved one. Since you may qualify to recover compensation for your losses.
However, evidence is critical in a truck crash claim just as any other legal matter. Your own account of the collision will be useful, yet self-serving. Which is why other sources of proof become extremely important. A Baltimore County, MD truck accident attorney will handle the details regarding collection of evidence, but you should be aware of what to expect.
Important Evidence in a Truck Crash Case
When you are not severely injured or transported for emergency care, you can gather considerable information immediately after a semi accident. If possible, ask someone you know to do so. It is important to gather photos at the scene, including images showing the damage to vehicles. Traffic lights and signage, lane markings, skid marks, and other physical evidence.
However, there are also many sources of evidence that require more effort to uncover – yet these pieces of information may be extremely important to your case. Your lawyer has strategies for accessing such essential proof as:
- Hours of Service (HOS) Logs: The FMCSA requires operators to maintain accurate, detailed logs throughout the course of each day and trip. This documentation might reveal a violation or demonstrate that the truck driver suffered from fatigue.
- Results of Controlled Substances Testing: Truck drivers are also subject to screenings to detect marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and other drugs, and the results may indicate impairment.
- Event Data Recorders (EDRs): Many trucks are equipped with these “black boxes” that track the operator’s maneuvers, speed, and other actions immediately before the accident.
- Cargo Manifest: This documentation contains the details of the load the truck was transporting, and it may hold clues to whether a shipper or other company was liable for failing to secure it.
How This Evidence Supports Your Rights as a Truck Accident Victim
To qualify for compensation, you need to show that the incident occurred because the truck operator failed to exercise reasonable care. Speeding, improper turns, erratic lane changes are examples, as are any violations of traffic laws that apply to all motorists. However, the above items are important because they may prove – or disprove – negligence in a way that is specific to truck accidents.
You Can Rely on a Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer for Legal Help
If you were hurt or someone close to you died in a truck collision, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to set up a free consultation with a member of our team. We can advise you on your rights after reviewing the details of your case.