Important Records to Obtain After a Truck Accident
July 23, 2021 • Truck Accidents
A commercial truck accident in Omaha could give you life-altering injuries. Although no amount of money can reverse these injuries, a successful truck accident lawsuit could help you move on by paying for your related expenses, including medical bills and property damage repairs. Before you can obtain financial compensation for a truck accident in Nebraska, however, you or your truck accident lawyer will need to prove the truck driver or company’s fault. You may be able to do this by obtaining key records in the aftermath of your crash.
Always call the police after a collision involving a commercial truck in Omaha. These accidents are almost always serious enough to legally require police reporting. Even if the crash was minor, calling the police can help you with an insurance claim. The police report will contain important information about the crash, including the time, date and exact location, as well as the truck driver and company’s identifying information.
A police report will also contain evidence of any infractions cited at the crash scene. For example, if a police officer believes that the truck driver is intoxicated, the officer may conduct a breathalyzer test and put it on the police report that the truck driver was arrested for driving under the influence. A citation could help you establish the truck driver’s fault during an injury claim.
An insurance company will require proof of your injuries before issuing medical benefits. This proof generally comes in the form of your medical records. Request copies of the medical records related to your crash injuries from the doctor or hospital and submit them to the insurance company.
Submitting your own records, rather than signing a medical authorization release form, is the best way to protect your rights when negotiating an insurance claim. You may also need other records to prove additional losses, such as pay stubs if you’re claiming lost wages and vehicle damage estimates.
Electronic Logging Device Records
Most commercial trucks have electronic logging devices, such as the truck’s black box, that automatically collect data about trips. It is important to preserve this evidence, as it may have proof that the truck driver caused the crash through a mistake such as speeding or yanking the steering wheel. A truck accident attorney can help you file a letter of spoliation and take other steps to ensure that the trucking company does not destroy key evidence from electronic logging devices.
An attorney can also help you gain access to the trucking company’s maintenance records. Maintenance records can contain information such as when the truck was last inspected, whether it had issues that were not repaired before the crash and when it was due for routine maintenance. If the trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck and this led to a part breakdown, such as a tire blowout, the company could be responsible for a related crash.
Safety Compliance Records
Truck companies have to obey federal safety laws in all of their processes, including hiring and training truck drivers, testing for driver intoxication, maintaining fleet vehicles, and loading cargo. If a truck company or one of its drivers has a history of violating the rules, this will be recorded in the company’s Department of Transportation safety rating. Obtaining records related to company safety compliance can help you establish liability.
How Can an Omaha Truck Accident Attorney Help?
It may also serve you well to obtain copies of the truck driver’s cell phone records, employment records, driving records and more. A truck accident lawyer in Omaha can help you preserve and gather copies of all important documents, as well as other evidence that could help you prove a case against a trucking company or another party. Contact an attorney today for more information about evidence collection after a truck accident.