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Finding And Preserving Evidence After A Truck Accident Or Car Crash - Part III

This is a continuation of an ongoing blog series we are doing related to the evidence that should be collected following serious traffic crashes. The blog serious illustrates how we find and preserve critical evidence in truck accident and car crash cases including evidence that is overlooked by the police and evidence that other law firms do not even know exists.

Witnesses' Statements

As we explained earlier, we always obtain witnesses' statements from every available resource including the police, social media and the news agencies. In serious injury and disputed liability cases, however, we go one step further. We attempt to personally interview all the major witnesses to a crash to ensure that they did not leave out any details of what happened to the police, 911 or the news media. Sometimes, we have found that these witnesses have a lot more to say and some have even taken photos or videos of the scene of the crash leading to new information about how the crash occurred. 

While it may seem elementary to speak directly with all the witnesses, many insurance companies, defense attorneys and even other attorneys who represent injury victims do not take the extra step of speaking directly with witnesses. At Rittgers & Rittgers, you can be assured that we will zealously investigate your case and obtain all available evidence.

Preservation Letters

In many cases, much of the evidence on how or why a truck accident or car crash occurred is in the possession or control of the at-fault driver or trucking company. For example, many tractor trailers now are equipped with black box recording devices, GPS monitoring devices and with video cameras inside and outside of the tractor. We also find that many crashes were caused by drivers who were driving while distracted because they were using an electronic device. Unfortunately, proving that a driver was texting while driving or that a trucking driver was driving longer that allowed by law or driving outside of his lane at the time of crash can be difficult.

To ensure that we get as much evidence as we possibly can about a crash, as soon as we are retained in serious injury and truck accident cases, we immediately send out preservation letters to the trucking company and at-fault driver to preserve their cell phone; their vehicle for a joint inspection; and all black box, video cameras and GPS monitoring devices on the vehicle.

What You Should Do if You Are in A Car Accident

If you are involved in car accident, and are physically able, call 911 and report what happened and where the crash occurred. If there are injuries, request an ambulance. If you can, take photos of the scene of the crash (location of vehicles, skid marks), people and vehicles involved. If there are witnesses to the crash, ask them to stay at the scene to speak to the police. If they cannot, ask them for their name, address and phone number.

If the police are not called or cannot come to the scene, make sure to get the driver's licenses and insurance information of all the drivers involved. If possible, audio or video record their version of what happened. If the police are not called, the at-fault driver will often change his/her story or deny that the crash was his/her fault.

Look at your surrounding for potential video cameras. Most banks and gas stations often have video cameras. If you are in a residential neighborhood, look for security cameras at the homes nearby.

Finally, call Rittgers and Rittgers as soon as possible so that we can ensure that all additional evidence is located and preserved. 

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