If possible, grab a few shots of the truck’s cabin. If there are open containers scattered around or a cell phone next to the driver’s seat, your lawyers may be able to prove the trucker was distracted.
Chicago, Il – When you’re involved in a truck accident, you need to document the crash scene. This is the advice any reliable Chicago truck accident lawyer will give you. That’s easy for them to say, but if you’re in shock and maybe in pain, the last thing you want to do is to start taking pictures like a maniac or a tourist at Niagara Falls. What do you even need to photograph and why?
The photos you take at the crash scene will be essential when you make a personal injury claim. First of all, your lawyers will use them to understand what happened and who may be held accountable for your injuries. Also, the photos will be included in the file you submit to the insurance adjuster and these guys tend to be quite skeptical by nature, at least when you go in asking for lots of money.
The amateur crash scene photographer’s guide
If you’re in any condition to do so, get out your phone as soon as possible and start taking pictures before the vehicles involved are moved to the side of the road.
Photograph the entire truck accident scene
Start with wide-angle shots and take photos from different angles. Your aim is to capture the position of the truck and any other vehicles involved. These can be used if your lawyers feel the need to call in accident reconstruction experts to determine exactly what happened.
Photograph the damages to the vehicles involved
You can use such pictures to prove the damage done to your property, but they can also be relevant to establishing the dynamics of the crash. Make sure to capture the license plate whenever possible so there’s no doubt it’s your car in the photos.
Take pictures of your injuries
If you have visible injuries, don’t hesitate to photograph each of them or ask someone else to snap a few shots. On the other hand, keep in mind that no pictures can substitute for medical records. If you’re in a serious accident, go see a doctor as soon as possible. Don’t try to tough it out as the insurance adjuster can later claim you won’t hurt that bad and the injuries you’re complaining about don’t have anything to do with the crash.
Look for traffic signs
Signs referring to maximum speed or weight restrictions can be used to prove the trucker was negligent. The absence of relevant traffic signs could be grounds to sue local authorities.
Photograph the trucker
Photos of the trucker right after the crash can be used to determine the state he was in. For instance, if the guy is bleary-eyed and has dark circles under his eyes, this may indicate the man was exhausted. Your Chicago accident lawyers will want to check the driver’s schedule for the past week to see if they complied with the federal Hours of Service regulations. If they didn’t, you may have a case against both the trucker and his employer.
If possible, grab a few shots of the truck’s cabin. If there are open containers scattered around or a cell phone next to the driver’s seat, your lawyers may be able to prove the trucker was distracted, which constitutes negligence and this is enough to prove your claim. If there are alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in the cabin, point it out to the police officer. If the trucker is charged with DUI, you may be able to seek punitive damages as well.
Take photos of the skid marks at the truck accident scene
The investigating officers will do that as well, but having a few photos of your own certainly won’t hurt. These photos can be used to determine when the trucker hit the brakes. Also, the lack of skid marks is proof that the trucker didn’t try to stop. Your lawyers will investigate why. For instance, if the trucker was drowsy and didn’t notice you, this may be a case of driver fatigue. On the other hand, if the driver was distracted, he’ll bear sole responsibility and you’ll file a claim against their insurance or you can sue them.