You do not need a background in physics to know that catastrophic damage is the likely result of a truck accident and that the individuals in the passenger vehicle will probably sustain the most devastation. Statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) confirm the disproportionate effect of a collision on commercial vehicles versus automobile occupants. Just 12% of the total crashes in South Florida involve trucks, semis, 18-wheelers, and other large rigs; however, truck collisions lead to 28% of the injuries and dozens of fatalities.
Florida law does provide you with legal options, but the process for recovering compensation is highly reliant on having solid, credible evidence. Since victims’ statements are often considered as self-serving, other sources of proof become more critical for your rights. Our Miami truck accidents lawyer will handle investigations, but some insights on evidence in a truck crash case may be helpful.
Solid Evidence Makes or Breaks a Truck Collision Claim
There is a plethora of proof available at the scene of a truck accident, and you may be able to take pictures, capture video, and talk to witnesses. The problem is that the severity of a truck crash means you will likely be transported immediately for medical care. Though this evidence may be accessible later, other sources of proof can be equally useful or even more powerful to support your rights. Examples include:
- Hours of Service (HOS) Logs: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires operators to track their activities throughout the day and stay under the time limitations imposed by federal regulations.
- FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse: Whenever a truck driver fails a test or is arrested for drunk or drugged driving, the person is included in this database.
- Event Data Recorders (EDRs): Many large trucks have these “black boxes” installed to capture information about the operator’s speed, acceleration, braking, and other maneuvers.
- Cargo Manifest: This paperwork details what the truck was hauling, so there may be clues as to whether improperly loaded cargo was a contributing factor.
The Role of Evidence in a Truck Accident Claim
The importance of evidence becomes obvious when you realize what you need to prove in a truck crash case: You need to show that the accident occurred because the operator failed to exercise reasonable care when driving, i.e., the elements of negligence. The evidence listed above may be an indication of negligence, possibly revealing that the truck driver was drowsy, had a history of drug/alcohol violations, or was speeding at the time of the collision.
Contact Our Miami Truck Accident Attorneys to Discuss Evidence
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a truck crash, it is important to retain experienced legal representation right away to assist with collecting essential proof. You can count on our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA, so please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can schedule a no-cost consultation to review your case and discuss truck accident evidence.