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Should You Rely on Law Enforcement to Investigate an Iowa Semi-Truck Crash Case?

Posted By Ben Long - 11.30.16

It seems like every week there is news of another semi-truck accident on I-80. Many of these crashes will result in a semi-truck accident lawsuit. We have all seen law enforcement redirecting traffic around a crash scene and assisting the injured.

After you’ve been in a semi-truck accident, you may believe it’s enough to rely upon law enforcement officers to perform a sufficient scene investigation. After all, they have been trained in processing accidents after they occur. They usually take statements and photos of the crash scene.

Don’t Rely on Law Enforcement to Make Your Case

However, trusting that enough investigation has been done by law enforcement to prove your side in a semi-truck accident lawsuit is a mistake. It is standard practice for trucking companies to send their own lawyers, accident reconstruction experts, and adjusters to the scene within 24 hours of the accident. If you don’t have your own experts to evaluate the crash site, you or your family could be left scrambling to prove what really happened.

There are a few reasons why you can’t rely solely on the law enforcement crash investigation.

Law Enforcement Officers Are Not Experts in Semi-Truck Accidents

Despite what you may believe, semi-truck accidents are rare, compared to other vehicle accidents. Because of that, law enforcement may not know all of the extra steps needed to fully document a semi-truck crash scene. They may not take the right notes or photos to properly explain what happened.

Take Your Own Notes and Photos of the Accident Scene

Taking your own notes and photographs of the scene is the best way to ensure you are recording all the evidence needed to prove your case. If you have been injured in a semi-truck crash and are not able to take photos at the scene, arrange for someone else to take them. Make sure the following types of photographs are taken:

  • Photos of the scene, including skid marks, debris, and location
  • Photos of your injuries, if you are hurt
  • Photos of your medical treatment, including bandages, casts, crutches, etc.

As soon as you are able, write down detailed notes about the crash, including:

  • Time of day the crash occurred
  • Weather conditions
  • Road conditions
  • What you saw and heard

Keep these notes in a safe place so you can find them if you have to speak with a personal injury attorney or go to trial.

Hire a Trucking Expert Witness to Prove Your Case

Most accident attorneys will tell you that having an expert witness is an important part of proving your semi-truck accident lawsuit in court. These witnesses are trained in both federal and state trucking regulations. They can inform your attorney of any violations that were made to the regulations.

Experts also use scientific techniques like measuring skid marks and studying damage patterns on vehicles to determine how exactly the crash occurred. This expert information will help strengthen your case with concrete evidence. If you do not hire an expert to look into the ins and outs of your trucking lawsuit, you are making a crucial mistake.

If you are not sure how to hire a trucking accident expert or have other questions, contact us at 1-800-433-0283. We will be able to answer the questions you have about your trucking accident.

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