If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck, you know how much damage they can cause. Beyond the damage to your vehicle, you may be stuck with medical bills that keep stacking up, and have to take time off from work to recover, all while trying to cope with emotional distress. Luckily, a truck accident attorney can help.
Studies show that what causes most semi truck accidents is actually driver error. More than half of the semi truck accidents surveyed in a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were caused by driver error. Negligence or poor judgment from the driver or their trucking company’s irresponsible training practices may help you win your case and receive compensation you’re entitled to.
The easiest way to track a trucking company’s accident history is by visiting the FMCSA website and selecting the ‘Company Snapshot’ section. Next, you can find the motor carrier based on the company’s name, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) number, or the MC/MX number. Input this information and you will find relevant insurance information, including the amount of coverage they have on file.
From there, you can check out one of two links: the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System and the Safety Measurement System (SMS).
The SAFER System will provide you with a company snapshot that includes the company’s crash data, cargo, inspection, and out of service summary. You may be able to find safety ratings here, too.
SMS will provide data about crash reports and roadside inspections from the past two years. You can also find investigations in finding safety risks with motor carriers.
Finding Information About the Driver
The FMCSA implemented the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability System (CSA) in 2010. It collects data from individual commercial truck drivers and their companies with the purpose of assessing the overall safety of each company. This system focuses on:
- Unsafe driving
- Driver fitness (specifically, their training, experience, and medical qualifications)
- Vehicle maintenance
- Cargo-related loading and shifting incidents or violations
- Crash indicators
- Fatigued driving
- History of driver impairment relating to substances and alcohol
While the public is not allowed to see the data on individual drivers, you can still have limited access to information about the trucking company. You can view the entire SMS profile by simply clicking on the link in the page titled ‘Complete SMS Profile.’
Does Collision History Help Your Claim?
We know that the majority of commercial trucking accidents occur because of driver error or negligence. When you review a trucking company’s history, you may find trends in their data that can provide insights into your own accident.
With this information, you may find expert witnesses necessary in your truck accident case. They can analyze these trends and help you with your case.
Consider this example: you were in an accident involving a semi truck. The driver claims they lost control of the vehicle, and you might initially think this was a random event that rarely happens.
When an expert reviews the data, they may find that the company’s collison history proves that the trucks did not consistently pass inspections and were sent out on the road anyway. With this evidence, your case can strengthen and possibly increase the amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
Strom Law Is On Your Side
Reviewing these reports and analyzing this data on your own can be overwhelming, especially when you need to focus on medical recovery and are stressed about paying your bills on time. Fighting for your rights after a collision is difficult when you’re spinning all of these plates, but you don’t have to do it alone.
At Strom Law, our team knows that you deserve expert representation to advocate for you. Things can feel uncertain during this time, but we’re committed to providing you with professional guidance that’s influenced by our years of experience, our diligent research, and dedication to helping people!