All traffic accidents can cause serious injury or even death, but accidents that involve large commercial trucks often have catastrophic results. The process of recovery can take months or even years, and may leave victims with permanent losses and disabilities.
Needless to say, it is always important to create a strong legal strategy when you file a personal injury claim after a commercial truck accident — otherwise, you may not receive the complete compensation that you deserve.
Protecting your rights and seeking fair compensation for your losses usually requires you to gather as much evidence as you can to support your claims. The longer that you wait to begin gathering, the less evidence you may have to work with.
Most evidence is time-sensitive
Evidence of commercial truck accidents may disappear rather quickly due to weather and clean-up crews, so you must not waste any time getting started. Your recovery and compensation may depend heavily on the quality and amount of evidence that you find.
Like all traffic accidents, it is wise to begin by taking pictures and video of the accident scene. Not only does this help document the damages, it also helps to establish the layout of the scene and may highlight causes of the accident after careful review.
You may also look for security camera footage, if there are any nearby homes or businesses with security cameras that caught the event. Don’t wait too long to ask for this footage, however, because it typically is only available for a few days before it is erased.
Commercial truck evidence
Commercial trucks involve two special kinds of evidence that may prove helpful, and you must ask for them as soon as you can. All commercial trucks and drivers should keep drivers’ logs and data from the electronic control module (ECM).
Reviewing the drivers’ logs may shed light on how long the driver was behind the wheel before the accident occurred. If they drove for longer than regulations allow without stopping to rest, this may support your claim.
Similarly, the ECM records data about the inner operations of the truck and the driver’s typical speed and braking habits. Be sure to ask the owner of the truck (not necessarily the driver) for the ECM data immediately. Until you make the request officially, the owner of the truck may erase the data from the ECM.
You can begin building your claim today with strong legal tools and guidance, keeping your rights and priorities covered and allowing you to focus all your energy on treating and recovering from your injuries. With a strong basis of evidence, a well-built claim can help protect you throughout your recovery and beyond.