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The Importance of Preserving Evidence After a Trucking Accident

July 31, 2023 Legal Team
Truck Driving on Florida Highway

As we traverse the roads in our daily lives, we often share them with commercial trucks. Most of the time, these interactions are uneventful, but when an accident occurs involving a large truck, the results can be catastrophic. In these situations, one aspect that’s frequently overlooked but extremely crucial is the preservation of evidence.

The evidence from the scene of a trucking accident serves as an invaluable tool to reconstruct the event, determine the liable party, and ensure justice is served. This blog post highlights the importance of preserving evidence after a trucking accident and why it’s pivotal in building a strong legal case.

The Complexity of Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents are inherently more complex than other motor vehicle accidents. The sheer size and weight of a truck can result in severe damages and, in unfortunate cases, fatalities. Furthermore, these accidents often involve multiple parties: the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and other road users.

Each party might have different levels of responsibility for the accident, which can be determined by examining the evidence. For instance, was the truck’s brake system faulty, implying the manufacturer’s liability? Or was the driver overworked and fatigued, indicating the trucking company’s negligence in enforcing proper rest periods? Clear, preserved evidence can answer these questions definitively.

The Types of Evidence and Their Importance

There are several types of evidence that can be collected at the scene of a trucking accident.

  1. Physical evidence from the accident scene, such as skid marks, vehicle damages, and debris, can help recreate the accident.
  1. Electronic evidence from the truck’s electronic control module (or “black box”) can provide data about the truck’s speed, brake usage, and other crucial parameters at the time of the accident.
  1. Documentation like the driver’s logbooks, truck maintenance records, and employment records can reveal patterns of neglect, fatigue, or inadequate vehicle upkeep.
  1. Witness statements and police reports can provide a third-party perspective of the events leading to the accident.
  1. Photographs and videos can offer a clear and comprehensive visual account of the accident and its aftermath.

Each type of evidence is a piece of a puzzle that, when put together, can paint a detailed picture of what transpired before, during, and after the accident.

Preservation of Evidence: A Time-Sensitive Matter

Time is of the essence when it comes to preserving evidence. Physical evidence at the scene can quickly disappear due to weather, passing traffic, or clean-up efforts. Electronic data from the truck’s systems can be overwritten or deleted, and memories of witnesses can fade over time.

For these reasons, it’s crucial to promptly secure and preserve as much evidence as possible. Legal tools, such as a spoliation letter (a communication that puts the other party on notice to retain relevant evidence), can be employed to prevent the destruction or alteration of crucial evidence.

Why Evidence is Essential for Legal Proceedings

In a legal proceeding following a trucking accident, evidence is the cornerstone upon which a solid case is built. Each piece of evidence serves to substantiate the claims made by the victims, establish the truth, and influence the outcome of the case.

Comprehensive and well-preserved evidence can validate the severity of the injuries sustained, prove the negligence or fault of the other party, and ensure the victims receive fair compensation for their losses. Without it, holding the at-fault party accountable becomes a significantly more challenging endeavor.

Count On Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann

Preserving evidence after a trucking accident is a critical yet often overlooked aspect. It’s not just about collecting remnants of a tragic incident, but it’s the key to unlocking truth, holding the responsible parties accountable, and ensuring justice for victims.

As such, it’s recommended to engage a skilled attorney from Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann promptly after a trucking accident. They can guide the evidence collection and preservation process, ensuring no critical details are missed that can affect the course of justice. Our truck accident attorneys are located in Sarasota and Bradenton. If you have been involved in a trucking accident and find yourself as a victim, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We provide complimentary case evaluations for your convenience.