If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident and believe the driver or trucking company might be liable, you should immediately contact a Pennsylvania truck accident attorney to assist you in collecting the essential documentation in proving liability.

This documentation is extensive and will likely include:

The Accident Report

The initial report made by the lead investigating officer on the scene of an accident is essential in determining liability. An attorney specializing in truck accidents in Pennsylvania can make sure this report is thorough and complete.

The Driver’s Log

The consecutive hours that a trucker can drive without resting are regulated by federal law. To show compliance with these regulations, a truck driver must record all stops, times driven, and rest times in a driver’s log. While these logs can provide valuable information in proving liability, trucking companies are only required to keep logs for six months and may destroy them after this timeframe. Accident victims must move quickly to contact a personal injury lawyer in the case of semi-truck accidents so that the attorney can begin collect time sensitive information like the driver’s log.

Fuel receipts

A trucker’s fuel receipts can verify a trucker’s alleged routes and speed recorded in the driver’s log. A discrepancy between the time and location a trucker fueled up and what the trucker logged as his or her fuel stop or rest time can aid a truck accident attorney in proving a trucker patched books to avoid liability.

The Black Box

Semi and tractor trailer trucks are equipped with electronic control modules, also known as ECMs, or more commonly as black boxes. These black boxes record the speed of the tractor trailer and what time the truck intimated braking. The black box can, for example, prove excessive speed as a liable factor in a commercial truck accident. If the truck is put back into service soon after an accident, however, the ECM may be wiped clean of data. It is essential to request the black box early on in the process of proving liability. Some trucking companies may also follow trucks with GPS tracking systems, and this information should also be collected.

The Driver’s Record

A trucker’s driving history may indicate that he or she has repeatedly violated their hours of service, which may leave the trucking company liable for negligence.

A Truck’s Maintenance records

Deferred maintenance of a truck or records that reveal a reoccurring problem in a truck, such as a problematic braking system, can prove negligence on the part of the trucker or trucking company.

A truck accident attorney will use all of this evidence in determining if a driver or his employer can be held liable for wrongful death or punitive damages, but this evidence must be collected quickly. If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed in an accident with a tractor trailer and are interested in determining if there is a case for liability, you should contact us as soon as you possibly can after an accident.