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What are the Essential Elements of a Truck Accident Investigation?

Semi truck lawyer

Truck accidents occur with some frequency and they often result in much more damage than accidents between passenger vehicles. When an 18-wheeler collides with another vehicle, there will likely be some devastating injuries. A large semi-truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds, which makes it a destructive force in a crash. When you suffer an injury due to a truck accident, you need to show that the driver or trucking company was negligent. The negligent party may owe you compensation for your injuries.

Police Report

A police report is the initial documentation of an accident. Texas law requires a crash report following an accident that involves injuries. It is always best to contact the police to come to the scene of the accident. The police will secure the scene, call medical personnel, and review the circumstances of the crash. The police will gather information from the drivers and will include that in the report. The police will take statements from drivers and witnesses regarding how the accident occurred. The police report establishes the exact time and place of the crash.


Witness statements are helpful in determining the cause of a crash. The police will note any witnesses and will include their information on the report when possible. Your Houston truck accident attorney will review the witness statements and may depose the witnesses to obtain further information. Besides witnesses, there could be video surveillance that captured the accident. This will be helpful in discovering how the accident occurred.

Vehicle Inspections

If the cause of the crash may have involved a vehicle defect or the speed or actions of the driver are or could be an issue, inspecting the big rig is a must. Documentation of a dangerous condition or a safety rule violation is powerful evidence to win a truck accident lawsuit.  Event data recorders will be downloaded and the factual data goes a long way toward proving negligence in many lawsuits.

Accident Reconstruction

Truck accidents can be violent and the drivers and others involved may not know what caused the crash. An accident reconstruction professional team uses various scientific data and devices to recreate what occurred immediately before, during, and following the crash. The team may review the accident location, vehicle damage, police reports, driver and witness statements, and more to piece together the movements of each vehicle. Accident reconstruction tries to determine the events and actions of each driver that led to the crash.

Truck Driver Reports

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to log their time electronically. The law limits the time truck drivers can drive without taking breaks and having rest periods. Trucks use electronic logging systems (ELDs) to collect and store driver data. It is essential to obtain this information quickly following an accident. Your attorney may need to legally request the data. The data can prove that the driver may have been fatigued at the time of the incident.

Mechanical Reports

Mechanical failures and problems can cause or contribute to accidents. It is helpful to obtain reports from the trucking company that show maintenance and repairs performed on the vehicle. The truck must also undergo regular inspections to ensure that it is safe to be on the road. It may be necessary to get a court request to obtain records such as these. Your attorney will seek the information needed in your case.

Paperwork About the Truck Driver and Motor Carrier

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations provide the minimum safe level of conduct by drivers and trucking companies and is obtained through investigation and discovery in a lawsuit. Issues like negligent hiring and over the ours violations or cheating on logbooks can be discovered with a diligent effort.

Call an Attorney

Critical information is needed to investigate a truck accident. Call an attorney who specializes in truck accident cases to review your case and pursue the information necessary to prove your claim.

Contact Trucking accident injury attorney Greg Baumgartner for a consultation about your accident with a commercial vehicle.

Call  the Truck Accident Lawyer at 281-893-0760!

Related Resources:

What is a Truck Crash Investigation?

Expert witnesses in truck accident lawsuits

Recent Study by the FMCSA finds Underreporting of Crashes

What are the Steps to Take Following an 18-Wheeler Accident?

What to Know About Investigation of a Semi Truck Crash


About Greg Baumgartner

Truck accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner
Greg Baumgartner is a preeminent rated personal injury lawyer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of experience representing severely injured clients in truck accidents. He founded Baumgartner Law Firm, in 1985, with a mission to provide excellent legal representation and personalized attention to every client.