If you get injured in a truck accident in Arizona, evidence will be critical for your personal injury claim. While you may believe you have an open-and-shut case, an insurance company can make it difficult to obtain fair financial compensation. You or your truck accident attorney will need to preserve and present evidence to support your truck accident claim. Take the following steps to collect key evidence and maximize your right to recover.
Call the Police
First, always call the police after a truck accident in Arizona. Not only will this be a legal requirement for most truck accidents; reporting a crash to 911 can help you document the important facts and details of the accident for use on an accident claim later.
During an inspection of the crash scene, a police officer can record details such as the time, date and location of the crash, as well as the directions both vehicles were traveling. The police can also record information such as the name of the truck driver and the trucking company for you. In addition, the police can cite the truck driver if he or she broke any traffic laws, lending evidence to your claim.
Before you leave the scene of the truck accident, write down your police report number. In the days following the collision, contact the police department in the county where the collision occurred to request a copy of your police report for evidence.
If you have a camera or smartphone available, do your best to take photographs while still at the scene of a truck accident. Photographs can provide hard evidence against a truck company or driver, such as a worn-down tire that blew out or fast food wrappers in the cab of the truck. Take pictures of all relevant evidence, as well as some wide shots of the crash scene itself for reference. You can also visit local businesses to find out if any of them have surveillance footage of the wreck you could use as evidence.
While you are still at the scene of the collision, get the names and phone numbers of eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses can provide an important type of testimonial evidence during your injury claim, as they will have information that only those who witnessed the accident do. You can choose to obtain written statements from eyewitnesses on the spot or contact them later for recorded statements.
Preserve Evidence With Spoliation Letters
After you’ve left the scene of the crash, you can still take steps to preserve critical evidence. It’s important to act quickly, however, while the evidence still exists. Otherwise, the trucking company or another party could have time to erase, clean up or eliminate evidence you could have used during your claim. This evidence may include:
- Truck company employment records
- Cellphone records
- The truck’s black box
- Communications between the company and the driver
- Truck maintenance records
- Daily inspection logs
- Reports filed by the truck driver
- The driver’s electronic logging device
You can preserve this evidence by writing spoliation letters and sending them to the entities that have the documents or records you need. Spoliation letters are written documents asking for the evidence you want for a case. These letters give the receiving parties a legal obligation not to destroy or alter evidence. The party will lawfully have to send the requested evidence to you for use on your claim.
Get Professional Help From an Attorney
Winning a truck accident claim in Arizona will take enough clear and convincing evidence to show that the defendant more likely than not caused your collision. The evidence you and your lawyer acquire can help you prove liability and obtain fair compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Phoenix, hire an attorney to help you preserve, protect and gather key evidence. A lawyer will know exactly what steps to take to help you build the strongest injury claim possible.