While any traffic accident can result in serious damage and injury, collisions involving commercial trucks can be particularly devastating. Since truck accidents can cause such catastrophic damage and oftentimes life-threatening injuries, personal injury claims stemming from truck accidents require an in-depth investigation to identify the financially liable parties. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, it is imperative you retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney who can help determine all factors which may have caused your collision and build a strong case for compensation on your behalf.
What Is a Driver Qualification File?
While much of the evidence your personal injury claim will need can be found at the scene of the crash, one of the most important pieces of evidence is known as the Driver Qualification File (DQF). Under regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), every trucking company is required to maintain a DQF for every driver it employs, containing information regarding a driver’s employment history, certifications, and driving records – much of which can be invaluable when building your case.
A DQF must contain the following information:
- All accident records involving the truck or driver
- Copies of the driver’s license
- Results of road tests
- Annual performance reviews
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Personnel records
- Hours of service records
- Alcohol and drug test results
In addition, all drivers must be at least 21 years of age, be in good health, be able to both read and speak English, be able to properly load and secure cargo, be able to safely operate their vehicle, have a valid commercial driver’s license, and have passed a recognized driving test. If the driver of the truck that hit you is lacking in any of the above qualifications, or if their DQF is missing any important documents, your chances of success will increase by a large margin. Likewise, any violations involving unqualified drivers or poor record keeping could cause the trucking company to be held liable for negligence.
Actually obtaining a copy of the driver’s DQF can be difficult, however, as many trucking companies will keep these documents close to the chest if they know that the information contained within will show any degree of negligence on their part. Acquiring the DQF and other company records will often require the expertise of a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer and the use of a subpoena.
Electronic On-Board Recorders
Another important source of evidence will be the information recovered from the truck’s electronic on-board recorder (EOBR), or “black box.” These device track the events before, during, and after a collision and store the information to be used by police, insurance companies, and employers in the event of a crash. Black box data can be critical in revealing whether a truck driver’s behavior contributed to your collision.
Your attorney can examine the data contained within the black box and determine the following:
- The truck’s speed at the time of impact and when the brakes were applied
- Whether the truck suddenly or violently came to a stop
- Gear shifts or changes around the time of impact
- Changes in the number of engine revolutions per minute
Retain Trusted Legal Guidance Today – (888) 966-8480
Since truck accidents can potentially involve multiple parties and involve several different variables, it is important that injured individuals retain powerful legal assistance to maximize their chances of securing they deserve. If you have been injured in a truck accident you believe was not your fault, get in touch with the Nassau County truck accident attorneys at Foley Griffin, LLP today. With more than 75 years of combined legal experience and millions recovered in verdicts and settlements on our clients’ behalf, we have what it takes to help you pursue fair financial recovery.
Contact our office online today to get started towards filing a claim.