Semi-truck accident cases are unique for several reasons, some of which I have discussed in previous posts in this series. They cause qualitatively and quantitatively more damage than other accidents on Oregon’s roadways, and they regularly end in fatality. Another reason why these cases are unique is that critical evidence in semi-truck accidents often conveniently “disappears” or gets tampered with.
Trucking companies have been known to send their investigators and experts to the scene of a semi-truck accident within minutes of a collision occurring. Big-rig trucks can be moved and evidence at the scene can be altered, which makes it much harder to prove what caused the accident.
Tampering With Logbooks and Data Records is Common
Drivers’ logbooks and trucks’ on-board data recorders are often tampered with in Oregon semi-truck accident cases. Driver logbooks are maintained by drivers to record the number of hours that they have been on the road and compliance with mandatory rest period requirements. There are specific “hours of service” regulations that a driver is not supposed to violate, which includes the requirement that drivers rest for mandated periods of time. A truck driver’s violation of these rules may be important in establishing negligence and proving that driver fatigue was a cause of the semi-truck collision.
Data from trucks’ on-board data recorders can also provide valuable information regarding hours of service, sudden braking, maintenance issues, and more. This data will typically be erased unless your Oregon semi-truck accident lawyer takes immediate steps to put the trucking company on notice that the data must be preserved.