Obtaining maximum compensation for truck wreckage claims

In the old days, drivers used paper logs to record their hours. These books were easy to forge. However, an ELD is attached to the truck’s drive train. So it provides conclusive evidence in this area.

Since 2009, the number of large truck wrecks has increased by 48 percent. The ongoing shortage of truck drivers likely has a lot to do with this surge. There are fewer trucks carrying more goods, which means these drivers and the companies that ship them often use dangerous abbreviations. Although the people behind the wheels of these massive vehicles usually do their best, they are often inexperienced.

When these vehicles cause accidents, they usually cause catastrophic injuries such as severe burns and massive head injuries.

The medical bills for such a crash alone often exceed $ 100,000. So these victims need as much financial compensation as possible so that they can get on with their lives. To do that, a car accident attorney in Philadelphia must make a strong, evidence-based claim. Additionally, like pieces of a puzzle, a lawyer must skillfully put these pieces together so that they form a compelling picture for the judges.

The big three

A combination of witness statements, medical bills and the police accident report often forms the basis for a successful truck accident. Often this foundation is all that is necessary. However, sometimes a lawyer has to go the extra mile.

The police accident report is a good example. As mentioned earlier, large truck accidents are often cruelly catastrophic. After the smoke clears, often only debris remains. As a result, it is sometimes difficult for investigators to summarize what happened. Even the most experienced first aider is not an accident reconstruction professional.

There is usually a direct correlation between the quality and quantity of evidence presented by a victim / plaintiff and the amount of harm that the jury inflicts. When the big three aren’t enough, a lawyer has to fill the void. Otherwise, the victim might settle for less.

Electronic evidence

Almost every vehicle on the road has an event data recorder. The EDR is very similar to the black box flight data recorder on a commercial aircraft. Both devices automatically measure and record certain operating data. For their part, EDRs typically track information such as:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Engine speed (acceleration or deceleration),
  • Brake actuation and
  • Steering angle.

Any of these measurements could be critical to a vehicle collision claim. EDRs can not only retain this information. Legally, such computerized evidence is usually bulletproof in court. Unlike humans, computers are always disinterested and never wrong.

There are several obstacles to overcome. Most states have extremely strict laws protecting vehicle information. The EDR is therefore not available for questions. In addition, these devices are very sophisticated. A car accident lawyer in Philadelphia needs the right tools and expertise to access the information inside.

The same legal and technical hurdles typically apply to a truck’s electronic logging device. These gadgets track HOS (Hours of Service) compliance. Therefore, an ELD is often critical when the driver is drowsy.

In relation to your claim for damages, ELDs can support either a normal negligence case or a negligence claim per se.

Ordinary negligence is fundamentally a lack of care. Extended driving has the same effects on the body and brain as drinking alcohol. For example, driving after eighteen consecutive waking hours is like driving with a BAC of 0.05. In most states this is above the legal limit.

Image by Michal Nevaril, via Unsplash.com.

Non-ELD certificates are also permitted for this point. Circadian rhythm fatigue is an example. Most people are naturally sleepy at certain times of the day, such as early morning, especially if they have recently changed work shifts. Many truckers are behind the wheel at these times.

Negligence in itself is a violation of a security law. All states and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have strict HOS rules. These rules include things like daily and weekly driving restrictions and mandatory rest periods. If a trucker breaks any of these laws or regulations and causes an accident, the trucker may be legally liable for damage.

In the old days, drivers used paper logs to record their hours. These books were easy to forge. However, an ELD is attached to the truck’s drive train. So it provides conclusive evidence in this area.

SMS report

The offender’s (negligent driver) driving license is often allowed in claims for damages, and this evidence is often mandatory. The problem is, most truckers in different states have licenses. Extra-government records were difficult to obtain until the FMCSA introduced the safety measurement system. The SMS database is similar to a travel data set with several states. It contains information in areas such as:

  • Crash history,
  • Citation background,
  • Past drug problems,
  • HOS conformity,
  • Vehicle maintenance history and
  • HazMat conformity (hazardous substances).

As a bonus, the SMS database usually pulls information from law enforcement records rather than court records. If Susan drove defensively to deal with a traffic ticket, this quote probably won’t come up in a court record search. But it probably exists in law enforcement records.

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