We have blogged before about the challenges of handling a wreck involving an 18 wheeler. If you are involved in a serious wreck with an 18 Wheeler, be aware that it is very likely they will have experts, including accident reconstructionists, on the scene within hours. You should not delay in seeking help. You need someone preserving evidence on your behalf and making sure that everyone involved will be treated fairly and justly.
Most 18 Wheelers have downloadable data in them that should be preserved after a significant wreck. The data can show braking, speed, rpms, steering input and numerous other pre-crash items important to reconstructing what happened. This information needs to be preserved for all parties involved.
Code of Federal Regulation § 382.303(d)(1) generally requires drug and alcohol testing of the 18 Wheeler driver within two hours of any significant wreck and if not done, the 18 Wheeler driver’s employer “shall prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered.” There are numerous other pertinent regulations that apply to these types of wrecks.
Anytime a wreck occurs with an 18 Wheeler or otherwise, it is important to all to make sure everyone does their best to preserve all evidence so that justice can be done. That is the goal. The claims process and the jury trial process is not just about winning at any and all costs. It is a search for the truth. We advise that you make sure you have someone on your side that knows the rules and appreciates the need to preserve evidence.