You'll need substantial evidence of a truck driver's negligence to receive injury compensation after a truck accident. If the commercial vehicle was equipped with a dash cam, its footage could be instrumental in proving what the trucker was doing and how he caused your accident.
However, it can be daunting, if not impossible, to obtain this vital evidence without the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney.
Information Truck Dashboard Cameras Provide
Although it's not mandatory to install video cameras on trucks’ dashboards, many transportation companies have them as safety measures to monitor their operators' behaviors. These cameras also help your legal team with proof that can help identify the cause of a truck accident.
There are two types of dash cams, and each provides different information.
Front-facing cameras show the road ahead. It can record errant actions of the trucker that may have caused your accident, such as the trucker driving too closely to your vehicle, making an unsafe lane change, or driving recklessly. Fleet vehicles often have black boxes, similar to those in airplanes, that record data, such as a truck’s speed and braking patterns. When the dash cam and black box data are analyzed together, it's easier to have a clearer picture of accident cause.
Driver-facing cameras are similar to those used in police cars and record what the trucker was doing while driving. These units show if he was eating and drinking, texting, talking on a cellphone, reading a GPS, or engaging in other distracted driving practices. If the operator was drowsy or displayed signs of intoxication, this is recorded as well.
How an Attorney Helps Obtain Dash Camera Footage
Unfortunately, a trucking company won't voluntarily issue dash cam data unless a knowledgeable truck accident attorney requests it on your behalf. He'll send the company a spoliation letter, notifying it of your claim and demanding it provides camera footage, certain documents, and other evidence that helps prove negligence.
Once a trucking company receives this demand letter, it's prohibited from destroying any accident-related information. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which governs the trucking industry, has strict mandates about complying with evidence requests.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident in Missouri or Kansas, our experienced car accident lawyers are ready to help right away. Contact us online, or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.