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Truck Accident 101: How the Driver Qualification File & Annual Certificate Can Help, from an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney (Part A)

Car accidents can wreak havoc on your life, inflicting injuries, damaging your vehicle and even causing death. Imagine how much worse it can be in a truck accident, one involving a large 18-wheeler, semi or other transport vehicle. The dangers and damages could increase tenfold simply due to the sheer size of the autos involved. 

Fortunately, if you’re in a truck accident, there is a way you can recoup the medical bills and damages you incurred, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. You can file a claim against the negligent driver. If you were in a collision with a truck, contact an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney immediately. They’ll help you gather evidence for your case, including the police report, witness accounts, expert testimony and, most importantly, the Driver Qualification File. 

What is the Driver Qualification File? 

The Driver Qualification File (DQF) is a document required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation. Every motor carrier business or operation must have a DQF for every driver it employs. In the case of a truck accident claim, a DQF can prove to be very helpful. If proper information isn’t kept in the DQF, it could show that the driver, or their employer, was negligent and at-fault for the wreck and your subsequent injuries. Essentially, DQF could make or break your case. YourAtlantatruck accident attorney can help you acquire the DQF for the driver involved in your wreck. 

In total, the file should include: 

  • Annual Certificate of Violations – Each driver must submit this certificate, which details any driving violations or traffic law convictions in the past 12 months to their employer on an annual basis. If they have no violations, they must submit this in writing to be kept in the DQF. If this certificate is not on file, it could help show the driver’s negligence in your truck accident.
  • Vehicle maintenance records – To show that their vehicle has been properly maintained and kept, all records of servicing must be retained. If these are not in the DQF, it could show that the driver was negligent in maintaining their vehicle, which may have contributed to the collision. 

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Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia