Evidence in Maryland Truck Accident Cases

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Maryland there is a variety of evidence which may be presented in your case. Below is information on these different types of evidence and the impact that they can have on your case. For more information regarding your case, schedule a consultation with a Maryland truck accident lawyer today.

How Evidence in Truck Accidents Compares To Evidence in Other Injury Cases

In a trucking accident case, most trucks have what’s called a black box. It’s a computer in the vehicle that keeps certain information as to speed, the distance, and other important variables that are important to preserve in a trucking case. One of the first things you want to do is send a letter to the truck owner and the truck driver saying that you want them to preserve that evidence for trial because there’s a potential claim for injuries. If they get the letter and they discard the black box or destroy it or modify it in some way, then you can bring a charge of spoliation of evidence at trial which is an inference that the defendant had destroyed something that was potentially harmful to them.

Some of the things that you want to look for as pieces of evidence in a trucking accident case are trip logs or receipt logs or work orders detailing what was given to the trucker or what stops they made and what time they did these stops. You would also want to get any instructions they gave to the driver amongst many other pieces of evidence.

Impact of Trucking Regulations

If they have evidence that shows that they violated any of the regulations for the federal motor carrier statute, you can use that as ammunition against the defendants to help prove that they were negligent in the operation of their vehicle. Any violation of any regulation for the motor carrier statute will be helpful in your case. It could reveal the existence of other defendants in the supply chain who were supposed to abide by the regulations but failed to do so. Identifying additional defendants is important because it could help increase your recovery by proving you with additional insurance policies to go after.

Evidence Involved in Truck Driver Qualifications

A truck driver’s qualifications would be his experience in driving the specific truck involved in the accident, the training he received if any, any specific training, rules, or guidelines that were given to him/her by any of the entities in the supply chain that he failed to follow, you would also want to know about his history of previous and subsequent collisions as well as any suspensions or violations of his Commercial Driver’s License.  An investigation should also be conducted into his HAZMAT history if he was transporting hazardous materials at the time of the collision.

Impact of Truck Maintenance

Every truck that’s on the road should be in safe and working condition. As a victim in a trucking accident case you would want to gain any knowledge of the maintenance and repair history of the truck involved in the collision.

If the driver of the truck or anyone in the chain says that there was something wrong with the truck as a way to escape liability such as the brakes weren’t working or something else is wrong with the truck, you can use the maintenance records to show that the defendants knew about this ahead of time and then even though they knew about those defects, they still allowed the truck to drive the route.

It is important to get the maintenance records and the repair history of the vehicle so that you can build your case and essentially short circuit any defense that they’ll have claiming that the truck was defective and they didn’t know about it.

Loading Cargo Evidence

The loading cargo evidence is important and can come into play in typically two situations. One of those is if the truck is overloaded or exceeds the weight limit for the road it is traveling on. Certain roadways have certain restrictions as to the weight of the truck. Trucks traveling on these roads will need to check in at weigh stations along that road.  The second instance where cargo evidence is important would be in a rollover accident due to an imbalance or mis-balance or mishandling of the cargo that was loaded in some way improperly.


Documents are relevant because unless you have a witness who saw how the cargo was loaded you will only be able to prove that the truck was loaded improperly through documentary evidence. You can use documentary evidence to prove the vehicle was not properly maintained or repaired. If the truck rolls over and the cargo is spilled out, you wouldn’t be able to measure the weight of the truck or the weight of the cargo prior to the accident. Documentary evidence is very important in being able to claim that the truck was unbalanced or misloaded prior to the accident in order to cast liability on the people who accepted the cargo and or who gave the cargo to the truck driver.

How An Attorney Can Help

There are several ways in which an attorney can help. One is to find any witnesses to the accident and hire an investigator to interview as many people as possible who could be identified as witnesses. Two, an attorney can send letters requesting the preservation of evidence to every entity involved in the supply chain of the truck going from one place to another, these entities will usually include the company who hired them, the company who leased the truck or rented the truck, the company who owns the truck, the company who gave the load to the trucker and so forth.

How Is This Evidence Used In Reaching a Settlement?

There are several factors that will result in an early settlement of a case. As the plaintiff it will be your burden of proof to show that the defendant was liable for the collision and that the collision was the proximate cause of your injuries.

If the evidence is favorable to you, meaning that

  • The trucking company or the driver or anyone else in the supply chain,  has  clearly violated a statute or regulation
  • That violation caused the collision and the subsequent injuries to the victim and additionally
  • The person who is struck by the truck wasn’t at fault, and
  • If the injury was severe enough to potentially warrant a larger damage amount at trial.