Documentation That You Must Gather When You Are Involved in An Accident with A Truck

It is extremely important in an accident involving a truck to preserve all of the evidence from the scene of the collision. Here are the most important things that you must do immediately:

  1. Always insist that you want to wait for a police officer to investigate the crash and always ensure that the officer documents all of the critical information and files a crash report. Always obtain a crash report and always wait for an officer to arrive at the scene of the collision.
  2. Make sure you take as many photographs of your vehicle and the truck or semi-truck that shows all of the exterior and interior damage to all of the vehicles involved in the accident. Make sure you take photographs that show all of the damage to the outside and inside of all of the vehicles involved.
  3. Obtain all of the witness’s names, addresses, and phone numbers and have them write down everything that they remember about how the accident occurred and who they found at fault for the accident.
  4. Always provide the officer with a written statement that summarizes your version of how the accident happened.
  5. Thoroughly inspect the truck or semi-truck and trailer and write down as much information as you can including the insurance information, license plate number and take photographs of all of the damage to the exterior and interior of the truck and trailer.
  6. Take photographs that depict the scene of the collision like landmarks and buildings and always take photographs to show where your vehicle and the negligent trucker’s vehicle came to rest after the impact occurred.
  7. If you have any visible bleeding, blacking or blueing, or any swelling, make sure you take photographs that depict all of these injuries.
  8. If this is a significant case, immediately hire an accident reconstruction expert who specializes in obtaining all of the details from the scene of the collision.
  9. Request from all of the investigative police agencies copies of all photographs, video and audio recordings, dashcam, body cam, witness statements, and all field notes.
  10. Promptly request a FOIA (Freedom of Information) request to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  11. Immediately document all of the discussions that you had with the negligent driver, any other motorists, and eyewitnesses. Document in writing everything that you remember that happened before the impact, during the impact, and what happened to you inside the vehicle when the impact occurred. As an example, document in detail if you saw the negligent driver’s vehicle before the impact and your innermost thoughts, fears, and anxieties as well as your innermost thoughts when you were thrown inside your vehicle after the impact occurred.
  12. Perform an internet search on the collision to gather all of the media coverage that is available.
  13. Download the Google Earth street view of the scene of the collision.
  14. Promptly run a Google and social media search regarding the driver and the trucking company.
  15. Write down all of the businesses or residences with surveillance cameras that may have taken video footage of the area where the crash occurred.
  16. Record all of the Department of Transportation motor carrier numbers, company names, personal names on the truck, trailer, freight container, placards, tags, and fuel permits for the truck.
  17. Photograph if there are any mechanical issues with your vehicle or the truck including any leaking fluids or smoking engines and photograph and document any dangling wires or any defective items that you see on the truck or trailer or any suspicious items inside the truck or trailer.
  18. Document all discussions with all public safety personnel at the scene, investigating officers, rescue personnel, and first responders.
  19. Document all of your injuries, limitations, and restrictions in detail describing what the injuries feel like and how they restrict your ability to do your day-to-day functions. Immediately obtain the medical care and treatment that you need. It is critical that you provide all of your treating doctors with a thorough history of all of your injuries that you sustained, all of your limitations and restrictions, and how the accident has impacted you.

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