Immediately following a trucking accident, evidence must be compiled for possible criminal charges as well as civil charges, such as a personal injury lawsuit. The necessary evidence will focus on the truck accident scene, property damage, injuries involved, and information about both the truck driver and the trucking company.
Evidence at the Scene of the Truck Accident
It is rare when a truck accident scene does not provide enough evidence to allow investigators to determine what happened and who was at fault. Processing and preserving evidence at the scene of the accident should be done by police, but it is important for you as the victim to record what has occurred, including photographs of the damage and the area, gathering witness information and so on.
Attention to detail is an absolute requirement in preserving evidence as it includes:
• Carefully photographing the scene of the accident (to include all vehicles involved, all placards and markings on the commercial vehicle; personal injuries of all parties involved, and the surrounding area);
• Collecting and photographing physical evidence such as skid marks and crash debris;
• Notating the immediate area to include sight distances, environmental conditions, and any visual impediments;
• Securing police accident documents to include any photos and videos the investigating officer compiled;
• Immediately arranging to have the commercial truck inspected by an expert;
• Securing the commercial vehicle’s black box and arranging for the contained information regarding pre and post accident speeds and conditions to be downloaded; and
• Talking to witnesses and the investigating officer and recording their statements.
If you are too injured to take photographs or even speak to police immediately after your truck accident, it is important to seek the assistance of a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so they can analyze your police report and start collecting evidence vital to your case.
Evidence from the Trucking Company
Beyond the evidence that must be collected at the scene of the trucking accident, evidence must be collected from the trucking company. This evidence will contain information regarding:
• Driver qualification files and proper documentation;
• Hours of service regulations;
• Drug and alcohol testing the company has performed on the driver in the accident;
• Information regarding hazardous materials transportation to include the companies’ policy on such materials;
• Securing depositions of company personnel including the driver;
• Maintenance records, trip inspection reports, driver’s logs, and other applicable documents for the commercial vehicle; and
• Information on all shippers or cargo handlers who may share liability for the victim’s damages.
A full-blown trial on a trucking accident may also involve an accident reconstruction performed by experts in the field. It is vital that none of the vehicles involved in the truck accident are repaired prior to this occurring as it could prevent accurate results from being compiled.
After collecting the evidence from the truck accident scene and from the trucking company, your truck accident lawyer will be able to determine who is at fault and start working on your case. Even something as simple as a log book can determine negligence if the truck driver was working longer hours than allowed by federal law. That’s why a qualified truck accident attorney is so imperative to your personal injury case.
To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit after a serious truck accident, visit http://www.TomKileyLaw.com.