Important Documents for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

truck accident lawyer near me

In the aftermath of semi-truck accidents, personal injury law cases rely heavily on the principle of preponderance of the evidence. It is where the claimant must demonstrate, with more than a 50% probability, that the defendant’s negligence caused serious injuries.

Documentation is concrete evidence to support your narrative of events and the extent of your losses. A “truck accident lawyer near me” in Calgary from a reputable personal injury law firm can help you complete all the important documents for filing a case and recover compensation for your severe injuries.

Documents Needed for Your Personal Injury Case

Accident Reports

Police reports, from responding officers, hold weight due to their presumed neutrality and adherence to established protocols for the truck accident scene investigation. They detail witness statements, contributing factors (e.g., weather, road conditions), and potential violations.

  • You can download a driver copy of the collision report from the Online Collision Report System website using the File Reference Number (FRN) provided by the responding officer.
  • The police report contains a more comprehensive record of the semi-truck accident. If you require a detailed account of the collision, obtain the official police report from My Alberta Services for a fee of $15.
  • Visit the CPS district office where the report was filed and request a copy in person. Bring valid identification and the FRN.
  • A truck accident lawyer can assist in obtaining the accident report and interpreting its contents within the context of your claim.

While not possessing the same legal authority as police reports, incident reports from property owners or employers provide details about the car accident environment (e.g., driver error, lighting, brake failure, malfunctioning equipment) and safety protocols in place.

Photographs

Time-stamped photographs offer a visual representation of the trucking accident and its consequences. This documentation should include:

  • Semi-truck accident scenes that capture vehicle damage and environmental factors (e.g., skid marks, debris patterns).
  • Document physical and psychological injuries with close-ups and wide shots, with proper dating techniques to demonstrate healing progress.

CCTV Footage

CCTV footage represents the accident scene, vehicle movements, and potentially negligent actions of the truck driver. This strengthens your narrative compared to relying solely on witness testimony or accident reports.

  • CCTV cameras are ubiquitous in Calgary, mounted on traffic lights, buildings, businesses (gas stations, convenience stores), and public transportation infrastructure (bus stops, LRT stations).
  • You can submit a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act request to the City of Calgary for footage captured by their public cameras. Processing time takes 20 working days, and fees cost $10.

Healthcare Documents

Initial emergency room recordsDocumenting the initial assessment and treatment provided
Doctor’s visit summariesDetailing ongoing plans, diagnoses, and prescriptions
Reports from specialists (orthopedics, neurology)Providing in-depth analysis of injuries (i.e., neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries) and recommended treatment courses

Diagnostic test results
Including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other tests that visually depict the extent of injuries (i.e., broken bones, chronic pain, brain injury).

Proof of Lost Wages

For semi-truck accidents resulting in missed work or diminished earning capacity, document lost income with:

  • Pay stubs or W-2 form: Demonstrating your pre-accident income levels.
  • Letters from employers: Outlining missed work opportunities or limitations due to the injury.
  • Tax returns: If self-employed, this verifies your pre-accident income.

Witness Statements

Memories tend to fade over time. Securing witness statements as close to the accident date as possible is important for capturing accurate recollections of events. 

Encourage witnesses to provide a detailed account of what they observed. This should constitute:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident.
  • The sequence of events up to the incident.
  • The actions of all parties involved.
  • Any specific observations about the accident scene (e.g., traffic signals, weather conditions).

Always obtain the witness’s complete contact information, name, phone number, and email address to assist in future communication and potential subpoena if necessary.

Insurance Information in Calgary

Calgary drivers are mandated by law to carry Alberta Automobile Insurance Program (AAIP) basic coverage, which includes:

Third-party liabilityContains bodily injury and property damage caused to others in an accident where you are deemed at fault. Minimum coverage limits are CAD 200,000 for bodily injury per accident and CAD 200,000 for property damage.
Accident benefitsProvides coverage for healthcare, income replacement, and funeral expenses arising from an accident, regardless of fault. Minimum coverage is CAD 200,000, optional but highly recommended.

Several optional coverages can be added to your policy to enhance protection, including:

  • Collision coverage secures your vehicle in the event of a collision with semi-truck drivers, a stationary object, or even an overturn.
    • Deductible amounts vary, ranging from CAD 500 to CAD 5,000.
  • Comprehensive coverage safeguards damage to your vehicle caused by events other than collisions (theft, vandalism, fire, etc.).
  • Specified perils coverage is a limited form of comprehensive coverage that protects against 10 specific perils outlined in the policy.
    • Fire, flood, earthquake or explosion
    • Theft/attempted theft
    • Windstorm
    • Lighting
    • Hail
    • Rising water

Determining Liability and Damages in Personal Injury Claims

The legal principle of duty-breach-causation-damages is a framework used by a personal injury lawyer to establish liability in negligence cases of a semi-truck accident. It refers to the four elements a plaintiff (injured party) must prove to win a lawsuit against a defendant (the at-fault party) in a trucking accident.

Duty

The defendant indebted the plaintiff a legal duty of care. This duty can be established through common law principles, statutory mandates (e.g., traffic laws), or specific professional standards (e.g., healthcare providers).

Breach

The defendant compromised this duty of care by acting negligently in a car accident, causing devastating consequences. Examples of negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Violating traffic laws
  • Inadequate product design or manufacturing (product liability claims)

Causation

The defendant’s breach of care directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Establishing a clear causal link between the defendant’s actions and the resulting injuries requires testimony.

Damages

The plaintiff suffered compensable damages, which are economic and non-economic losses, subsequent to the defendant’s negligence in a commercial motor vehicle accident or any traffic accident.

Types of Damages in Personal Injury Claims

Economic Damages

 Objectively quantifiable losses with verifiable documentation. Examples include:

  • Past, present, and future healthcare associated with the injury (hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy) of truck accident victims.
  • Income lost due to missed work or lessened earning capacity as a result of the injury.
  • The potential for future lost wages due to permanent disability or limitations caused by serious injuries.
  • Repair or replacement costs for damaged property (car, semi-trucks, personal belongings).

Non-Economic Damages

Subjective losses that can be more challenging to quantify in a truck accident lawsuit. Examples include:

  • Physical and emotional distress caused by catastrophic injuries.
  • Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from a serious trucking crash.
  • The loss of spousal companionship, intimacy, or assistance due to physical injuries.
  • The inability to participate in activities one previously enjoyed due to the injury.

Comparative Fault and Damage Reduction

Calgary adheres to a comparative fault system, where the plaintiff’s own negligence can reduce the amount of recoverable damages. The plaintiff’s share of the fault is determined, and their damage award is proportionately reduced. 

For example, if a jury finds the plaintiff 20% at fault and awards CAD 100,000 in damages, the plaintiff would only receive CAD 80,000.

truck accident lawyer near me

Get the Compensation You Deserve with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Coursing an injury claim hinges on detailed documentation. By completing the documents above, you lay a strong foundation for your case and demonstrate the legitimacy of your claim.

Sidhu Personal Injury Lawyers Calgary stands ready to partner with you. Discuss your case with accident lawyers and let our law firm guide you through the entire legal process.

Contact us today for free consultation and accurate legal representation to fight for your rights and secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can social media posts about my accident be used against me?

Yes. Be mindful of what you post on social media after an accident. Many victims are downplaying the extent of their injuries, which affects the integrity of their claims. Adjust your privacy settings to hinder access to your posts.

The at-fault party is denying responsibility. Do I still need to collect documents?

Yes, even if the at-fault party contests liability, having documentation demonstrates the legitimacy of your claim and prepares you for potential litigation. Early and methodical document collection strengthens your position in settlement negotiations or court proceedings.

How long should I keep healthcare records related to my injury?

It’s advised to retain healthcare documents for at least ten years after your injury claim is settled. This ensures you have documentation readily available in case of any future complications arising from the injury.

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