What Evidence Needs to be Preserved in a Trucking Accident?
Because trucks can weigh as many as 25 times as a passenger vehicle, there are unique dangers present in the accidents that stem from them. Large truck crashes account for thousands of the accidents that happen on the road and cause injuries every year. Unfortunately, many of the accidents that do occur are the fault of the motor vehicle driver, but what happens if the truck driver was at fault? How can you find them liable? Preservation of evidence is one of the best ways to do this.
When you are involved in a trucking accident, proving your case will be one of the most important aspects because it will determine who is liable for your injuries and what type of compensation you will be able to receive. This all boils down to who was acting negligently. A person injured in an accident will have to prove that the defendant was supposed to exercise a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury, that the defendant failed to exercise this reasonable case, and that their failure to exercise care was the cause of injury to the plaintiff. Now that you understand this process, you should know the many important regulations that truck drivers must abide by and why understanding this evidence could help your case.
You see, truck drivers are held to a high duty of care because they must abide by certain regulations on the roadways. In fact, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are fully responsible for establishing negligence by truck drivers in a personal injury case. If a lawyer is handling a trucking accident case, they will specifically attempt to determine which regulations were violated and how the company or the trucker himself or herself should be held liable. This is just another reason why having evidence in your case is so important, because it will help you arrive at the compensation that you deserve.
Evidence to Collect at the Scene of the Accident
Even if your accident wasn’t entirely severe, it can be extremely disorienting and stressful. However, after the accident has occurred, you should always call the paramedics if there are injuries present. You should also make a call to the police and wait for a report to be made, as this can be used in court for the months to come after your accident. These reports are especially useful in the way that they will typically determine who is at fault.
Next, it is vital for you to collect information from those at the scene of the accident, such as witnesses and those who may have caused your injuries. This includes names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, vehicle plate numbers, and insurance information. If the driver involved in the accident was on the job at the time, ask them for their employer’s name and other information as well.
Evidence of Damages
The damages that affect you on a physical level are of utmost importance of your case, which is why you will need all the evidence you can possibly collect. Documenting physical injuries will prove to be one of the most important things that you can do at this time. After you have been injured, you should always immediately seek medical treatment for your injuries as prompt care not only alerts medical personnel to any injuries you may have received, but you will also be able to more easily make a case down the line. You should always keep records of information relating to healthcare appointments, the treatment you have obtained, copies of medical records of a diagnostic level such as X-rays, documentation of medical bills, and any lost wages that you accrued relating to your injuries.
Trucking Accidents and Cover-Ups
When you are attempting to hold a driver negligent for their actions in a trucking accident, it is important to understand the laws and regulations that trucking companies have to follow. In some cases in the past, trucking companies have withheld information or attempted to “cover up” certain aspects of the accident to protect themselves and evade liability. There are many important aspects to look into after an accident, including the following:
- Logbooks: Commercial truck drivers are expected to keep records of the activities that take place during work hours. One of the things that truck drivers have to keep a log of is all the hours they spend on the road and resting to ensure that they are not disobeying the hours of service. Drivers are also expected to keep records of pre-trip inspections and an identification of any issues occurring in the truck. The issue lies within the fact that truck drivers tend to falsify logbooks so that they can drive for long hours while violating regulations simultaneously.
- In-truck Cameras: Technology like cameras in commercial trucks is another way to tell that a truck driver was engaging in dangerous behavior. Trucks are now equipped with something known as black boxes, which are helpful in recording the speed at which the truck is traveling and shows whether or not brakes were used to help prevent the crash. Why is this information important? They can show negligence on part of the truck driver, which you can use in court. Many trucks are using cameras as well, which can record front and back aspects of the truck and the activities that the driver is engaging in. This can reveal important information such as a driver who was texting and driving or drinking.
- Witness Testimony: Lastly, witness testimony is always vital to the courts. Witnesses are able to tell the events as they saw it from the road. This is why you should always attempt to get as much witness information as possible.
Now that you understand what evidence should be preserved after an accident, you have a better understanding of what is most important after a truck causes a collision. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, time is of the essence. You should speak to us immediately about your case. Call us today for more information. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we have experience with truck accident cases and will help you every step of the way.