An accident caused by a large commercial truck can cause devastating injuries and severe damage. They typically cause more chaos than typical passenger car accidents because of their size and the complexity of seeking compensation. Under Ohio personal injury law, you are entitled to what would make you financially whole after an accident with a semi-truck.
But proving your injuries were caused by the truck driver or their employer is critical to collecting everything you’re owed. Your best opportunity to secure the maximum possible award through a personal injury lawsuit is with concrete evidence.
Evidence Is Critical for Truck Injury Claims
Truck accidents are more complicated than most passenger car accidents for several reasons. Accidents involving large commercial trucks can have several liable parties besides the driver. Trucking companies also have entire legal teams and considerable resources. By their nature, trucks are also larger than cars, and that size difference leads to more significant damage and injuries.
As an industry, truck drivers must follow specific regulations designed to protect the public and other drivers. Evidence can show when a trucker violates those regulations and should be held accountable. If you’re injured in a truck accident, you’re fighting an uphill battle, and evidence can give you an advantage.
Key Evidence for Max Truck Accident Compensation
In any civil lawsuit, you need evidence to prove your point. In a truck accident injury lawsuit, you usually accuse a truck driver and their employer that they share fault for the injuries and damages you experienced because of the crash.
Your case will need some standard injury lawsuit evidence, like your medical reports, the police crash report, or eyewitness accounts. Aside from these typical pieces of evidence, large commercial truck accident cases may involve other ways to prove the trucker contributed to your accident.
Examples of truck accident evidence include:
- “Black box” data— also known as “event data recorders,” this device functions like a black box on an airplane. It records data relevant to the truck’s movement and performance. That includes the truck’s GPS data, operating hours, speed, and whether the brakes were applied.
- Hours of Service (HOS) log— truck drivers must record their actions during a shift. They keep track of breaks and operating hours in their HOS log.
- In-Cab Camera — these simple rear- or front-facing cameras in the truck can record the driver’s behavior or driving habits. This camera can capture how the driver operates on the road, like if they’re weaving between lanes or following too close. It can also show if they are driving distractedly, depending on which way the camera’s pointing: into the cabin or over the hood.
- Hiring and supervision records — these employment records might reveal whether the trucking company conducted the proper background checks or knew about a driver’s history of unsafe driving when they hired them.
- Maintenance records — this data can show when a truck was serviced or, if necessary, maintenance was overlooked, leading to an accident. Poorly maintained trucks can be hazardous.
- Physical evidence — evidence from the scene can help show how the crash occurred and why the driver was at fault. A crash reconstructionist can illustrate how the collision happened using evidence from the crash site.
- Cell phone records — a driver’s cell phone records will show whether they were talking on the phone or texting immediately before or while the accident happened, indicating they were distracted while operating their truck.
- Alcohol and drug testing — these tests can show whether a driver was under the influence of controlled substances during the crash.
Collecting Evidence After a Truck Accident
Finding and keeping evidence after a large truck crash can be difficult because most data belongs to the trucking company. You’ll likely need an attorney’s help to get to it. The driver’s company may need to be compelled to hand over evidence that might support your claim, but there is a legal solution to that.
Some data, like that stored on a black box, only needs to be stored for a certain time before it can be recorded over or deleted. Other data might have more time, but you should still act quickly. If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, you need that evidence preserved.
Your attorney can submit a “preservation of evidence” letter. Also called a “spoilation of evidence” letter, this document advises the company that the truck accident will likely be the subject of litigation, and the black box contains pertinent information that must be preserved.
This puts the responsibility on the trucking company to save that data or risk penalties if they don’t. Once you’ve preserved the relevant evidence, your attorney can file your lawsuit and send letters to request production from the trucking company. These documents ask the company to send you and your attorney any relevant information to your case, like the driver’s records or the black box data. If the company doesn’t comply, a motion to compel discovery could be filed with the court, making them cooperate.
Why Hire an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer?
Pursuing compensation from the at-fault parties for a truck accident can be difficult, even if the situation seems cut and dry. Trucking companies might feel they have the resources to wait you out as you strive for a fair and full settlement. You don’t need to take this fight alone. You deserve compensation when a truck driver causes an accident that hurts you and upheaves your life.
You need an experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer who knows how truck companies and insurance companies approach these accidents. Your attorney can help you secure the necessary evidence. They’ll help you build your case and organize your witness testimony. Your lawyer can find experts to analyze the data in your crash. They’ll help you calculate your claim’s value, and they will help you fight for the compensation you’re owed.
Call an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer Now
Truck accidents can be traumatizing. Trying to recover damages in the aftermath as you try to heal can be daunting. Get help from the Ohio truck accident lawyers at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright, Co. LPA.
We understand how challenging a fight against a large company can be, and we’re prepared to hear your story and help guide you to the best outcome. We’ve helped clients recover millions in their personal injury claims. Work with us so we can help you rebuild after a truck crash. Call (419) 625-7770 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.