Evidence to Gather After a Truck Accident in Phoenix, Arizona
In Arizona, truck accident victims can demand compensation for their injuries and other losses by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. But filing a claim is not enough to obtain a favorable outcome. To win a truck accident claim, you need evidence of someone else’s legal fault.
Proving fault for a truck accident requires a large volume of evidence, some of which is hard for private citizens to access on their own. The insurance company won’t part with their profits without a fight. One common tactic they use to deny claims is citing insufficient evidence.
When you need help after a Phoenix truck accident, turn to the legal team at Swenson & Shelley. Our hardworking personal injury attorneys are committed to building solid truck accident claims backed by strong physical evidence, proof of your injuries, witness statements, and expert opinions. Each case is unique, and you can count on our team to provide an honest review of your circumstances and fierce advocacy for the compensation you deserve.
Learn more about your legal options and our effective approach to helping clients recover money and rebuild their lives. Call or contact us today for a free consultation with an Arizona truck accident attorney.
Why Is Evidence Crucial After an Arizona Truck Accident?
Pointing the finger is easy, but proving your truck accident case is challenging. Strong evidence must establish the other party’s liability and how much you’ve lost because of their negligence.
Some crashes are one party’s fault. But truck accident claims can be more complex, where more than one person or entity is to blame. Fortunately, Arizona law takes shared fault into account.
When multiple parties are liable for a crash, state law says compensation can be divided based on the proportion of fault a party bears for causing a collision. For example, a person assigned 15 percent of the responsibility for a crash will have their overall compensation reduced by 15 percent. This rule gives liable parties a significant incentive to argue down their share of the blame so they pay injured parties as little as possible.
The rule also binds court decisions and influences how an insurance adjuster values your claim. A truck accident lawyer can help gather evidence to debunk unfair arguments from the truck driver, trucking company, and other liable parties.
Types of Evidence
There is a wealth of evidence that can help you establish fault following a commercial vehicle accident, including:
- Medical records
- Police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Dashcam videos from inside the truck
- Cell phone data
- Truck driver hours-of-service logs
- Black box data
- Safety inspection reports
- Cargo loading manifests
- Driver employment records
- Internal trucking company documents
- Hiring practice information from the trucking company
- Photographs or video from the crash scene
- Expert opinions
Many injured people need immediate transportation to the emergency room from the accident scene. If you suffered severe injuries, seek medical attention first. An experienced truck accident lawyer can start work on your case immediately while you get the treatment you need.
Is Preserving Evidence a Police Job?
Law enforcement does not specifically preserve evidence following a truck accident unless they suspect a crime occurred. Authorities called to the scene of an accident are responsible for managing the crash site and compiling facts about the crash. The information gathered by law enforcement at the scene of a truck accident is included in an accident report.
The Department of Records Unit maintains all records on accidents investigated by DPS Troopers on Interstate or State Highways. In addition to basic information about the crash, a collision report may also contain photographs taken at the scene and information on citations or repair orders issued by state troopers. You can request a copy of your collision report from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
What Evidence Should I Get at the Accident Scene?
A strong truck accident claim starts at the crash scene, where physical evidence is still fresh. If your injuries do not prevent you from moving, try to collect the following evidence from the crash scene:
- Photos and videos of the vehicles from multiple angles, the surrounding scene, and your injuries
- Truck driver contact and insurance information
- The name of the trucking company the driver works for
- Witness contact information
Following the accident, you should also preserve:
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs
- Repair receipts
- Out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident
What Evidence Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Get for Me?
Unfortunately, some vital evidence is not readily available to accident victims because it remains in the hands of the trucking company. Securing this evidence may require legal intervention through a spoliation letter.
A spoliation letter is a legal avenue an attorney can take to save crucial evidence before it can be lost or destroyed. The letter notifies the trucking company not to destroy or tamper with potential evidence because it is needed for an injury claim or lawsuit.
The types of evidence that you may need a lawyer to help you collect can include:
- Data from the truck’s electronic recording device (or “black box”)
- Hours-of-service logs
- Dashcam videos
- Safety inspection records
- Maintenance records
- Alcohol and drug test results
- Cargo loading reports and bills of lading
- The truck driver’s employment record and safety history
- How the trucking company hires and vets potential employees
- Cell phone data
- Exchanges between the driver and the trucking company
The data held by a trucking company may indicate the truck driver’s negligence caused or contributed to an accident. Consult with a skilled truck accident attorney immediately after a crash for the best possible chance of securing potentially critical evidence.
Will the Insurance Company Collect Evidence Too?
The insurance company collects evidence and conducts an independent investigation into the cause of the collision. An adjuster uses information gleaned from the investigation to compare against your claim. The purpose is to find reasons to dispute your request for compensation. Never accept an initial offer from an insurance company without talking to an experienced Phoenix truck accident attorney about the potential value of your claim.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Phoenix
Semi-truck accidents can cause devastating and life-changing injuries. Protect your rights to full compensation by connecting with the knowledgeable Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Swenson & Shelley. Contact our office today for a free consultation.