Conducting a Truck Accident Investigation
In the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident, it’s typically necessary to perform an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. Performing an investigation lets you figure out who caused your wreck, and it lets you collect the evidence that’s needed to prove in the courtroom who was behind your accident. As discussed above, you carry the burden of proof in the trial. Jurors don’t want to simply be told how to decide; they want to see, touch and hear evidence that justifies your position. Powerful evidence collected in an investigation isn’t just a helpful component of a case. It’s necessary to win.
The experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys at our firm have been performing thorough investigations for so many years that we have the procedures down to a science. In fact, our standard procedure is to fly to the scene of the wreck in just about every big rig accident we litigate. When we arrive at the accident scene, we start collecting evidence right away. Pieces of wreckage, police reports, witness statements, measurements, photographs, test results, and other evidence that we collect may all be helpful in proving your case. We find these items and store them in such a way that they are later properly admissible in the courtroom.
On the other side of the case, the defense attorneys also perform an investigation of your 18-wheeler accident scene. They visit the site of the wreck and look for evidence that might make it seem you were responsible for the accident. Most of the time, defense attorneys are sent to the big rig accident scene just moments after the collision happens. They bring with them a team of investigators and accident recreation specialists. They get this head start on the investigations since they know that waiting a long time for evidence makes it more likely that the needed evidence will have dried up. For example, as time passes, witnesses to an 18-wheeler accident tend to forget what they have seen.
One recent case our 18-wheeler accident attorneys litigated demonstrates the need for prompt investigations quite well. In this particular case, our client was accused of causing the collision with a semi-truck that had happened in the night. The defendant claimed our client caused the wreck by driving without headlamps installed in his vehicle. When our client called us for assistance, we hurried to the salvage yard where the remains of his vehicle had been towed. Sure enough, we discovered his vehicle was missing headlamps. But this wasn’t enough for us; we decided to check the salvage yard’s video surveillance tapes, tapes that had been scheduled to be routinely destroyed in just a few hours. The footage showed the defendant had entered the salvage yard and taken the headlamps from our client’s vehicle. With this footage in our possession, we were ready to expose the defendant’s tampering with the evidence.
This story’s moral is one the defense attorneys already know. It’s critical to get your investigation underway promptly in the aftermath of your 18-wheeler accident because evidence tends to be more difficult to find as time goes on. Though our 18-wheeler accident attorneys are typically able to build good cases even when we aren’t contacted until months following the wreck, our strongest cases are usually built when we are called by accident victims right away. Don’t lose time in getting a personal injury attorney at your side.
Obstacles to your Recovery
Our clients are often quite savvy and sophisticated people who are fully capable of picking up a legal textbook and learning about the law by themselves. All the same, there’s much more to winning an 18-wheeler accident case than just knowing the law. That’s why big rig accident victims without lawyers are almost never able to receive the full compensation that their cases are actually worth. In the information below, we’ll explain three obstacles that commonly prevent unrepresented accident victims from receiving the compensation they would otherwise be entitled to.
Lying Truck Drivers
In any sort of litigation, the defendant will often have the motivation to lie. But in commercial vehicle accident cases, truck drivers have special motivation to twist the truth. Not very many trucking companies will hire a trucker who has a history of causing wrecks. Truckers are well aware of this fact, and they understand that if they are caught as the responsible party for your accident, they will likely lose their jobs and their careers. Given the choice between lying or losing their livelihoods, many truck drivers will opt to invent a story about how you caused the accident and about how they did not. If you can’t demonstrate that the truck driver is lying about the origins of the accident, you may well lose your case and receive nothing for your losses.