Evidence in a Truck Accident Case

Truck accidents have the highest rates of fatality and damage of any type of auto accidents. Big rigs weigh anywhere from 25 – 40 times more than passenger vehicles, meaning that in a crash, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are nearly always the victims.

When someone is injured in a truck accident, they will generally file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance company. In some cases, the insurance company might agree to pay out a claim to the victim for a fair amount. Unfortunately, this seems to be a rare occurrence. Insurance companies are notorious for lowballing victims and trying to settle for the lowest amount possible, even if that means not covering all of the victim’s damages.

In most personal injury cases against trucking companies, you will want to find a personal injury attorney to work with who has experience with big rig accidents. Your attorney will help gather the evidence necessary to build your case. Your attorney should also be able to help prevent any important evidence from being disposed of by the at-fault party.

Here are some steps your personal injury attorney may take to gather the evidence for your truck accident case:

  1. Send a spoilation letter to the trucking company and insurance company. This is a formal demand that any evidence relevant to the case be preserved. This evidence may include truck inspection reports, driver logs, photos of the scene, and data from any recording devices in the vehicle. Your attorney can then inspect these pieces of evidence for anything that can support your case.
  2. Examine driver’s logs and truck inspection reports. These records should show when the truck was last inspected, and whether the trucking company was compliant with industry regulations. The driver’s log should also give an idea of how long the driver was behind the wheel when the crash occurred.
  3. Examine data from the truck’s electronic onboard recording devices (EOBRs). These devices can give insight into whether the truck was speeding at the time of the crash, and how long the driver had been on the road before the accident.
  4. Have the big rig damage assessed. A tactic trucking companies might use to protect themselves from liability in a truck accident case is to have the damaged truck repaired as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney can work to have the truck’s damage assessed before the trucking company can repair it.
  5. Investigate the truck driver’s history. The driver’s driving history, including any traffic violations and previous accidents, is certainly relevant to the case. If the driver had any violations of trucking regulations, those should also be on record. Even the driver’s medical history could be relevant, in the event that they have a condition or are taking medication that impairs driving.
  6. Investigate the trucking company. Your attorney can find out if the trucking company has any history of violating federal regulations, or if there are any previous lawsuits against the company.
  7. Go over the police report. If the responding police officer suspected the driver was under the influence or distracted, this information may be recorded in the police report. The police report should also have a description of the accident, information about all the parties involved, witness information, and other relevant details.
  8. Gather witness testimony. Witnesses to the accident are important for building your personal injury case. Your attorney can contact any witnesses whose information you or the responding police officer took down, or search for witnesses if your injuries prevented you from speaking to them at the scene.
  9. Request additional relevant records. If a witness stated they saw the truck driver talking on a cell phone prior to the crash, for instance, your attorney may be able to request the driver’s cell phone records to verify the witness statement.

The stakes are often high in truck accident cases. These accidents can result in severe injuries and can significantly alter victims’ lives during their recovery and beyond. Thus, truck accidents often result in large amounts of damages, which insurance companies are not likely to pay out without a fight. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get started on your claim.

“Our firm has successfully represented many victims of truck accidents in our area. If you have been injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to come in for a consultation,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a truck accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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