South Carolina tractor trailer accident lawyers know that it is very important to gather all available evidence as soon as possible after a tractor trailer accident has occurred. Those seriously injured by the negligence of a truck driver are at an extreme disadvantage if they do not hire experts to preserve this evidence early on. Every case is different but it is very likely that the trucking company will have representatives on the scene of the accident in short order, sometimes even the day of same. That means that the soon to be defendant in the case has the opportunity to interview all witnesses to the crash, photograph the accident location and obtain, and in some cases even alter, evidence of the wreck.
Understanding the above, there are a few basic pointers that anyone hurt by a tractor trailer crash should know. This list is only the tip of the iceberg and should serve as a reminder of basic steps that should likely be used to preserve evidence in a tractor trailer accident case. First, they will want to interview everyone at the accident scene. This includes lay witnesses (i.e. other drivers and bystanders), the police, fire and other emergency services personnel that are called to assist with the crash site. Second, be sure to take video or photographs of the vehicles in the wreck and the scene itself. Given that almost every cellular phone now has a camera there is no excuse for not taking pictures unless someone is incapacitated by their injuries caused in the accident. Third, have a mechanic and/or engineer perform a full inspection of all vehicles involved in the accident and especially the 18 wheeler to access damages to each and to determine if any vehicle had problems with it that may have contributed to causing the crash. Fourth, consider bringing on an accident reconstructionist to help decipher and recreate what happened to cause the collision.
In addition to the above, everyone with access to a computer can get a lot of good information from several web sites that are important to the tractor trailer industry. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) applies to all motor vehicles that travel in the United States, it is a great place to start and can provide information from the recalls and defective conditions to child safety seats. Another great source of information is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This site provides lots of learning opportunities and addresses rules and regulations, safety and security as well as registration and licensing requirements for tractor trailers. The possibilities of places to look on the Internet are endless and only limited by the imagination of the user looking for information accidents involving 18 wheelers and buses.
So what are those seriously hurt in an accident looking for when they go to these and other websites? The answer is anything and everything. However, the focus should likely center of the tractor trailer and the driver of same. For example, you would likely want to know if the driver has a poor driving record marked by numerous moving violations or other accidents. You would also want to know if the truck was properly maintained. Again, the lists of information to look for are long and really only limited by the imagination of the plaintiff or their lawyer. The key thing to remember here is that time is of the essence and those involved in an accident with a truck or commercial vehicle need to move fast so as to preserve all relevant evidence before it dies on the vine and is gone forever.