In 2020, there were upwards of 146,000 large truck accidents on U.S. roadways. In these, nearly 4,600 individuals lost their lives and more than 68,000 suffered life-altering injuries. This is not surprising, as tractor-trailers may outweigh passenger vehicles by 75,000 pounds or more.
If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a collision with a commercial truck, you may be eligible for significant financial compensation to help cover medical bills, rehabilitation, home modifications, lost wages and other accident-related expenses. Determining the cause of the crash is likely to be critical, though.
The truck’s black box
Like commercial airplanes, many tractor-trailers have event data recorders, often called black boxes. These black boxes record details about the truck’s operation, including the following:
- The speed of the truck
- The position of the brake pedal and accelerator
- The movement of the truck’s steering wheel
- The maintenance record of the vehicle
- The communication history between the driver and the trucking company
Many black boxes save memory space by overwriting old details with new ones. Drivers and trucking companies also may have the ability to delete information in a black box. Consequently, you may need to take prompt legal action to preserve the contents of the truck’s event data recorder.
To further research the cause of the crash, you may want to employ the services of an accident reconstructionist. These professionals use complex models and available reports to identify why trucks collide with other vehicles.
Finally, when exploring your legal options, you may want to interview anyone who may have witnessed the crash. Eyewitnesses often have useful details about how accidents unfold. Ultimately, though, by using all available means to determine the cause of the crash and to assign blame for it, you may improve your odds of receiving the compensation you deserve.