Critical Discovery in Truck Accident Cases: How to Build a Strong Truck Wreck CaseMay 25, 2017
Discovery is the pre-trial process during which evidence related to a claim is gathered, shared and analyzed by both sides (i.e., the plaintiff and the defendant). For truck accident cases, the defendant (e.g., the insurance company) commonly has a head start in the discovery process. This is largely due to the facts that:
- Insurance companies have the resources to immediately start investigating claims and gathering evidence following a wreck.
- Plaintiffs (i.e., the accident victims) may need to seek medical treatment and talk to a lawyer before diving into discovery for their claim.
With a head start in discovery, insurance companies may have the opportunity to hide or destroy evidence before a plaintiff requests it.
That can put a truck accident victim at a significant disadvantage, as evidence important to the victim’s claim may be unavailable weeks or months later when (s)he is ready for discovery.
At the Amaro Law Firm, our lawyers understand the challenges that truck wreck victims can face on the path to financial recovery. Tireless and tenacious, we are ready to help victims preserve the strength and value of their claims in discovery and beyond.
To find out more about how we can help you position a truck accident claim for success, call (713) 352-7975 or email our firm. We offer free consultations to help truck accident victims get on the road to justice and recovery.
Truck Accident Cases: 4 Essential Steps to Take during Discovery
In general, some of the most important steps to take during discovery for a truck accident claim include:
- Sending a Spoliation letter as soon as possible – A spoliation letter is a formal demand that certain evidence related to a crash be properly stored and preserved. By sending a spoliation letter to the insurance company (and possibly a trucking company and other involved parties), it’s possible to specify much of the obvious and expected evidence that the plaintiff wants to be maintained and preserved for an upcoming claim. It’s impossible to know with certainty the entire universe of evidence, but there is certain information which trucking companies are required to maintain such as driver logs.Some examples of evidence to list in a spoliation letter related to a truck accident claim include truck inspection reports, driver logs, accident scene photos, and data from electronic onboard recording devices (EOBRs).
- Examining driver logs, EOBR data and cellphone records – These items can reveal more about the state of the truck, the truck’s activities and the trucker’s activities immediately prior to the crash. For instance:
- The driver log can reveal when a truck was last inspected and whether a trucker was compliant with hours-of-service regulations. Cross-checking those details with the EOBR data can reveal whether driver logs may have been doctored.
- EOBR data can also uncover whether speeding or truck equipment failures may have contributed to a crash.
- Cellphone records can reveal if driver distraction may have played a role in a truck wreck.
- Reviewing the trucker’s qualifications, driving record and medical history – These pieces of evidence can uncover whether a truck driver had the proper training to operate the truck in question. They can also reveal whether a trucker has a history of violating traffic laws, trucking regulations, etc. Additionally, a review of the trucker’s medical records may highlight if a driver has any conditions that may have prevented him from being able to safely operate the truck.
- Examining the trucking company’s record of compliance/violations – These factors can help determine whether a trucking company’s negligence may have contributed to a wreck. For instance, a review of the trucking company’s records may uncover whether a motor carrier has a history of noncompliance with state or federal trucking laws – like by hiring unqualified drivers or encouraging drivers to violate hours-of-service regulations.
Please understand that there can be a number of other steps that are important to take during discovery for a truck accident claim. An attorney at the Amaro Law Firm can explain what else may be necessary to do in discovery for your claim in order to position it for possible recovery.
Get Experienced Help with a Truck Wreck Claim: Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A truck accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to review your potential claim and explain your best options for financial recovery.
To set up a free consultation with us and get clear, helpful legal advice, call (713) 352-7975 or email us.
Our attorneys have extensive experiencing advocating the rights of truck accident victims from across the U.S. and helping them bring their claims to the best possible resolutions.