If a large truck with a trailer were to hit an average-sized automobile, it would seem obvious where the fault should be placed. Still, it could prove difficult to establish legal grounds for that seemingly obvious assumption.
The possible identity of the defendant:
• The truck’s driver
• The trucking company;
• The company that leased trucks
• The shipper, if the shipper also loaded the cargo
• The truck’s manufacturer
• The maintenance facility that prepared the truck for the planned trip
• The local agency in charge of the road on which the accident took place
Initial steps in proving fault: Investigation of the accident site
An investigator hired by a retained personal injury lawyer in Moreno Valley would work with an accident deconstructionist, in an effort to obtain useful evidence.
That same team would take photos of the examined site, along with measurements of the same area. Using those measurements, the accident deconstructionist could do a better job of assessing the safety level of the site where the accident took place. Study the visibility of any road signs in the area. Check on the level of operation for any traffic signals, or any speed limit sign with lights.
Visit stores, restaurants and parking lots in the area, in hopes of finding a video camera that had been positioned on the accident site at the time of that unfortunate incident. Ask permission to view the video footage. The team might be able to study the damaged vehicles at the accident site, of it might become the team’s job to go to the spot where those same vehicles have been taken. In addition to looking at the damage, the investigative team should check to see if either of the involved vehicles contained a defective part.
Additional steps in the strategy for proving fault
Investigator interviews witnesses
Someone charged with obtaining the records of the trucking company: Learn from those records how many hours the driver had been at the wheel; learn the extent of the driver’s experience and the level of training that had been provided by the trucking company.
Get the cell phone records for the driver. Obtain data from the truck’s global positioning system (GPS). Get the driver’s logbook, in order to have more data on the number of hours that the driver had been on the road. Find out what arrangement had been made for loading the cargo. Was the shipper in charge of carrying out that job, or was it assigned to the truck’s driver?
Learn what directions had been given to the driver, and how those matched with the information supplied by the truck’s GPS. Sometimes the name on a street sign gets changed well after the street’s new name has been altered on the GPS’ map.