Proper handling of a trucking accident claim can mean the difference of literally millions of dollars, these key pieces of evidence are the fundamental building blocks of any good trucking claim.
A comprehensive investigation into a trucking accident to collect all important evidence takes time and experience to handle and can uncover evidence that could allow accident victims to pursue additional claimants for a greater recovery if done properly.
This is our shortlist of important evidence accident victims need after a trucking accident.
Important Evidence After A Trucking Accident
- Police Report- Just like any car accident requesting a police report if one exists is a fundamental building block of your claim and can help create an initial understanding of the accident as well as include various information such as witness statements, photos from the scene and officer observations that could prove invaluable throughout the recovery process.
- Driver Logs- A truck driver has specific requirements and restrictions as to when they can and cannot be on the road including total number of hours driving in a 14-hour period, hours driving in the last 7 days, miles driven in the past 24-hours, and a minimum amount of a required off duty time. A drivers log will also contain their daily vehicle inspection report in which they should note any potential issues with the vehicle.
- Inspection Reports- . Safety inspections are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and include reports on everything from a vehicles tires, breaks, mirrors, wipers, lights and horn as well as steering equipment coupling devices and emergency equipment. These reports should identify safety issues that could have contributed to the accident, if these issues went unaddressed this could help establish liability on the part of the inspector.
- Company Compliance Records- The FMCSA keeps records of complaints and compliance issues from trucking companies that can be used to show potential patterns of violations that could be relevant to the circumstances of your accident.
- Cell Phone Records- Cell phone records could reveal if the driver was using his phone at the time of the crash which could establish liability on the part of the driver showing that he or she was distracted.
- Driver Records- The drivers records will contain any history of violations that could be used as evidence in a claim where a drivers history or behavior may be relevant and could be used as supporting evidence for any claim of negligence or failure to uphold their duty of care leading up to an accident.
- Electronic On-Board Recording Device Data- An Electronic On-Board Recording Devices or EOBR is a device that connects directly with a drivers vehicle to record driving data such as speed, breaking, time driving, idling as well as driver information such as name and driver records, total hours worked, a record of duty status as well as loading and fueling times. These records are a direct account of the vehicles activity leading up to an incident and could not only help understand the moments leading up to a crash but also patterns and other data that took place in the drivers history that could be relevant such as consistent speeding, regularly having to break suddenly or violations in rest and duty time restrictions.
- The Truck Wreckage Itself- The wreckage from a trucking accident could contain valuable information including physical evidence of defects or failure points. After a crash the trucking company may attempt to have wreckage destroyed which could destroy valuable evidence for a claim against them. To prevent a truck from being destroyed after an accident, victims need to send a spoliation letter demanding all evidence be preserved and stored for the length of the case to prevent evidence from being destroyed. A spoliation letter can also request the preservation of driver logs, accident scene photos and all data from the EOBR.
Why Evidence Matters In Trucking Accident Cases
The investigation and evidence gathering phase of a personal injury claim after a trucking accident can be long and complex, and having the right team on your side to guide you through the process.
Davis Law Group recently settled a claim for an accident victim who initially only had limited insurance available to them, but upon investigation discovered additional insurance available that had not previously been disclosed. This discovery lead to a $5,000,000 recovery on behalf of our client, 200 times larger than the original offer of just $25,000.
After an accident, it is impossible to know which specific pieces of evidence will become relevant and necessary in the course of a recovery which is why it is so important for victims to have a knowledgeable and experienced team of semi truck accident attorneys on your side.
Starting any accident claim off right is crucial to avoid missing opportunities to gather time sensitive evidence or records that could be lost or destroyed if not collected promptly, that's why Davis Law Group offers free case evaluations to accident victims and their families.
If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt in an accident call us 24/7 at 206-727-4000 or use the chat or contact options on this page to request your free case evaluation today.