Large trucks that keep our commerce system flowing throughout America also pose major threats to other drivers on the road. Accidents involving commercial trucks can result in thousands of dollars in property damage, medical bills, lost income and other expenses. After any truck accident, it is always wise for the victims to build a strong claim to recover these losses and compensate them for their suffering. This requires as much detailed evidence to support the claim as the victims can gather.
In many ways, it is the same with any car accident, because more detailed evidence typically creates stronger claims. However, truck accidents present victims with several additional kinds of evidence to seek out, which are important to understand.
Start with the basics
Whether you experience an accident with a large truck or a small moped, it is essential to document the scene of the accident as much as you can, preferably before the cleanup crew shows up to remove the debris. Once the cleanup crew arrives, it is less useful to get pictures and video of the scene, because much of the evidence is gone by that point.
If possible, use your phone to take pictures and video of the scene as it is immediately following the accident, even though this may be upsetting.
You can also search for security footage from nearby businesses and homes that may provide a different perspective on the accident. If there are any witnesses, see if you can get them to give a recorded or written statement about what happened, and get their contact information.
In addition, it is wise to obtain the police report once the officers who come to the scene create it. This adds further credibility to your claims, if the report supports your version of events.
Evidence specific to commercial trucks
Commercial trucks involve two other forms of evidence that are often useful in any truck accident claim, the driver's logs and the electronic control module data. Driver's logs are manually recorded and detail how often the driver stops to rest and when. This may shed light on sleep deprivation or driving fatigue as potential causes of the accident.
Electronic control module data is similar to an airplane's "black box," tracking the internal function of the engine and other systems, top speeds and average speeds, braking irregularities and other things like seat belt usage.
This data belongs to the owner of the vehicle, and the owner retains the right to delete it if they wish until they receive a formal request to produce it. If you wait too long to request this data, it may be gone forever.
Build your strategy for recovery
Recovering from a truck accident can take months or even years. Without strong protections in place, you may never recover financially, even if you recover physically. Do not underestimate how important it is to keep your rights and priorities secure while you do the hard work of recovery. Begin on your own claim today, to help ensure that you receive all the benefits and compensation that you deserve.