If a negligent truck driver caused your crash, you will have the burden of proving his and the trucking company’s negligence for causing the accident and your injuries. You do this through the use of evidence, which consists of testimony and documents. The problem in a trucking accident case is that some of the information that you could need to hold the trucking company and trucker responsible for compensating you will most likely be in the possession of the trucking company. The trucking company will be unlikely to voluntarily just turn it over to you. However, sending the company a spoliation letter can help you protect evidence vital to your claim.
Why Is a Spoliation Letter Important in Your Truck Accident Case?
Like other businesses, trucking companies keep certain business records, such as manuals about hiring and training practices, employee records, and much more. In addition, they are required to maintain certain records regarding the truck, truck driver, and accidents for a certain length of time under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. However, when they find out about the truck accident from the truck driver, they will most likely conduct their own investigation and may try to destroy or alter certain damaging evidence.
A spoliation letter should be sent to the trucking company soon after your accident to stop the company from destroying or altering documents. You should retain an experienced truck accident attorney to send this letter for you since he will know what information to request. A spoliation letter can strengthen your claim in these ways:
- The spoliation letter puts the trucking company on notice of your potential claim. Once the company receives your letter, it is prohibited from destroying evidence pertaining to the wreck under FMCSA regulations.
- The spoliation letter gives the trucking company written notice of the specific documents that you do not want to be destroyed that could be helpful to your case. This could include information, such as the trucker’s employment records, driver log, and electronic data.
- If the trucking company destroys or alters information that you requested be preserved in a spoliation letter or that was otherwise potentially helpful, it could face consequences in your lawsuit, such as a presumption that the destroyed evidence was helpful to your case.
If you or a family member were injured in a truck wreck, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin an investigation and send the trucking company a spoliation letter. To start the process, call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.