People might think a trial attorney’s main duty is presenting cases before juries and judges. However, the reality is that the majority of a lawyer’s time is actually spent gathering evidence and handling other parts of case preparation. If you are the plaintiff in a trucking accident lawsuit, your lawyer will need to collect one or more of these types of evidence.
Evidence From the Accident Scene
If possible, this is truck accident evidence that should be collected immediately after the accident. It includes things like the truck driver’s name and license number, the employer of the truck driver if applicable, and the names and contact information for any witnesses. You might also benefit from making note of things like traffic signals nearby, skid marks around the accident, and the location of vehicle debris. Recording a video of the scene with your smart phone can be very helpful. Check to see if the accident was recorded on any dash cameras or security cameras as soon as possible because this footage is often automatically erased after a certain amount of time. All of this information is often included in the police report, but it can be useful to have your own copy just in case.
Testimony From Involved Parties
Witness testimony is not quite as useful as hard evidence, since there can be some bias in a person’s recollection. However, it is still very helpful in painting a picture of what happened during the accident. You, the truck driver, and any witnesses will usually need to give a statement to the police. Everyone might also give a deposition, where they testify officially under oath and have the information recorded for evidence. Your personal injury lawyer can use this testimony to explain how the accident occurred.
Proof of Damage
Evidence does more than just show the other party was at fault in the accident. It also proves that you deserve a certain amount of compensation from the truck accident lawsuit. This sort of evidence is documentation of all your injuries and vehicle damage. It can include photos of your body or records from your doctor. If you needed X-rays or other imaging tests, these can also be helpful. To document damage to your vehicle, consider taking pictures and getting an estimate from a professional.
Records From the Truck Driving Company
Because most trucking accidents involve regulated commercial vehicles, you have access to a little more data than usual. Truck drivers have electronic logging devices that track exactly how long they drive, so you can see if they violated their Hours of Service regulations. Some trucks are also fitted with event data recorders that can tell you about things like the truck driver’s speed and braking right before the crash. Other valuable records for your case can include maintenance logs for the truck and the driver’s work history. Usually, your truck accident lawyer will need to formally petition the truck driver’s company for these records, since they may not volunteer this information.
Official Inspection Results
Commercial trucks are under slightly different regulations than regular vehicles, so when one crashes, an official inspection has to be done. The truck driver is usually required to take a drug and alcohol test which can let you know if they were impaired. A truck driver inspector will also go over the vehicle for things like loading irregularities, worn tires, or other issues that could have caused the accident. This report might not be automatically included with the police report, but these results are just as important.
Evidence can make or break your case in court, so it is important to have a lawyer who takes evidence collection seriously. At RAM Law, our team of personal injury lawyers works hard to find and record the evidence that will help you make your claim. We can then use this evidence to help you seek compensation following a trucking accident. To learn more about how we can assist with your case, call us at 732-247-3600 or submit our online contact form today.