Important Evidence You May Need After a Truck Accident
If you were injured in a truck accident, you will need strong evidence to prove fault and how you were harmed as a result of the truck driver’s or company’s negligence. Here are some of the most important pieces of evidence you can use to support your claim:
After a truck accident, it is critical to report the accident to local law enforcement. Then, a police officer can come to the scene of the accident, complete a preliminary investigation, potentially cite the at-fault driver, and gather information that can help with your claim.
Black Box Data
The truck’s event data recorder may contain valuable evidence, including:
- The speed the truck driver was traveling right before the accident
- Whether the truck driver applied their brakes
- How long the vehicle was traveling before the trucker’s last break
Nearby cameras may have recorded the accident, including dash cams, traffic cameras, or surveillance videos.
Additionally, many trucks have cab cameras that might have recorded the truck driver’s actions immediately before the accident.
Truck drivers must maintain a logbook that details the miles they have driven and when they have taken breaks. Historically, many of these books were falsified so that truckers could avoid getting cited for violating hours of service rules. However, electronic records are more common today to help prevent this type of fraud.
Truckers must conduct a pre- and post-trip inspection of the truck to ensure it will be safe on the roadway. These records, or the lack of them, may help pinpoint mechanical issues with the truck that contributed to the accident.
Trucking companies have a legal duty to maintain their vehicles and make necessary repairs. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established various rules on proper truck maintenance these companies must comply with. Maintenance records may help show whether the trucking company lived up to these obligations.
Alcohol and Drug Testing Records
Federal regulations require that truck drivers be tested for drugs and alcohol at certain times, including before hire and after an accident. These records may indicate if impairment contributed to the accident.
The truck driver’s employment file may indicate other potential problems that may have contributed to the accident, such as inexperience, a history of unsafe driving, or medical conditions.
Some accidents are caused because of cargo loading issues. Shipping documents may help indicate if the third-party cargo-loading company may be responsible for the accident.
If possible, take photos after the truck accident. These photos can be valuable evidence that supports your claim. Some things to capture include:
- Damage to your vehicle
- Damage to the truck
- Skid marks on the road
- The crash scene
- Weather and road conditions
- Your injuries
- Any traffic signs or lights that are relevant to your claim
If you suspect the driver was distracted by their phone at the time of the wreck, your lawyer may be able to request the truck driver’s cellphone records.
Truck accidents often disproportionately injure occupants in passenger vehicles, which are much smaller than commercial trucks. This often translates to serious injuries. Keep all medical records that relate to the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of your injuries.
Collecting this evidence can often be a difficult undertaking, especially for accident victims who are trying to focus on their recovery. Our team is ready to assist you with all aspects of your claim, including gathering and preserving strong evidence.