Those who have been involved in a trucking accident may be all too aware of how quickly evidence can disappear following the accident. Most large trucking companies have attorneys on retainer who immediately go to the site of a trucking accident, with a goal of minimizing the company’s liability for the accident. Evidence can be the key to determining who was at fault in the accident, as well as determining the extent of loss for the victims of the truck accident. Truck accidents are much more complex than “normal” auto accidents. One reason for this is the fact that there may be a number of responsible parties for the accident, rather than one.
The truck driver could be at fault if he or she was distracted, fatigued, impaired or driving recklessly. The trucking company could be liable if they failed to do a thorough background check on the driver, or failed to ensure he or she was properly trained. The truck manufacturer could be at fault if a defective part caused the accident. The truck maintenance company could be at fault if normal, regular maintenance was not performed. Finally, the loading company could be held liable if shifting cargo or falling cargo caused the accident.
Preserving Evidence Following Your Accident
The many complexities associated with a trucking accident make it absolutely essential that the evidence in the case be properly preserved. An experienced trucking accident attorney who is brought into the case early on will make sure the evidence is preserved in order to safeguard your case. In the meantime, there are things you can do to help your attorney do his or her job on your behalf. These include:
- Make sure you see a doctor following your trucking accident. Even if you do not think you are badly hurt, you may later realize your injuries are more extensive than you realized. In many instances, the adrenaline rush which occurs following an accident can mask injury symptoms, so do not refuse medical attention under the assumption that you are “fine.”
- Ask for a copy of the police report. This accident report can have invaluable information including citations issued, arrests made, and witness statements.
- Ask your attorney about sending spoliation letters. A spoliation letter is a formal, written notice which directs a certain party or entity to retain evidence related to your claim from the truck accident. Trucking companies are only required to retain certain records for a specific period of time, therefore important evidence could potentially disappear unless a spoliation letter is sent.
- If you are able, return to the scene of the accident as quickly as you can. Tire tread marks, nearby surveillance cameras or crash debris near the site might all be crucial evidence in your claim.
- Any documentation you have relating to your trucking accident should be kept carefully, in a safe place. Any medical treatment you receive related to the accident, or any medical expenses you incur related to the trucking accident should be carefully preserved.
- If you have photographs of the scene of the accident, make sure you have a backup copy of all the photos.
If you fail to make a formal attempt to save all evidence related to your accident, you could find yourself shocked and dismayed by how much of that evidence has mysteriously disappeared by the time you go to trial. If you do not have the evidence to back up your claim of negligence on the part of the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance company, truck manufacturer or loading company you could find yourself injured, unable to work, with medical bills mounting alarmingly.
Contact Our Oregon Trucking Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. Without a lawyer on your side, however, recovering the money you need may be difficult. Keith Dozier and his associates have successfully recovered millions for injured accident victims in Portland, Vancouver, Lake Oswego, Salem, and throughout the state of Oregon. Call us today at (503) 594-0333 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Speak to an Oregon trucking accident attorney as soon as you can following your trucking accident.