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By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Truck Accident on Friday, March 9, 2018.
Truck Accident Investigation: How, When, And Why?

Each year, nearly 300 people die in Los Angeles and all across California in trucking accidents. Thousands more get injured. Why trucks bring such a colossal destruction on the roads of Los Angeles is not surprising – after all, the average truck traveling on California roads can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. (the average passenger car, meanwhile, weighs only about 4,000 lbs.).

But “how” trucking accidents occur is an entirely different question that often requires the legal help of an experienced Los Angeles trucking accident attorney to answer. The best solution is usually conducting a truck accident investigation with the help of a legal expert.

Why you need a truck accident investigation

The importance of truck accident investigations is often underestimated when victims of trucking accidents are preparing to file a claim and pursue compensation. You see, if you drive a passenger car and you suffered harm and damage in a trucking accident, chances are, there will be at least four parties protecting their own interests and minimizing the value of your settlement.

These parties are: the at-fault truck driver, who, unlike victims of trucking accidents, is usually unscathed or has minor injuries; his/her insurance company; his/her trucking company; the trucking company’s insurance company. Not to mention all the lawyers that may get involved and kill your claim altogether.

As you may have guessed by now, you do need a Los Angeles trucking accident lawyer by your side in order to conduct a fair and unbiased investigation and ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the entire case. Only a skilled attorney will prevent insurance companies, truck drivers, trucking companies and wolfish lawyers from shifting the blame for the trucking accident onto you, finding bizarre counter-evidence or making your claim sound absurd and non-compensable.

You need an investigation after a truck accident

But what is a truck accident investigation, and when exactly do you need one? To answer the question, you may want to hire an attorney from the Kristensen LLP to conduct an investigation right after the accident. Act immediately and take legal action in order to protect your rights and prove liability of the at-fault truck driver and his/her trucking company.

Truck accident investigations can vary from one case to another (depending on the circumstances of a truck crash), but the most common elements that are established in such investigations are:

  • Witness accounts: your Los Angeles trucking accident attorney will look for witnesses, interview them, and obtain witness accounts to solidify your case;
  • Examine the scene of the truck accident to find sufficient evidence, take photographs and videos of skid marks, road conditions, improperly placed signs, vehicle wreckage, etc.
  • Preserve truck driver’s logs and trucking company records – if you do not order a truck accident investigation immediately after an accident, the trucking company may choose to delete all kinds of information about the accident, making it more difficult to prove liability and obtain compensation. Under California’s law, trucking companies are not required to keep that kind of information for more than six months;
  • Preserve the truck from being repaired so it can be inspected by experts to determine defects: it is not uncommon for trucking accidents or their drivers to repair trucks that were inadequately maintained (which caused an accident in the first place);
  • Preserve electronic on-board recorder data from the truck;
  • Obtain the truck driver’s driving history and prior convictions and offenses;
  • Obtain records of truck maintenance.

It is critical to conduct a truck accident investigation right after the accident. Ignoring the importance of conducting an investigation with the help of an experienced lawyer may make it difficult to prove liability or collect sufficient evidence to get compensation for your injuries and damages.

Contact the Kristensen LLP for a free case evaluation today. Call our Los Angeles offices at 310-984-1297 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.