How to Strengthen Your Truck Accident Claim
Being involved in a collision can be an overwhelming experience that leaves people with serious injuries. While you'll want to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, you will likely also want to consider working with an attorney to ensure that your right to compensation is protected.
One of the most common questions we get asked is about the evidence that can be used to strengthen a truck accident claim. Here are five examples of crucial pieces of evidence we may use to help your case.
Photos and Videos
If available, videos and photographs of the circumstances before, during, and after your crash are crucial. These can help you map out the timeline of events, as well as the damage done to your vehicle.
Additionally, more and more large truck and passenger car drivers are keeping dash cams in their vehicles for added safety. Rideshare services, like Uber, are also encouraging their drivers to have one just in case they need to provide evidence following a crash. Uncut dashcam footage can provide essential evidence to an insurance company or judge and strengthen your overall case.
Electronic Logging Device Records
Per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, nearly every truck driver is required to use the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and maintain records of their hours of service (HOS). This device automatically records the amount of driving time, miles driven, where they have driven, and more. As they have mobile phone-compatible versions, this data can be monitored in real-time.
ELD records are some of the most crucial pieces of evidence since they can paint a picture of what the truck driver was doing at the time of the crash. They can also show that the driver was being negligent in working past their HOS requirements or hadn't taken their mandatory breaks.
Drivers must also maintain these records and a backup copy for six months, so they likely can be accessed if your attorney requests them during your legal dispute.
Large trucks, like any vehicle, are required to be inspected every six months to a year. They also are required to stop at weigh stations when signs are posted enforcing this rule. Should a truck driver operate a commercial vehicle that has not passed an inspection, has not received its mandatory inspection, or has known mechanical issues, it may point to negligence and become hazardous for others on the road.
Obtaining a truck's inspection reports during your car accident claim can be beneficial, especially if the crash was caused by some kind of mechanical error or maintenance issue. These records may also indicate that the trucking company should ultimately be the one held responsible for the crash.
It may be wise to share a copy of your medical records with the insurance company in order for them to appropriately assess your claim and the compensation needed to recover from your injuries. These records often serve as a means to accurately convey the severity of the situation and may help strengthen your overall case.
Eyewitness or Expert Testimony
Especially when dealing with truck accidents in the city or other densely populated areas, eyewitness testimonies can be beneficial for determining who was at fault. Although it is usually not recommended to solely rely on this for evidence, it may provide a way for your attorney to certify that the truck driver was acting negligently and endangering others on the road.
Additionally, expert testimony from a truck mechanic or forensic expert can help determine if other factors contributed to the crash. They could discuss whether a mechanical failure made handling the vehicle more difficult or if there were driver errors that ultimately contributed.
How Our Queens Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
When you've been injured in a crash with a commercial vehicle, don't try to take on the trucking company alone. With an experienced and skilled attorney by your side, you can better understand how to navigate these claims and what evidence can help strengthen them.