The Unique Evidentiary Problems of Trucking Accident Lawsuits in Mississippi
Any sort of car accident can leave the driver shaken and dealing with thousands of dollars in medical expenses and car repairs, but truck accidents are particularly serious. Any vehicle that weighs up to 40-tons, such as an 18-wheeler, has the capacity to cause incredible destruction when it collides with a smaller vehicle. But a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver in Mississippi isn’t just about collecting compensation for personal injuries and damage to property. There are several other unique concerns about preserving evidence when suing a truck driver that rarely come up when suing another motorist.
Big Trucks Can Mean Big Problems With Evidence
The first issue with trucking accidents can be preserving physical evidence from the accident itself. As these are commercial vehicles, drivers and trucking companies want them back up and running as soon as possible for the next haul. That means that after colliding with another vehicle, a truck might be repaired in just a couple weeks. Evidence of some other problem with the vehicle such as faulty brakes can also be lost as a result of prompt repairs. This means that it is of the utmost importance to take pictures of the accident scene right after it happens if possible, or at least obtain photos from the scene taken by the police. Otherwise, evidence of any repairs may have to be subpoenaed from the trucking company.
Another problem that arises with truck accident is the so-called “black box,” or electronic control module. Similar to the better-known black boxes on airplanes, the units contain information about repairs, speed, and braking just before an accident occurs that can prove invaluable when pursuing a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, most black boxes only record this information for a short period of time, typically about a month, so if there’s an accident and the truck is rushed back on the road, it’s important to contact an attorney right away who can take steps to preserve this data before it’s lost forever.
A final issue that regularly comes up in trucking accidents is the inaccuracy or falsification of logbooks. By law, commercial truck drivers are required to record information about rest break, inspections, and other time off duty, but many times truck drivers falsify this information to spend more time on the road. Proving this is difficult, however, but an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney can help investigate the accuracy of a logbook by comparing it against receipts from the truck driver’s stops at gas stations and other locations. In some cases, information obtained from a black box can also impeach a truck driver’s official story about how much rest he was getting while on the road, providing evidence that fatigue led to an accident.
Contact Us For Help With Your Case
A collision with a large truck can have life-changing consequences that require compensation. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a car accident in Mississippi, an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Judy Guice can help. Contact our office today for an initial consultation.