According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck accidents have increased by 20 percent in the last two decades. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of people are hurt in these collisions every year. While truck drivers are often at fault for these accidents, they have strategies for avoiding responsibility. They may try to get you to admit fault or give a false report to their employer. In the event of an accident, knowing what to look for can make all the difference.
Between sorting out your finances and focusing on recovery, you may not have the energy to file a lawsuit if you have been injured in a truck accident. Our Houston truck accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. will handle the technical aspects of your case. They will fight on your behalf.
To find out how you can obtain funds for your injuries, call (281) 283-8500 now.
Admitting Fault and Giving a Report in a Truck Accident
If you are involved in a truck accident, the damage can be devastating. Further, it is likely that your car will be in much worse shape than the 80,000-pound monstrosity that hit you. As a result, you may be disoriented and unable to think clearly in the moments following the crash. This is when the truck driver will strike. They may run over to your car and try to convince you that the accident was your fault. Knowing that you are in a weakened state, they may also try to avoid giving out their information.
While truckers use the effects of an accident to avoid liability, they may also run to their fleet for protection. During training, truckers are told to call their fleet, or trucking company, in the event of a crash. They are supposed to provide a neutral report to their supervisor, one that excludes language that could place liability on themselves or the trucking company. They may say that the accident was your fault, or that an unavoidable roadway obstacle caused the collision.
Destroying Evidence After a Truck Accident
Although highly illegal, truck drivers can avoid liability by destroying evidence at the scene of an accident. Many trucks have a GPS and camera system, otherwise known as a black box, that is used to collect data on speed, location, trip duration, and even seat belt usage. When an accident occurs, a truck driver may try to destroy their black box, thereby eliminating any evidence of misconduct. The driver may have had too many weekly hours logged, or they might have been speeding before the accident. If they are questioned about the device, they can simply claim that it was destroyed in the accident.
A truck driver might also try to destroy other evidence that proves they were at fault. If they were drinking alcohol or using drugs on the job, they may try to dispose of the paraphernalia in a nearby ditch. Another key piece of evidence that may be targeted is faulty equipment, such as a broken tail light or a flat tire. If these flaws are repaired before police arrive, it may be difficult to prove that they were contributing factors. If you can leave your vehicle after an accident, you should record the truck driver’s actions at all times. You can use a video camera, your phone, or even a pencil and a pad of paper. Do not confront the truck driver about his actions. Simply record the situation and make note of it when you seek legal help.
FMCSA Record Retention
Trucking companies have the right to destroy documents that could otherwise be used as evidence. However, this can only be done if the documentation meets FMSCA age requirements. When a truck undergoes major repairs, for example, the trucking company is required to keep the associated documents for 12 months. Inspection records, on the other hand, must be kept for at least 14 months. Hours of service, which details weekly hours and off-duty times, must be filed for half a year.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, you may not know how you will survive. After all, you cannot return to work, and your household bills and medical costs may seem insurmountable. Fortunately, it is possible to seek justice and funds through a personal injury lawsuit. With the help of our Houston truck accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., it can be proven that your injuries deserve compensation.
Call (281) 283-8500 today for a free legal consultation.