If you get involved in a truck accident in San Antonio, there are certain steps that you need to take after the crash to protect your rights. As an injured accident victim, it is up to you or your San Antonio truck accident attorney to prove your case against the truck driver or trucking company to collect financial compensation. You can prove a case using key evidence and documents, including this checklist of important records to obtain.
The Police Report
The police will be involved in almost every truck accident case due to the serious nature of these collisions. Before the police officer leaves, ask for your police report number. Then, in the days following the crash, call the police department in the county where the truck accident took place and give them your name and police report number to request a copy.
The police report will contain important information about the truck accident, such as the name of the truck driver and trucking company; the truck number and license plate numbers; the exact time, date and location of the wreck; eyewitness names and phone numbers; the officer’s opinion of who or what caused the crash; and documentation of any tickets or infractions issued against the truck driver for breaking a traffic law, such as speeding or reckless driving.
Your Medical Records
Always go to a hospital in San Antonio after a truck accident for a checkup. Even if you do not have immediately noticeable injuries, a doctor could diagnose a hidden or delayed injury. Ask for copies of the medical records that are related to your truck accident. Submitting these medical records yourself rather than giving an insurance company full access to your medical history by signing a Medical Authorization Release Form can keep you in control of what medical information the insurer sees – potentially preventing the insurance company from using a pre-existing condition against you.
Evidence of Your Losses
In addition to your medical records, you will need to gather other records that prove the losses that you suffered in the truck accident. An insurance company will request proof of your losses before it will offer a settlement to cover your medical expenses, travel costs, property repairs and other damages. You can prove your losses using evidence such as photos, videos, medical records, vehicle repair estimates, pay stubs and an injury journal.
The Truck’s Black Box
Most commercial trucks have something called a black box – an event data recorder that automatically collects and sends information about the truck’s performance and the truck driver’s behaviors behind the wheel. Subpoenaing the information from a black box (submitting an official request to the courts to require a trucking company to preserve and present this data) could allow you to prove that the trucking company is at fault. If the black box shows that the truck driver was driving erratically or speeding, for example, this could be evidence of fault.
Trucking Company Records
It may also be necessary to subpoena other types of records and documents from the trucking company during your truck accident case. This includes the company’s federal law compliance records, normally kept by the Department of Transportation or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If the company had a history of violating federal safety laws, this could be proof of fault during an accident lawsuit. Obtaining the truck driver’s employment, medical, driving and toxicology test results could also help support an injury claim against the company or driver.
Contact an Attorney for Assistance
You do not have to be responsible for preserving, obtaining or presenting important records and other types of evidence during a truck accident injury lawsuit in San Antonio on your own. You have the right to hire a San Antonio truck accident lawyer to represent you and take care of evidence collection. For more information about how an attorney can help you with a truck accident claim, contact The Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo for a free consultation.