Some semitruck accidents are more serious than others. One of the factors to consider when you are trying to decide whether to seek compensation is was the accident recordable with the Department of Transportation? Understanding what this means can help you if you decide to pursue a claim.
What types of accidents are DOT-recordable?
There are some specific components of an accident that require the accident to be recorded with the DOT. Accidents that involve one of the vehicles being towed away, a fatality or an injury that requires a person to seek medical care right away at a location that's away from the scene are the three components. If any one of these is present, the accident must be recorded in compliance with §390.15 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Does fault matter?
It doesn't matter who is at fault when a DOT-recordable accident occurs. Instead, the vital information must be provided. This includes the driver's information, the date, the number of fatalities, a copy of the accident report, the location, any release of hazardous materials and the number of injuries.
How is the collected information used?
The information provided is used to help determine a motor carrier's safety record. The safety record could impact the motor carrier's ability to transport goods. In some cases, a DOT-recordable accident might be a springboard to determining whether the issue that lead to your accident is one of that has already been addressed by the DOT.
It is important to consider all factors in semitruck crashes if you are considering a claim for compensation. Gathering evidence can ensure that you get the information you need to make an informed decision.
Source: FindLaw, "What is a DOT-Recordable Accident?," accessed Jan. 13, 2017