Even trucking companies with sterling safety records are likely to have to deal with an accident at one point or another. In fact, in 2019 alone, there were more than 500,000 police-reported accidents involving large commercial vehicles on U.S. roadways.
Because trucking companies often have much deeper pockets than drivers and third parties, plaintiffs often seek to blame them for accident-related injuries. This is true regardless of whether trucking companies do anything wrong. Fortunately, installing dashcams may help company owners level the playing field.
A difference of opinion
At any accident scene, the involved drivers are likely to tell different stories. Those who witness the crash also may have differences of opinion. Provided the dashcam captures moments before and during the collision, its footage can be invaluable in determining which version of events is the correct one.
A boost to the company’s investigation
When trucking companies become defendants in personal injury lawsuits, they often hire accident reconstructionists to determine exactly how the accident unfolded. While any accident recreator is likely to use many resources to form an opinion, dashcam footage can be invaluable.
A note of caution
If a dashcam offers clear and convincing proof of the trucker’s lack of culpability, plaintiffs may choose to drop their case before trial. On the other hand, a dashcam may be hazardous to the trucking company’s defense. , Specifically, if the footage shows malfeasance on behalf of the trucker, plaintiffs may use it to pursue a higher settlement or secure a jury verdict.
Ultimately, company owners who have installed dashcams on their trucks should explore their legal options immediately after any trucking accident.