How Do Truck Accident Investigations Work in Georgia?

    Posted on Saturday, June 1st, 2024 at 9:00 am    

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    Semi-truck accidents cause devastating injuries and tragic fatalities on Georgia roads every year. In the chaotic aftermath of a crash with a big rig, you may wonder what happens next. How do authorities determine who caused the crash? What steps do truck accident investigations involve? Understanding these processes can provide clarity and help you know what to expect from legal proceedings following an accident.

    What Is a Truck Accident Investigation?

    A truck accident investigation seeks to uncover the causes and contributing factors that led to a commercial truck collision. These investigations aim to identify the at-fault parties and collect evidence to support insurance claims and legal cases.

    Multiple parties may conduct independent investigations into a trucking accident, including:

    • Law enforcement agencies
    • Insurance companies
    • Trucking companies
    • Government agencies like the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
    • Attorneys representing crash victims

    While each party’s investigation serves a different purpose, they all work to piece together how the accident occurred and who bears responsibility.

    Key Steps in the Truck Accident Investigation Process

    Truck accident cases are more complex than typical car accidents due to the number of potentially liable parties, the numerous federal regulations governing the trucking industry, and the severity of these crashes. While not all parties investigate truck accidents using the same methods, the investigation process generally includes these key steps:

    • Secure the Accident Scene – Law enforcement officers called to the crash site first ensure injured victims receive medical attention. They secure the scene to preserve evidence and begin documenting the accident.
    • Collect Evidence at the Scene – Police gather physical evidence from the accident scene, including vehicle debris, skid marks, the final resting positions of the vehicles, and property damage. They measure and diagram the scene.
    • Interview Involved Parties and Witnesses – Officers talk to the truck driver, other involved motorists, and eyewitnesses to record their version of events. They note any inconsistencies between parties.
    • Inspect Vehicles for Defects – Investigators carefully examine the vehicles to identify any defects or mechanical failures that may have contributed to the crash. This may require expert analysis.
    • Review Electronic Data – Most modern trucks carry a “black box” that records critical data like speed, braking, and service hours. Cell phone records are also analyzed to determine if distracted driving played a role.
    • Evaluate Driver Factors – Investigators assess the truck driver’s qualifications, commercial driver’s license status, drug and alcohol test results, and medical history to uncover potential issues.
    • Examine Trucking Company Compliance – Investigators determine if the trucking company followed federal safety regulations regarding vehicle maintenance, cargo loading, driver hiring and training, and other policies.
    • Analyze All Evidence to Determine Fault – Investigators review all the evidence to establish an official cause and assign fault for the crash. This becomes the foundation for any legal proceedings.

    Critical Evidence in Truck Accident Cases

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    To build a solid truck accident case, attorneys gather extensive evidence demonstrating how the crash occurred and who is liable. Some of the most valuable evidence includes:

    • Police accident reports
    • Photos and video footage of the accident scene and vehicle damage
    • Eyewitness statements
    • “Black box” data and electronic logging devices
    • Truck driver personnel files and driving history
    • Trucking company safety records and policy manuals
    • Vehicle inspection and maintenance reports
    • Bills of lading and cargo loading documents
    • Cell phone records
    • Accident reconstruction expert analysis

    Prompt Legal Action Protects Your Rights

    Truck accidents inflict immense physical, emotional, and financial burdens on victims and their families. When a negligent truck driver or trucking company causes devastating harm, they should be held accountable. However, trucking companies and their insurers often employ tactics to limit their liability and avoid paying fair compensation to victims.

    This is why involving an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash is so important. Your lawyer can take steps to preserve vital evidence, launch an independent investigation, and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

    At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to thoroughly investigate truck accidents and demand maximum compensation for our clients. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to review your case and explain your legal options.

    If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a trucking accident in Georgia, do not wait to seek legal guidance. Contact the skilled truck accident lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today by calling (770) 205-8827 to discuss your case for free. We are here to provide the compassionate support and fierce advocacy you need during this difficult time.

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