You find out what he said the first time.
This comes up a lot, and not just with truck drivers. People try to change their story after the accident.
So you find out what was said at the accident scene, or right after it.
There was a famous case a few years ago in which a truck driver told the investigating police officer – after a terrible accident – that a deer jumped into his lane on a highway and he swerved to avoid it, causing the wreck. The problem was that the tow truck driver got there first – and he didn’t tell the tow truck driver anything about the deer.
It happened recently to a client. She was rear-ended by a truck, after she came to a stop on the highway. She saw he was going to hit her, and tried to change lanes, but the truck wound up hitting her in the rear. The white panel truck in front of her was also struck.
The insurance company for the truck driver denied liability. When I sued the truck driver, I sent questions to the truck driver’s lawyer, to be answered under oath. The truck driver said – under oath – that my client had switched to the lane in front of him right before the accident, and she cut off his assured clear distance.
So I took the depositions of the police officers. Here are the questions and answers:
Question: “When you asked him, what did the truck driver say about where my client came from?”
Answer: “He said he didn’t know where she came from, or how long she’d been in the lane in front of him. He did not say she had cut in front of him.”.
Question: “Which vehicle hit the white panel truck?”
Answer: “The same truck that hit your client’s car.”
Question: “Was there any doubt about that among any of the people you questioned?”
When there is an accident, you figure that anyone involved is going to tell the police officer any fact that means it wasn’t their fault. So the fact that the truck driver couldn’t say when my client had supposedly cut in front of him, and admitted to the police officer that he had struck the white panel truck in front of my client, means he will have a hard time denying that the accident was his fault at trial.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. A lot of the time what isn’t said is more important than what is. If you’ve been in an accident, give me a call. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results. Finally, the law changes – sometimes overnight. So a correct answer today might be wrong tomorrow.