The Role of Evidence in Truck Accident Claims: An Overview
By TOI Staff February 21, 2023 Update on : March 4, 2023
Evidence is vital to establish who was responsible in a truck accident—or any accident, for that matter. The credible proof will aid you in assessing the extent of the harm and your efforts to obtain justice and recompense for your losses.
According to a truck accident lawyer in Gary, gathering and preserving evidence is an extremely serious endeavor since it can be the building block of a client’s case. In identifying the accident’s cause, lawyers know that the crucial evidence will be important, so they don’t spare any effort in collecting it.
Contact a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in your city or state immediately if you’ve been hurt in a collision with a commercial vehicle. Your attorney must be alerted immediately to keep the evidence necessary for a successful claim.
How to Protect Your Case and Preserve Evidence
In your best interest, you should work with a qualified truck accident lawyer who will take the necessary actions, such as sending a spoliation letter, to request that the truck company preserve any relevant evidence. A spoliation letter is a formal warning to a party to safeguard specific evidence essential to a legal claim.
The parties must maintain the evidence until they obtain a spoliation letter. The trucking company can be hit with criminal charges, penalties, and punitive damages if it later destroys the evidence. If the court decides the evidence was detrimental to the defense’s case, destroying evidence after a spoliation letter is delivered will hurt the defendant.
Truck companies are only required to keep some data under federal and state standards for a predetermined time; after that, they can delete it. Therefore, sending spoliation letters to the relevant parties as soon as possible is essential.
Evidence Types Required in a Truck Accident Case
Many kinds of evidence are required and beneficial in a truck accident lawsuit. Following your collision, your team of truck accident lawyers will use every information they can get to identify the at-fault party and build your case.
Logs from the Trucking Company
The trucking company is in charge of keeping maintenance records for its fleet of vehicles. If this data is required as proof in a personal injury lawsuit, they must be able to deliver it. The documents may show that the truck wasn’t serviced adequately before the collision, contributing to the accident.
The corporation also keeps details about the driver in addition to information about the truck.
This could contain crucial information like the driver’s employment history and driving time before the collision. For example, a driver can only operate a vehicle for several hours before stopping to rest. To demonstrate negligence, your attorney could show that fatigue contributed to the truck accident.
Black Box Information
Trucks are equipped with a black box that could contain crucial information about the crash. The black box, the Electronic Control Module (ECM), provides data on the truck’s speed, the moment the brakes were applied, and other engine characteristics. This information is essential for reconstructing the accident scene and can offer proof that the truck driver was to blame for the collision.
Other High-Tech Devices’ Records
Other cutting-edge gadgets within the cab might have information about an accident. For instance, inclinometers, which gauge the slope at which a vehicle moves, are commonplace in trucks. Additionally, data from GPS and onboard computers may help reconstruct an accident.
Additionally, truckers and trucking companies must check, maintain, and repair their vehicles and keep them off the road when there are maintenance issues. To ascertain if the truck’s condition may have contributed to or caused the accident, inspection records maintained by the trucker and maintenance records kept by the truck may be helpful.
Other Evidence to Build Your Case
The Police Report
In the case of a truck accident, police typically collect evidence such as witness statements, photographs and videos of the scene, debris and tire marks, and data from the truck’s black box. They will also investigate to determine the cause of the accident and may administer breathalyzer or drug tests to the drivers involved.
A truck accident victim’s lawyer can use the police report and records to build the victim’s case by analyzing the cause of the accident, identifying potential witnesses, and using evidence such as photographs and witness statements to establish liability and damages. The report can also help the lawyer work with accident reconstruction experts and negotiate with insurance companies.
Your Medical Records
A personal injury lawyer can use a victim’s medical records to build a case by establishing the extent of the victim’s injuries and related medical expenses. Your lawyer may also use the records to prove the causation of the injuries and their impact on your life, such as loss of income or quality of life. Additionally, the medical records may help the lawyer negotiate with insurance companies and present evidence in court. Finally, the lawyer may work with medical experts to analyze the records and provide expert testimony to support your case.
A personal injury lawyer can use witnesses to build a truck accident case for their client in several ways.
First, witnesses may provide testimony about the cause of the accident, such as the actions of the truck driver or any other factors that may have contributed to the accident. The lawyer may also use witnesses to establish the extent of the victim’s injuries and the accident’s impact on their life. Witness testimony can be particularly useful in cases involving liability or causation disputes.
Finally, the lawyer may work with investigators to identify potential witnesses and use deposition or trial testimony to present their evidence in court. Witness testimony can help the lawyer build a compelling case and advocate for the victim’s rights and interests.
The Bottom Line
Preserving evidence is critical in personal injury claims. Expert lawyers can use evidence such as police reports, medical records, and witness testimony to build a strong case for their clients. By working diligently to collect and analyze this evidence, lawyers can help truck accident victims obtain the compensation and justice they deserve.