blog home Truck Accidents Determining Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident

Determining Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident

By Jason Bottlinger on April 30, 2021

Commercial truck accidents remain one of the most dangerous types of collisions on the roads around Nebraska, killing multiple drivers and pedestrians every year. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck wreck, you may be looking for someone to hold accountable for your medical bills. But these cases are complex and require an in-depth investigation to determine how the collision occurred and who is responsible.

All Hands on Deck

Following a truck accident, local, state, and federal agencies will all initiate investigations to determine how the wreck happened. A collision in Omaha can include an initial response from the Omaha Police Department, or the Nebraska State Patrol if it occurred on a highway like I-80. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will have its own questions and may work with local and state authorities to review the events of a wreck.

Other agencies may also get involved to log information and statistics around accident rates, including the Nebraska Department of Transportation (DOT) and National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

How involved these different agencies become will depend on the type of truck, the supposed cause of the collision, and what materials were being transported. For example, a cargo spill or tanker truck wreck may involve hazardous waste, which must be carefully investigated and cleaned up. Or, if the driver was fatigued, the FMCSA may dig into the driver’s service logs to see if the trucking company pressured the driver to break the hours of service (HOS) regulations.

But another group that will be involved in the investigation is the trucking company itself, which will want to find any evidence of negligence or violations and tuck them away as soon as possible. Trucking companies may be well aware of the cause of a collision, such as an intoxicated driver or equipment failure, and will want to hide it to avoid facing civil penalties.

To safeguard your right to compensation and hold a truck driver or company liable for a wreck, you should have a skilled attorney to dig into the details of your case. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we can work with law enforcement, accident reconstructionists, and automotive experts to determine how the collision occurred and who is responsible for paying you compensation. Depending on the nature of the collision, we can quickly secure several types of evidence to support your case.

Types of Evidence That Can Break a Case

Semi-trucks are powerful, heavy, and large vehicles that require constant maintenance and should only be operated by certified drivers. Any mistake can result in a catastrophic collision. Because of how complex these vehicles can be, there are several factors that can contribute to a collision.

In our experience, the most valuable pieces of evidence in a truck wreck investigation include:

  • Accident reports
  • Driver qualification files (DQF), which includes the driver’s records, certifications, accident record, medical history, and driving experience
  • Black box data, which includes break logs per HOS regulations, the vehicle’s speed, and other critical information recorded during a wreck
  • Cargo details
  • Safety reports
  • Maintenance records and equipment reports
  • DOT certifications, such as hazardous waste certifications
  • Defective parts
  • Drug and alcohol tests
  • Photos and videos of the collision
  • Witness statements

Why You Need an Attorney on Your Side

During a complex or high-profile truck wreck investigation, it is easy for victims to get lost in the shuffle. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., our Omaha personal injury attorney always puts our clients first during a case and advocates for their best interests. If a negligent truck driver or company caused your trauma, we can investigate the collision, collect evidence of wrongdoing, and fight to get you full compensation in a claim. Call us today at (402) 505-8234 to get started on your case with a free consultation.

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Posted in: Truck Accidents

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Our legal team is ready to help. Please fill out the form below to set up a free consultation with attorney Jason Bottlinger.