If you are in a collision with a truck, you should collect and keep the same kinds of evidence that might be available after a car accident. This includes the truck driver’s information, names of witnesses, police reports, and photographs of the accident site. Commercial trucks are also subject to a myriad of federal and state rules that require truck drivers and their employers to maintain information about the truck and its driver–including the driver’s daily log and inspection reports.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a South Florida truck accident, the law offices of Kogan & DiSalvo can help organize the evidence you have and obtain that which you still need. It will be critical to the outcome of your case. Please review some of the evidence discussed below. When you are ready, call to speak with a truck accident attorney at the firm.
A truck accident attorney will make sure that the trucking company’s evidence is preserved
As noted, specific laws require trucking companies to record information regarding the driver and the maintenance of their rig. However, the company may not be in compliance with such requirements. In order to gather the evidence you need, your attorney will send the company an evidence preservation letter with a demand not to discard or destroy the following:
- The truck driver’s daily log, which includes the hours that the driver has been operating the vehicle and rest breaks
- Daily inspection reports on the truck’s safety and other systems
- Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Electronic Data Recorders (EDR)
- Records relating to the driver’s dispatch orders, how and where the truck was loaded, telephone calls, and other communications between the trucker and the company
- Ownership and leasing records for the truck
- Shipping documents
These documents along with other available evidence will be used in an effort to prove that negligence caused the accident and any resulting injuries.
This evidence is important even though Florida is a “no fault” state
An injured accident victim can sue negligent truck drivers and their employers for damages even though Florida is a “no fault” insurance state. However, the victim’s injuries must be serious, with significant medical costs. Serious injuries include:
- Loss of a limb or some bodily function
- Brain and spine injuries
- Injuries that leave scars or other permanent disfigurements
- Injuries that lead to fatalities
In addition to being a “no fault” state, Florida is a “modified comparative negligence state.” It reduces an injured party’s damages in proportion to their contribution to the accident up to 50%. If the injured party is found to be 51% or more at fault for their injuries, they are barred from recovery entirely. As a result, when you seek to settle your truck accident case, it is not unusual for the liability insurers to manipulate the evidence to show that the victim was partly responsible. They might argue, for example, that they were speeding, passing the truck improperly, or cutting the truck off with dangerous maneuvers.
To refute these arguments, the victim will need additional evidence. When you retain a dedicated truck accident attorney from Kogan & DiSalvo, we will thoroughly investigate the accident. For example, we may interview witnesses, commission accident reconstruction experts, and review the truck’s EDM and ECR data.
Call us for a free case evaluation
The truck accident attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo represent injured drivers in Florida lawsuits involving truck accidents in Palm Beach, Martin, Broward, and all surrounding counties. Please call our Boca Raton offices or any of our satellite locations after your truck accident for a complimentary consultation and further guidance on the evidence you will need to prove your Florida truck accident case.
If you retain our firm and we accept your case, we will work hard to preserve all of the necessary evidence to show how your accident happened and that the truck driver’s negligence was the primary factor.