Unfortunately, much of the evidence you will need to hold the trucker and trucking company responsible for compensating you for your injuries in an accident will be in the possession of the trucking company. How do you prevent the company from destroying or altering vital documents that would help your case? An experienced truck accident attorney can help you accomplish this by immediately sending the trucking company a spoliation letter.
What Information Should You Request That the Trucking Company Retain in Your Spoliation Letter?
A spoliation letter is a letter sent to the trucking company advising them of your claim and demanding that the trucking company not destroy any documents listed in the letter. Under federal regulations, a trucking company cannot destroy or alter the information requested or any other documents that could be helpful to your case once receiving notice of your claim. Here are some of the documents typically requested in these letters:
- Truck driver logs
- On-board computer records and black box data
- Bill of loading
- Pre-trip and post-trip inspection records
- Truck inspection and maintenance and repair records for the truck and trailer
- Dispatch logs
- Accident reports, photographs, videos, and any other evidence pertaining to the accident
- GPS data and any truck camera footage
- Post-accident alcohol and drug test results
- Truck driver employment file
- Trucking company’s safety records
- Trucking company policies, procedures, and training manuals
What If the Trucking Company Destroys Evidence After Receiving a Spoliation Letter?
If your attorney discovers that the trucking company is destroying requested documents after receiving a spoliation letter, he can file an immediate lawsuit on your behalf. He can also ask the judge to issue a temporary restraining order without any hearing. This order would prohibit the trucking company from destroying any other documents until a hearing could be heard on the matter, with the penalty being found in contempt of court.
As to already destroyed documents, your attorney can ask the judge to penalize the trucking company for their actions. The judge could access costs or fees, or rule that there is a presumption that the destroyed documents contained evidence that was helpful to your claim. This may strengthen your case and help prove the company’s and trucker’s negligence.
Let Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Help You Pursue Your Right to Compensation
If you were injured in a truck crash, our trusted and compassionate legal team is here to take over the burden of preserving vital evidence, filing your claim, and negotiating your settlement so that you can focus on your health and getting your life back. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident and the steps we can take to obtain the compensation that you deserve.