After a truck accident, evidence can quickly disappear because the road needs to be cleaned up so traffic can continue driving on it. This means it’s imperative for anyone who has been in a truck accident to gather as much information as possible before the evidence disappears. Those who are the victim in a truck accident should try to get the following evidence immediately after the accident if they can do so.
All of the evidence listed here can help the victim’s lawyer determine liability in the truck accident case and ensure the victim obtains the full amount of compensation they’re entitled to. While they may still be able to get compensation without this evidence, the evidence can make it easier to prove exactly what happened and how the accident occurred. This could be the difference between winning and losing a case if there is a dispute over what happened.
Identification for the Drive and Any Witnesses
The victim should attempt to get the name, address, and phone number of the truck driver as soon as possible. They should view the driver’s license to make sure they have the correct information and the right spelling of the driver’s name. This is helpful if the truck driver tries to leave the scene or if the information is incorrect on the police report for any reason.
When the victim seeks help after a wreck from a lawyer, it’s also a good idea for them to have the identifying information for any witnesses at the scene. They should politely ask the name and phone number for all witnesses who stop to offer help at the scene of the accident. The lawyer will use this information to speak with the witnesses later on if there is a need for their testimony during the case.
Police Report from the Accident
After the accident, emergency services will likely be called to ensure everyone is okay and so the police can investigate what happened, close off the road if necessary, and work on getting the road clear so it can be opened again. Any time the police are called to a scene, they’re going to create a report of the accident that says who was involved, what happened, and whether anyone required immediate medical attention. They may also include other information in the police report, such as witness statements.
All of this information can be used to prove liability in cases where the truck driver denies causing the accident. This can usually be obtained a day or two after the accident occurs, depending on how quickly the officer can write the report and how long it takes for it to be processed and ready to print. While this is not something that can be obtained in the first few hours after the accident, it’s important to talk to the police officer to make sure everything in the report is correct at the scene, then pick up the police report once it is ready.
Surveillance Footage of the Accident
Depending on where the truck accident occurred, there may be surveillance footage available that shows exactly what happened or the moments leading up to the accident. Witnesses today may also have dash cams that can provide a good view of the accident and what caused it. It’s important to try to get these videos as quickly as possible after the accident, so they aren’t accidentally deleted before a lawyer has a chance to obtain them.
Surveillance footage may be available from highway cameras if they’re in use in the area, as well as local businesses close to where the accident occurred. Simply request the footage from any local businesses if they have it available. Most of the time, they can create a copy of the footage. If they cannot do this, request they save the footage until the lawyer can request it.
Photographs of Vehicles and Accident Scene
Most people have smartphones on them today, which makes it easy to get photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident and the road conditions. Take as many photos of the scene as much as possible, including ones that are up close and ones that are far away. Take photos of any skid marks from the vehicles, the traffic control devices in the area, the weather at the time of the accident, and anything else that might be relevant.
It’s always better to err on the side of taking too many photos. Sometimes, the smallest detail in a photo can help explain exactly what happened or help prove liability for the truck accident. The lawyer will want to review all of the photos of the accident to see what happened and to get as much information as possible that they can use in the case.
A Personal Record of What Happened
While at the scene, it’s not likely possible to write down a detailed report of what happened. However, this should be done as soon as possible after the accident. This record should include as much information as the victim remembers, as their memory can fade with time and they might not be able to recollect as many details later.
They should try to write down everything from what they were doing before the accident, what the weather was like, whether they had the green light and more to ensure they have a complete record of what happened from their point of view. A lawyer may be able to use this with the other evidence collected to ensure they have a complete picture of exactly how the accident occurred.
If you’ve been in a truck accident and you can do so, try to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident and get all of the evidence you can before speaking with a lawyer. All of the evidence listed here is time-sensitive, so by the time you speak with a lawyer, it may no longer exist. If you can gather it for them, it may make it easier for them to help you get more compensation.