The Most Important Evidence to Gather After a Truck Accident

by Staff Blogger | February 19th, 2024

Accidents with semi-trucks are among the most severe you can experience. These large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle and to your physical health.

Collecting the right evidence after a large truck crash can help you prove fault and hold the trucking company responsible for your damages. This can include pictures, black box data, and witness testimony that supports your claim.

Learn the most important evidence to gather for your truck accident case and how our California truck accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can use our resources and legal skills to help you collect it.

What Kinds of Evidence Do I Need?

After a truck accident, there are several pieces of evidence to collect that can help support your claim. Here’s a comprehensive list of what to gather with the help of your attorney:

  • Accident report. Obtain a copy of the police report from the accident. This report provides an objective account of the accident, including details about the parties involved, like the trucking company, driver’s name, and license plate. It may also contain the officer’s conclusion about who is at fault. Request the report by filling out the California Highway Patrol Collision Request form.
  • Detailed photographs. Capture clear images of the accident scene using your phone or a camera, emphasizing the size and positioning of the semi-truck. Include photos of the truck’s license plate, company name, and visible damage to its cargo or trailer. You can also photograph the tire marks, road conditions, and traffic signs, which can show how the accident occurred.
  • Witness information. Collect witness contact information, such as name, address, and phone number or email. Write it down or put it in your phone with their permission. Ask if they noticed anything specific about the truck’s operation, such as erratic driving, speeding, or cargo issues. This testimony can support your claim and provide insight into what caused the crash.
  • Medical documentation. Gather all documents related to your medical treatment after the crash. This includes hospital invoices, medical reports, X-rays, MRI scans, and prescriptions. These records connect your injuries to the accident, prove their severity, and provide a clear picture of your medical condition. Request your records through the hospital’s medical records department and your primary care physician, then share them with your lawyer.
  • Dashcam and surveillance footage. If available, obtain all footage of the accident, including dashcam footage, traffic camera, or surveillance video. These may have captured the truck’s movements before the accident, helping prove liability.

With the help of your attorney, contact local law enforcement agencies, nearby businesses with surveillance cameras, and relevant highway authorities to request all footage of the accident.

  • Black box data. Secure the semi-truck’s black box or Event Data Recorder (EDR) data from the vehicle. This data contains critical information, including speed, braking, and acceleration, that can help reconstruct the events leading to the accident and determine causation.

Your attorney can contact the trucking company or file a Motion to Preserve evidence to access and protect this information.

  • Electronic hour log records. Acquire the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) records as soon as possible from the truck. These records help assess compliance with hours-of-service regulations and identify potential driver fatigue issues that may have contributed to the accident.

Your lawyer can request these from the trucking company as part of your claim.

  • Trucking company information. Gather information about the trucking company, including insurance details and a history of safety violations. This can be important for understanding broader issues like company negligence or systemic safety failures.

Your legal team can communicate with the trucking company to collect this information during the investigation process.

  • Cargo records. Request information about the cargo the truck was carrying. Overloading or improper loading can contribute to accidents, affecting liability and the seriousness of your injuries.

Your attorney can obtain cargo records by contacting the trucking company’s records department or through legal discovery processes, including subpoenas and requests for the production of documents.

Evidence Gathering Tips

When gathering evidence for your case, you must move quickly to collect relevant documents, footage, and records. Our skilled attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can walk you through the evidence-gathering process and help you secure all relevant information.

Here are a few tips for gathering effective evidence:

  • Act promptly. Begin gathering evidence as soon as possible. Memories fade, and physical evidence can deteriorate over time.
  • Document everything. Keep a detailed record of events, conversations, and any relevant information. Make a digital copy of paper records and save them in a secure, cloud-based file you can easily access when needed.
  • Communicate with legal professionals. Consult with an attorney early in the process. They can guide you in evidence collection, ensuring you gather information vital to your case.
  • Preserve the evidence chain. Maintain a clear and documented chain of custody for physical evidence by recording each instance of possession and handling. This helps protect its integrity and admissibility in court.

Work With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers

Collecting the right evidence after a serious truck accident can help you win the compensation you deserve. Our team at Berg Injury Lawyers has over four decades of experience with personal injury cases. We know what evidence to look for and how to obtain it for your claim.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your medical records and the evidence you collected and start investigating your claim to get you a fair settlement.