If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a trucking accident in Nebraska and wish to pursue compensation, you need to collect as much evidence as you can to support your claim and establish liability to the truck driver, truck owner, or other relevant parties. Gathering evidence in Lincoln truck accident cases is especially important because large trucking companies dedicate a significant amount of resources to defending themselves from liability. Even if you believe your case is simple, you need proof that the other party was negligent.
The attorneys at Berry Law have experience gathering evidence in Lincoln truck accident cases. One of our hard-working Nebraska truck accident trial lawyers can help you collect and preserve records that may be useful in your injury claim.
Documenting Information at the Scene of the Truck Accident
In semi-truck accident cases, it is often helpful to document evidence from the scene of the collision as soon as possible. If you are unable to do so because of your injuries, your attorney will likely go to the location on your behalf to examine the layout of the street or intersection and take photographs.
Depending on how fast the legal team can arrive, they might also be able to photograph the skid marks from the accident. These marks can serve as evidence of the vehicles’ speeds and directions of travel.
Other information you want to collect at the scene if you can—or have an attorney do it for you—include:
- The names, addresses, and contact information of all parties involved.
- The driver’s license and license plate numbers of everyone involved.
- Insurance information from all drivers involved.
An experienced personal injury attorney would also gather any witnesses’ contact information to question them before their memories start to fade.
It’s also a good idea to take photos of your injuries and any property damage you incurred in the crash.
Sending an Anti-Spoliation Letter to the Trucking Company
After a tractor-trailer accident in Lincoln, the trucking company may attempt to destroy evidence that would prove its driver is at fault. The skilled lawyers at Berry Law will send an anti-spoliation letter to the company, requesting that it keep essential items such as:
- The truck in its condition following the crash
- The LoJack System or truck’s black box
- Maintenance logs
- Drivers’ logs
- Employee roster
- Emails and memos
Without legal counsel to send this formal letter, you could lose access to critical evidence proving your case.
Collecting Evidence to Establish Liability
All personal injury claims in Nebraska, including truck accident claims, rely on the concept of negligence to establish liability for the accident and any resulting injuries or fatalities. As they request and receive evidence and information, your attorney will use that to establish liability on any responsible parties. These can include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the truck driver
- The owner of the truck, if different than one of the parties listed above
- The truck’s manufacturer
- The manufacturers of any parts or components that failed on the truck, leading to the accident
- The parties responsible for loading and securing cargo, if applicable
- The trailer’s owner, if applicable
Other parties may bear responsibility for the accident and your injuries as well, and an attorney will work diligently to identify any party involved through evidence and hold them accountable.
Proving Negligence in a Nebraska Truck Accident Case
To prove negligence, your attorney will need to show that the other party owed you a duty of care. All drivers have an inherent duty to act responsibly on the road and avoid doing anything that would cause harm to others. Your lawyer must then show that the other party failed to uphold their duty by acting carelessly, recklessly, or irresponsibly. This is known as a breach of duty. Finally, your attorney must show that the trucker’s actions were the proximate cause of the accident and that you suffered injuries and compensable damages as a result.
Common causes of trucking accidents in Nebraska caused by negligence or wrongdoing include:
- Truck driver distraction
- Truck driver fatigue
- Truck driver intoxication
- Reckless driving
In some cases, a defective component on the truck could fail and cause the driver to lose control. Also, the truck’s cargo may have shifted or come loose, causing the accident. The truck driver could also be liable if they were driving too fast for weather or road conditions. Additionally, you could have a claim against a local or state government agency responsible for road maintenance if a road in disrepair or other preventable road hazard led to the accident.
Collecting Medical Bills and Records from Health Providers in Lincoln
One of the lawyer’s most critical roles in a semi-truck accident claim is gathering all relevant medical records and bills to prove the injured party suffered injuries and losses. This can become complicated if you have multiple care providers for a series of different surgeries and procedures. Even if you are only dealing with one medical provider, it is best to hire legal counsel to ensure they send the complete versions of the records you request.
Additionally, an experienced attorney can make sure your medical provider sends bills to your health insurance company if you’re insured. Legal counsel can also prevent the medical facility from sending your unpaid accounts to collections as you are working on the claim.
Collecting Evidence of Your Other Damages
You likely experienced other losses from a Nebraska truck accident than just your medical expenses. An attorney can help you collect evidence to show the other damages you incurred because of the accident and your injuries, including:
- Lost income: Your lawyer can use your pay stubs and other information from your employer to show how much work you missed and the wages, salary, or other pay you did not receive while you were out of work.
- Property damage: You can provide your attorney with repair estimates from body shops or statements from a dealership that show the costs to repair or replace your damaged or destroyed vehicle.
- Pain and suffering: In most injury claims, you can pursue compensation for the intangible losses you incurred because of the accident and dealing with your injuries. This can include compensation for ongoing pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. You should keep a journal detailing how your injuries have affected your life and collect and preserve evidence to support you, which can include mental health and psychological counseling reports and notes, pain medication prescriptions, and testimony from friends and family.
- Loss of consortium: If your injuries affected your intimate relationship with your spouse or romantic partner, they may be able to claim loss of consortium and receive damages. They can include evidence to prove you were married or in a long-term relationship along with how the injuries impacted their emotional well-being, their finances, and the general love and companionship they enjoyed before the accident.
- Wrongful death: If the truck accident killed a close family member, you may pursue compensation for end-of-life expenses through a wrongful death claim. This can include funeral and burial costs as well as the income your family lost as a result of the death. You will need evidence to show the at-fault party was directly responsible for your loved one’s untimely death and that the death would not have occurred were it not for the party’s negligence or wrongdoing.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will fully assess your claim and help you identify and calculate all of the compensation you could receive. They will then work to help ensure you get everything you deserve to realize as full of a recovery as possible.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Presenting Evidence with the Settlement Demand to the Insurance Company
Insurance companies often try to pressure the injured person into accepting a low settlement, but an attorney can prevent plaintiffs from agreeing to unfavorable deals prematurely. After gathering all the necessary evidence, the truck accident attorneys at Berry Law will send a demand letter to the insurance company that details the accident, your injuries, and your damages, and provides a settlement amount the insurance company can pay to settle your case.
Your attorney will likely negotiate with the insurance company to get them to offer you a higher settlement. If the insurer refuses to negotiate a full and fair settlement, your attorney may recommend taking them to court and suing them to get the money you need. During the litigation process, your attorney will engage in a discovery process with the insurance company or at-fault party’s legal counsel. This allows both sides to request and review evidence and information they plan to use to support their case and present at trial.
Our Firm Can Help You Gather Evidence in Lincoln Truck Accident Cases
Gathering evidence in Lincoln truck accident cases is not as simple as one might think. Dealing with large trucking corporations who are trying to minimize their liability and medical facilities hesitant to provide certain records is difficult to do on your own. Contact Berry Law today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist you throughout this process.