Thousands of big rigs are involved in motor vehicle accidents each year around the country, and many of them give rise to personal injury lawsuits. To prevail in one of these cases, a Georgia accident victim must be able to establish that either a truck driver or trucking company acted negligently, and that requires evidence. Fortunately, evidence of negligence is usually easier to gather after a commercial vehicle accident than it is after a crash involving cars, SUVs or pickup trucks.
Neglected maintenance and defective repairs
Truck accidents that cause serious injury or death are investigated thoroughly by state and federal authorities, and experts are often dispatched to the scenes of these crashes to inspect the commercial vehicles involved. Their findings are passed to law enforcement and included in the final truck accident report, which often contains information that could be very useful in a personal injury lawsuit. Official reports could reveal that a truck had defective safety systems or crucial maintenance had been neglected. Certified inspectors also check crashed commercial vehicles closely for botched repairs.
Intoxication and fatigue
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations make toxicology testing mandatory after a serious truck accident, and the results of these tests could be used to prove impairment in a personal injury lawsuit if they reveal that the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Trucks also have electronic logging devices that monitor truck driver shifts, which may provide evidence of fatigue that could be used to establish negligence.
The damages awarded in truck accident lawsuits can be significant when the injuries suffered were serious, which is why the defendants in these cases usually mount vigorous defenses. If you are ever injured in a collision with a commercial vehicle and decide to file a lawsuit, you may be able to gather evidence of negligence from official accident reports, toxicology test results and electronic hours of service records.