A Prompt Spoliation Letter Preserves Vital Evidence in Your Truck Accident Case
Truck accidents are different than passenger vehicle crashes. Truckers and trucking companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and must follow many safety rules to prevent crashes and protect other motorists. In addition, trucking companies must keep certain data and records regarding the crash, the employee, the truck’s maintenance and repair, and other documents that can be accessed by the victim and his attorney if there's a need to prove negligence for proper claim settlement.
However, FMCSA regulations only require these documents be preserved for six months to a year. That's why it's important to retain an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash who can send a spoliation letter to the trucking company.
Why Is a Spoliation Letter Important to Your Truck Crash Case?
A spoliation letter is sent—almost always by an attorney—to the trucking company to preserve possible evidence helpful to proving your case. Driver logs, truck computer records, and daily inspection reports are just a few examples of information that shouldn't be destroyed.
A spoliation letter is important to your case for several reasons:
- FMCSA regulations require that once a legal claim is anticipated, any potentially relevant information and records must be preserved. It requires trucking companies to take affirmative steps to prevent the destruction or alteration of potential evidence. A spoliation letter puts the trucking company on notice of your claim and specifically directs the company not to destroy certain evidence.
- Once the police, the Department of Transportation, and the trucking company’s insurance company complete investigations of the crash, the trucking company can destroy or repair the truck and destroy other evidence of the accident—unless your attorney sends a spoliation letter. This will give him time to hire an expert to inspect the damage to the truck and other evidence associated with the crash before the truck is repaired or destroyed.
- The truck’s black box data is typically recorded over every 30 days. The black box may contain important information that could help prove your case. By sending a spoliation letter, your attorney can stop the destruction of this data.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident caused by a negligent driver, contact our office immediately to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your situation and send out a spoliation letter to the trucking company for you.