As a truck accident victim in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you may be entitled to compensation if you suffered injuries in a truck wreck caused by a negligent trucker. However, pursuing your claims can be complex, and an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer can help you through the legal process of filing and settling your claim. One of the key ways an attorney can help is by searching the trucking company records as part of their investigation of your case.
Why Lawyers Search Trucking Company Records
There are several reasons why a knowledgeable Norfolk truck accident attorney would search trucking company records. They include the following:
- Safety violations. A lawyer would research a trucking company’s records to determine if safety violations caused the collision and whether there is a pattern of violations of federal safety rules by the trucking company.
- Trucker qualifications. Truckers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) and meet specific qualifications to operate a commercial vehicle. Truck accident attorneys search trucking company records to determine whether the trucker was qualified to drive the truck and whether the trucking company verified the truck driver’s qualifications, safety record, and experience.
- Federal regulation violations. The federal government heavily regulates the trucking industry, and failure to comply with these regulations can cause tragic collisions. Lawyers search trucking company records to determine whether the company and the trucker complied with federal laws at the time of the accident.
Types of Documents Attorneys Review
Lawyers will typically search for several types of documents when investigating a truck accident case. They would send the trucking company a spoliation letter not to destroy these documents. Records that could be requested include the following:
- Driver's logs. Truckers must keep logs of their driving hours, rest periods, and other information related to their work. A dedicated truck accident attorney will review these logs to determine whether the trucker complied with federal hours of service regulations regarding how long they can drive before taking a rest period.
- Maintenance records. Trucking companies are required to keep records of the maintenance, inspections, and repairs performed on their vehicles. Reviewing these records can help determine whether the company was properly maintaining, inspecting, and repairing its trucks as required by federal regulations and whether any mechanical issues may have contributed to the truck crash.
- Employment records. The trucker’s employment records will establish whether they were adequately trained and qualified to operate the truck, had a history of accidents or safety violations, and failed any alcohol or drug testing.
- Accident records. Lawyers will review any collision reports filed by the trucking company, the police report, witness statements, photos taken at the crash scene, and other evidence related to the accident. This information can help the lawyer prove the wreck’s cause and build a case against the trucking company and the trucker.