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What’s Considered a DOT Recordable Accident?

What’s Considered a DOT Recordable Accident?

Shapiro Law Team November 13, 2023 Car Accidents,Personal injury,Trucking Accidents

Accidents are an unfortunate reality of driving. While most accidents involve passenger vehicles, many car crashes are DOT-recordable. These types of accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and even death.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a DOT-recordable accident, contact Shapiro Law Team today. Our lawyers are trained to handle the toughest commercial vehicle cases in Phoenix. But first, what makes an accident DOT-recordable, and why does it matter?

What Is a DOT-Recordable Accident?

According to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, a Department of Transportation (DOT)-recordable accident is a car accident involving a commercial motor that causes either serious injury, death, or disabling vehicle damage resulting in a tow. Due to the size of big rigs, DOT-recordable accidents are typically more severe than crashes involving only passenger vehicles.

Why Does It Matter?

Recording a commercial vehicle accident to the DOT helps determine the safety rating of trucking companies. Since most trucking companies cross state lines, a record of the accident can be tracked at a federal level. Recording the accident not only helps keep the road safer but can also play a role in determining fault.

DOT Recordable Accident

DOT Recordable Accident

What Is Included in a DOT Report?

A DOT-recordable action contains a range of information, including:

  • The place and date of the crash
  • The name of the commercial vehicle driver
  • The amount of injuries or deaths involved
  • If any hazardous material was spilled

All of this information is important for regulatory purposes and legal action following the accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses this information to determine whether the motor carrier or commercial driver is fit to continue operations on the road.

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DOT-Recordable Accident Criteria

For an accident to be considered DOT-recordable, it must meet the following criteria. This criteria does not consider which party was at fault:

  • A fatality was involved
  • At least one person sustained a bodily injury
  • At least one vehicle had to be towed away

How Does a DOT-Recordable Accident Get Reported?

The name, date, place, and specifications involving injury or death are reported to an accident register. This information must be maintained by the motor carrier for at least three years and must be accessible to local law enforcement, insurance companies, and other authorized parties.

The Department of Transportation will use information recorded in a commercial vehicle accident to determine the carrier’s safety rating, which helps keep the roads safe.

Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case

It’s always best to leave damage recovery to the professionals. At Shapiro Law Team, we work hard to recover maximum compensation for your losses. If you were hurt in a DOT-recordable accident, the liable party may owe you for one or more of the following:

  • Ambulance and medical bills
  • Current and future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Disability

Work with a professional personal injury attorney to achieve the best possible financial outcome following an accident. Alternatively, if a loved one passed away as a result of a DOT-recordable accident, you may be able to recover a different set of damages for a wrongful death claim. Contact Shapiro Law team for a free consultation.

Working With a Lawyer on Your Case

It’s never advisable to go at a personal injury claim alone. Working with a reputable lawyer can help you navigate the complicated legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights in court. Shapiro Law Team has helped clients recover millions in settlements, including a $2.7 million settlement involving a truck collision.

What Happens After a Truck Company Reports an Accident to the DOT?

The Department of Transportation keeps data from the accident on record for three years. This data is important because it helps keep track of trucking companies with low safety ratings and helps the government improve laws and regulations in the trucking industry.

This information can also penalize motor carriers for driving under the influence or driving recklessly. Motor carriers who fail to file a report after a DOT-recordable accident may result in a suspended CDL.

What if You Have Safety Rating Disputes?

If you’re a motor carrier and have disputes regarding your safety rating, you may petition to have your rating reviewed. Talk to your trucking company or the Department of Transportation for more information on the next steps for handling safety rating disputes.

Speak With a Truck Accident Attorney for Help With DOT Recordable Events

Being involved in a commercial vehicle accident can result in some pretty harrowing consequences. Don’t try to represent yourself—leave it to Shapiro Law Team. Our lawyers are specially trained to handle DOT accidents of all sizes. Contact the personal injury lawyers Arizona residents rely on, and let’s win you the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call for a free, confidential consultation.

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