Truck Accident Investigation: Driver Qualification File


Truck accidents differ from car collisions in many ways: (1) the stakes are usually higher since damages tend to be more severe, and (2) the state and federal regulations which govern the trucking industry add a layer of complexity to truck accident injury claims that are for the most part absent in claims involving regular motor vehicles. That is why it is highly advised that you consult with an experienced attorney after a California truck accident.

You may have a claim against not only the liable truck driver but also his or her employer as well. While the bulk of the supporting evidence for your claim will be extracted from the accident site, the Driver Qualification File (DQF), a vital piece of evidence which most people don’t know about, can give you information that will boost the strength of your claim.

So What Is a DQF?

Federal regulations require trucking companies to properly maintain DQF files on every one of their drivers. The following documents (or copies of them) must – by law – be included in the DQF:

  • Driver-specific applications for employment
  • Valid licenses
  • Original motor vehicle record
  • Background investigation reports
  • Driver’s road test and certification
  • Medical examiner’s certification (or waiver, if issued)
  • Annual review records
  • Truck maintenance records
  • Personnel records
  • Hours of Service (HOS) records
  • Employment history
  • Relevant training certificates
  • Alcohol and drug screening results

Requesting the DQF is one thing – actually getting it is another matter. Trucking companies are highly resistant when it comes to parting with DQF files, particularly if the information is incriminating. Only a qualified truck accident lawyer can ensure that you get the DQF. He or she may have to subpoena the trucking company if they are being withholding.

The Right California Truck Accident Law Firm

At Wilshire Law Firm, my legal team and I have successfully represented countless truck accident victims throughout the many years of our practice. We always commit to comprehensive investigations that leave no stone unturned. The trucking company may have tons of resources at their side, but we have the necessary tools and knowledge to counteract their disputes. If you have any questions about your injury claim, get them answered by calling us today at (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations.