Truck accidents are stressful, traumatic, and confusing. Even if you’ve been in a car crash before, dealing with a truck accident not only feels very different but has drastically different outcomes. For that reason, it’s crucial that every driver know the most important evidence to have after a truck accident.
The first thing you need, as with any other motor vehicle crash, is to exchange insurance information. What you might not realize, however, is that you should also get the truck driver’s employment information. Here’s a quick checklist of all the information your attorney needs to make your case go as smoothly as possible:
- Driver’s Name
- Commercial Driver’s License Number
- License Plate
- Insurance Carrier
- Insurance Policy Number
- Employer’s Name
- Manager’s Contact Information
- Pictures of Each Side of Both Vehicles.
That said, truck accidents tend to cause more serious damage than other kinds of crashes. If you’re ever hit by a truck, it’s possible that you may be unable to exchange information firsthand and that you may need to rely on an official traffic accident to get the other driver’s insurance information.
In Ohio, if a crash results in injuries or a fatality, you are required to call the police and get a traffic accident report as soon as possible. While it’s good to have this for any crash, it is essential to have it after a truck accident.
As we discussed previously, a police report is one of the most important pieces of evidence you can have after a crash. It is an unbiased document recording the damages and potentially the circumstances leading up to the crash. It may also include witness statements and contact information, which can be invaluable testimony when determining who was at fault.
While the police report itself cannot prove fault, it is the first thing your attorney will ask for because it can prove that you were injured as a direct result of a crash.
When you’re hit by a truck, you should go directly to the hospital from the scene of the crash. Even if you don’t feel pain, adrenaline could numb you to the full extent of your injuries. Remember that trucks have the ability to cause an incredible amount of damage.
Your doctor can treat any external injuries (such as cuts or bleeding) and perform an examination to identify internal injuries such as fractures or organ damage. The sooner you identify these injuries, the sooner you can treat them.
Additionally, proper medical documentation combined with the police report will prove to the insurance companies that you were injured in a crash and are being treated for the resulting injuries. That evidence can make it easier to determine the full damages you are entitled to.
The Black Box
Most people don’t realize this, but semi-trucks have black boxes very similar to those on an airplane. This device records everything that’s happening aboard the truck, including speed, braking, maintenance concerns, and even whether the driver is using a seatbelt.
The data on this device is an essential piece to any truck accident case because it demonstrates how the driver responded in the moments before the crash. But as valuable as this technology is, it is also vulnerable.
Black box data is typically wiped clean every 30 days and can also be cleared manually. Therefore, it is essential that anyone involved in a trucking accident contact an attorney as soon as possible. Once you hire an attorney, they can request the data on the black box, ensuring it is preserved for examination. However, if you wait more than a few weeks after the crash, the data could be lost, and it may be harder to demonstrate the facts of your case.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a truck crash, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer from Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC, please don’t hesitate to call (614) 450-2223 or send us an email.