If you recently experienced an accident involving a commercial truck, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of building your claim and pursuing it. Unlike accidents between consumer drivers, commercial truck accidents typically involve the driver's employer, the owner of the truck itself or some other party who may be responsible for the damages.
Do not assume that the other party will do the right thing and volunteer full compensation for all of your losses and injuries. In reality, the party who is responsible for the accident will probably do everything they can to reduce the amount they must pay, especially if the accident involves a large corporation with a strong legal team.
To seek full compensation and protect your rights, you must build a sturdy legal strategy using as much evidence as you can find at the scene and within the truck. A well-built claim keeps your rights secure.
Quickly gather evidence
Collect pictures and video footage of the scene of the accident to document other evidence that may explain how the accident occurred. Look for security camera footage that may show the accident. Nearby businesses and homes may have this footage, but you must ask for it quickly, before it gets erased.
Record statements from witnesses and other victims in the accident with your phone. If you do not have a way to record audio, ask for written statements instead.
Request the driver's logs from the truck driver and the electronic control module data. Drivers' logs detail when they stopped to rest between hauls, and whether they are following industry guidelines.
The data in the electronic control module outlines driving statistics over a period of 30 days, such as top speed, average speed, frequency of braking and use of safety features like airbags and seat belts.
You must request this information in writing from the owner of the truck. Until the owner receives your request, they may legally delete the data. The longer you wait to request the data, the more likely it will be gone by the time you ask for it.
Don't wait to begin
If you suffered serious injuries in a commercial truck accident, do not wait to receive medical attention. This only gives your injuries time to worsen, and possibly cause permanent damage.
Similarly, you should not wait to begin building your injury claim. The sooner that you start, the sooner that you can keep your rights covered and your priorities secure while you fight for full, just compensation.