FREE CONSULTATION (573) 341.8336
(573) 341.8336

The Importance of Preserving Truck Accident Evidence

unnamed (1)

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s 2021 report, 156 people lost their lives accidents in the state of Missouri involving a commercial vehicle. Even more victims suffered injuries and losses as a result of catastrophic truck accidents. In many cases, trucking companies will quickly have a team of their insurance adjusters and investigators at a truck accident to attempt to ensure that the evidence is collected and preserved in a way favorable to their side. The preservation of evidence following a trucking accident can help ensure that a victim’s legal and financial rights are protected. If you, or someone you love, was involved in a Missouri trucking accident, consider visiting with the experienced Missouri truck accident attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley at (573) 341-8336 to learn all of your legal options. 

Why Is Preserving Truck Accident Evidence Important?

After a truck accident, victims often feel overwhelmed. Many suffer serious injuries resulting in pain, the inability to return to work, medical expenses and treatments, and property damage. Preserving truck accident evidence can significantly impact the victim’s ability to prove their case and recover the compensation they deserve under the law. The following are some of the most important reasons that a victim should prioritize preserving the evidence in their Missouri truck accident case. 

Support a Truck Accident Victim’s Claim

Having authentic, accurate, and appropriately gathered evidence from a trucking accident helps individuals to build a strong case against the negligent party. Trucking accident evidence can include witness testimony, photographs of the accident scene and surrounding area, documentation regarding truck driver and truck maintenance logs, and more. The evidence collected immediately after a truck accident can help ensure that a victim’s legal and financial rights remain protected. 

Potentially Maximize a Victim’s Compensation

Securing compensation from a trucking company following a truck accident requires the victim to prove that the other party caused the underlying accident and that the injured party suffered damages. By appropriately preserving truck accident evidence that accurately reflects the cause and result of the accident, the victim may increase their chances of receiving a fair settlement and justice under the law.

Ensure Statute of Limitations Deadlines Are Met

According to the Missouri Revised Statutes, trucking accident victims have five years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. While exceptions apply that can shorten or lengthen the statute of limitations deadline, in most cases, failing to meet this deadline can prohibit victims from ever filing a claim against a negligent truck driver, trucking company, or trucking manufacturer. Preserving truck accident evidence can help ensure that victims file a claim within this deadline, and do not miss out on an opportunity to recover compensation to which they are otherwise entitled under Missouri law.

What Types of Evidence Are Important in a Truck Accident Case?

Victims of trucking accidents can present evidence to support their claim for compensation under the law in three categories: physical evidence, documentary evidence, and witness testimony. All three are important in establishing a potentially successful insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver or party after a truck accident.

Physical Evidence

Injured parties can use physical evidence to provide documentation regarding the cause of the trucking accident, the damage that occurred during the accident, and the injuries and losses suffered following the accident. Physical evidence can include the following: 

  • Recordings from the commercial truck’s “black box”
  • Photographs of tire tracks and the surrounding area of the trucking accident scene
  • Photographs of damaged vehicles and property
  • Photographs of the trucking accident scene
  • Video recordings of the truck accident 

Documentary Evidence

Documentary evidence includes information regarding the trucking accident itself, as well as documentation surrounding the injuries and losses suffered by the victim. Documentary evidence can include the following: 

  • Police accident reports
  • Medical records (showing the physical and/or emotional injuries suffered by a victim)
  • Employment records (showing the inability of a victim to return to work following a trucking accident) 
  • Trucking travel logs (showing the schedule, rest times, and maintenance documentation of the truck driver and commercial vehicle)

Witness Statements

Witness statements also serve an important role in a trucking accident case. Witness testimony can be incredibly important to clearly articulate the circumstances of the trucking accident, possible negligent or reckless behavior, and other details that clarify the event. It is important to obtain witness testimony as soon as possible following a trucking accident, in order to ensure accuracy before memories begin to fade. 

How Can a Victim Preserve Truck Accident Evidence?

Taking steps to preserve evidence from a truck accident can significantly impact the effectiveness of a legal claim to compensation for injuries and losses suffered. The two most important steps are for victims to act swiftly and to keep accurate records of the trucking accident, their monetary losses, and their physical and emotional injuries. 

Act Promptly

Victims can help preserve key evidence by taking swift action. Obtaining information quickly can increase the chance that the trucking company logs (miles traveled, rest periods, payload, and vehicle data) are available and not routinely deleted before they are requested. If a trucking accident victim decides to hire a trucking accident attorney, they may have the ability to obtain this information more quickly. The experienced Missouri trucking accident attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley can issue spoliation letters to trucking companies to ensure that the evidence in your trucking accident is preserved before it is destroyed and lost forever. 

Keep Accurate Records

Victims of a truck accident should keep detailed records and a diary recording all medical appointments, pain suffered, emotional trauma, inability to work, loss of wages, and personal notes regarding the trucking accident. 

Visit with the Experienced Missouri Trucking Accident Attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley To Learn More

Preserving truck accident evidence is incredibly important to help build a strong case against a trucking company. If you feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps following your trucking accident, our experienced legal team would welcome the opportunity to visit with you to help you learn more about your legal rights. For help understanding the role of evidence in your case, consider scheduling a consultation with our dedicated Missouri trucking accident attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley by calling (573) 341-8336 today.