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Important Records to Obtain After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents in Washington state can be severely damaging, whether you were in a motor vehicle, on a bike, or simply walking down the street. The sheer size and weight of semi-trucks often leads to severe injury and property damage, resulting in high medical and repair expenses. However, you could claim compensation for your losses through a Seattle truck accident lawsuit or insurance claim. If you were the victim of a truck accident, it is important to obtain the following records to strengthen your case.
#1: The Police and Crash Reports
After a collision with a semi-truck, you probably called 911 and brought law enforcement officers to the scene. When a police officer arrives at a collision site, especially one as severe as a truck accident, he or she opens an official investigation. As a result, a police report will be on file detailing your crash.
This police report will include important information like you and the truck driver’s personal information, vehicle information, and insurance policies, as well as any witnesses at the scene. In addition, the report will detail any injuries and medical treatment. Most importantly, the officer can come to a conclusion as to how the accident occurred and who was at-fault – which can greatly benefit your case.
In addition to the police report, you can also obtain the crash report of the accident. It may take a while for the police to process your official report, but the crash report is available right away. The crash report contains similar information to the police report, along with a narrative opinion about the accident by the police officer.
#2: The Truck’s Black Box Data
Most commercial trucks have an electronic data recorder installed inside of them, known as black boxes. These black boxes are a valuable source of information and potential evidence in your case – they can include information about the truck’s performance, maintenance, and driver behavior. In addition, black boxes can let you know what was happening at the time of your accident.
Obtaining black box data can be difficult. Some drivers and trucking companies can suddenly lose or destroy black boxes after an accident. However, having a local and experienced attorney on your side can help you obtain the black box as quickly as possible following your accident.
#3: Your Medical Records
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after your truck accident. Because of the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, trucks have the ability to cause severe injuries during the course of an accident. To prove your need for compensation due to these injuries, you need to obtain your medical records.
Your medical records will state what injuries you suffered and the cause of these injuries. They will also detail the necessary treatment you need to recover from these injuries and how much that treatment costs. You can use medical records to obtain compensation for past treatment and necessary future treatment, medical equipment, and disability accommodations.
#4: Truck Maintenance Records
Depending on the circumstances of your case, building a strong claim against a truck driver, trucking company, and potential government agencies can be difficult. You will need to prove that the driver and/or trucking company was at-fault for the accident – either through a disregard of traffic laws, improper driver behavior, or an inability to take care of the vehicle.
Truck maintenance records can help you prove your case. Trucking companies need to keep detailed records on their fleet and each vehicle’s upkeep. However, some companies can neglect their trucks’ maintenance and let defective vehicles operate on the road. If a truck’s pre-existing damage or inability to operate properly led to your injuries, you can use these maintenance records to prove your claim.
Obtaining these records after a truck accident can be very difficult without an attorney on your side. Your attorney will have the influence and the knowledge to obtain these documents from the trucking company efficiently after your accident. To increase your chances of a successful injury claim, contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to begin the process.