Information Available to Trucking Accident Lawyers
Knowing how to get the necessary information to prove safety violations by truckers and trucking companies who cause injury is a key part of the tool kit of an experienced personal injury attorney like myself. The trucking accident injury lawyer can check on the past safety records of the trucking company as well as the history of accidents and safety citations issued. These sources of information are available if you know where to order the information from. Additionally the cellphone records of the truck driver can be ordered to see if they were violating certain rules about use of cellphones or texting while driving. As an experienced Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC) trucking collision attorney I will typically get both the DMV license information about the individual trucker as well as their criminal record if any to find out more about how bad an actor the careless driver has been in the past. If there is a known or knowable history of drug use convictions or DUIs then the trucking fleet manager who hired the driver can be held responsible for failing to comply with regulations about the hiring of commercial drivers.
Another valuable source of information are the company’s own safety training manuals. These are often safety rules drawn directly from the Virginia Commercial Drivers Guidebook and/or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These rules should be known and followed by all truckers and trucking companies. However almost all the time when there has been a careless driver of a commercial vehicle that causes a wreck there’s been some violation of known safety rules. By showing that the trucker has been trained in how to safely operate the tractor trailer or commercial truck we can show that they should have known better than to be so reckless. If on the other hand the trucking company has failed to provide basis safety training to its truckers then that may be further information against the company itself as to their unsafe practices.
An additional source of information are the CDL license medical exams required by trucking companies and truckers. These CDL physicals require that there be a disclosure of physical and mental problems that could pose a safety hazard. If a truck driver is diabetic or has high blood pressure there is some risk that they are going to blackout or fail to be sufficient awake and attentive behind the wheel. By obtaining the CDL physicals and where applicable the medical records of the individual truck driver I have often been able to prove that there is a known safety problem posed by the health of this driver that he and his employer should have known to do more about to protect the general public from injuries and truck wrecks.