Collisions between 18-wheelers and passenger vehicles often result in devastating injuries, especially for the occupants of the smaller vehicles.

In determining liability for such a crash, advocates for an injured party will perform a thorough investigation including an examination of the evidence left behind.

Finding evidence

There are many reasons for a large truck to collide with a smaller vehicle. The overloading of cargo, distracted driving, driver fatigue and equipment malfunction are but a few of the issues that could result in the truck driver losing control of the vehicle. A crash will leave many pieces of evidence behind that could help piece together the cause of the accident:

  • Skid marks and tire tracks
  • Gouges in dirt or pavement
  • Fluid stains, such as engine oil, transmission fluid or blood
  • Debris from damaged vehicle parts
  • Damage to objects such as guard rails or telephone poles
  • Marks showing the final resting positions of the vehicles
  • Evidence showing points of impact

Following up

Law enforcement officers will take photos of the accident scene and prepare a report, but once they ensure that the site is secure, their work is largely done. This is the time for advocates for the injured party to gather any evidence left behind since weather, traffic and other issues can cause evidence to vanish quickly.

Determining fault

Truck-related crash cases are complex. Not only are there various reasons for a truck-car accident to occur but multiple parties could share responsibility for the resulting injuries. These could include the truck driver, the company that owns the truck, the company that maintains the vehicle and even the party responsible for loading the cargo. Once liability is sorted out, these multiple parties could share in the compensation owed to the injured party.