According to data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 5,000 semi-trucks were involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents during the year 2018. For people in New York who have been in serious truck accidents, it is important to gather the right evidence. The most important pieces of evidence include accident reports, electronic logs, alcohol and drug test results, witness statements and photographs.
The importance of accident reports
Law enforcement officers will generate a report detailing the discernible facts of the accident. It is possible to obtain a copy of this report by contacting the relevant law enforcement organization. There may be a small administrative fee required to get the report. In motor vehicle accidents involving big trucks, the police might send a certified truck inspector to assist with the investigation.
Electronic logs and substance testing
Commercial truck drivers are required to obey federal regulations regarding the number of hours they can drive. These hours are usually tracked with electronic loggers. The logs can provide evidence that the driver was driving in violation of hours of service rules, which could imply that they were fatigued at the time of the motor vehicle accidents. In many commercial truck crash cases, federal rules require that a commercial truck driver undergoes drug and alcohol testing to determine whether impairment may have been a factor.
Obtaining witness statements and photos
Photographs of an accident scene document the state of the scene exactly as it was. This can be powerful evidence during the pursuit of a personal injury claim. For that reason, it is important to take photos following the crash, if possible. Witness statements can also be effective evidence to establish what happened during a commercial truck accident. If possible, gather the names and contact information of any witnesses after a crash.
All of these forms of evidence can be helpful in the aftermath of a car accident.