Writing a Letter of Spoliation to Prevent Evidence Destruction
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a truck accident and you have decided to file a claim or lawsuit against the trucking company, one of your first objectives will be to send the company a letter of spoliation. It’s crucial to send the letter at the onset of your case to preserve important evidence.
What does a letter of spoilage say?
A letter of spoliation, often drafted by an attorney, essentially informs the company of a claim or lawsuit and that they are under legal obligation to preserve pertinent evidence related to the accident, even if they would otherwise be able to destroy it. Trucking companies can destroy a driver’s logbook records after six months, so make sure you send the letter as soon as possible.
An attorney will also include a detailed list of evidence that the company is to preserve. The reason to include a list of all potential evidence to be preserved is to reduce the room for misinterpretation.
Evidence that should be preserved in a truck accident claim includes things such as:
- the driver’s logbooks;
- the driver’s schedule and route;
- relevant emails, texts, and voicemails;
- inspection reports;
- maintenance and repair records; and
- the driver’s personnel file.
The Importance of a Letter of Spoliation
Why is a letter of spoliation so important? It helps deter the company from the common practice of “losing” evidence. Companies are only required to keep records for a short period of time. Sending a letter of spoilage extends this time, and holds the company legally accountable for the preservation of the requested materials.
Winning a truck accident claim is neither simple nor easy. It will take substantial evidence to prove liability; every little piece of evidence helps. Plus, certain pieces of evidence in the truck company’s possession might prove pivotal in your case, and will need protecting.
For instance, if the driver was fatigued and fell asleep at the wheel, his logbooks may show that he overstepped the federal regulations regarding working hours. This will prove the trucking company’s liability in the accident and help support your case. If you fail to send a letter of spoliation, those logbooks might be destroyed or “lost.”
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Draft Your Letter
It’s important to secure legal counsel before attempting to go head-to-head with a trucking company. It will have lawyers already working on its behalf to investigate the crash and perhaps damage your claim. Make sure you have an attorney draft your letter of spoliation to ensure that it’s correct, thorough, and legally binding to prevent evidence destruction.
Our firm, Bressman Law, regularly handles all types of truck accidents, and we’d be happy to discuss your case with you at your convenience. Call us today at 866-777-6680 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, and let’s see how we may be of service to you.