It is of great importance that you initiate your truck accident investigation. This essential step is because of the transient nature of some pieces of evidence. These fleeting pieces of evidence are required to sustain a personal injury claim.
The transient pieces of evidence are necessary to support the cause of the truck accident and the financial consequences of the same. It is, therefore, vital that you start the process of investigating an accident so that you can have all the necessary pieces of evidence required to support your claim. By having sufficient evidence, you shall be able to negotiate sufficiently with the insurance company as you shall have the proof necessary for them to realize that if they do not compensate you, you will likely successfully sustain a claim in court.
In this blog, we shall examine, in great detail, the necessity of truck accident victims beginning a truck accident investigation with the assistance of a truck accident lawyer as soon as you are involved in an accident.
Beginning a truck accident investigation straight away gives you a chance to gather time-sensitive evidence.
Evidence varies in shape and form. Some evidence may sustain the test of time, while others are destroyed or damaged the longer they stay.
Evidence such as witness statements is limited because the longer a party fails to record them, the greater the danger of destroying the same. This is because they are subject to the witness’s memory, who may need to remember the small details about the accident if not interviewed immediately after the accident. The minor details are crucial as they complete the puzzle of the accident. Suppose the witness statements are taken after an extended period. In that case, the insurance company would exploit the small details to ensure they pay little or no compensation.
On the evidence of skid marks, they may, after a while, fade. When they disappear, it would likely be challenging to pin out the person or truck responsible for the accident. Such information should, therefore, be documented as soon as possible to avoid a situation in which they have either been destroyed or tampered with to the extent that they become unreliable in determining the responsible party.
The pieces of evidence that are necessary for immediate attention and safekeeping include but are not limited to the following:
Black Box Data
This is the data that is contained in the truck’s data recorder. The amount of data collected in a black box recorder is limitless. The data is valuable when ultimately determining the cause of the accident. They also provide information that indicates what happened to the truck before, during, and after the accident. With the data stored in the truck’s recorder, it shall be possible to pinpoint the exact state of the car at the time of the accident. With the evidence, the extent of responsibility of the truck in causing the accident is determinable.
In its best condition, the black box can reveal the following:
- The extent to which the accident impact happened
- The speed at which the vehicles involved in the accident were traveling
- The data as to the date and exact time at which the accident occurred.
The black box may likely be tampered with because it is a crucial tool in the ultimate determination of responsibility and liability. The truck company may tamper with the black box to lessen the extent to which they are responsible for the accident. The truck company may also remove it to ensure that the details inside the black data box are never revealed.
It follows from the above that in light of the centrality of the black box; it is vitally important that you launch investigations into the accident as soon as is reasonably practicable. Doing the quests as quickly as possible will ensure that you can retain these crucial pieces of evidence to ensure that your claim is solid and may withstand any possible scrutiny.
You should ensure that a spoliation letter is written to the trucking company so that they do not tamper with or destroy the black box.
The State of the Truck involved
The state of the truck that caused the accident or was involved in the accident is a necessary piece of evidence in the ultimate determination of who is responsible for the accident. The truck may have brought about the accident because of many reasons. The reasons may include the fact that the truck may have been poorly maintained or, in any other instance, poorly designed. It is, therefore, necessary that a truck accident investigation conducted on a trucking accident must be conclusive. The details of the accident scene must be transparent and verifiable.
By understanding the flaws with the truck, you can lay responsibility and liability for the accident. As the causes may be complex to understand, you may have to hire professionals such as lawyers and engineers so that they can keenly look into the truck and point out the things that could have brought about the accident. Therefore, you must hire professionals before the truck companies conveniently discard or destroy the vehicles. By involving professionals as soon as possible, you can control the evidence, which shall be crucial in supporting your claim.
The truck driver
The truck driver must be crucial. Because the truck driver might have caused the accident, they must be subjected to an assessment so that this critical insight into their physical and mental capacity. When it is concluded that they were in dire physical or mental shape, they shall be held responsible for the accident and will be made to pay compensation to those affected by the accident. Therefore, you must consult a health professional or any other authorized person to ascertain the truck driver’s substance abuse or intoxication.
The police report
The report about the accident is typically stored for a short period. Therefore, The accident report must be sought so that reliance can be placed on it when determining liability. As the report indicates a summary of the accident, including whether the truck driver was drunk or not and the law enforcement officer’s conclusion of the accident, you must secure and keep it so that you can rely on it when filing the accident lawsuit or when negotiating with the relevant insurance company.
Contending with the Trucking Company’s Investigation
It is crucial to note that insurance companies and truck companies have a history of always doing investigations on their trucks that resulted in an accident. In contrast, insurance companies investigate accidents to determine their client’s liability level. When an insurance company finalizes its investigations, it shall determine the level of financial exposure that it faces. On the other hand, the truck companies would use the investigation report to refute the level of responsibility of their truck drivers.
It follows from the above that you should ensure that you conduct your investigations on the accident as soon as possible so that you can challenge the conclusions of the insurance company’s report and the report of the truck company. Your investigation of the accident should include looking into the truck company’s history, the number of accidents that the truck company has been involved in, and any other valuable information that would boost the chances of your case succeeding.
Statute of Limitations: A Time-Sensitive Factor
While putting together all the evidence, including conducting all the necessary investigations, you must keep an eye on California’s statute of limitations. California’s statute of limitation provides that accident claims should be filed within two years from when the accident occurred.
The process of seeking medical attention following the accident, the investigation process, and the interviewing of witnesses, as well as any other activity between the happening of the accident and the filing of the accident claim, does not in any way impact or alter the statutorily imposed timelines of filing the suit within two years. An accident attorney shall, therefore, ensure that you are within time and have collected sufficient evidence before filing the claim.
Steps to be followed
It is important to note that the aftermath of an accident can be very distressing. Accidents bring about inconveniences not witnessed before, so it may be difficult for you to conduct the above matters as they are mostly time-bound. It is because of this that a truck accident victim must engage the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer so that they can help you deal with the following issues:
- Preserving and collecting crucial evidence on the accident
- Keeping your case on track to ensure that it is not dismissed for want of prosecution;
- Investigating potential violations committed by the truck companies and their drivers;
- Following up on damages with the insurance company;
- Helping in the establishment of the responsible party’s negligence;
- Filing your accident claim
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf with the insurance company
- Meeting the timelines required for your accident case.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Will Enable You Gather Evidence More Expeditiously
As much as it is necessary to begin getting compensation as soon as possible, it is worthwhile to engage the services of trusted truck accident lawyers to help you at every step toward ensuring that you are adequately compensated.
An experienced truck accident attorney must be willing and committed to ensuring that your rights are well protected before, during, and after a truck accident. The lawyer must have a reputation for vigorously prosecuting claims against trucking companies and insurance companies on behalf of their clients.
Big Ben Lawyers is waiting for you to contact them so that they can begin the journey of ensuring that you are adequately compensated for the injuries and losses sustained following a truck accident. Big Ben’s singular objective shall be to ensure you have received the highest compensation.