(219)736-9700 info@davidholublaw.com

Truck Accident Reconstruction

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s question comes from a caller whose son was in a crash involving a semi-tractor trailer. She wanted to hire an attorney even though her son was in the hospital, and the crash only happened the morning she called.

In every case, hiring an attorney as soon as possible after a vehicle crash is helpful.

However, hiring an attorney promptly if you are a trucking accident victim is critical.

A promptly hired attorney can quickly arrange for an accident reconstructionist to go to the scene and inspect the roadway and vehicles and learn what happened.

We’ll discuss accident reconstruction in more detail in a moment.

But first, documenting the crash scene is crucial. Especially if the crash involves shipping items on a flatbed trailer that become dislodged and fall.

When, for example, a shipper loads a flatbed trailer with steel coils, the shipper, not just the motor carrier, can be held liable for a load that breaks loose from the trailer.

An attorney, promptly hired, can send an investigator to the scene to video, photograph, and measure everything about how a load was fastened, even before the crash scene is cleaned up.

A shipper must secure a load to a flatbed trailer in such a way as to prevent the load from breaking loose. There are detailed standards and regulations with which a shipper must comply.

When a shipper fails to comply with regulations and mandatory safety standards, the shipper may be held liable for harm resulting from the load breaking loose during a crash.

Accident reconstruction in commercial truck accident cases is crucial to determining fault and liability. Even if you have a good eyewitness, you still need an accident reconstruction expert.

An accident reconstruction expert looks at all the evidence and uses technology to recreate the crash scene.

An accident reconstruction expert may go to the scene of the crash and set up cameras linked to computers to image the scene and record skid marks and other pavement markings.

Where a nearby homeowner or business camera captures the crash on video, such video recordings are incorporated into the expert’s digital recreation of the crash.

From the digital record, simulations can be run to determine what happened, accounting for vehicle recorder data and other evidence.

Being an accident reconstructionist requires careful training.

Many such experts are retired police officers who use their knowledge, skill, experience, combined with advances in technology to determine each vehicle’s travel direction and speed.

They rely upon site surveys, police reports, witness accounts, physical vehicle damage, and other evidence to understand who is at fault and the extent of any negligence. Reconstruction experts rely upon principles of physics and crash mechanics.

Aside from promptly engaging a truck accident reconstructionist, hiring an attorney soon after a crash will enable the attorney to gather and analyze information from witnesses, photograph vehicles and the scene, secure vehicle event recorder data, and otherwise preserve evidence before it is discarded. As just one example, nearly all trucks have event data recorder modules that can be unintentionally overwritten if not promptly examined and preserved.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”