Truck accidents are complicated. When considering a case, both your attorney and the insurance company will look at all of the available evidence to demonstrate what happened in the moments before the crash. But what is the most important evidence to have for a truck accident case? Allow us to explain!
The most important evidence to have after a truck crash is the truck driver’s information as well as pictures of the damages. This contact information will help you hold the other driver accountable and allow you to contact their insurance company and their employer. When exchanging information with a truck driver, you should aim to collect the following:
- Driver’s name
- Phone number and email address
- License plate number (and state)
- Insurance carrier
- Insurance policy number
- Employer name
- Supervisor’s name
- Supervisor’s contact information
You should also aim to take photos of all four sides of both vehicles. Some people involved in a crash mistakenly only take pictures of the damages to their own vehicle. Not only does this leave an incomplete picture of the crash, but it can deprive you of vital evidence that could show who caused the crash.
The more pictures you have of the crash, the easier it will be to determine who was responsible. Sometimes, crash forensics can recreate the circumstances of the wreck by analyzing the damage to both vehicles.
That said, truck crashes tend to be much more severe than other kinds of accidents. It’s not unusual for drivers to be seriously injured or even incapacitated after a truck crash, leaving them unable to directly exchange information with the truck driver. That’s where the crash report comes in.
A police traffic report is another vital piece of evidence, especially after a truck crash. The crash report contains a lot of valuable information. It can include insurance information from both drivers, statements, an assessment of the damages, contributing factors, a diagram of the crash, and may include statements from witnesses.
These crash reports prove where and when the crash occurred, demonstrating that your car was damaged and you were injured because of the crash. In most cases, this makes it much easier to pursue damages.
Moreover, witness statements from an unbiased third party can provide valuable insight into how the crash occurred and can be extremely valuable in determining who was at fault. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to ask anyone who pulls over if they’d be willing to provide a statement to police, or at least provide their name and contact information so your attorney can speak to them as your case progresses.
When you go to the doctor’s office or the hospital, your physician will perform a physical examination to determine the full extent of your injuries. This is crucial because it means you’re getting the treatment you need, but it also provides important clues that will help your doctor determine if you’re at risk of developing latent injuries, those which don’t immediately present symptoms.
The injuries outlined in your medical report will help your attorney determine the full damages you’ll need to make a full recovery. With a medical report, your attorney will be better equipped to calculate the full damages you’re entitled to.
The Black Box
A truck’s black box is one piece of evidence that most drivers are unaware of. A truck’s black box works very similarly to those on an airplane. It constantly records mechanical information about the truck, and it also gives insight into safety features and trucking regulations. Here are just a few of the data points found on a truck’s black box:
- Speed and RPM
- Use of brakes
- Seatbelts status
- Cruise control status
- Airbag status
- Maintenance alerts
- Hours of service log
While black boxes record a vast amount of data that can be extremely useful in determining what caused the crash, they are also vulnerable. Most trucking companies erase the data on a black box every 30 days. In other cases, a truck driver or their employer may erase the black box data manually.
For these reasons, it’s essential that anyone involved in a truck accident contact an attorney immediately. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can request the black box data. If you wait too long, that data could be lost or erased, which would make it more difficult to pursue justice.
If you’d like to discuss the impact of your crash with an experienced truck accident attorney, don’t hesitate to call upon Maring Williams Law Office. Our firm serves injured parties across North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Send us an email or call us today at (701) 402-6644 for a free consultation.