Preserving Vital Proof Necessary to Support Your Truck Crash Claim

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Build a Strong, Evidenced-Based Case With Help From Our Washington Truck Accident Lawyer 

The physical and emotional toll of coping with your truck collision injuries and how they affect your life is immense. You may also face significant financial burdens from medical bills and lost wages—and the evidence you need for a successful truck accident case can be complicated and challenging to obtain on your own. Additionally, how can you focus on recovery when you have to wage a legal battle against the negligent truck driver or company responsible for the crash? 

Our experienced Washington truck accident legal team at Max Meyers Law understands the complexities of truck collision claims and will fight tirelessly to preserve all the necessary evidence to build a strong case on your behalf. 

Evidence You Can Collect Right After Your Washington Truck Crash

Semi-truck accidents have devastating consequences. The vehicle’s massive size and weight create tremendous force, frequently resulting in catastrophic injuries. However, to recover compensation, you or a family member has to establish that the operator or trucking company was at fault for the incident. 

In any truck collision claim, evidence is crucial for building a strong case and fighting the insurance company's attempts to deny your claim or try to make you accept a lower settlement. The sooner you compile valuable proof of negligence, the better chance you have of securing the information you need. 

At Max Meyers Law, we have decades of experience advising our clients on how to collect key pieces of evidence at the crash scene and in the following days. They include: 

  • Police report. The police report is a foundational document that details the responding officer's observations of the accident scene, driver statements, and preliminary findings regarding the cause of the crash.
  • Contact information. Get the names and contact details of the semi driver, the trucking company that employs them, and their insurance company. You can’t file a claim without this information.
  • Eyewitness contact information. If anyone saw the truck accident, ask for their number, address, and email, too. Their witness statements can be invaluable in corroborating your account of events, especially if they don’t know you and don't have a stake in the outcome of your case.
  • Photographs. Take pictures of the accident scene from various angles, capturing the damage to the truck and your vehicle, skid marks, debris on the roadway, and any traffic signs or signals that may have been a factor in the collision. You should also take photos of any visible injuries you suffered.
  • Medical bills. Keep copies of all your expenses related to the accident, including doctor visits, diagnostic tests, medications, and physical therapy sessions.
  • Pay stubs. If you can’t work because of your injuries, gather your pay stubs to document your lost wages.

Unique Evidence Needed in Truck Accident Cases

Commercial vehicle crashes differ in many ways from other motor vehicle collisions. Trucking companies and truck operators are subject to a stricter set of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which may have been violated in your truck wreck. The vehicle might also have clues to vital evidence necessary to prove your claim. 

However, obtaining this evidence can be impossible because fleet companies possess these documents and won’t give them to you voluntarily. This is another reason why hiring a skilled truck accident attorney provides stronger leverage in your claim.  

At Max Meyers Law, we immediately send the trucking company a spoliation letter informing it of your claim and explicit instructions not to destroy any evidence related to the incident. We might also request:

  • Insurance policies. These include both the driver's and trucking company's standards of coverage to determine the policy limits and be certain they have adequate insurance coverage to compensate you.
  • The semi’s black box. Modern commercial large trucks often have electronic data recorders, similar to airplane black boxes, that capture critical information such as speed, braking patterns, and engine performance at the time of the crash.
  • Dashcam video footage. Many semi-trucks are equipped with dashcams facing outward or inside the truck that record while the trucker is behind the wheel. Reviewing this footage provides more insight into how the operator’s actions may have caused your accident.
  • Driver's personnel file. This includes their qualifications to operate this type of vehicle and if they’re medically certified to do so under FMCSA rules. It may also contain records of past accidents, traffic violations, or disciplinary actions that could be relevant to your case.
  • Trucker's logbook. Federal hours of service regulations mandate that drivers maintain a logbook documenting how long they’re on the road without a break and the rest breaks they take. Determining if there are violations of these regulations—and if this negligence caused the collision—is another vital piece of evidence for your case. 
  • Trip receipts. Unfortunately, the trucker who caused your injuries could have falsified their logbook. Receipts for fuel purchases, meals, and tolls must be compared to the logbook to prove the driver really followed regulations for rest breaks. 
  • Maintenance records. If the crash was caused by a mechanical failure due to improper maintenance, faulty parts, or a lack of required FMCSA inspections, this evidence supports a claim of negligence. 
  • Emails and cellphone records. These records may shed light on whether the trucker was texting, emailing, or calling someone at the time of your truck accident. In addition, communications between the driver and their employer may help establish the cause of the wreck and whether the company encouraged them to violate FMCSA rules.
  • Drug and alcohol testing results. Requesting information from drug or alcohol tests administered to the truck driver after the accident and during random testing helps determine if intoxication was a cause of your semi-truck accident.

Attorney Max Meyers has a track record of success in helping people just like you, including obtaining a multi-million dollar settlement in a truck accident wrongful death case. Trust us to doggedly pursue all aspects of evidence and ensure their preservation to reinforce your claim. 

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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.