Building a Strong Case: 5 Compelling Pieces of Evidence for Truck Accident Claims
Tractor trailers and commercial vehicles weigh significantly more than typical passenger cars, are much more difficult to control, are harder to stop in emergencies, and can result in catastrophic injury and property damage in the event of a collision. Claims involving commercial vehicles are also governed by specific state and federal regulations, making these cases far more complicated to handle than other types of personal injury matters.
If you were hurt in a large truck crash, you might consider filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, injuries, and other damages. However, these cases are often vigorously defended. While your own insurer might cover some of the costs associated with your medical treatment and pay for replacement services, if you suffered a particularly severe injury, you might need to file a claim against the truck driver and their employer to obtain additional compensation.
In this article, we look at some of the types of evidence that might play a role in your case:
1. Black Box Data
Fortunately, many commercial vehicles have electronic information available which can provide important data concerning facts leading up to a crash. Information may include the speed of the truck at the time of the crash, whether the driver was accelerating or braking, steering inputs, and how long the vehicle had been driving in the days prior to the crash. There may also be GPS information available showing where the driver had been in the hours and days before the crash. Obviously, this data can be useful in showing that the truck driver was negligent, driving recklessly, or perhaps not adhering to important state or federal regulations (e.g., hours of service rules). For instance, if this information reveals that the trucker was speeding just before the wreck or failed to hit their brakes, such proof could help prove that they were at fault.
2. Dashcam or Surveillance Footage
Any videos of the accident can be helpful in demonstrating liability. Today, it is not uncommon for commercial carriers to outfit their vehicles with dash cam cameras which record both inside of the cab and the front of the road. Some of these devices are “intelligent” video cameras, meaning that they record and track whether drivers follow the speed limit, stop at stop signs, etc. However, these videos can be erased if not preserved shortly after the crash. An attorney can ensure that videos, and other important evidence, is properly preserved after a crash.
3. Photographs of the Accident Scene
Taking time to thoroughly document the accident scene could help ensure your claim starts off on a strong foot. Using your smartphone, try to take pictures of any elements that might shed light on how the crash happened, vehicle damage or debris, the scene, traffic control devices, and anything else that might help illustrate what happened. For instance, snapping photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved, road markings, and street signs could help an accident reconstruction expert piece together the events contributing to the crash.
4. Eyewitness Statements
If someone saw the crash take place, they may be able to corroborate your version of events. As such, you should take down the names and contact details of eyewitnesses to share with your attorney during the initial consultation. Your lawyer will likely want to track down these individuals to determine whether their statements could help strengthen your case.
5. Official Reports
If police officers investigated the wreck, their official reports could help guide your attorney’s investigation. While you can request copies yourself, if you have not yet managed to obtain a copy, your attorney will probably be able to do so on your behalf.
Discuss Your Case with a Miami Truck Accident Attorney
A large truck crash can have devastating consequences, taking a toll on not only your emotional and physical health but also putting immense strain on your finances. At Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC, we are here to help.
Our Miami truck accident attorneys can meet with you as part of a free consultation. During this meeting, we can discuss strategies that we might use to help you obtain a fair settlement and explain some of the types of evidence you may need to build a convincing case. Contact us today at (305) 372-3650 or complete our contact page HERE to set up a free case review.