The federal government regulates the trucking industry due to the traffic dangers posed by commercial vehicles to motorists in Massachusetts and around the country. A commercial truck accident triggers multiple responses from law enforcement and industry regulators. The content of their reports can contribute important evidence to legal cases regarding the award of damages to a truck accident victim.
Police almost always respond to truck accidents because injuries are likely and traffic may be blocked. The responding officer will write an accident report detailing first impressions about the cause of the wreck and vehicles involved.
In addition to the officer’s report, a certified truck inspector might visit the accident scene prior to the truck’s removal. The inspector’s report will produce an expert opinion about the state of the truck and make note of any defects or malfunctions, such as:
- Overweight load
- Worn out tires
- Bad brakes
Regulations require a truck driver involved in an accident causing death or injury to submit to alcohol and drug screening. The lab results could reveal evidence of driver impairment.
Electronic logs and maintenance records
The federal government requires trucking companies to keep records about their vehicles and drivers’ hours of service. Most commercial vehicles have Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) that capture data about when the driver was working. The company should also have inspection and maintenance reports for the truck. A spoilation letter may need to be sent to the trucking company informing it to preserve these records related to the accident.
Any pictures of the crashed vehicles and accident scene may support the recovery of damages. These can provide details about how the vehicles hit each other and road conditions at the time.