Here in the wild states that make up the American Southwest and Midwest, long stretches of highway may run hundreds of miles, connecting small communities and major cities, and carving through mountains and plains alike. While these roadways are certainly beautiful to take in, they are also potentially very dangerous, especially when sharing the road with large commercial trucks.
Of course, these large trucks often outnumber the other consumer drivers as they dutifully haul goods from one place to another and keep our systems of commerce flowing. Unfortunately, when large trucks have accidents, the results are often catastrophic.
If you recently experienced an accident that involves a commercial truck, you need to build your legal strategy carefully to keep your rights protected while your recover from your injuries and losses. To do this, it is important to gather several kinds of evidence from the truck driver, the truck owner, and the scene.
It is always wise to ask the driver for their logs before they have an opportunity to alter or misplace them. These logs keep track of how long the driver stays on the road between resting periods, which can play a large part in an accident, if the driver has not slept recently. If at all possible, request to see the drivers’ logs at the scene of the accident.
Electronic control module data
Commercial trucks manufactured since the mid-1990s contain a device similar to the “black boxes” used to record flight data in airplanes, built so that they can withstand a collision and protect that data. These devices are called electronic control modules, or ECMs.
This data may shed light on how aggressively the driver handles the rig over time, typically recording average and top speeds, average and top rotations in the engine, braking habits and other safety feature usage. For anyone building an injury claim, getting ahold of the ECM data is very useful.
However, it is not always possible to obtain this data, especially if you wait too long to request it formally from the owner of the truck. It is crucial to understand that the owner of the truck, not necessarily the driver, has the right to keep or destroy the data in the device as they see fit, until they receive a formal request for that data. If you wait to make this request, the data may disappear altogether.
Your claim cannot wait
The longer you wait to build a strong claim, the longer you must wait for fair compensation for your losses. Even if you do not file your claim immediately, you must begin building it as soon as you can.
Be sure to make your rights and well-being a priority. With a clear legal strategy, you can seek full compensation for your losses and still focus on your physically demanding recovery. Do not overlook these steps as you work to move past a commercial truck accident and get back to the life you love.