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What Types of Evidence to Preserve After Truck Accidents

Updated May 23, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Gathering and analyzing evidence is a key part of any accident investigation. Although crashes involving large commercial trucks such as semis, tractor-trailers, and big rigs differ from other car crashes in many ways, the power of high-quality evidence remains the same.

The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation, and as a result, large commercial trucks are required to follow several federal regulations. Some of these regulations have the side effect of providing opportunities for additional types of evidence that can be used in personal injury lawsuits.

Evidence in Truck Accident Lawsuits

There are three main types of evidence unique to accidents involving large trucks: truck inspection reports, black box information, and high-tech devices. An attorney experienced in investigating truck accidents will collect and analyze this evidence to help create a strong personal injury case.

Truck Inspection Reports

When tractor-trailers are involved in an accident, they must have a certified truck inspector view the vehicle before it is removed from the scene. Although this report may be compiled by a state trooper, it is not included in an official accident report, which means you must ask for it separately. This inspection report will contain important information about the condition of the trailer and the truck.

Black Box Information

Many trucks are equipped with black boxes that provide a great deal of information about accidents. Black boxes can provide clues as to how fast a truck was going, when the driver applied the brakes, and how long the driver had operated without a rest period.

High-Tech Devices

There may be other high-tech devices inside the cab that could provide information about an accident. For example, many trucks are equipped with inclinometers that measure the slope at which a vehicle is traveling. On-board computers and GPS devices can also provide information that would be useful to an accident reconstruction.

Other Truck Accident Evidence

Depending on the circumstances of the truck accident, an attorney may gather a wide variety of additional evidence, including the following:

  • Truck driver’s hours of service documentation (logbooks)
  • Truck driver’s phone records
  • Truck driver’s qualifications (work history, driving records, personnel file, etc.)
  • Dispatch instructions
  • Weigh station and loading dock reports
  • Post-collision drug and alcohol test results
  • Witness reports
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Tire or gouge marks on the road

A legal team with experience in conducting investigations of truck crash scenes and aftermath is the best choice for victims of truck accidents.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today

After a truck accident, you must act quickly to obtain evidence. Knowing who to contact and what documents to request can be difficult, which is why we recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a truck accident, contact the Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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