Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

Proving Liability in Truck Crash Claims


Since 2007, the large truck accident rate has increased 40 percent. Crash severity has increased as well. Regulators recently raised weight limits, so these massive vehicles now weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Additionally, most trucks carry hundreds of gallons of explosive diesel fuel. As a result, truck crash injuries are normally catastrophic.

Since so much is at stake, insurance company lawyers usually do whatever they can to reduce or deny compensation. A Brandon car accident attorney, on the other hand, does everything possible to obtain maximum compensation for accident victims. This process typically begins with evidence collection. And, evidence collection in large truck claims is a lot different from evidence collection in car crash claims.

Event Data Recorder

These gadgets are much like the black box flight recorders in commercial jets. EDRs measure and record operational information like:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Engine RPM,
  • Steering angle, and
  • Brake application.

While both commercial trucks and passenger cars have EDRs, the approach is different. In car crash claims, electronic evidence is often a supplement. But in truck crash claims, it might be the only evidence available. Frequently, truck crashes involve explosive fireballs. As a result, very little physical evidence remains, other than the EDR.

Large truck EDRs are extremely sophisticated. Attorneys and investigators need special tools, and special expertise, to access and download this information.

The extra effort is normally worthwhile. Electronic evidence resonates very well with tech-savvy Hillsborough County jurors. And, there is normally a relationship between the persuasiveness of the evidence and the amount of damages jurors award.

Safety Maintenance System

Most large truck drivers have licenses in several states. Thus, obtaining a complete copy of the tortfeasor’s (negligent operator’s) driving record is sometimes a problem.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Maintenance System solves this dilemma. SMS reports are basically multistate driving records which include information like:

  • Crash history,
  • Vehicle maintenance background,
  • Drivers’ citation history,
  • Prior substance abuse issues, and
  • HOS (hours of service) compliance.

HOS compliance is often an important issue in drowsy truck driver claims. More on that below.

Electronic Logging Device

Fatigue is a serious problem among truck drivers. These individuals drive for long hours with few breaks. Drowsiness affects concentration, motor skills, and judgment ability. In fact, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial operators in Florida.

HOS rules include daily and weekly driving limits as well as mandatory break and rest periods. Drivers who violate these federal or state rules and cause crashes could be liable for damages as a matter of law. So, this area is a potential game-changer.

Before the ELD mandate took effect in the spring of 2019, truckers kept track of their hours in paper log books that were easy to fake. ELDs are attached to the truck’s drivetrain. So, while the vehicle is moving, the clock is ticking.

This critical evidence is not always immediately available. Florida has very strict vehicle information privacy laws. Normally, attorneys must obtain court orders before they can access, download, and present ELD information.

Connect with Aggressive Attorneys

Evidence is critical in truck crash claims. For a free consultation with an experienced truck accident injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).


Brandon Personal Injury
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations


101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521


248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716


401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682


13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2020 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab