Maybe you were hit by a kid or that driver was just having a rough day. Maybe you were in a hurry to get to your next load. You’re a nice guy. You decide to leave without a police report. After all, you just cut them a break and saved them from a ticket; they can certainly tell their own insurance the accident was their fault. You won’t need that proof, right?
Pictures of Your Damage
You have enough proof anyway because you remembered that you are supposed to take pictures after an accident. You need to show the insurance company the damage to your truck. It’s on the other guy to get pictures of his damage, right? Not necessarily. Some people deny the accident even happened.
We can’t make proof for you. That’s the sad, but honest truth. The driver that hit you should give you their license and insurance card to photograph. They probably won’t encourage you to call the police or get pictures of their equipment. Missing some of these pieces of evidence does not mean that you have no case, but it is much more difficult to recover.
The More Proof – The Easier to Get Paid
After an accident, you need to become your own detective. Unfortunately, you are the one that must jump through hoops to recover what you are owed. It’s not fair, but the more proof you have, the better your chances of recovering your losses and the faster your case can progress.
What evidence will help?
- Call the police. Get a report. A crash information exchange form is NOT the same thing as a police report and it WILL NOT establish liability.
- Take pictures of the other driver’s license and insurance card. Make sure they are clear and easy to read.
- Take pictures of the ENTIRE accident scene. Photos of your damage are important, but photos that show the point of impact or how you were hit will help.
- Take pictures of the other vehicle. Get a photo of their license plate. If you were hit by another trucker, get photos of their motor carrier and DOT number.
- Get the phone number or email of the at fault driver.
- Get the phone number, email, and address of any witnesses.
- See if the at fault driver will write a statement admitting fault and sign it.
People Might Do Right – Get Evidence Anyway
Too often we have clients that say, “I didn’t think I needed to; I thought they would do the right thing.” They absolutely should. They should immediately pay for your repairs and find you equipment to use. This accident was not your fault and now your entire income is gone because another driver made a mistake. We can’t make the other people behave the way they should, but we can collect our own evidence to recover what they should have paid us in the beginning.
For help with an insurance claim, complete our Do I have a case? form or call 904-278-7688. Consultation are free, and we work on a contingency fee basis.
Check out our practice areas to see what services we provide for owner operators.