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Investigating the Cause of a Truck Accident

Posted onFebruary 4, 2020

When you drive past a recent semi-truck accident, it is generally a devastating scene. Vehicles involved may be smashed, debris from vehicle damage may be strewn across the road, the truck’s cargo might have spilled, and more. Emergency workers might be putting out fires, prying victims from vehicles with the “jaws of life,” or loading them into ambulances. It is often a haunting and complicated picture.

While most people might quickly pass by and glance at the scene, it is the job of others to closely examine each aspect of the aftermath of the accident. This is because determining the specific cause of the truck crash is extremely important for many reasons, such as:

  • Identifying whether a driver violated the law
  • Determining whether third parties – like the trucking company – were negligent
  • Examining whether external conditions – such as road or weather conditions – played a role in the crash

Pinpointing who or what was responsible for the truck accident is critical to improve safety, sanction dangerous drivers or companies, and to ensure that truck accident victims are able to hold the right parties fully liable for their losses. If you’ve been injured in a commercial truck crash, you should contact an experienced Tulsa truck accident attorney you can trust right away.

Surprising Causes of Truck Accidents

Many people assume that truck drivers are to blame for semi-truck crashes, though this is not always the case. For example, in a recent accident in Tulsa, police made an arrest following a terrifying truck accident – but it was not the truck driver.

According to reports, a semi-truck was traveling across a bridge on I-44 when an SUV crashed into the truck. The impact caused the truck driver to lose control, and the truck rolled over several times. Law enforcement officers arrested the driver of the SUV for driving under the influence (DUI) and leaving the scene of the accident.

This is only one example of how truck accident cases are not always as straightforward as they might seem. It is important to identify the parties who are responsible so they can be held liable for the losses of victims.

Complex Investigations

There are many different causes of truck accidents that should be considered in each investigation, including:

  1. Truck driver error, including driver fatigue, inattentiveness, speed, following too closely, or other moving violations
  2. Negligent hiring or supervision of drivers
  3. Negligent maintenance of trucks
  4. Improper cargo loading
  5. Truck defects and malfunctions
  6. Road hazards
  7. Third-party drivers

In some situations, the main cause of the crash might be immediately apparent, such as if a truck driver stumbles out of the cab after a crash, clearly intoxicated. However, in most cases, it takes more work to be able to prove liability for a crash.

Some investigative tactics might include the following and more:

  • Examining the physical scene of the accident, including damage, debris, tire and skid marks, and more
  • Getting data from the truck’s “black box,” or electronic control module, which is similar to the black box in an airplane or train, that can give information about speed, braking, and more prior to the crash
  • Seeing whether the truck had dash cameras, which might be facing the road and/or the driver, which can give insight into what happened
  • Reviewing truck driver logs to identify whether the driver had violated hours of service restrictions
  • Reviewing the results of blood alcohol content (BAC) and drug testing of the driver
  • Learning whether the truck driver or other parties were cited or arrested for violations
  • Speaking with witnesses who saw the accident happen
  • Obtaining police reports
  • Reviewing records from the trucking company regarding truck inspections and maintenance history
  • Obtaining the results of any investigations conducted by local law enforcement or federal trucking agencies
  • Seeking help from a professional accident reconstruction expert

As you can see, a lot can go into a truck accident investigation. You want to make sure you have a law firm on your side with the resources to identify the parties you can hold liable for your injuries and losses.

Contact an Experienced Tulsa Truck Accident Attorney for Help

At Wandres Law, PC, we know how complex truck accident claims can be. We can handle the investigation process and claims against multiple parties if needed to protect our clients’ rights, and obtain the compensation our clients deserve. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online to learn how a Tulsa truck accident lawyer can help you.

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