The sheer size of a truck compared to a car may lead to significant damages. If a negligent truck driver injured you or a family member, you may have cause for legal action against the driver and/or trucking company that employs him.
There can be a great amount of evidence in these cases related to the:
- crash itself;
- condition of the driver; and
- even federal trucking regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Evidence collection often begins at the scene – provided you did not need emergency medical care – and continues in the days, weeks, and even months afterwards. Read on for more about the various types of evidence that can be helpful to establish a trucker’s negligence or that of the trucking company, as well as the types and extent of your damages.
Document the Accident & Injuries with Photos
Getting photos of the actual scene is very helpful. Photos may help clarify witness statements and can show the position of the vehicles involved, not to mention other relevant factors like weather conditions. If you were unable to get photos at the scene, check with friends or family members who might have been at the scene, or even eyewitnesses in the area, provided you have their information.
Also take pictures of your injuries. A friend or family member may be necessary to help you do this. These photos can establish your condition immediately after the accident, which can be relevant to prove the extent of your injuries and damages.
Keep All Relevant Documents
Keep records of every detail pertaining to your case including:
- medical records;
- police reports;
- insurance letters;
- phone calls; and
While it is important to keep the originals for all paperwork, make copies or scans of the paperwork, voice mails, etc. as well. Also consider who could be held liable for your accident and keep track of any correspondence with those parties.
Some of the parties that could be liable include:
- the truck driver;
- the trucking company or transportation company;
- truck company owner;
- truck mechanic;
- truck and truck part manufacturers; and
- person(s) who loaded the truck.
Evidence from the Trucking Company
The trucking company has to keep evidence of the driver’s hours-of-service records, but they may destroy them after a specified period of time. Avoid this by sending the company a spoliation letter instructing it to save all relevant documents. You can even name hours-of-service records specifically.
You may also request:
- the driver’s qualification and personnel file;
- truck maintenance and inspection reports;
- any drug or alcohol testing records; and
- even the truck itself.
Talk to your attorney about the types of evidence the trucking company might have in its possession. An attorney can even draft and send the spoliation letter for you.
The law office of Julie Johnson can explain more fully your options relating to your injuries. Call us at 214-290-8001 or contact us online to schedule a FREE consultation with a lawyer in the Dallas area.