In a crash between a big rig and a passenger vehicle, the trucking company will immediately go to work locating and examining all the evidence.
The advocates for an injured party will do the same to determine the cause of the accident, sometimes engaging the assistance of accident reconstructionists.
Investigating the crash scene
Law enforcement officers rarely have the time to perform a thorough investigation at the scene of a major crash. However, professional accident reconstructionists and forensic engineers are experts at gathering evidence. They will begin work as soon as possible after a crash since weather and passing traffic can cause evidence to fade away quickly.
Many different types of roadway evidence can provide clues to the cause of a truck-car crash:
- Tire tracks and skid marks
- Damage to obstacles such as curbs, guardrails, barrier walls or mailboxes
- Glass from broken windshields and windows
- Points of impact between vehicles
- Final resting position of vehicles
- Documenting evidence
Accident reconstructionists will perform scene mapping, a process that employs surveying equipment to take measurements at the crash site. This will help in preparing a diagram showing site conditions and roadway evidence. The reconstructionists will also document the evidence with photos and video. In a truck-car collision, the evidence may show that multiple parties are responsible for the crash, perhaps the truck driver, the trucking company and the company that maintained the vehicle. An injured victim might therefore expect to receive compensation from various sources to cover current and future medical expenses and more.