Securing & Preserving Evidence In A Florida Truck Accident Claim
It is foolhardy to think that a truck accident claim will settle because the trucking company will decide to do the right thing and pay fair compensation to the plaintiff or the victim. The only thing that can force the trucking company to pay for their negligent conduct is either the fear of a jury verdict against them or winning at an actual trial. It is therefore important to treat every injury claim as if it’s going to trial and an attorney must show to the trucking company that a jury will find them liable. People generally think of truck accidents in simplistic terms such as a truck runs a stop sign and crashes into a car. Although this scenario may seem simple enough, the resulting litigation that occurs due to the accident is very technical in nature and requires a considerable amount of evidence in order to win the case. Trucking companies never roll over in such a case and they always put up a fight.
A qualified and competent Orlando truck accident lawyer will always initiate a truck accident case by conducting an exhaustive investigation immediately after the accident. There are 2 primary reasons for lawyers to conduct such an investigation. The first reason is that defendants in truck accident cases have almost unlimited resources to litigate their case. The second reason is that juries are highly skeptical of the claims an injured person makes. Therefore it is imperative that any attorney worth their salt will leave no stone unturned when finding the evidence necessary to hold a negligent trucking company liable for their misdeeds in a court of law. It is advisable to secure certain documents from the truck driver and the truck company such as driver logs, delivery receipts, bills of lading or similar documents that can help prove your case against the trucking company.
Having ample evidence in a truck accident claim ensures that you have a better chance at recovering the money you are entitled to for your injuries. Additional evidence in a truck accident claim usually includes:
Physical Evidence From Crash
Such evidence includes roadway debris, photos of any skid marks, damaged property and documenting environmental conditions at the time of the accident. If you are unable to gather this evidence because of injuries, it is advisable to have someone else secure it for you.
Eyewitness Statements About The Accident
Eyewitnesses that saw the accident occur should be requested to provide written statements which can be extremely helpful to your case. It is also advised to get contact information from all the witnesses and check if there are roadway intersection cameras, or security cameras nearby that may have recorded the accident.
Electronic Onboard Recording Device In The Truck
The electronic onboard recording device on a truck provides a snapshot of the tractor trailer’s movements leading up to the accident. It also tracks the number of hours the driver operates the truck every day and the information from the device is used to cross reference driver logs, delivery receipts, bills of lading and other such documents.
The Records Maintained By The Trucking Company
Trucking companies are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to keep records regarding its operations for a certain amount of time depending on the type of document. These records may include the employment application and driving history of its drivers, inspections and maintenance records, etc.
Documenting The Condition Of The Truck
Competent attorneys will send a spoliation letter to the trucking company, its driver, and all insurance companies demanding the preservation of the truck, its contents, and all documents pertaining to the truck in question until an expert has examined everything.
It is imperative to act immediately after a truck accident to increase your chance of being fully compensated for your damages. Securing evidence in an appropriate fashion ensures that crucial evidence is not lost, misplaced, or destroyed. An experienced Orlando truck accident lawyer can help you secure all of this evidence in a timely fashion.