Learning to share the road with semi-trucks is something all Alabamans must do, but even the state’s most careful and cautious drivers cannot always avoid accidents and associated litigation. DriveSafeAlabama.org reports that during 2013, heavy trucks were involved in 7,322 collisions. Within that number, defective equipment was the sixth primary cause at 317 crashes, and alcohol was a factor in 92 truck accidents on state roadways. When truckers or trucking companies act negligently, people often choose to initiate litigation to obtain compensation, but there are several steps that should be taken.
According to The Huffington Post, one step in successful truck accident litigation involves finding information that shows the trucking company or even the trucker has a history of past negligent behavior. This can be done by conducting a search on the company, examining instruction manuals, accident statistics, audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation or other reports. The same search can be conducted on the driver as well, and this can uncover whether the driver had been cited for similar issues, had a bad driving record, or what his or her training involved.
Another step is to look at how well the truck was taken care of and this can be done by requesting the maintenance records. These records show if the truck was regularly inspected, and who worked on it. Additionally, looking at the truck’s speed tracking system, GPS or “black box” may reveal information on the truck’s actions prior to the crash.
Relating to the scene of the accident, people should remember that truckers may make comments to other people there, like the tow truck driver, which may imply fault. First responders may also note strange behavior or remember statements made by the trucker. Witnesses can help piece together the events and there may be evidence inside the cab of the truck that could point to negligence.