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What Is a Spoliation Letter For A Truck Accident? 

June 25, 2021 Truck Accidents Blog

A spoliation letter is a legal document drafted by an attorney and typically sent to a trucking company and its insurance carrier as soon as possible after a truck accident. The letter notifies the at-fault party that a claim is being filed and warns against hiding, destroying, or tampering with any evidence relevant to the collision.

 The Importance of a Spoliation Letter

The spoliation letter advises an opposing party to preserve all evidence pertinent to your truck accident. Evidence is paramount in truck accident cases because it can prove a truck driver or their company’s liability. When evidence is unintentionally or intentionally tampered with, a claim can be ruined. If you don’t send a spoliation letter, a trucking company can destroy or tamper with evidence then state that they were not aware of a claim being pursued. 

If spoliation occurs after preservation letters have been sent, it will not bode well for the truck driver or trucking company. Their conduct may lead a jury to reach certain conclusions. A defendant that destroys or fails to preserve evidence often signifies that it was evidence of their fault, which can actually strengthen your case. 

Vital Evidence to Truck Accident Cases

There are types of evidence that are vitally important to truck accident cases that you can specifically request not be destroyed when sending a spoliation letter, such as: 

  • Pictures from the scene
  • Driving logs, such as a truck driver’s service hours log
  • Black box data (event data records (EDRs), contains information on the truck, such as the speed, acceleration, braking steering, and air-bag deployment before, during, and after a crash
  • Dash Cam video
  • The actual vehicle
  • Load information
  • Maintenance reports
  • Inspection records
  • Repair records
  • Results of alcohol or drug testing
  • The qualifications of the driver
  • Permit or license information
  • Personnel records
  • Voicemails
  • Emails
  • Text messages

Depending on where a case is being heard, the destruction of evidence may be treated as a crime. Punishment can include fines or jail time. 

How an Attorney Can Help

Almost as soon as a truck accident occurs, the trucking company will have investigators on the scene looking for ways to blame the crash on someone else. To protect your case, your attorney may retain an accident reconstruction expert to conduct their own investigation of the scene in addition to sending a spoliation letter. This expert will examine skid marks, look for debris, take measurements with electronic surveying equipment, and possibly inspect the vehicles involved, including the truck’s brakes, suspension, steering, lights, carriage, GPS, and tires. 

Your attorney will also ensure all records related to the truck driver and trucking company, as well as maintenance logs of the truck, are obtained. They will protect your right to compensation and handle negotiations with every party involved to reach a settlement that will cover all of your accident-related expenses.

Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact CaseyGerry. That way, our San Diego Truck Accident Lawyer can place the defendant on notice of their duty to preserve evidence as early as possible. We offer free consultations, message us online or call (619) 238-1811 today.