Preserving Evidence in Georgia Trucking Accident Cases


September 03, 2010

A recent fatal trucking accident in Sandy Springs, Georgia serves as a sad reminder of the dangers posed when 80,000 pound fully loaded commercial trucks share the roadways with 3,000 pound passenger automobiles. Rosario Velez, 44, had stopped in the emergency lane of I-285 at Riverside Drive.

Joseph Leon Golden who was driving a commercial truck crossed over into the emergency lane and collided with Ms. Velez's vehicle, resulting in her tragic death. The lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have helped countless numbers of families in the Atlanta metro area and throughout the State of Georgia, by protecting their rights and getting them the compensation they deserve so they can rebuild their lives after such serious trucking accidents.

Georgia has the infamous distinction of being one of the nation's leaders for fatal commercial trucking accidents. Georgia had the fourth highest total number of trucking accident fatalities in 2003 with almost 203 fatal trucking accidents. Big rig commercial trucking accidents accounted for 5,330 fatalities and 133,000 injuries nationally in 2001. The shear disparity in size and weight between the vehicles, combined with the basic laws of physics, means that a collision between a commercial truck, such as an eighteen-wheeler, and a passenger vehicle is likely to result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been working closely with victims of such tragic accidents for over 25 years. We believe our clients deserve diligent and compassionate attorneys who work hard to make sure that victims receive the maximum compensation they are entitled to receive so that they and their loved ones can rebuild their lives.

If you or someone you love is seriously injured in a trucking accident, there are unique issues that make the hiring of an experienced trucking accident attorney important. The first issue is the preservation of evidence. Two pieces of evidence can be critical in trucking accident litigation. The first essential piece of evidence in a truck accident is the computerized on board "black box." Much like in an airplane, the black box provides a wealth of information that can help in establishing negligence, including driver conduct and issues related to condition of the vehicle, such as, maintenance of tire pressure. Evidence about the driver's conduct is stored in the black box including sudden braking, speed control issues, clutch application and shifting, following distance, and exceeding maximum allowed hours of operation.

Another piece of critical evidence in a trucking accident case is the driver's log books which track whether the driver is complying with federal regulations such as sufficient periods of rest. These log books are often inaccurate so the black box provides a way to verify the information in the log book. Both of these key pieces of information frequently "disappear" following a serious trucking accident. This practice is so common that it is important that you obtain a qualified trucking attorney as soon as you are involved in such an accident so that the attorney can send written notice by certified mail to the trucking company indicating that the black box data must be preserved for pending litigation and that the truck must not be moved or repaired. This letter is often referred to as a "spoilation letter" and should be sent immediately following any trucking accident.

Trucking accidents are often the result of a number of causes, but here examples of some of the most common ones:

  • Driver Fatigue
  • Unrealistic Time Schedules
  • Inadequate supervision or training of drivers
  • Poorly maintained vehicles
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Improperly loaded vehicles

Unless critical evidence is preserved, the task of proving one of these cases becomes much more difficult. If you or someone you love is involved in a Georgia trucking accident, you should immediately consult with the Georgia trucking accident attorneys at Montlick & Associates, so that we can preserve critical evidence and begin investigating the unique circumstances of the accident. At Montlick and Associates we use experts in such cases who rely heavily on such evidence as that contained in driver logs and black boxes. We will act quickly to make sure that this, as well as other critical evidence, is preserved and available for experts to analyze. The Georgia 18 wheeler accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing the victims of trucking accidents for over 25 years in the greater Atlanta area and throughout the entire State of Georgia including DeKalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Henry County, Cobb County, Clayton County, Cherokee County and Barrow County. For your Free Consultation with Montick & Associates, call 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montick.com.

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.