Any type of traffic accident can take a toll on you, even if it’s a small fender bender. But commercial truck accidents can be some of the most severe, especially when there is a passenger vehicle involved.
Even when an accident seems straight forward, issues can still arise when determining who is at fault.
Your truck accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns are ready to help you gather the evidence you need in order to properly determine who was at fault. Our experienced Houston truck accident lawyers are here and ready to help you every step of the way. Please consider the following information.
How important is evidence?
Securing evidence is one of the most crucial parts of any investigation and it is extremely important when filing a personal injury claim resulting from a truck accident. It’s important to collect evidence right away when filing a personal injury case because many documents crucial to your claim do not need to be kept on file for very long.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), trucking companies are required to keep a record of status-of-duty for only up to 6 months for each driver. FMCSR also requires trucking companies to keep annual inspection records for commercial vehicles for only a year and two months from the date of the report.
Why you need evidence.
Evidence can really strengthen a personal injury claim. Gathering the correct evidence can help determine whether or not the trucking company was in compliance with safety rules and regulations. Proper evidence can also tell what the truck driver was doing right before the accident.
Contacting us here at Lapeze & Johns soon after an accident can prove to be crucial to winning your lawsuit. Our truck accident lawyers can quickly get to work collecting and preserving all the important evidence you will need.
It is worth noting that if you wait too long to hire an attorney, some of the evidence that you may have needed could be destroyed before your lawyer has a chance to review it.
What types of evidence are collected after a truck accident?
There are a number of documents and other sources available that can prove to be credible sources of evidence. Some of the major pieces of evidence for your claim can include:
- Accident and driver reports
- Truck driver logs
- Witness statements and contact information
- Photos from the scene of the accident
- Medical history, qualifications and driving record of the truck driver
- Records of the truck which should include documentation of routine maintenance, inspections, and repair records
- Cargo inspection
- Cell phone records
- Truck wreckage
How can I preserve evidence for a claim?
- Seek out medical attention. It’s important to document any injuries you may have suffered in the accident. Medical records and official documents will explain the severity of your injuries.
- Get a copy of the police accident report. This report is a vital piece of evidence. It would include things like contact information of the driver, any citations given out, any arrests made, and an official police statement.
- Keep a copy of all the documents related to the accident and your injuries. Make sure to keep all of your documentation in a single place, that way you know where exactly where everything is. An accordion folder or plastic storage container would be your best ways of storing these documents.
- Keep electronic records of everything. In case all documents get destroyed or lost, it would be in your best interest to also keep electronic records. Scan all documents onto a computer for immediate and easy access.
- Send a spoliation of evidence letter. A “spoliation of evidence” letter is a document sent by your truck accident attorney to request that all documents and evidence that are important to your claim be saved or preserved. If any evidence is destroyed or “lost” anytime after the spoliation letter is received by the trucking company your claim is against, that could mean some serious consequences for the trucking company.
The experienced Houston truck accident lawyers at Lapeze & Johns are ready to help you get your life back in order.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident caused by an 18-wheeler, contact Lapeze & Johns today to schedule a free case review!