How Can Your Lawyer Preserve Evidence for a Truck Accident Claim?

July 13, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
How Can Your Lawyer Preserve Evidence for a Truck Accident Claim?

To prepare a strong truck accident claim you need evidence. Whether you need to establish liability or calculate damages, you will need tangible proof for a successful outcome in your case. You may find preserving the evidence challenging, especially after a truck accident. This is where an experienced truck accident lawyer acting on your behalf can make a world of difference.

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Identify the Parties Involved

In a truck accident claim, courts may hold multiple parties liable, and you will need to determine responsibility for the accident to build your case.

These at-fault parties can include:

  • Truck driver: You can hold the trucker liable for the accident if they operated the vehicle negligently, recklessly, or in violation of safety regulations.
  • Trucking company: The truck driver's employer may bear responsibility for the accident, particularly if the company failed to enforce safety regulations, adequately train or supervise the driver, or maintain the truck itself.
  • Truck owner: You can hold the truck's owner liable for mechanical defects or maintenance issues that contributed to the accident.
  • Other responsible parties: Other parties, such as manufacturers of truck parts or equipment, government entities accountable for roadway maintenance, or other motorists involved in the accident, may also bear some responsibility for the crash.

Preservation of Evidence

Truck Accident near Las Vegas, NV area

Once your lawyer has identified the parties involved, you must preserve evidence related to the accident. You will not have to figure out how to do this alone. An experienced truck accident attorney can find, preserve, and gather the relevant evidence.

This includes:

Preservation Letters

A skilled truck accident lawyer can send preservation letters to all identified parties involved, with a request that they preserve evidence related to the accident. These letters serve as formal notice of a potential lawsuit and that the party must not destroy or dispose of any relevant evidence.

Evidence Collection From the Scene

In addition to your lawyer sending preservation letters to those involved, they can also gather various types of evidence relevant to your case, such as:

  • The truck driver's logbook can help reveal whether the driver violated any hours-of-service restrictions or other regulations.
  • The truck's maintenance records can help determine whether the vehicle received proper care and service according to industry standards.
  • The truck's inspection records may reveal past violations or safety issues.
  • Electronic data from the truck's onboard systems, such as GPS information, engine data, or dashcam recordings, can provide important insights into factors that contributed to the accident.

Your attorney can obtain and preserve this evidence to significantly enhance your case and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Accident Scene Documentation

Your lawyer can thoroughly document the accident scene to build a solid case.

A skilled truck accident lawyer can collect the proper documentation to support your claim, including:

  • Photographs: Detailed photos of the accident scene can show important elements, such as vehicle positions, road conditions, and any visible evidence of negligence or wrongdoing.
  • Videos: In addition to photographs, video recordings of the accident scene can provide a more comprehensive view of the circumstances surrounding the accident, such as traffic patterns, road conditions, and any relevant signage.
  • Other documents:  Notes regarding the weather conditions, road conditions, and a description of the events leading up to the crash can be helpful when it comes to securing compensation.

Witness Statements

Witness statements can provide vital testimony that can support your claim and help establish the facts of the accident.

When you work with a skilled truck accident lawyer, a legal professionals can collect these statements by:

  • Identifying witnesses: Your attorney can help identify potential witnesses to the accident, such as other drivers or passengers, pedestrians, and nearby business owners.
  • Recording witness statements: Once your attorney has identified potential witnesses, they can obtain their accounts, either in writing or through recorded interviews. These statements can provide detailed information about the accident, including observations on the actions of the parties involved and the conditions at the time of the crash.

Police Reports

Police reports can document valuable information for your case, as they often contain details about the accident that you might not have noticed. These reports can prove the facts of the crash, identify potentially liable parties, and support your damages claim.

An experienced truck accident attorney can obtain these reports and use the information in them to strengthen your case and fight for the outcome you deserve.

Medical Records and Bills

Your lawyer can obtain and review your medical records and bills to document the extent of your injuries and treatment costs.

Medical records and bills can provide a detailed account of the injuries you sustained, the treatment you received, and the expenses you incurred as a result of the accident. Your attorney can use this vital information to calculate damages and show a causal connection between the accident and your injuries.

