Spoliation Letters For A Truck Accident
Posted in Truck Accidents on February 13, 2021
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries for those involved, particularly drivers and passengers in traditional vehicles. In the aftermath of a crash involving a commercial truck, attorneys and insurance carriers will need to sift through the evidence in order to determine how the crash occurs.
Unfortunately, there are times when evidence is altered, destroyed, or disappears before the completion of pending litigation. This is called the “spoliation” of evidence. In order to prevent spoliation in the aftermath of a truck accident, a “spoliation letter” will need to be sent to all parties involved.
What is a spoliation letter?
A spoliation letter is a document sent to other parties involved in a case that puts them on notice of a potential claim and remind them of their obligation not to destroy any relevant evidence. It is important to point out that there is a pre-existing obligation for others not to destroy, conceal, or alter any evidence.
However, a spoliation letter can help improve the chances that the evidence will be preserved and give the plaintiff the ability to seek relief from the court if the evidence is destroyed.
If any party in a case fails to abide by spoliation laws, this will allow the trial court to draw negative inferences against the party who destroys the evidence. The spoliation could even lead to a dismissal of the case against the party who destroys the evidence.
Why would you need a spoliation letter for a truck accident case?
A spoliation letter will be sent via certified mail from the plaintiff to any potential defendants in the case. For a truck accident case, this could include a truck driver (particularly if they are an owner-operator) as well as the trucking company.
The letter will be fairly straightforward and will include the spoliation law in Tennessee as well as a list of all the evidence that should be preserved.
This can include the following:
- The truck’s black box data
- Cell phones
- Cell phone data
- Eyewitness statements
- Dispatch records
- Maintenance records
- Accident reports
- Electronic logging device data
- Paper logbook records
- Employment records
- Driver safety records
- Any video or audio recordings
- Any debris from the incident
The spoliation letter does not have to be incredibly detailed, but it should certainly get the point across that the plaintiff fully expects all evidence to be preserved.
Who sends the spoliation letter to the trucking company?
It is essential for any truck accident victim to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer to help with their case. Specifically, they need a truck accident attorney in Tennessee who has vast experience handling complex cases like this. Truck accident claims can become challenging, especially when going up against well-funded trucking companies, the insurance carriers, and their legal teams. The injury victim’s attorney is ideally the person who should be sending the spoliation letter, as a letter from an attorney will carry much more weight than one sent by the victim themselves.
Compensation after a truck accident
There may be various types of compensation available in the aftermath of a commercial truck accident in Tennessee. If the defendants destroy, alter, or discard the potential evidence, the likelihood of the victim securing the compensation they are entitled to increases.
Truck accident victims are often able to secure compensation for their medical bills, lost income, general out-of-pocket expenses, property damage expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more. An attorney will work with trusted financial and medical professionals to help properly calculate the plaintiff’s total expected losses.