How to Preserve Evidence Before in Your Truck Crash Case
In any motor vehicle accident, you'll need evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence. This is especially important in a truck crash where your need for compensation could be greater due to the severity of your injuries, recovery time away from work, or any potential disabilities.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding safety and record keeping, so the evidence you need to prove any accident negligence in your case can be different than in a passenger vehicle crash. Unfortunately, much of the evidence necessary to prove their liability is in their control. How do you obtain it before the trucking company loses or destroys this vital information?
How to Preserve Evidence in a Truck Accident Case
Your first step in gathering necessary evidence is to hire an experienced truck accident attorney. He understands the unique challenges in truck accident cases and, based on the facts of your case, knows what's important to obtain. He may do the following in order to preserve evidence before it's lost or destroyed:
- View the crash scene. If you retain an attorney immediately—always a good idea—he can either visit the scene of your wreck or hire an expert to do so. This can give your attorney more insight into how your accident occurred and result in the discovery of proof, such as skid marks or road defects, important to your case.
- Interview witnesses. Your attorney could interview eye witnesses to your crash soon after it occurred before their memories of what happened fade or they move, making locating them difficult.
- Send a spoliation letter. Your attorney should send a spoliation letter as soon as possible to advise the trucking company of your claim and demand that it not destroy the information requested in the letter. Under FMCSA regulations, the trucking company is prohibited from destroying what is demanded and other evidence that could be helpful to your case.
- File a temporary restraining order. Depending on the trucking company’s response to the spoliation letter or other facts in your case, your attorney may file an immediate lawsuit and ask the judge to issue a temporary restraining order preventing the company from repairing or altering the truck or its components, or destroying other evidence crucial to your claim.
- Hire an expert. Depending on the disputes in your claim, your attorney may hire an accident reconstruction expert who can use a variety of evidence to reenact your crash and prove the trucker’s negligence was the cause of it.
- Obtain surveillance tapes. If your accident occurred near a business, your attorney may contact it to obtain surveillance tapes that may have recorded your crash. It's important to do this quickly before the recordings are taped over.
Attorney Alan Morton has helped truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for more than 30 years. If you or a loved one was hurt in one of these wrecks, call our office to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Morton to learn how he can help you.