You should always get the names and contact information of all those present at the scene.
El Paso, TX – When you’re involved in a truck accident, your first thought will be how badly you and anyone else in your car may be injured. Truckers, on the other hand, are rarely injured in a crash and their first thought will be to let their boss know of the accident. The trucking company will enter defense mode immediately, alerting their lawyers and their insurer that there’s a problem that needs to be dealt with. The problem is not the accident itself, it’s you and the damages you may want for your injuries.
If possible, the company will have its lawyers at the scene before the vehicles are removed. You need to act fast and get your own El Paso truck accident lawyers working on the case as soon as possible.
Why is an early investigation so important?
If you’re in an accident in Texas, you have two years to file a lawsuit, but you cannot afford to waste any time.
Your lawyers must get out there and start collecting evidence as soon as possible. Here’s what they’ll be doing:
Visiting the truck accident scene
Your El Paso accident lawyers must examine road and weather conditions. They’ll look at the state of the road and check the traffic signs in the area. For one thing, they must see whether the trucker complied with any restrictions in the area. On the other hand, if road conditions were a factor in the accident you may have a case against local authorities.
Examining the state of the truck
Unless local transport authorities intervene, the trucking company will be quick to get the vehicle to a repair shop and put it back on the road. You cannot let that happen because you may lose the chance to prove the crash was caused by poor truck maintenance. The trucking company is responsible for that and if they manage to get the problems fixed they can avoid paying damages.
Requesting documents from the trucking company
Your lawyer must act quickly and subpoena the trucking company for maintenance records to see what types of repairs were carried out on the vehicle over the past few months. They’ll also request access to the data in the driver’s log to see whether the trucker complied with federal Hours of Service regulations meant to prevent driver fatigue. A trucker cannot drive for more than 11 hours in 24 hours. If it was his idea to keep driving, he’ll have to pay for that. If it was his employer who told him to hurry and deliver the cargo sooner rather than later, the trucking company can be held accountable.
Modern trucks are also equipped with electronic devices similar to the black box on a plane and these contain vital information about the truck’s speed or brakes.
Checking surveillance camera footage
Your attorneys will check the area for any public or private surveillance camera which may have captured the incident. Such footage could be crucial in determining what happened. Unfortunately, on many such cameras, the recordings are deleted at regular intervals. If your lawyers don’t act quickly, the footage you need may be lost forever.
Talking to witnesses
You should always get the names and contact information of all those present at the scene. Your lawyers may need to interview eyewitnesses and they must do it while their recollections are still fresh. If you reach out to a witness six months after the accident, they may have only vague memories and their statement will be useless.
Finally, keep in mind that you may have two years to file a lawsuit, but this interval includes not only the investigation but also the negotiations with the insurance company, which can be quite lengthy.