How Truck Accident Claims are Investigated | Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
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How Truck Accident Claims are Investigated

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Truck Accidents

An accident involving a commercial truck can be a devastating event. When fully loaded, eighteen-wheel semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Their sheer size is enough to cause serious damage, injuries, and even death. If the accident was a result of the truck driver’s negligent behavior, you will need to pursue a settlement with their insurance company as well.

But, you shouldn’t have to face this alone. An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney can help you investigate your claim and seek compensation on your behalf. Call us at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation.

Evidence in Truck Accidents

When a claim is made in a truck accident, both the claimant and the trucking company will immediately begin to gather evidence to build their cases. Evidence is a vital part of every personal injury case. When you are hurt by another person’s careless actions, you need evidence to prove that the person was behaving negligently. Conversely, a person being sued will try to find proof that shows they were not the cause of the accident or injury.

Because a truck driver was acting within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred, it’s likely that their employer is on the line for damages as well. The trucking company knows this, so they will try to build a case proving that the accident was caused by another issue, such as road conditions, bad weather, or your own actions.

The trucking company has a team of lawyers, so it’s advisable that you seek legal help too. A seasoned truck accident lawyer knows what evidence to gather, and more importantly, knows how to get it. Key pieces of evidence include:

  • The police report
  • Any eyewitness accounts, if available
  • Pictures of the damage done to the truck and the other automobile
  • A report from an accident reconstruction expert, if applicable

The Driver Qualification File

Semi-truck drivers are regulated by the federal government to both keep the drivers safe and minimize the harm done to the other motorists who share the road with them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates and enforces these regulations.

For example, the FMCSA puts a cap on the number of hours truckers may drive in a day, in order to reduce the chances of fatigued drivers getting into accidents. They also require trucking companies to keep a Driver Qualification File (DQF) on file for each of their employees. The DQF includes pertinent information about the driver such as:

  • Records of any accidents in which they were involved
  • Results of drug and alcohol tests
  • Annual performance reviews
  • Records of maintenance performed on their rig
  • Results of their road tests
  • Service logs
  • Employment history

Because the DQF contains so much information about the driver, it can be a significant piece of evidence for your case. As such, trucking companies are unlikely to hand it off to you at your request. However, your lawyer can likely get it, and if the company doesn’t want to give it up, your lawyer may be able to obtain a copy through a subpoena.

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

It’s possible that you sustained some injuries in your accident, leaving you less willing and able to file a claim against the trucker who hit you. But, you don’t have to do it alone.

Our lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. are skilled at handling truck accident claims, and we can build a case to get you the maximum compensation for your damaged property and medical bills. We can hold the negligent party accountable, making sure you don’t have to bear the responsibility. Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a no-cost consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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