What Evidence Should Be Preserved In Truck Accident Cases?
There are several different types of evidence that should be preserved in truck accident cases.
First, the driver or the persons involved in the trucking accident should photograph and note as many details as possible including the names and contact information of the other parties involved and any witnesses. Although, many times, these people may be hurt and taken by ambulance making it difficult to preserve much information.
Second, data from the truck and records from the trucking company should be preserved. 18-wheelers are equipped with a module, similar to a “black box”, which records the tractor-trailer speed, when it braked, what gear it was in, etc. However, it is not preserved indefinitely. It is critical to recover the data as soon as possible as once the 18 wheeler is back on the road, this data may be lost. This is one of the many reasons it is a good idea to talk to a truck accident attorney right away. If he/she acts quickly, they can preserve the data that’s on the module from the tractor. A good truck accident attorney will send a letter to the tractor-trailer driver and trucking company immediately upon being hired, instructing them to not destroy the data on the recording module, as well as emails, text messages, and cell phone records related to the accident. In addition, it’s important to demand that the trucking company and driver preserve their logbooks and any receipts that they have from around the time of the accident.
Not only is this data useful to potentially show that the driver was speeding or did not apply his brakes, but you can compare the information that is on the module to the driver’s logbooks. If they do not match up, you can prove the 18-wheeler driver was falsifying his logbooks.
The third type of evidence to collect from a semi-truck accident case is evidence from the police. Oftentimes witnesses are interviewed by the police officers on the scene. In addition, when the police drive up to the scene, their vehicles may be equipped with a dash cam. The dash cam can shoot a video of the scene. Some dash cams may also have an audio recording. If an attorney is involved early enough, he/she can send a notice to the police department instructing it to preserve the dash cam recordings and receive a copy.
How Important Are Witnesses In These Cases?
Witnesses are very good to have in these cases. Witnesses can corroborate with the module data, the involved persons details of the accident, the police report, etc. It is best to have your attorney contact the witnesses early in the case and interview them. The attorney will take the witnesses’ statement explaining what happened early on in the case as people’s memories tend to worsen over time.
How Often Are Accident Reconstructionists Used In Truck Accident Cases?
Accident reconstructions not only reconstruct accidents to better determine how an accident occurred, but they are also able to decipher the data from the truck modules. The data from the truck module is one of the most important pieces of information from an 18-wheeler/ automobile accident.
Reconstructing an accident, is determined on a case by cases basis. You may not need to reconstruct every accident. If a truck driver is clearly at fault, an accident reconstructionist will download and decipher the data. However reconstructing the accident itself, is probably not necessary. Reconstructing an accident can be quite expensive. The amount it costs to hire an accident reconstructionist must be balanced against the case itself.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Truck Accident?
The statute of limitations for a truck accident is generally 2 years, though in Louisiana it is only one year. However, the statute of limitations for an uninsured motorist in Louisiana is 2 years. Sometimes, the victim does not receive enough insurance compensation from the 18-wheeler company to take care of everything. You can then make a claim against your own uninsured motorist policy.
Who Are All The Potentially Liable parties In a Truck Accident Case?
The case is generally filed against the trucking company and truck driver. If there is more than one vehicle involved and there is another driver that might be at fault, they will be included as a defendant as well. In severe cases, such as death or a severe burn, you can consider a case against the manufacturer of the vehicle. For example, sometimes the air bag will not deploy, or the seatbelt may malfunction.
For more information on Evidence In Truck Accident Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 819-3746 today.
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