Preserving Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
After an accident with a large truck, the importance of collecting and preserving evidence cannot be overstated. If you’re injured, a qualified trucking attorney will know what to look for and how to properly investigate your claim. Contact our attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick today to get started.
Preserving Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
If you were hurt in a truck accident that you know was not your fault, then you face the challenging task of bringing a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit to gain compensation for your injuries. During a personal injury claim, you must prove the other party – whether it was the trucker, trucking company, or another business – was negligent, reckless, or intentionally did something wrong. To prove the other party’s wrongdoing, you need evidence and an experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer.
Preservation of evidence in truck accident cases is important. Without making a formal attempt to save and maintain the truck, paper records, and electronic data, it may shock you how much disappears by the time your attorney asks for it or you head to trial. For example, you may need the maintenance logs for the truck that hit you only to find out that many of the records you need were destroyed once the trucking company hit the minimum retention duration. Ultimately, your case could lack material evidence if you do not work with an Ohio trucking accident attorney who takes immediate action.
What Do You Need Preserved?
There is a great deal of evidence, both physical and electronic data, you need to ensure stays put and remains in its original condition. Your attorney will seek to preserve physical elements like the truck itself and its “black box.” Most commercial trucks have a data recording and storage device like airplanes. This data storage unit can give you in-depth information about the truck and what was going on just before the collision, including:
- The trucker’s speed or variations in speed
- The truck’s gear shifts
- When the trucker braked
- The length of time the trucker was driving
- The truck’s GPS location
- Communications between the trucker and trucking company
- Reports filed by the trucker, which may include daily inspection reports
All of the data in the black box may be essential to your case. By working with an experienced truck accident attorney, you can be sure that the black box is not ignored and you have someone fighting to ensure it is not destroyed or wiped clean.
In addition to the truck itself and its black box, your attorney will want to preserve electronic and paper records that all truckers and motor carriers are required to keep, including records of:
- Daily inspections
- Roadside inspections
- Annual inspections
- The trucker’s employment and training
- Trucker’s daily logs
- Complaints regarding the driver
Every type of record has its own duration for retention, therefore you and your attorney will not be able to obtain records indefinitely. However, you can get a considerate amount of information going back far enough in relation to your case. You and your attorney need to ensure you obtain these records as soon as possible and that they are not destroyed early or while your case is going on.
How to Preserve Evidence
After being hurt in a truck accident, you should contact an experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on preserving evidence related to your case. The first step your attorney will take is to write a spoliation letter to the other parties, particularly the motor carrier that owned the commercial truck.
The exact wording of the spoliation letter will depend on your circumstances and the recipient. However, in general, it will stress that the other party must preserve any evidence that could be material to the case, even if they would otherwise destroy it. This letter puts a motor carrier on notice of an impending claim and the need to retain all potentially critical evidence. If the trucking company fails to preserve important evidence related to your claim, they could face losing in court, punitive damages, monetary sanctions, and criminal charges.
How Our Ohio Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
You are probably unsure of how to proceed with a personal injury claim. If you are suffering from serious injuries, you likely do not have the time or energy to handle the legal process yourself. That is why you would benefit from contacting a truck accident lawyer from KNR right away. We will explain your rights and legal options following a collision. We will get to work investigating the accident and preserving evidence immediately, increasing our chances of obtaining the evidence necessary to prove your claim. Throughout the entire process, we will focus on protecting your rights and seeking the maximum compensation for your injuries.
At KNR, we have decades of collective experience handling trucking accident claims, from simple collisions to complex litigation. We are ready to take on your case.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free consultation.