Logging Truck overturned after collision in accident on highway

Gathering and Protecting Evidence After a Truck Collision

Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. April 27, 2024

In the aftermath of a truck collision, the steps you take can significantly affect your ability to secure fair compensation for your damages or losses. One critical aspect of building a strong personal injury or wrongful death case involves gathering and protecting evidence that can establish liability and demonstrate the extent of the damages incurred.  

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we're experienced in handling truck collision cases, and we can help you understand what information you should gather after a truck collision and the best way to collect it.  

Gathering the Right Evidence in Truck Collision Cases 

Evidence plays a pivotal role in truck collision cases. It allows investigators and insurance companies to reconstruct the accident, identify the parties at fault, and quantify the damages. Without proper evidence, it can be challenging to prove who was responsible for the collision and the extent of your injuries. 

When it comes to truck collisions, due to the involvement of large commercial vehicles, there's a wealth of potentially relevant evidence that you should collect. To protect your rights and work toward fair compensation, all relevant evidence should be gathered as soon as possible after a truck collision to prevent loss or tampering. This includes the following: 

  • Photos and Videos: Immediately take photos of the accident scene, damage to vehicles or road signs, and any visible injuries. Additionally, try to obtain surveillance footage from nearby cameras, which can provide an unbiased account of the collision. 

  • Medical Records: Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the truck collision, even if you don't think you're injured. Some injuries may not become apparent until later, but having medical records to support your claims can strengthen your case and detail the extent of the injuries you suffered due to the collision. 

  • Police Reports: Contact law enforcement immediately after a truck collision to report the incident. Obtain a copy of their formal report. This report will contain valuable information such as the names of the parties involved, witness statements and contact information, and any citations or charges issued. 

  • Witness Statements: Eyewitness accounts can offer valuable perspectives on the accident that may not be evident from the physical evidence alone. Be sure to obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses present, as you may need to call on them later for additional testimony or information. 

  • Truck Driver Records: Due to the demands of delivery schedules, truck drivers often work long hours, which can lead to driver fatigue. Obtaining a copy of the truck driver's record can indicate whether the driver was working beyond their legally permitted hours. 

  • Driver Vehicle Logs: Many trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices and other systems that record the speed, braking, and other operational data when a collision occurs. Obtaining a copy of these logs can help identify fault and potential negligence.  

  • Truck Maintenance Records: These documents can reveal whether a lack of maintenance or neglect in the truck's upkeep contributed to the accident. 

How to Best Protect Your Evidence 

Once you've gathered relevant evidence, it's vital to safeguard it from being lost, destroyed, or tampered with. Some effective ways to protect your evidence after a truck collision include: 

  • Make Digital Copies: Digitally scan or photograph all physical documents, such as police reports or medical records, and keep a backup copy in case the original is lost or damaged. 

  • Back-Up Digital Evidence: Back up any digital evidence, such as photos, videos, or audio files in case of damage to your phone or camera. 

  • Secure Physical Evidence: Store any physical documents and physical evidence, such as damaged vehicle parts or clothing, in one safe and secure location. Label and date them for future reference. 

  • Observe Chain of Custody: Keep detailed documentation of who had access to the evidence and when. If your case goes to trial, a chain of custody for all evidence will be crucial.  

  • Work With Experienced Attorneys: At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we have extensive experience handling truck collision cases. We can help guide you through the process of gathering and protecting evidence while adhering to legal protocols. 

  • Avoid Disclosure: Do not discuss any details of the accident or share evidence with anyone other than your attorney. This will help avoid potential tampering or manipulation of evidence by the opposing party. 

  • Consult an Attorney: Engaging a lawyer immediately after the accident can help make sure your evidence is collected legally and preserved correctly. A lawyer can also issue a spoliation letter to prevent the other party from destroying evidence. 

Tips for Gathering and Protecting Evidence After a Truck Collision 

Being involved in a truck collision can be overwhelming, but you can implement certain practical tips and best practices to make sure your evidence is properly gathered and well protected: 

  • Act Quickly: Start gathering evidence as soon as it is safe to do so. Delays can lead to lost, damaged, or tampered evidence. 

  • Use Technology: Utilize your smartphone for taking photos and videos of the scene, damages, and any injuries. Capture any different angles and details that could be relevant. 

  • Sketch the Scene: While fresh in your memory, sketch the accident scene, including the vehicle positions, traffic signs, and road conditions. This can provide context to photos and reports. 

  • Preserve Physical Evidence: Don’t repair your vehicle immediately. The damage to your vehicle is important physical evidence. If repairs are necessary, document the damage extensively before conducting any repairs. 

  • Keep Detailed Records: Document everything related to the accident. This includes medical visits, repair estimates, and any out-of-pocket expenses. These documents can help support your claim. 

  • Use Discretion on Social Media: Avoid posting any details or updates about the accident, your injuries, or any legal proceedings on social media platforms. Statements made online could potentially be used against you during the claims process. 

Legal Counsel You Can Trust 

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we are experienced in handling truck collision cases and will take immediate steps to help you secure the evidence necessary for your claim. Our experienced attorney will work tirelessly to help you gather all the relevant evidence and offer suggestions for the best ways to protect it.  

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck collision in Nebraska, contact us to request a consultation. Located in Omaha, we proudly serve clients in the surrounding counties, including Douglas County, Sarpy County, Dodge County, and Lancaster County.