Proving fault in an automobile accident can be difficult, so evidence is essential. Unfortunately, being able to obtain this evidence on your own after you have been involved in an accident can be extremely difficult. Especially when you have to concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
Rest assured that the legal experts and Houston attorneys at Lapeze & Johns have the experience necessary to hunt down every scrap of evidence we can in order to help you win your case and receive the compensation you deserve. It’s a process that has worked through 35 years of shared experience, and our Houston personal injury attorneys are more than confident that they can help you too.
What kind of evidence is needed to prove my claim?
Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Although he spoke of an entirely different subject, the general idea remains true. When it comes to proving anything, solid evidence must be presented, and that is no different when you are fighting for your rights after suffering through a commercial truck accident.
Important evidence will generally include:
1. Your Vehicle – Your vehicle is going to be one of the strongest submissions of evidence in a truck accident claim. Any visible damage to the vehicle provides important information on what occurred in the accident. That is why it is extremely imperative that it remain in the condition it was in after the accident occurred. Repairing it may erase any crucial evidence, which could make or break your case.
2. Inspection Reports – Inspections are important as they ensure that the commercial truck involved in the accident is in an operable condition that is safe for everyone on the road. Missing an inspection is considered negligence, and ignoring any possible problems can prove to be beneficial to your case.
3. Maintenance Logs – Maintenance is just as important as inspection, and basic maintenance must be performed before a commercial truck is sent on its next haul. These records may indicate that the truck was either in good shape to travel or not, which if it was the latter, may have been a cause of your accident.
4. Driving Log – By law in Texas, truck drivers are permitted to drive 12 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty. Driving logs offer insight into the hours that the driver drove that day or week that the accident happened and may contain information relevant to your case.
5. Cargo Logs – This documents how much weight in cargo the commercial truck had while in transit. An 18-wheeler that is packed full and overweight can cause failures in the brakes and other systems.
6. Electronic Monitoring Data – This information covers the speed that the truck was traveling at, time that was worked, and other information that is automatically recorded. If the truck driver was speeding or had worked too many hours over what is legally permitted, it will be reflected here.
7. Alcohol and Drug Testing Results – Trucking companies may conduct an unplanned alcohol or drug test to ensure that their drivers are driving sober. However, not all companies may do this, and any results, or lack thereof, may indicate if inebriation was a factor in the crash.
8. Any Other Important Information – This could be any particular information about the driver, the trucking company, and its protocols and procedures, or any additional information about the accident.
Depending on your situation, some—or all—of these could be relevant to your case. Although it is expected that trucking companies act fairly and within their legal limitations, sometimes this evidence simply “disappears” or is outright destroyed.
To avoid this sort of scenario, you need to contact an experienced truck accident attorney that can issue a spoliation of evidence letter.
What is a spoliation of evidence letter?
In short, a spoliation of evidence letter is a document sent out by your truck accident attorney to request that all information and evidence that is pertinent to your case be preserved.
Failure to adhere to the correspondence results in significant consequences, which would never look good in a court of law. Destroying evidence after a spoliation of evidence letter is received makes the trucking company look extremely suspicious, and can cost them more in the long run.
Have you been involved in a truck accident but don’t know where or how you can get access to the evidence? Let Lapeze & Johns take care of that for you.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a commercial truck accident but are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to recognize that you are not alone.
The Houston truck accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns will do what they do best for you: win the compensation you deserve. With our 98 percent win rate, we have the experience and history to prove it.
Contact us today at (713) 739-1010 for your free legal consultation.