Investigating Trucking Companies
Experienced Nashville attorney who holds negligent parties accountable
After a truck accident, victims are advised to get their crash reports and medical records to prove their claims, but there is so much more evidence that can be collected when a commercial truck or other vehicle is involved.
At The Law Office of Eric Beasley, we know how to collect evidence and build an airtight case for our Tennessee clients because we have done it hundreds and hundreds of times before.
For most people, it would be difficult to do all the legwork required to collect the evidence you will need to prove your claim - never mind trying to do it all after being hit by a tractor-trailer.
Often, the investigation is the relatively easy part. Dealing with the insurance companies or winning a court battle can be far tougher.
This is no time to go it alone or hire an inexperienced attorney. Our firm has been serving the people of the greater Nashville are for more than 20 years. We can help you make sense of your claim and weigh your legal options.
Our legal team knows where to find the strongest evidence to prove your case - including resources many lawyers would miss.
When we investigate a trucking company, we look for a variety of information about the company’s history, the driver’s records, the manufacturer, cargo loader and more, in addition to the accident itself.
Here are examples of the kind of information we seek access to after when you’ve been in an accident with a commercial vehicle:
- Periodic safety reviews
- Safety fitness ratings
- Video surveillance
- Status of licenses and permits
- Accident records
- Enforcement orders
- Safety inspection audits
- Manufacturer product reports
- Large truck equipment and parts recalls
- Medical records
- Freight weight tallies
- Criminal records
- Performance history
- Driver equipment test or maintenance logs
- Work schedules
- Witness statements
- Blood alcohol content results
- Police reports
- Other reviews, orders, exams, records, and licenses
‘Black box’ electronic data
Many large commercial trucks contain an Event Data Recorder (EDR) known as a “black box.” This electronic device records important information about the truck that can be critical evidence when investigating a truck accident.
The truck’s black box has a record of how long the truck was on the road before an accident. This is important since truck drivers are required by federal law to take mandatory breaks. The EDR will also indicate the speed the truck was traveling at the time of the crash and if the truck driver applied the brakes. All of this information can serve as strong evidence in support of your truck accident injury claim or lawsuit.
Limited time to take action
Tennessee has a strict one-year deadline to file a lawsuit or take other legal action in response to a truck accident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. But what you might not realize is you should take action even sooner, especially when it comes to dealing with trucking companies.
A lot of the important data collected by trucking companies can be legally destroyed long before the one-year statute of limitations deadline expires. For instance:
- Black box EDR information can be destroyed by trucking companies in as little as 3 to 4 weeks.
- Truck drivers and trucking companies are only required to keep Hours of Service (HOS) logs for 6 months. HOS logs keep track of exactly how many hours a truck driver has worked each day.
- Trucking company repair or truck maintenance records can be destroyed after one year – that’s a year from the date the relevant repair or maintenance work was done, which may have been many months before the accident.
Such data can serve as valuable pieces of evidence in support of your truck accident claim. Don’t miss out on getting access to such information. Talk to a Nashville truck accident lawyer right away who knows how to investigate truck companies and can demand the information you need for your case.
Many of the records we collect are documents required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is charged with reducing accidents in the commercial trucking industry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations apply to most commercial trucks that travel over state lines, such as semi-trailer trucks going through Nashville from Kentucky, Georgia or Arkansas. These federal trucking regulations not only impose duties on the drivers of commercial trucks, but also on anyone who hires or supervises the drivers, as well as the companies that own the trucks.
The FMCSA regulations dictate the hours per day a driver is permitted to be on the road without taking a break, and the maximum hours per week a driver can operate a truck. They also establish licensing and medical requirements to ensure a person is fit to drive and prohibit drivers from engaging in unsafe driving. The FMCSA requires regular maintenance and inspections of trucks and has also set rules for the kinds of materials and maximum cargo weight commercial trucks can transport.
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a truck accident, it is important that you get in touch with an attorney to review your case as soon as possible. You want your attorney to start collecting evidence while the matter is still fresh in witnesses' minds and before any records are purged. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.