Although trucking companies have a legal responsibility to operate their fleet in a safe manner, collisions remain common. According to data published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 2,484 commercial truck accidents reported in the Commonwealth in 2019 alone.
Even safe, attentive drivers may still be involved in a crash with a tractor trailer. Following a commercial truck accident, it is imperative that you gather all of the relevant records that you need to build an effective claim. Here, our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer highlights three key categories of documentation.
Building a Successful Truck Accident Injury Claim: Documents and Records
- The Police Report (And Other Documentation of the Accident Scene)
Every commercial truck accident should be reported to the police. A state or local law enforcement officer will be dispatched to the scene of the collision to help control the situation and, most likely, to write an official report. Injured victims need to get their hands on an official copy of the police report. The report should include some key details, such as when and where the crash occurred along with a brief description of what happened. Beyond the accident report, victims should also gather and organize all other records that help to document the crash. For example, if you took pictures of the accident scene, save them.
- Comprehensive Medical Records
You cannot bring a truck accident injury claim unless you have seen a doctor. To put yourself in the best position to recover full and fair financial compensation for your injuries, your treatment should be carefully documented. This means requesting and organizing your medical records and all other related evidence. Sometimes healthcare providers can be slow to respond to records requests. If you are having trouble getting your medical records, an attorney can help. Beyond official medical records, it is also highly recommended that injured victims keep a daily journal after their accident—noting the severity of their pain and how the accident adversely affected their life. The more details you have, the easier it will be to prove your injuries.
- Information Held By the Trucking Company
You should consult with an experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after a serious crash. Every truck accident requires an exhaustive investigation to determine exactly why it happened. In most cases, the trucking company will hold important records that can be used to help prove liability and bring a successful claim. Among other things, these records include:
- Black box recording data;
- Vehicle inspection records; and
- Driver safety history reports.
Federal law requires trucking companies to keep records after a crash. As an example, (49 CFR 395.8(k)(1)), requires six months of records for driver duty status. You need to take action immediately after an accident to request all relevant records from the trucking company.
Unfortunately, corporations are not always willing to turn over records without a fight. If you are struggling to receive cooperation from an insurer or trucking company, your Virginia attorney may even need to seek a subpoena to compel the release of relevant information.
Contact Our Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
At Barney Injury Law, our Virginia trucking accident lawyer is a skilled, experienced advocate for injured victims. We will help you gather all of the documents and records you need to hold the company liable and maximize your compensation. For a no cost, confidential review of your truck accident claim, please contact our law firm now. From our law office in Virginia Beach, we handle large truck accident claims throughout the wider Hampton Roads region.