Truck accidents aren't your typical crash cases, where liability is fairly obvious and having an officer fill out a collision report at the scene is the extent of the investigative process. No, truck accident cases are an entirely different kind of animal. Not only do they tend to cause more serious injuries and damages than other types of crashes (which often translates to larger settlements or financial awards), but they generally involve more evidence, an array of potentially liable parties, and multiple insurance policies.
Hurt in a California truck accident? You need a thorough investigation to determine what and who caused your injuries, so you can hold the responsible party (or parties) accountable. This isn't the type of investigation you can conduct on your own. Fortunately, a knowledgeable and experienced truck accident attorney can help. Here are just a few of the things your attorney may do while investigating your truck crash case.
Send Spoliation Letters
Truck accident cases involve certain types of evidence that other cases generally don't, such as hiring, training, employment, and driving records for the commercial driver, and inspection and maintenance records for the truck itself. However, the trucking company has these documents and your attorney will have to send a spoliation letter—also known as a preservation letter—to ensure they don't destroy them in an attempt to avoid liability.
Visit the Scene of the Accident
An accident site can provide a lot of important information about a crash, including its severity, the point of impact, the resting positions of vehicles and debris, and if weather or road conditions may have been contributing factors. The investigator for your attorney will take photos to document the scene and gather basic information about the time of the crash and whether it was reported to law enforcement.
Inspect the Involved Vehicles
The vehicles themselves can provide information about what happened. Inspections of the truck and the involved passenger vehicle not only assess the damage sustained during the crash, they can also identify unsafe conditions or faulty components that may have been a contributing factor. Additionally, in some cases, inspecting the vehicles after a truck accident can help investigators determine how fast they were traveling, how the drivers used their brakes, and other key details.
Talk With Witnesses
Statements from people who witnessed the truck crash can be crucial to the outcome of your truck accident personal injury case. The commercial driver, trucking company, or other party named as the defendant (or defendants) in your lawsuit may tell a version of events that's completely different than yours. Your attorney will talk to witnesses who were there that day to find those who can support your account of the accident, so that they can provide a statement or testify on your behalf.
Reconstruct the Crash
This next step is a big one and involves hiring an expert known as an accident reconstructionist. These experts use information and evidence gleaned during other parts of the investigative process to reconstruct the truck crash for the purpose of finding out:
- Directions the truck and passenger vehicle were traveling before—and after—the crash
- Length of skid marks made before impact
- How far each vehicle moved after the collision
- Point of impact and impact angles
- Vehicle weights
- Speeds and positions of the truck and passenger vehicle during the entire sequence of the accident
An accident reconstructionist can have a huge impact on the outcome of your truck crash case. When choosing an attorney to represent you, make sure to hire someone with access to a network of qualified expert witnesses they can contact to help investigate your case and testify on your behalf.
Let Us Handle Your California Truck Accident Case From Start to Finish
When it comes to truck crash cases, you simply can't underestimate the value of a thorough investigation and hiring the right law firm. That's why, at the Inland Empire Law Group, our highly-experienced legal team conducts a deep dive into each and every case to ensure we have what we need to build and present a strong claim for damages. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your truck crash case with a member of our team. We look forward to assisting you.