Semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles can do a lot of damage to buildings and people if they get into an accident. The police and insurance companies involved in a collision between a passenger car and a huge commercial truck will conduct a thorough investigation. However, there are additional responsibilities for reporting when a commercial truck is involved in an accident. Here, we’ll define what constitutes a DOT-recordable occurrence and explain why it’s critical to get an experienced truck accident lawyer if you’ve been hurt in a collision with a commercial vehicle. To know your best course of action, you should speak to an attorney.
When Must an Accident Be Reported to the California Department of Transportation?
Almost every car collision in California must be reported to the police. However, a DOT-reportable accident is different from a regular car collision that takes place on the roads.
What constitutes a DOT-recordable accident can be determined by consulting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is responsible for regulating commercial trucking in California and the rest of the United States.
According to Section 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), “an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a roadway in interstate or intrastate commerce that results in” the following must be reported to the DOT.
Someone sustains an injury but goes to the hospital instead to get care.
As a result of the accident, one or more vehicles will need to be towed because they have become disabled.
Accidents that occur just while loading or unloading cargo is not included in the scope of occurrences that must be reported to the DOT. These mishaps usually take place in distribution hubs or during the final stages of a delivery truck’s route when the goods are being transferred.
What Details Can We Expect to Find in the DOT Report?
The DOT requires motor carriers to include their internal accident register in the case of any accident that meets the criteria for a recordable incident. The following details regarding each accident must be recorded in the motor carrier’s accident register per federal regulations:
- The time and day the mishap took place
- What’s the name of the driver?
- Location of the occurrence, including the city name if applicable.
- Estimated Injuries
- Estimated death toll
- Whether or whether the collision discharged any potentially dangerous substances (other than the fuel in the truck).