Evidence Collection in Tractor Trailer Accidents (A Crucial Step)
Were you involved in a semi-truck accident? You are certainly not alone. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles reports that there were more than 4,900 commercial truck accidents reported in the state in 2021 alone. Following a crash, you and your family deserve justice and the total and fair compensation that you need to pay your bills.
To bring a successful semi-truck accident claim, you must prove fault. Gathering evidence is crucial in tractor-trailer injury and wrongful death cases. In this article, our experienced Raleigh truck accident lawyers at Green Mistretta Law provide an in-depth overview of the utmost important things you need to know about evidence collection in catastrophic tractor-trailer collisions in North Carolina.
Know Why it Matters: North Carolina is a Fault-Based Truck Accident State
Evidence collection in a North Carolina truck accident claim is crucial because our state operates under a fault-based system. The party responsible for the accident—truck driver, truck company, etc.—can be held legally liable for the resulting damages. For this reason, gathering extensive evidence is absolutely essential to help substantiate the claim. In a state that follows contributory negligence laws like North Carolina, proving complete fault of the other party becomes critical, as even slight fault attributed to you can bar recovery.
An Overview of Evidence that Can Be Used to Prove Liability in a Truck Accident Claim
What types of evidence can be used to prove fault for a tractor-trailer crash in North Carolina? It depends on the specific situation. A wide range of different evidence may be relevant, including:
- The Police Report: Police officers responding to the accident scene document details in a formal report. Among other things, the report may include information about the involved parties, weather and road conditions, any apparent violations of law, and sometimes even an initial determination of fault. It serves as an official record and is viewed as credible.
- Photographs and Videos: Visual evidence from the accident scene, including damages to vehicles, positioning of vehicles, road conditions, and any visible injuries, can be invaluable. Videos from dashcams, security cameras, or witness phones can also capture the accident in real time, providing irrefutable proof of the incident’s circumstances.
- Eyewitness Statements: Statements from people who witnessed the accident can provide a third-party perspective on the incident. These accounts can help corroborate your version of events and may offer details that were overlooked at the scene. Be sure to get the contact information of any person who witnessed the crash.
- Black Box Electronic Data: Modern commercial trucks often have “black boxes.” Also referred to as electronic data recorders, a “black box” stores information such as speed, braking data, and other operational details. The data can be crucial in understanding the moments leading up to the accident.
- Truck Company Records: Logbooks, maintenance records, and employment details can provide insight into a truck driver’s behavior and the truck’s condition. For instance, overworked drivers, overly fatigued drivers, and/or poorly maintained trucks might contribute to the cause of an accident.
- Expert Witness Testimony: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, can provide detailed analyses based on their specialized knowledge. Among other things, an expert can reconstruct the accident and offer a professional opinion about the nature and cause of the crash.
How Our Raleigh Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help (Proactive Representation)
Large trucking companies and their insurance carriers waste no time in building their legal defense. You do not want to fall behind in the claims process. At Green Mistretta Law, PLLC, we are proactive, justice-driven advocates for people who need help the most. When you contact our Raleigh office, you will have an opportunity to consult with a North Carolina tractor-trailer accident lawyer who can:
- Listen to your story and answer questions about your legal claim.
- Proactively investigate your commercial truck accident.
- Collect and organize all of the relevant evidence that you have to bring a claim.
- Represent you in all settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
- Develop a personalized strategy to help you get the best results.
Consult With Our North Carolina Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Today
At Green Mistretta Law, PLLC, our North Carolina commercial truck accident attorneys are experienced, dedicated, and compassionate. If you have any questions about evidence collection in a tractor-trailer accident claim, we are more than ready to help. Reach out to us anytime by phone, or you are welcome to contact us online for a no-cost, no-commitment initial consultation. Our seasoned attorneys represent semi-truck accident victims in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina.