Large commercial trucks are some of the most dangerous hazards on the roads these days, and when consumer drivers experience collisions with these large trucks, the results are often catastrophic. Needless to say, building a strong personal injury claim after a commercial truck accident is essential to a full recovery.
Of course, even if the accident was entirely the fault of the truck driver or some other party associated with the truck, pursuing truck accident claims is no picnic. If you experience a truck accident and don't gather several forms of crucial evidence as soon as possible, building a strong claim is much more difficult and receiving full compensation is much less likely.
Crucial evidence may "disappear" quickly
Commercial trucking involves two forms of evidence that consumer vehicles and drivers don't deal with, specifically the driver's logs and the truck's electronic control module, or ECM. Truck drivers' logs provide information about how long the driver goes between breaks for rest, which is often a significant factor in trucking accidents. Likewise, the truck's ECM records several types of information and stores it for roughly 30 days. Also, much like black boxes in airplanes, these data recording devices are built to withstand collisions, making them very valuable after an accident when piecing together what caused the accident in the first place.
ECM's collect several types of data, including:
- Usage of safety features like seat belts and airbags
- Time spent idling
- Time spent driving
- Average speed while driving
- Time spent driving above 65 miles per hour
- Top speed while driving
- Average RPMs
However, if you do not request this data from the driver or the owner of the vehicle very quickly, the data is likely to disappear. Legally, the owner of the truck typically retains the right to destroy the data unless they receive a formal request for it. If you put off building your claim and requesting ECM data, you may not get to use it at all.
Protect yourself sooner rather than later
Recovering from a truck accident takes time and resources. If you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you deserve all the help and support you can find while recovering. Instead of undermining your own future, make sure to use the legal resources you have available to build a strong claim that addresses your needs and protect your rights. The sooner you get started, the sooner your recovery begins.