The Accident Report: The First Piece of Evidence in a Trucking Accident Claim

Personal Injury Lawyer in Indianapolis, IN

When you consult with a tractor-trailer accident lawyer for injuries received in a crash involving a truck or commercial semi tractor-trailer, the first piece of evidence to be considered is the accident report. It is a powerhouse instrument of information and documents the preliminary facts and findings of the crash as understood by the lead investigating officer called to the scene. State Police officers receive specialized training with matters concerning interstate commerce. They are well instructed in state and federal laws and are thereby uniquely equipped to deal with commerce transport incidents that fall under federal and state guidelines. If you have ever been at a traffic standstill on the freeway or tollway, particularly when commercial transport vehicles are involved in the crash, the thoroughness of the police investigation is certainly a component of your extended wait.   

Each state’s crash report is an outline for the 5 w’s: who, what, when, where, and why. Investigators talk with drivers, passengers, and witnesses at the scene of the crash; based upon their testimony and the physical evidence, the lead investigator writes a preliminary narrative of the accident. Within days or weeks, additional evidence is added to the report. This may include a photogrammetry report detailing the distances between objects (for use in crash reconstruction), new evidence or testimony. Evidence that conflicts with initial findings is investigated further before the accident report is finalized.

The following list describes in part some general information that may be documented on the report:

  • Location of accident
  • An estimate of property damage to vehicles
  • Number of passenger and commercial vehicles involved
  • Driver’s name, owner’s name, contact information, license plate, vehicle ID, insurance company and policy number of each vehicle owner
  • Driver’s license type and restrictions
  • Use of safety devices (restraint and airbags)
  • Type of injuries each party has received
  • Type of tests administered to drivers (blood, etc)
  • Make, model and year of vehicles
  • Diagram of vehicular damage
  • Driver, vehicle and environmental contributing circumstances
  • Direction and lane of travel
  • Driving, road and external conditions
  • Roadway surface and condition of the roadway
  • Number of axels
  • Address where the vehicle has been towed
  • Witness contact information
  • Each witnesses’ pre-crash position relevant to the crash

The accident report is the first piece of evidence in a claim. An experienced lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, trusts uses the accident report to investigate, analyze the facts, and consider strategies that may be used to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for their client. If you have been involved in an accident involving a commercial transport vehicle, do not post anything about your accident or your injuries on social media. Contact an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer before you talk with anyone else.

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