Recovering from a commercial truck accident can take many months or even years. Without a strong legal strategy to help navigate tricky legal issues, victims often find themselves drowning in medical debt or losing income while fighting for justice for their injuries. Because the stakes are often very high for both the victim and the business using the commercial vehicle, a strong claim must include as much evidence as a victim and their legal team can gather.
Like any car accident, the evidence begins to disappear and degrade quickly, especially if rain or other inclement weather is present. It is always wise to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident when it occurs, but for many victims, this is simply not feasible. After all, if a person suffers serious or life-threatening injuries in a collision with an enormous truck, their first concern should be their own safety and receiving proper medical care.
If you recently experienced a truck accident, you need to build a strong claim as soon as you can, and may need to enlist the help of others to gather and assemble this evidence into a compelling claim. Without a strong legal basis for your claim, it is difficult to obtain full, fair compensation for your losses and keep your rights protected while you recover.
Documenting the scene
Now that most people have a phone with a camera function, documenting the scene of an accident is much easier. A person gathering evidence can use their phone to take pictures and video of the scene of the accident, and can even use it to record statements from witnesses and other victims involved in the crash.
It is also wise to seek out footage from security cameras on nearby businesses and homes. These can provide an independent perspective on the accident itself, and may help strengthen your claim.
You should also request a copy of the police report generated by the accident, to understand how the officers who came to the scene interpreted the accident. This often serves a claim by giving it the weight of authority.
Gathering specific evidence from the driver and owner
You must not overlook two key types of evidence after a truck accident, the drivers’ logs and the data from the truck’s electronic control module (ECM). Drivers’ logs you may request from the driver, and the owner of the truck can provide the ECM data. It is important to know that the owner of the truck may destroy ECM data until they receive a formal request for it, so you should not wait to make your request.
Driver’s logs lay out how often the driver stops to rest while on a haul, whereas ECM data tracks the driver’s habits behind the wheel and keeps track of internal functions that may shed light on causes of the accident.
Whatever steps you take to build your claim, you should begin immediately. Protecting your rights while seeking fair compensation is virtually impossible without a strong legal strategy and well-built claim.