Gathering and Protecting Evidence After a Truck Accident
Aug. 8, 2023
Anyone who has been in a truck accident or knows someone who has knows that they can be some of the most devastating crashes. Naturally, if this has happened to you or a loved one, you’ll want to know your options for seeking compensation. Unlike an accident claim involving only passenger vehicles, a semi-truck accident claim can be far more complicated because most truck drivers are employees, and this means there are more parties who could be found liable. This makes gathering and preserving evidence after a truck accident essential to presenting a solid case.
To meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options, contact The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC. From his home offices in Flowood, Mississippi. Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. is able to serve those throughout Mississippi, including Brandon, Clinton, Pearl, Richland, and Rankin County.
The Importance of Gathering Evidence
In any lawsuit, gathering enough evidence and the right kind of evidence is key to filing a successful insurance claim and lawsuit. If you’re claiming that the other driver was responsible for the accident (or in this case, the truck driver was responsible for the 18-wheeler accident), you’ll need to support your claim with clear evidence.
Insurance companies are always trying to protect their bottom line, so if they can avoid paying out a large settlement, they will. They’ll try to poke holes in your story and discredit you, and the only way to counter this is with evidence that places the liability with the other party. If you do end up filing a lawsuit, the burden of proof will be on you (the plaintiff) to clearly show the other party was at fault and that you suffered damages due to their negligence.
Evidence That Should Be Gathered
One of the most important questions to ask after a crash like this is, “What evidence should I gather after a truck accident?” Although each case will be handled individually, there are some common pieces of evidence that you should gather, including:
Photos and videos of the scene of the accident
Witness testimony and contact information
Repair bills for any property damage
Your accident journal
Proof of lost income
Steps to Take to Preserve Evidence
In the days and weeks after an accident, it can be hard to know what to do next or what to do to start building a strong case. Here are some basic steps you can take to preserve evidence to be used in an insurance claim or lawsuit:
Go back to the scene: Even if you were able to take photos and talk to witnesses at the time of the accident, you should always revisit the accident scene in case you missed something. This should be done as soon as possible. You may notice details about the road conditions or missing signage, or you may be able to talk to shop owners or neighbors who either saw what happened or have video footage. Many people have security video feeds, and this could turn into crucial evidence.
Protect the evidence you have: For example, take detailed and high-resolution photos and videos of any damage (both to your body and your vehicle), and if possible, include a date and time stamp.
Get witness information: The sooner you talk to witnesses the better, so obtain testimony from them as soon as possible while the event is fresh in their minds. Additionally, impartial witnesses (other drivers or pedestrians) will be more credible than someone who was in the car with you.
Retain and organize all documents: This includes all medical records including bills, diagnosis, treatment programs, medications, and photos, as well as keeping a daily journal detailing how your injuries are affecting your daily life.
Get the Guidance You Need
If you’ve recently been hit by a truck driver and would like to sit down with a truck accident attorney for help gathering evidence to support your claim, call The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC in Flowood, Mississippi.