If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage in an accident caused by a truck driver or trucking company in California, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, there are various steps that you need to take after these incidents occur, including obtaining records. Here, we want to examine the various types of records that you or your attorney should try to obtain after a truck accident.
Beginning in December of 2019, all truck drivers and carriers were required to carry electronic logging devices (ELDs) inside of their vehicles. These devices replaced paper logbooks to keep track of a truck driver’s hours of service. These hours of service are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Drivers are required to abide by the hours of service requirements in order to prevent the fatigued operation of a larger commercial truck. These requirements dictate how long a driver can operate during each workday and during the workweek. It is important to have these records when investigating a truck accident to ensure that drivers are abiding by the regulations set forth by the federal government.
Just like airplanes have a “black box” that must be obtained after a crash occurs, so do larger commercial trucks. The electronic control module (ECM) is that black box. This is a device that keeps track of various information related to the truck that can be obtained and used in the event an accident occurs. This can include information such as the driver’s speed, whether the driver used their brakes before an accident, how long the truck has been in operation, the last scheduled maintenance, and various other truck diagnostics that could be important.
The FMCSA requires that trucking companies regularly inspect and maintain each vehicle in their fleet. Additionally, federal requirements dictate that records of inspection and maintenance must be kept on file for a certain amount of time. It is important to obtain these records, particularly if vehicle failure is suspected as a cause of the accident.
In many cases, distracted driving is a suspected cause of a truck crash. It is important to obtain the truck driver’s mobile device records or the mobile device records of a trucking company phone or device in possession of the driver. This could help show whether or not the driver was using the phone to talk to someone, browsing the Internet or social media, or streaming movies or TV shows.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver or trucking company, you need to reach out to a Newport Beach truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Not only will the lawyer help you gather all of this information, but they will also make sure that an investigation is conducted to gain any evidence needed to prove liability. This can include photographs and video surveillance from the incident, statements from my witnesses, and the police report.