Why Do You Need to Send a Spoliation Letter of Evidence After a Truck Accident?
A spoliation letter is a legal document an attorney drafts after a truck accident to send to a trucking company and its insurance carrier. The letter notifies these parties that a claim is being filed and warns against hiding, destroying, or tampering with any evidence that is relevant to the accident.
The Importance of a Spoliation Letter
Recovering fair compensation after a truck accident requires evidence that another party is to blame. As a result, it is critical to preserve evidence to ensure that a truck driver or their company is held liable. However, evidence can be intentionally or unintentionally tampered with, which can impact your ability to successfully pursue a claim. Sending a spoliation letter warns a trucking company and their insurer to hold onto any evidence related to a crash. By giving a warning, liable parties cannot argue that evidence was destroyed because they were unaware of a claim being filed. Once they receive the letter, they have a legal duty to ensure that relevant evidence is not deleted, thrown out, discarded, or goes missing. If spoliation does occur after a letter has been sent, it can be significant evidence of their fault, which can actually strengthen your case.
Truck Accident Evidence that Should be Preserved
In a spoliation letter, there are types of evidence that are vitally important to truck accident cases that you can specifically request to be preserved, such as:
- Pictures from the accident scene
- The driver’s driving or hours of service logs
- Black box data, which can contain critical information on the truck before the accident, such as its speed, acceleration, braking steering, and air-bag deployment
- Dash Cam video
- The truck itself
- Load information
- Maintenance and repair records
- Inspection reports
- Results of alcohol or drug testing
- The qualifications of the driver
- Permit or license information
- Personnel records
In Georgia, the destruction, altering, concealment, or disguising of evidence is treated as a crime. Penalties can include fines or jail time.
How an Attorney Can Help
After a truck accident, you may be suffering from severe injuries, and sending a spoliation letter might be the last thing on your mind. When you hire an attorney, they will handle every aspect of your case, including ensuring that all critical evidence is preserved. They will carefully draft a spoliation letter on your behalf, listing the evidence in detail that a trucking company and their insurance company must keep. Additionally, they will make sure you are evaluated by a trusted medical professional who can assess the full extent of your injuries and handle all communication with the liable party, including negotiations with the insurance companies to reach a settlement that fully covers all your accident-related expenses.
Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers. Once you hire our Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer, we will 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.