When you are injured in a truck accident, it is normal to feel disoriented. In addition to your injuries, you will be answering questions and providing details to the police and your insurance company. You will most likely be focused on the police report and insurance claim in the accident’s immediate aftermath; however, do not overlook the importance of taking pictures after a truck accident.
Document the Scene Before it Changes
After an accident, especially in a high-traffic area, the authorities and other parties will focus on clearing the roadway to alleviate congestion. The other driver may try to alter or clean up the accident site to reduce their liability or shift blame for the accident. Protect your rights by documenting the site before they can make changes.
Try to take photos from a safe location before the cleanup begins. Focus on:
- The final resting position of the vehicles after the accident
- Damage to all vehicles involved
- Any injuries you or your passengers incurred due to the accident
- Skid marks, debris, and objects hit by the vehicles during the accident
- Any other aspects of the scene that can help you establish the accident’s cause and progression
If the accident was due to the truck driver’s negligent or illegal actions, a truck accident lawyer can use these photos to support your claim for compensation against the at-fault parties.
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How Photos Help Your Truck Accident Case
Photographs provide timely documentation of the accident site before the site is altered. Your attorney will use these photos to:
Reconstruct the Accident
Accident scene photos provide context and details that help your lawyer establish the timeline of the accident. In some cases, they will hire an accident reconstruction specialist to review your case and provide an outline of the accident from beginning to end.
Determine Who Was at Fault
Through accident reconstruction, your attorney can help to ensure that the appropriate parties are held accountable. Some states base compensation on comparative fault, which means that the amount of your settlement is based on the percentage of fault held by each party. Photos allow your attorney to conclusively prove fault in order to maximize your settlement.
Support a Fair Settlement Value
With photos of the accident scene, your truck accident lawyer can help establish the extent of the damages and injuries you sustained. This information can establish a fair monetary value for your claim.
Establish the Severity of the Accident
Your attorney will use photos of the accident to establish the severity of your injuries and damages. The truck driver and their insurance company may attempt to downplay your injuries to reduce their liability. With photographs that show how bad the accident was, your lawyer can help you seek a higher settlement value for your hospital bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.
Negotiate a Faster Settlement
If you have photos of the accident scene, it is more difficult for the truck driver, trucking company, or insurance company to minimize the value of your claim. Although most accident claims settle out of court, insurance companies will often drag settlement negotiations out in the hopes that you will settle for less.
Photos of the scene can put a stop to this strategy by providing indisputable evidence of the accident’s cause and severity. Faced with this documentation, the insurance company may simply choose to settle and avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Although photos substantially support your claim, a truck injury attorney can help ensure that you use them to your advantage. Your attorney will know how to counter the insurance company’s attempts to lay the blame on you. They will have the necessary knowledge of personal injury law and negligence statutes to help you prove fault and maximize your settlement value.
Damages You Can Claim in a Truck Accident
An attorney will help you determine the full amount of damages you can claim for your truck accident, including:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Current and future income loss
- Reduced income potential
- Long-term medical expenses
- Reduced quality of life
Depending on the state where your accident occurred, you may also be able to seek punitive damages if the other party’s actions were particularly egregious. In many states, for example, the Court will allow you to seek punitive damages against an at-fault driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases
Most states have a statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident claims. The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit often depends on the specific circumstances of your accident. For example, Ky. Rev. Stat. § 304.39-230 limits the victims of car accidents from filing a lawsuit more than two years after an accident. However, for general personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is only one year, per Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1).
A truck accident attorney familiar with federal, state, and local laws will know which statutes of limitations apply and ensure that you don’t miss important deadlines. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to avoid missing important legal deadlines.
Contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
At Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers, we have spent the last 20 years successfully representing injury victims throughout Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. We believe in holding responsible parties accountable for their actions and will pursue your right to compensation in court if necessary.
Contact us today to discuss your truck accident claim. Our dedicated legal team will hear your story and help you decide on your next steps.