The immediate steps you take after a truck accident in Oklahoma can make or break your case. Keep in mind that the driver’s insurance company will do everything possible to point fault at you, not their client.
Therefore, you may find yourself in a position of having to present evidence to prove that you (or a loved one) were not at fault for what happened. If the insurance company does agree to settle, the settlement offer is likely to be less than adequate. If you have evidence of the extent of your injuries, you’ll be in a stronger negotiating position.
After ensuring that everyone is safe, the next step is to gather evidence to establish fault and strengthen your personal injury claim. Keep reading for the recommended steps to take to collect evidence after a truck accident
Step 1: Document the Accident Scene
The minutes after an accident are ideal for gathering timely evidence. If possible, take pictures of the vehicles involved, noting their damages. Skid marks, traffic signs, and other relevant details should also be captured.
Pictures and videos of the scene from different angles can also be helpful, especially if there were unique weather conditions, a hazard, or something else that could have contributed to the accident.
Step 2: Get Witness Statements
The observation of witnesses at the scene can support your claim that the truck driver was at fault. When asking for witness statements, write down the person’s full name and contact information.
While the police are likely to interview witnesses, it’s possible that a witness may leave before the police arrive. You can share contact information with the officer at the scene so that they can follow up.
Step 3: Obtain Your Own Copy of the Police Report
Oklahoma law requires that the police be contacted for any accident that has an injury, fatality, or property damage over $300. Therefore, you will almost always contact the police after an accident, especially a truck accident. The police will then gather evidence and file a report.
It’s important to request a copy of this report so that you can confirm it is accurate and complete. Further, if there is a dispute as to fault, the police report can help settle these disagreements.
Step 4: Request Evidence from Third Parties
As the accident investigation is underway, there could be gaps in evidence needed to prove fault or the amount of adequate compensation. A law firm in Oklahoma City may be instrumental in gathering the right evidence to support your claims.
Collecting evidence from third parties is a process that requires knowledge of the law and consistent follow-up. Examples of evidence that your attorney may request in a truck accident case include:
- Commercial truck maintenance records
- Driver logs
- Witness testimony not collected at the scene
- Video surveillance
Your attorney may draft a spoliation letter, which requires a party to take reasonable steps to preserve (and not destroy) evidence for your case.
Step 5: Preserve Medical Records
When you seek medical attention for your injuries, your doctor will document your complaints, symptoms, and recommended treatments. Be sure to keep a copy of these records, particlarly if there are recommendations for missing work or undergoing long-term care or procedures.
Your medical information will also itemize precisely the financial expenses you incur for office visits, treatments, and prescriptions. These numbers are vital to proving how much compensation the insurance company or another liable party should pay for your injuries.
Injured in a Truck Accident in Oklahoma? Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you are looking for a truck accident attorney, Oklahoma-based, Bryan Garrett, PLLC, has more than 15 years of experience in this area. Contact our office for a free consultation.