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How Are San Antonio Truck Accidents Investigated?

April 13, 2022   |   Posted by: Begum Law Group
Man filling out crash report at driving wheel

Holding a negligent trucking company and driver liable is challenging. These are complex cases with a lot of people involved and various moving parts. It takes skill, dedication, and resources to launch a comprehensive investigation into a large truck accident.

Suppose a truck accident in San Antonio injured you or took the life of a loved one. In that case, you deserve an attorney who can investigate, negotiate, and litigate, so you get the compensation you deserve.

Keep reading to learn how The Law Giant at Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers investigates San Antonio truck accidents and how this process could benefit you.

Identify Contributing Factors

Commercial truck drivers must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) guidelines. Despite these regulations, Texas is one of the top ten states for truck accident fatalities. Thousands more suffer severe injuries.

Many of these accidents are avoidable in our experience investigating truck crashes. When negligence causes or contributes to injuries or death, the responsible parties should be held accountable.

The Top Causes of Truck Accidents

The FMCSA characterizes truck accidents in three ways: Critical events, critical reasons, and associated factors.

The most common factors in truck accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driver
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Poor Driving Skills
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signals
  • Failure to Yield
  • Improper Following
  • Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo
  • Defective or Worn-out Safety Equipment

Establish Truck Accident Liability

Truck accident investigations must consider who caused or contributed to the accident. This establishes financial liability, and frequently, many parties could be held accountable:

  • Trucking Company
  • Maintenance Provider
  • Truck or Parts Manufacturer
  • Freight Owners
  • Safety Inspectors
  • Agencies Responsible for Road Maintenance

Collect Evidence to Show Liability

You and your attorney will need to carefully evaluate every aspect of the crash. Trucking companies or their insurance carriers often dispatch their accident investigators. While they are supposed to be objective, one of their goals is to divert or downplay liability.

Having an objective and experienced attorney review the evidence is essential to pursuing compensation.

Several kinds of evidence can establish liability by the driver, the motor carrier, and other parties.

Electronic Control Modules (ECM) or Black Boxes

Like those used on airplanes, black boxes provide crucial data about events before, during, and after the crash. Many trucking companies combine black boxes with satellite tracking equipment, speed detectors, and trip recorders to monitor their fleet.

Information obtained from black boxes includes:

  • Truck’s speed before the accident
  • Acceleration or deceleration immediately before the accident
  • If cruise control was engaged
  • Tire pressure
  • If airbags deployed
  • Seat belt usage
  • GPS location (if the driver was in the correct location)
  • Usage data to determine if the driver violated hours of service regulations

Trucking Logs

An exhaustive investigation into truck accidents should include reviewing trucking logs. These logs help determine if the driver followed all requirements for the number of hours behind the wheel, rest periods, and days off between hauls.

An attorney can cross-reference this information with the black box data.

Witnesses

Witnesses are a valuable addition to the investigation. Interviewing people who were on the scene as passengers, motorists, or by-standers can verify certain information, such as:

  • If the truck was weaving between lanes
  • If the truck driver appeared to have lost control
  • If the witness heard air brakes, a screech of tires, or other indications of a sudden stop

Sobriety & Drug Test Results

Drivers who register as legally intoxicated have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. Test results indicate that alcohol or other traces of drugs play a role in accident investigations.

Accident Reconstruction

Accident reconstructionists employ physics, geometry, and sophisticated computer imaging to determine exact positioning throughout the crash.

Traffic Cameras

An attorney can seek footage from traffic cameras that might have captured the crash. Red-light cameras can also show if the truck ran a red light.

Previous Violations

The FMCSA keeps track of previous violations by truck drivers, trucking companies, and shippers. A truck accident investigation should also include the driver’s record, including moving violations.

Photos

Photos of the accident provide details on braking distance, point of impact, and final resting place. Reconstructionists can use this data, and it also gives perspective on the scope of a large-scale accident.

Truck Accidents in San Antonio

An experienced truck accident attorney can investigate all kinds of crashes, including:

  • Rear-end collision
  • Head-on collision
  • Broadside or “T-bone” accident
  • Jackknife accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Accidents caused by cargo spilling on the roadway

Potential Compensation

Once the evidence is collected and all the liable parties are identified, you can leverage the results of the truck accident investigation to your advantage in negotiations and possible litigation for compensation.

A truck accident settlement should encompass all the ways that your life is affected by the crash, including:

  • Medical care (past, current, and future)
  • Lost pay
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Property loss or damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

Elements of Negligence in a Truck Accident

A lawyer reviews all collected evidence, documentation, and testimony. For a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you must show that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care to take reasonable measures in avoiding bodily injury.
  • The defendant breached this duty, such as falling asleep at the wheel or driving while intoxicated.
  • This breach of duty caused you to suffer an injury.
  • You have economic and emotional damages as a result.

The Law Giant Can Help You

If you or a loved one suffered injury and loss from a truck accident, our legal team is ready to help. Our truck accident lawyers investigate truck accidents in San Antonio to help you receive the compensation you deserve. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, including wrongful death claims.

Contact Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers to speak with a knowledgeable Texas truck accident lawyer. We protect your rights and help you understand your options. Call our office today at 210-664-3441, or use our online contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.

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Compensation without the frustration.

“Great group of people to work with—very efficient and professional. Alex has put together a great Team!”

– DEREK B.