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Looking Beyond the Log Book: Other ways to determine the cause of an accident

Commercial truck drivers’ log books may not explain why a commercial motor vehicle driver lost control of his vehicle, entered into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle, seriously injuring or killing the occupants of the other vehicle.

Another place to search in trying to explain a commercial vehicle driver’s accident causing behavior is the pre and post trip inspection reports of the tractor and the trailer, including the motor carrier’s safety manual.  I would also recommend sending out a request for maintenance records of the tractor and trailer.

I had a case involving a fatality caused by a commercial vehicle and requested the information listed above. The post inspection reports issued by the Pennsylvania State Police contradicted the pre inspection report as well as the maintenance records. After identifying these inconsistencies, we continued our search and requested the payroll records of the driver, as well as all bills of lading of the carriers.  We were also able to get the driver’s driving convictions from the state which indicated two prior accidents and the convictions which resulted from those accidents.

The driver’s email and cell phone records could also provide some clues when attempting to reconstruct your commercial vehicle accident.

John F. Cordisco is a member of Stark & Stark’s Yardley, PA office, specializing in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Cordisco.

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