Q: What evidence is admissible in a civil truck accident lawsuit in Maryland?
Each truck accident is unique, and so will the evidence that is submitted. In general, here are a few tried and true sources:
The police accident report will likely be your first stop when it comes to searching for clues to what happened in your truck accident on the Beltway. While the report itself is not applicable as evidence, you can use it to track down sources that are—such as any eyewitnesses, photographs of the accident scene, and information regarding any unlawful actions that contributed to the accident.
You have the right to the truck driver’s criminal record, which includes any arrests, convictions, and traffic violations. If the driver has a history of negligent driving or if there is a criminal case pending from your accident, those facts may be pertinent to your civil case because they show a lack of disregard for other people and the law. It is also a crime for the driver to be carrying any load for which he or she is not licensed for, so be sure to check the driver’s commercial license for endorsements.
The trucking company is required to meet certain safety standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which makes public any noncompliance issues. You can check the carrier’s licensing and insurance information as well as the truck company’s safety records online. Safety violations may have contributed to your truck accident injury and are therefore valuable records.
Trucking companies are also required to document vehicle maintenance, driver training and hours driven, cargo and loading information and more. Depending on the circumstances of your truck accident, some of this information may be useful to your civil lawsuit.
For more help determining what evidence can be used in your specific case, call Nickelsporn and Lundin to set up your free consultation.