The moments following a truck accident can be confusing and overwhelming. Aside from seeking medical care for your injuries, you should begin collecting evidence. There are several pieces of evidence that can help preserve and protect your truck accident claim.
Below, the Windsor truck accident lawyers at our firm discuss some of the most important evidence that we could help you gather to try to prove fault, determine the amount of your damages and pursue compensation for your injuries. Get the legal help you need by scheduling a free consultation today.
After a truck accident, it is vital that you contact local law enforcement to file a report. The responding officer will conduct a preliminary investigation and may cite the truck driver or provide comments on the report on how he or she believes the accident was caused.
The police report can help establish why the accident occurred and how it occurred. It can have a major impact on whether the insurance company will approve or deny your claim. Additionally, the police report may contain information that your lawyer can use to gather additional evidence, such as contact information from any witnesses present at the time or pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.
Black Box Data
Most commercial vehicles have an electronic “black box” that records important data about the vehicle, including brake usage, throttle usage, average speeds and other essential information. This data could be used by an accident reconstruction expert to determine how the accident likely occurred. This evidence could establish that the truck driver braked too late to avoid an accident, was speeding or was otherwise engaging in reckless driving behaviors.
Hours of Service
There are limits to the total number of hours a truck driver can work before needing to take a break and rest, which are referred to as hours of service rules. These rules are in place to help prevent truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. Evidence may establish that the worker violated the hours of service rule, which may imply that the driver did not get adequate rest.
Truck drivers have to keep track of their routes and hours worked in their logbook. However, there have been many instances in which drivers have altered their logbooks to appear compliant with the rules while actually violating them. Many trucking companies are replacing old paper books with electronic logbooks that automatically record the data, making it more likely that this information is accurate.
Pictures or Videos of the Accident
There may be videos of the accident that were taken from your dashcam, the commercial truck, a nearby traffic light camera or business surveillance camera. Let your lawyer know the exact location of your accident and where there may have been cameras. He or she can try to preserve this footage before it is erased.
Another important piece of evidence is photos of the accident scene. If you are able, you should take pictures of the following:
- The damage to vehicles
- The position of the vehicles
- Other property damage at the scene
- Skid marks
- Debris on the roadway
- Traffic signs or signals
- Road and weather conditions
Take photos from different angles to get a better vantage point. Since the accident scene will be quickly cleaned up, it is important that you take pictures or ask someone else with you to take these pictures.
Inspection, Repair and Maintenance Records
Commercial trucking establishments are required to maintain their vehicles. However, some may take shortcuts. Your lawyer can request this information to establish if a problem with the truck could have contributed to the accident.
Eyewitness and Expert Testimony
If there were any witnesses at the scene, get their contact information and share it with your lawyer. He or she may hire an accident reconstruction expert or other experts to establish causation or damages in your situation.
Medical records can help establish the injuries you have suffered and your prognosis as well as establish a substantial portion of your damages.
Contact Us for Help With Your Claim
If we represent you, our legal team at Greg Monforton and Partners can help you gather the evidence described above, as well as other evidence that establishes your damages. We have years of experience helping truck accident victims recover fair and just compensation.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees and we only get paid for our services if we help recover compensation on your behalf. We are available to review your claim 24/7.
Get started today by calling (866) 320-4770.