Truck accident cases can be very complex. Not only because of state and federal laws that may apply, but the variety of evidence that can be utilized. Much of this has to be obtained directly from the driver’s employer, which usually requires legal help. An example is the trucker’s employment record, which could aid in showing liability.
Information Contained in a Truck Driver’s Employment Records
The trucker’s record may include his or her qualification and personnel file. There are federal regulations that mandate what must be included in the qualification file, such as the application for employment.
The application for employment contains a variety of information. This includes identifying information, date application is submitted, licensing information, experience, list of all motor vehicle accidents in past three years, list of violations, previous employers, and information pertaining to any licenses that were revoked, denied or suspended.
Other information that a trucking company must keep in the file includes:
- certificate of driver’s road test;
- alcohol/drug testing;
- note related to annual review of his/her driving record;
- medical examiner’s certificate; and
- skills performance evaluation certificate.
How a Trucker’s Record May Impact a Truck Accident Case
It can’t be assumed that just because someone is qualified to drive a truck just because he or she is behind the wheel. An employment file can reveal information about the driver that may show he r she is unqualified and/or incompetent. This can help establish liability for an accident not only in acts of negligence the driver may have committed but with the employer for allowing the person to operate a truck.
For instance, the employment file could show a long history of traffic violations that demonstrate reckless, aggressive driving like tailgating or speeding. This in itself can be very telling about the driver’s negligence. But if speeding is also a contributing factor in the accident, it can help demonstrate that it’s been an issue in the past.
Some traffic violations disqualify drivers from operating a truck. If an employer continues to allow the person to drive, this can also help show liability. Examples include driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, refusing to take a substance test and leaving the scene of an accident.
An Attorney Can Help Obtain a Truck Driver’s Employment Records
The trucking company isn’t going to just hand over one of its employee’s files, especially after an accident. But this information may be secured with the help of legal counsel. Of course, it’s important to seek help from an attorney anyway in the event of serious injuries. These complex cases can be challenging to navigate.
An attorney could decide to send the trucking company a spoliation letter. This requires it to preserve any evidence that would be relevant to the case. The driver’s employment file could be specifically listed as records that the company is to keep as evidence.
Get help evaluating the types of evidence you’ll need for your truck accident case and sending a spoliation letter. Contact Cordisco & Saile LLC after a Newtown, PA truck accident for legal help: 215-642-2335.