March 4, 2020
Investigating a Truck Accident in New York
By Jonathan Damashek
If you have been in a truck accident, you may be certain that the truck driver was at fault. However, you need to prove that the driver or the trucking company was negligent, which means that you need to collect the necessary evidence. To accomplish this, you need to perform a thorough investigation.
The truck accident lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. have decades of experience in helping New Yorkers get the compensation they deserve. We know how to investigate truck accidents and how to hold truck drivers and trucking companies accountable. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, let us help – call (212) 490-5700 or send us an email today to schedule a free case review with one of our experienced truck accident attorneys.
Investigate the Driver
Many truck accidents are the result of the driver’s negligence. In determining negligence, it can be very helpful to review the driver’s records. If the driver has numerous traffic infractions or has been in previous accidents, their driving history can persuasive in proving that the driver was negligent in your case. Of course, they could still have been negligent even if their driving record is clean; however, failing to investigate the driver can be a critical error.
You also want to be sure that they have a valid commercial driver’s license. In addition, you should also make sure that the driver has any necessary certifications for driving the truck that was involved in the accident. You should also find out if the driver has been properly trained and how long they have been driving. If the driver is inexperienced or lacks the necessary training, it could be incredibly helpful to your case.
Investigate the Trucking Company
Trucking companies are corporations and are therefore focused on turning a profit. Unfortunately, this means that they may sacrifice the safety of other drivers for the sake of making more money. As a result, they may fail to perform routine maintenance on their trucks, hire qualified drivers, provide adequate training, or enforce safety protocols to ensure their drivers are being safe behind the wheel.
Trucking companies are subject to state and federal regulations regarding how they operate their business. The company’s failure to comply with these regulations can be used to demonstrate why the trucking company should be held liable for your injuries.
Obtain Video Footage
Traffic cameras are becoming ubiquitous, and as a result, there may be video footage of your accident. Even if your accident wasn’t captured on a state or municipal traffic camera, it may have been caught by a nearby security camera. Dashboard cameras are becoming increasingly common and, in fact, the truck itself may have been equipped with a dash-cam. Video footage of the accident can be invaluable in proving liability.
Obtain GPS and Other Electronic Data
In addition to dash-cams, many trucking companies monitor their drivers via GPS and other electronic devices. These devices can record the truck’s speed, location, direction of travel, and a wealth of other information surrounding the time of the accident. This data can help determine the cause of the accident and proving liability. For example, if the driver was speeding it may help you prove that they were at fault and therefore liable for your injuries.
Obtain the Police Report
Police reports can help your case by confirming important details about the accident. The report can be especially helpful if the truck driver was issued a ticket for a traffic violation or it otherwise indicates that they were at fault.
However, police reports don’t always tell the whole story and may contain inaccuracies that work in the truck driver’s favor. If that’s the case, you want to know what the report contains so that you can obtain the necessary evidence to prove that the report is incorrect.
Obtain Statements from Witnesses
Witnesses are considered neutral third-parties, and their accounts of what happened are therefore very persuasive. It’s critical to get clear and concise statements from any witnesses as soon after the accident as possible.
Contact a New York Truck Accident Lawyer
The steps involved in investigating a truck accident may seem like common sense, but getting the evidence you need is actually quite complicated. You may need to subpoena the trucking company or know how to get traffic camera footage. The experienced truck accident lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. know how to build your case so that you can get the compensation you deserve. If you would like a free case review, call (212) 490-5700 or contact us online to meet with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers and discuss how we can help you.