Tractor-trailers are like moving brick walls. They are solid, unforgiving, and the most dominate structures on the highways. Because of the large presence they have, when you get into an accident with one, usually it’s the truck driver that wins the physical battle. Your only hope is to win the legal battle. Because these accidents usually involve serious injury to you and your vehicle’s passengers, it is important that you have as much evidence as possible to proceed with your case.
That’s why it can be so important for you, your family, or your attorney to get photos and videos of the truck accident scene and the truck itself. These are key pieces of background evidence that can give extra insight to the truck driver’s mental state and driving capability at the time of the accident.
“I remember one case not too long ago where after the inspection of the defendant’s semi-truck, I was able to amend the lawsuit pleadings to add counts for negligent supervision and entrustment. The cab was strewn with all sorts of garbage and debris. But what led to the amended lawsuit pleadings were the dozens of empty energy drink bottles and energy shot vials all over the cab” says Mike Leizerman in his article entitled “In a truck accident lawsuit, a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Most times, this critical evidence may be missed by many attorneys because they will only have the police report for their evidence. Who thinks to get pictures of the truck inside, or some other seemingly insignificant evidence? Everyone should, that’s who! It can mean the difference between a small settlement and possibly opening up entirely new legal claims in a very serious injury truck accident lawsuit.
Basically, pictures and videos, including dash-cam videos, can help attorneys capture elements of a wreck they would not have discovered from a police report alone.
Some of these may be human elements of loss, and that is ultimately what a civil personal injury lawsuit takes into account. “Think about the image of a teddy bear lying amongst the wreck, or skid marks that prove a trucker was speeding or wasn’t paying attention”, Leizerman suggests.
Sources that your lawyer should consider investigating:
- Law enforcement photos
- Dash-cam video
- Store cameras
- Firemen’s cameras, if they have them
- News media
- Cell phone photos made by witnesses
- TDOT video
- Photos taken by truck drivers who are required to keep cameras in accident kits
Leizerman notes: “Don’t forget to request any ‘dash-cam’ police videos. Many police cruisers now run in-car video whenever they’re at a serious truck accident scene. These “dash-cam” police videos are generally only kept for six months, and not listed as being used on the police report itself. A separate request for these videos must be made.”
At Carlson & Burnett, we focus on you and the “big picture” of evidence relating to your truck accident. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or large truck, contact our Truck Accident Attorneys at Carlson & Burnett to schedule a free accident evaluation at (402) 810-8611 or contact us online.