A skilled truck accident attorney can assist you in obtaining copies of all relevant medical records and bills, including:

  • Records from emergency room visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical treatments related to the accident.
  • Bills for medical services, medications, medical equipment, and other costs associated with your treatment and recovery.

Your attorney can review these records and bills and help you prove the full extent of your injuries and the costs of your treatment, strengthening your compensation case.

Using Expert Witnesses

The testimony of expert witnesses can be invaluable to help show liability and the extent of your injuries. A truck accident lawyer can identify and consult with these experts to strengthen your case.

These expert witnesses can provide professional, unbiased opinions based on their expertise in a particular field. Their testimony can help clarify complex issues, support your claims, and bolster your case in the eyes of the judge or jury.

Depending on the specifics of your case, the attorney may consult various expert witnesses, such as:

  • Accident reconstruction specialists: These experts can analyze the accident scene, vehicle damage, and other evidence to determine how the accident occurred and who is at fault. They can also provide a visual representation or animation of the accident, which can be a powerful tool in court.
  • Medical professionals: Medical experts, such as doctors or physical therapists, can review your medical records and provide opinions on the severity of your injuries, the necessity of your treatments, and the long-term impact of your injuries on your life.

Expert witnesses can provide testimony that supports your claims, whether by establishing the fault of the truck driver or trucking company or by detailing the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. An attorney can work with expert witnesses and build a more robust case to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Look Into Compliance With Regulations

A skilled truck accident attorney can investigate whether the truck driver and trucking company complied with applicable regulations at the time of the accident, as any violations can strengthen your case.

For instance, if you can demonstrate the driver or trucking company violated relevant regulations, you can use this evidence of negligence and liability to secure compensation for your damages.

Some of the regulations that an attorney can examine include:

  • Hours of service regulations: These rules govern the maximum amount of time a truck driver can be on duty and behind the wheel. Violations of these regulations can result in driver fatigue and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Vehicle maintenance standards: Trucking companies must adhere to strict maintenance and inspection standards to ensure vehicle safety. Failure to comply with these standards can lead to equipment failures and accidents.
  • Driver qualifications: Truck drivers must meet specific qualifications, such as holding the appropriate driver's license and undergoing regular drug testing. A skilled truck accident attorney can examine whether the driver met these qualifications at the time of the accident.

The Discovery Process

The discovery process is a critical phase in any truck accident claim. An attorney can gather information and evidence from the opposing party during this time to help build and support your case, such as identifying potentially liable parties, proving fault, and strengthening your compensation claim.

A truck accident attorney may use various methods during the discovery process, including:

  • Interrogatories: The attorney will send these written questions to the opposing party, who must answer them under oath within a specified timeframe. An attorney can use interrogatories to gather information about the accident, the other parties involved, and their knowledge of relevant regulations.
  • Requests for documents: A lawyer may request documents from the opposing party, such as maintenance and inspection records, driver qualification files, or internal communications. These documents can help display patterns of negligence or non-compliance with regulations.
  • Depositions: Depositions are formal, recorded interviews in which witnesses or parties involved in the case answer questions under oath. An attorney may use depositions to gather information, clarify inconsistencies, or obtain admissions that support your claim.

Failing to file your claim within the statute of limitations for your case can result in losing your right to seek compensation.

The statute of limitations sets a time limit on how long you have to file a legal claim after an accident. Failing to file your claim within the statute of limitations may bar you from pursuing compensation for your damages. It's worth noting that there may be exceptions to this rule that can sometimes impact these timelines.

That is why you should consider discussing your accident with a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you can meet these deadlines and maximize your chances of success in your claim.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer and Go After the Compensation and Justice You Deserve

Preserve evidence in a truck accident claim to build a strong compensation case. An experienced truck accident lawyer can obtain police reports and medical records, work with expert witnesses, and preserve evidence to help you prove liability, determine the extent of your injuries, and secure the compensation you deserve.

You do not have to preserve this evidence on your own. A skilled truck accident attorney can handle this part of the process for you and build a strong case.

These lawyers can also collect, analyze, and use all the essential evidence to support your claim and seek the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Do not wait any longer. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney in Las Vegas today to go over your case for free.

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Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.