How To Preserve Evidence After A Truck Accident

April 8, 2019 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
How To Preserve Evidence After A Truck Accident

Preserving evidence after a truck accident is extremely important if you want to have a chance of recovering fair compensation for your damages. While there are certain things you can do in the moments after the crash, there are also steps an attorney can take to help preserve evidence that might be crucial to your case. Below, our Cincinnati truck accident attorneys discuss what you can do after a truck accident to protect and gather evidence. Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation right now.

Seek Medical Attention

If you were injured in a truck accident, it is important to have a doctor evaluate you as soon as possible. Not only does this ensure you are treated for all your injuries, including the obvious ones and ones you are not aware of it also documents your accident and shows the severity and extent of your injuries.

Collect Witness Statements

Witnesses provide valuable details about your accident. If there are witnesses on the scene, collect names and contact information right away. This contact information will allow your attorney to reach out and collect statements when investigating your claim. You should also ask witnesses what they remember and take notes. Witnesses may forget details later on.

Take Pictures Of The Scene

Take photos of the accident scene from a variety of different angles to help your attorney get a better idea of what happened before the collision. Make sure the photos are clear and detailed. You may also want to take notes about some of the photos so you know the location, date and time, and the angle of picture.

Request A Copy Of The Police Report

Request a copy of the accident report made by the responding law enforcement agency. The accident report may have critical details that are helpful to your case, such as:
  • Witness contact information
  • Witness statements
  • The officer’s notes on what happened
  • Any citations or arrests related to the accident

Submit Preservation Letters

Preservation letters, also called spoliation, litigation hold or stop destruction letters, are formal notices that direct another party to keep certain items that may be held as evidence in a legal claim. A preservation letter prohibits a party from destroying evidence that may be critical to your case after the time limit on recordkeeping has passed. Motor carriers are required by state or federal regulations to hold certain records for a period of time, but not after, unless a preservation letter is issued. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a truck driver’s record of duty be kept by the truck company for six months – after this time period, the truck company could destroy the records. In a truck accident, preservation letters should address the specifics of the trucking accident and your claim. Your attorney can submit preservation letters to preserve evidence including:
  • Evidence relating to the truck, such as:
    • Maintenance and repair records
    • Electronic onboard recorder (EOBR) data
    • GPS data
    • The truck itself
  • Evidence about the driver, such as:
    • Employment history
    • Driving records
    • Credentials
    • Training records
    • Medical exam certificates
    • Drug test records
    • Driving log
  • Evidence relating to the truck company, such as:
    • Out-of-service orders
    • Employee handbooks
    • Employee policy records
    • Company safety records
Preservation letters should identify you as the plaintiff and include the following information:
  • Truck license plate number
  • Date, time and location of the accident
  • What evidence you are asking the company to preserve
  • How you want the evidence preserved

Contact A Qualified Lawyer For Assistance With Your Claim

If you were injured in an accident with a commercial truck, our Cincinnati truck accident attorneys will fight to recover the compensation you deserve. We have helped many victims recover maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Request a free, no obligation consultation today. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation on your behalf.