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Crucial Evidence in a Truck Accident Claim

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Posted on July 2, 2024

Commercial trucks can weigh more than an average car by more than 76,000 pounds. This leaves the occupants of smaller vehicles at significant risk of serious or catastrophic injuries in an accident. Injury victims in truck accidents experience extensive damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from their injuries, medical procedures, and rehabilitative therapies. A successful claim for compensation for these damages requires significant evidence to make a compelling case against powerful trucking companies and their insurance companies who commonly dispute claims. What evidence helps to make a solid case in a claim for damages after a truck accident?

Collecting Evidence at the Scene of a Truck Accident

Evidence in a truck accident claim

The aftermath of a truck accident is a traumatic and chaotic scene, often with serious injuries and fatalities. Accident victims may be unable to do anything other than wait for emergency services to arrive. However, if any of the accident victims can move safely or use a cell phone from their position, they can preserve critical evidence before the police and ambulances arrive. Law enforcement officers have the understandable priority of clearing the scene to restore traffic flow, but this also destroys important evidence. If someone at the scene can use a cell phone, after calling 911 and attending to any immediate, life-threatening emergencies, the phone is useful for documenting the following evidence:

  • Take photos of the damaged vehicles
  • Photograph the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles before they are moved
  • Photograph anything that contributed to the accident, like a signal light, intersection, or road hazard
  • Take photos of your visible injuries
  • Add the contact information of other drivers
  • Add the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident—this is especially important in places where there are no traffic cameras or surveillance cameras nearby
  • Record your memory of what occurred while it’s fresh in your mind since trauma can fade the memory later

After a truck accident, go to the hospital straight from the scene—preferably in the ambulance. Even if you think your injuries are minor, go to the hospital for an evaluation. Ask for a detailed medical report listing your injuries, the recommended treatment plan, and your prognosis. This becomes crucial evidence in a truck accident claim for compensation.

What Other Evidence Is Important After a Truck Accident?

Evidence collected at the scene is often the key to the smoothest possible claim for compensation; however, it isn’t always possible when accident victims are critically injured. A skilled truck accident attorney will perform an investigation to determine the cause of the accident and the liable party, whether it’s the driver, the trucking company, a negligent truck maintenance company, the manufacturer of a defective truck part, or a negligent road maintenance agency. The accident attorney in South Jersey will compile evidence such as the following:

  • The police report
  • Eyewitness statements through depositions
  • Photos and videos from dash cams, traffic cameras, and nearby surveillance footage when available
  • Reports from accident reconstruction experts
  • Evidence acquired at the accident scene later, such as photos of skid marks or the lack of skid marks
  • The injury victim’s medical report, medical bills, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Statements from employers about missed work days and tax forms showing the injury victim’s normal income
  • The truck driver’s log of their driving hours and breaks
  • Information from the truck’s black box if available
  • The truck’s maintenance and repair records
  • Testimony from expert witnesses, including mechanical experts and medical experts

An experienced truck accident attorney in South Jersey compiles this evidence and then sends it to the liable party’s insurance company in a demand package along with a list of carefully calculated economic and non-economic damages. Typically, negotiations for a settlement follow, with most claims ending in a settlement. Only about five percent of truck accident cases go to court. 

Documenting crucial evidence in a truck accident claim helps make a compelling case and often avoids the necessity of court litigation.