Home / Blog / The Importance of Getting a Lawyer Involved Early in a Truck Crash

Collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles often cause devastating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal organ damage. Getting an attorney as soon as possible ensures critical evidence will be preserved which could significantly increase your chances of obtaining a maximum recovery for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages.

Truck crashes often have multiple liable parties, and your legal team can investigate to determine who they are. Hiring a truck crash lawyer can help you get the financial compensation needed to maximize your recovery.

What the Trucking Company Does in an Accident

Trucking companies work with their insurance companies to protect their interests. They immediately send a crash team to the scene of the crash to investigate and begin developing arguments to disprove your claim and avoid liability while you are still in the hospital or grieving the loss of your loved one.

Insurance company investigators will take many of the same steps as your lawyer, but they will look specifically for evidence to use against you. This evidence might include accident reconstruction, surveillance footage, witness interviews, police reports, and photographs of the accident scene.

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Title 49 §390.15, the trucking company must cooperate with your attorney’s investigation. However, they do not have to turn over the results of their inquiry.

Why Early Investigation Matters

Truck accident cases involve more complexity than other crashes because multiple people might share liability. A speeding, overweight truck that had the brakes fail in an accident may have at least three liable parties: the cargo loaders, truck drivers, and repair technicians.

The trucking company can also be liable for overworking drivers or hiring under-qualified drivers. The brake or truck manufacturer may also share liability if defective parts or design contributed to the accident.

According to The Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers cause 87% of truck accidents, and vehicular failures cause 10%. Winning your case requires proof that the defendant acted negligently, that those actions resulted in your accident, and that the accident caused your injuries.

When you work with an experienced truck accident attorney, they can take steps to look into potential liability through the preservation of evidence.

How Your Lawyer Can Prove Your Claim

Hiring a personal injury attorney immediately allows them to preserve evidence that could be compromised, such as the truck’s black box and driver logs, and interview witnesses while their memories are still fresh. They may also investigate the trucking company and all parties liable for the accident.

Investigate the trucking company

Your lawyer can examine the records of the driver and the trucking company to look for proof of negligence and patterns of negligence. They can also comb through the truck’s data recorder information, looking for evidence of mechanical failure. Your lawyer may also subpoena records, if you believe the driver was distracted by a cellphone.

Send an anti-spoliation letter

If the trucking company’s investigators have an important piece of evidence in their possession, such as the truck driver’s logs, your lawyer can send a letter of preservation to prevent the spoliation of critical evidence. The letter makes them aware the evidence is crucial and cannot be compromised.

Interview witnesses for their testimonies

Obtaining witness statements as soon as possible is important for your case. Your accident attorney can interview witnesses shortly after the crash to discover the important facts for proving your case. Your attorney may have a witness to sign a written statement stating what they saw or obtain a recorded verbal statement to preserve the witness’s account long after memories fade.

Save surveillance footage

Local businesses and commercial buildings near the site of the accident may have footage of the crash from their surveillance cameras. However, this critical evidence could be deleted or recorded over if not requested to be preserved within a short time after the accident. If your accident took place near a commercial building, such as a parking garage, the attorney can visit the place to inquire about any cameras and take measures to preserve the footage.

Choose a Lawyer to Help You with Your Claim

When you are injured in a truck accident, you should work with a lawyer to collect important evidence and help you obtain the maximum recovery you deserve. The Indianapolis truck crash attorneys with Wagner Reese have more than 150 combined years of experience representing victims of negligence. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and let us help you hold the right party accountable for your injuries.