Why You Must Write A Spoliation Letter After A Truck Accident

Posted on: 12 August 2015

When you have become the victim of a car accident caused by a semi-truck, you will need to gather enough evidence to demonstrate that the trucking company was responsible for the accident. This will be the difference between a smaller and much larger settlement. Unfortunately, some companies will try to destroy evidence, so you will need to send a spoliation letter.

What is a Spoliation Letter?

A spoliation letter is used to let the trucking company know that you have a claim against them. Then, the trucking company will know that it is responsible for preserving the evidence that will then be used to prove your claim. Trucks often have claims that come from on-board recording devices, but this evidence can be erased. If this is done intentionally, especially after a spoliation letter has been sent, the company will be considered guilty of violating the law.

Gathering Your Own Evidence

The evidence you gather will further demonstrate that there was an effort to cover up unflattering details regarding the truck accident. For example, if you photograph the crime scene and the evidence collected by the trucking company does not match with the photographic evidence you have taken, this can demonstrate that evidence was destroyed by the trucking company.

The Evidence That Must Be Preserved

The type of evidence that needs to be preserved includes the specific truck that was involved in the accident, the permits or licenses that were covering the vehicle, maintenance records for the vehicle, whether the driver had a drug or alcohol test, and the driver's qualification file. The qualification file includes the application that the driver provided to the trucking company, the motor vehicle record and a record of the certificate of the driver's road test.

Work with Your Attorney

Have a trucking accidents lawyer to write your spoliation letter, or at least have a lawyer look over it. The attorney will make sure that the letter is written in a manner that clarifies that the evidence must not be destroyed.

The Penalties for Throwing Away Evidence

If the evidence is destroyed despite the spoliation letter, your attorney can then file a motion and argue that the evidence was destroyed either intentionally or negligently. This will increase the odds that courts will rule in your favor. Also, the fact that evidence was destroyed can be used to hold the defendant in contempt of court, which could lead to fines or incarceration.