The Vital Need for a Thorough and Quickly Launched Investigation
One critical element to a successful personal injury lawsuit is fast action in launching an investigation into the Laredo truck accident that caused your injury. It is the only way to gather all the evidence a plaintiff needs to meet his or her burden of proof, to identify the cause of the accident and determine the responsible parties involved. Because there are many potentially responsible parties in this kind of case, an investigation is necessary to assign relative degrees of liability to those responsible. Evidence is needed to sway a judge or jury in a case, and that evidence can often disappear quickly. Witnesses’ memories get cloudy, or witnesses disappear completely. The accident scene undergoes physical changes due to the weather. Any potential video footage of the accident can be quickly taped over. So you must act quickly to get that investigation launched. The longer you wait, the higher the probability that the proof you need will evaporate. The longer you wait, the less of a chance you have of winning your case. The damage done by waiting too long can end up irreparable.
The Laredo truck accident lawyers at our Law Office have two decades of experience in launching thorough investigations of accident cases. Upon being hired, we immediately spring into action and get to the accident scene – with no charge to our client – so we can begin to gather the evidence that will satisfy the plaintiff’s burden of proof. We will take photographs, sequester and examine all vehicles involved, search for any existing video evidence (such as security video footage from a nearby business or any potential traffic control video, for example), pore through police reports, take measurements of the distance between skid marks and impact points, conduct forensic tests, find and interview witnesses, and catalog that evidence in a way that it is admissible in court.
Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, that probably means you haven’t yet hired a lawyer. And if that’s the case, you’re already falling behind in your case, because you can bet the defense has already started its own investigation. Usually, the company that owns the truck or its insurance company will immediately dispatch a team of investigators to the scene once the trucker reports an accident. Investigators working on behalf of the defense have no interest in determining how the accident took place. All they want to do is collect evidence that will help them prove your own negligence caused your injury. Suppose you don’t have legal representation working on your side and conducting an investigation on your behalf. In that case, there will be no way you could possibly know if the defense might have tampered with evidence or conducted an honest investigation. Some defendants are not above altering evidence, especially when they know there is no investigation happening for the plaintiff. If the defendant gathers enough evidence to prove your negligence, your case can be easily defeated and your claim denied. Even if they can prove you were partially responsible because of your negligence, the amount you are rewarded could be significantly lessened.
In one recent case, our clients were the families of two men who were in a car that suffered a devastating accident with an 18-wheeler. The driver died and his passenger was critically injured when their car hit the truck while the truck was trying to make an awkward turn. The trailer of the truck stretched across the road and was difficult to pass. This kind of mistake happens more than you may think, even though you may assume all truck drivers are experts. It was dark when the accident occurred, and only the truck’s taillights on the side of the road were visible to oncoming traffic. Most of that trailer could not be seen.
Our clients’ car rounded a bend in the road and hit the trailer at full speed. The resulting impact tore the car’s roof off; the driver instantly died and the passenger went to an intensive care unit with massive injuries. Their families hired us within 24 hours and we immediately began an investigation, sending our investigators to the accident scene. The car was nearly obliterated, so it was sent to a nearby salvage yard. When our investigators inspected the car, they found that the car had no headlights. They weren’t just broken; they were completely missing. That alarmed our investigators, and we began to worry about whether the case might have been irreparably damaged. Thankfully, however, there was a security camera in the salvage yard and we were able to obtain a copy of the video. Incredibly, that video showed a trucking company employee removing the headlights. When that company claimed the headlights of our client’s car had been turned off, we were able to expose their blatant and malicious lie. They should have made a fair settlement offer before the trial. Because they didn’t we made them pay very dearly.
The point here is to underscore the vital importance of hiring a lawyer just as quickly as you possibly can after an accident occurs. The security system of that salvage yard we mentioned tapes over camera footage every 48 hours. If our clients had hesitated at all before hiring us, that critical bit of evidence would have been deleted, and the trucking company would have gotten away with their deception.
The only way to guarantee that evidence will be preserved, and that is to launch an investigation immediately following an accident. The only way to happen is by hiring a lawyer as quickly as possible.
The truck accident lawyers at our Law Office routinely run into deception on the part of truck accident case defendants and know how to expose it. In order to have the best chance possible at doing so, however, you must act quickly so a thorough investigation can take place. There are some rare occurrences where our investigators have been able to gather evidence well after an accident happened, but, as we have said repeatedly, the quicker you begin an investigation, the better your chances at successful litigation. If you have not hired an attorney, please do not wait any longer.