Time is of the essence if you or a loved one has been involved in an 18-wheeler wreck. The trucking company and the insurance company is going to take steps to eliminate evidence of wrongdoing on their part. You need to hire an attorney and get them working on protecting the evidence related to the accident because it has a very funny way of disappearing.
For instance, there was a fatal 18-wheeler accident involving Forney resident, Latonya Child, in Fate, Texas near Rockwall off of Interstate 30 just the other day. Absolutely horrific tragedy. The driver of the truck obviously did not stop. Although this information is generally applicable to all accidents, but if I were advising this family as a lawyer, or even as a friend, I would say: hire an attorney and do it now. I have handled too many 18-wheeler wreck cases involving incapacitating injuries and deaths to say any different. That family, and any other family involved in such a tragic accident needs someone to tell them that the insurance company is not their friend and does not have their best interests at heart, no matter what the insurance company says. They need someone to protect their rights and make sure that the person who decided to be negligent on that day and take away their loved one pays for what they did. Period.
It is vitally important to the injured party’s case that an attorney take certain actions to protect evidence in the days and weeks following an 18-wheeler wreck. The three main things an attorney needs to for anyone in such a situation send spoliation letters (evidence protection letter), get an accident reconstruction specialist out to the scene of the accident, and get ahold of all the witnesses and take their statements.
What is a spoliation letter?
Your attorney needs to send a spoliation letter. A spoliation letter lets the trucking company and the driver know that they need to take all necessary steps to preserve evidence related to the accident. The most important aspect of this is the truck’s “black box”. An 18-wheeler’s black box is just like an airplane’s black box that you hear about. It records the happenings going on with the truck prior to the accident. We need to protect the black box from being destroyed because that is one of our strongest pieces of evidence against the driver and the trucking company. The spoliation letter will also protect all other forms of evidence related to the accident, electronic or paper. This type of letter needs to be sent out ASAP to protect the evidence from being destroyed by the trucking company, the driver, or the insurance company.
What will an accident reconstruction specialist do?
We need to get an accident reconstruction specialist to go out to the scene ASAP. This needs to happen within days of the accident before “people” go out to the scene and clean it up. We need the tire marks to be visible, we need the scene as close to how it was just after the accident for the most accurate reconstruction. The accident reconstruction specialist is trained to put the accident back together and will be able to show exactly or nearly exactly how the accident happened and help us pinpoint who was at fault. This helps our investigation into why the accident happened because we will then know the “who”, as in “who did it”. We can then follow the chain of events and put the whole accident back together. It makes it easier to figure out whether the at-fault party was driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, drowsy driving, or just plain not paying attention to the road. Getting this done is very important and needs to happen quickly for best results.
Why are witness statements so important?
We need to the names and statements from the witnesses of the accident. We need the information to be as fresh as possible because it is more reliable. The longer you wait to speak with an attorney, the more fuzzy these details become and more likely stories from each individual witness may start to vary from the statements from other witnesses. What we have learned is the closer the statements are to the accident, the less likely they are to contradict each other. Since these statements from the witnesses are some of our strongest evidence against the driver, trucking company and insurance company, we need them to be as accurate as possible.
Witness statements also help us in piecing back together the accident. It will help our accident reconstruction specialist reconstruct the accident scene if we have first hand accounts of what happened.
For more details about the fatality accident in Fate, Texas near Rockwall click here.
About Our Firm:
Guest and Gray, P.C. is an experienced litigation team serving all North Texas counties. We are the largest and highest rated law firm in Rockwall and Kaufman County. We regularly pursue and defend various civil litigation claims and personal injury claims. Our practice is quickly growing with offices now located in Dallas, Rockwall and our main office in Forney, Texas to provide convenience to our clients. We are longtime faces in our community and we love what we do. We seek to provide an air of calm and confidence for our clients during a difficult time. We believe that makes us a little bit different from everybody else, and we like it that way.
For more information, or if you are seeking legal advice, give us a call at (972) 564-4644