Many victims of truck crashes in Florida are killed or suffer life-changing injuries. The surviving and uninjured members of the family are in a state of anguish and despair.
In contrast, many motor carriers operating these big rigs have clear instructions after a wreck: go to the scene, talk to witnesses, remove all the evidence you can, make sure we don’t get the blame.
Why would motor carriers act like this?
Trucking companies operate hundreds or thousands of trucks and go through traffic accidents on a routine basis. In most cases, their driver is only slightly injured. While they may feel sorry for the other victims, in many cases their first priority is to defend their financial interests. And there is a lot at stake. Not only is the compensation due to victims killed or severely injured in a truck accident likely to be a substantial amount, but motor carriers and their drivers have to abide by the many regulations of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Their defensive position can be weakened if they are found to be in breach of any important rules.
What can an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer do to help you?
The key to a successful defense of your rights is to launch your own investigation immediately. Several critical elements are:
- Asking for the police report;
- Getting statements from witnesses;
- Combing and analyzing the scene, taking pictures, reconstructing the succession of events, looking at the vehicles, road debris, road surface, etc;
- Requesting the truck’s papers, instruments and log book, the driver’s qualification file and the motor carrier’s truck maintenance and safety records;
- Obtaining the alcohol and drug test results as well as the truck driver’s cell phone record;
- Deciding whether an expert should be involved to make tests on the wrecked truck.
If the truck driver has exceeded the allowed hours-of-service time, if the log book has been tampered with, if the truck’s brakes aren’t balanced or perform poorly, if the truck’s tires are worn out and/or if the driver had been texting while driving, these elements can be critical to your case.
If you need help, and the support of an experienced and determined attorney focused on truck accidents in North and Central East Florida, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert today toll free at (800) 556-8890 or locally at (386) 673-4412 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.