Spoliation documents on a desk with a gavel

Experienced Tennessee Truck Crash Attorneys Explain the Importance of Spoliation Letters in Truck Crash Cases

After a truck accident, it is normal for victims and their families to be focused on obtaining emergency medical care, healing from injuries, and making arrangements to manage the potentially life-changing circumstances they may now face. In most cases, it would never cross their minds that the evidence they need to obtain a fair settlement could be in danger of being permanently destroyed.

However, if spoliation letters are not sent to the involved parties, this can happen. This is one reason why victims of truck collisions need to immediately hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable about truck accidents. While you are coming to terms with the aftereffects of a truck crash, the attorneys at GriffithLaw can take action to preserve the records you will need to recover damages.

Purpose of Spoliation Letters

A spoliation letter should be sent by registered mail immediately after a truck accident to put the other parties in a case on notice that there could be a claim and remind them that they will need to preserve any evidence in their possession and be prepared to hand it over without tampering with it or trying to hide it. Serious consequences may apply to any party that fails to preserve evidence as specified in a spoliation letter.

Why Spoliation Letters Are Important

Without a spoliation letter, it might otherwise be legally permissible for involved parties to destroy some of the information you may need as evidence, such as log books, in as little as six months. Having the evidence makes it easier to obtain a fair settlement, and having documentation that a spoliation letter was sent can help ensure that what you need is not destroyed. If a party does destroy or alter evidence after receiving a spoliation letter, this can hurt their case.

Imagine you are a judge or member of the jury in a truck collision case, and you learn that the trucking company or their insurance carrier destroyed or altered important information after they were told to preserve records related to the accident. You might be inclined to assume that they acted to hide evidence that would prove their fault and that would not help their case. In some cases, the court will even penalize the trucking company if they intentionally destroy evidence.

Where Spoliation Letters May Be Sent

Spoliation letters are generally sent to all defendants, which could include a truck driver and the trucking company for which they work, as well as their insurance carriers.

How Spoliation Letters Can Support Your Case

A spoliation letter can protect a wide range of materials that pertain to your case, including:

  • Pictures from the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • Dispatch records
  • Accident reports
  • Audio or video recordings
  • Debris from the incident
  • Driving logs
  • Dash camera footage
  • Black box data
  • The vehicle that hit you
  • Information about the load that was being hauled
  • Maintenance reports
  • Inspection information
  • Repair records
  • Alcohol and drug testing results
  • Driver qualifications
  • License and permit information
  • Personnel records
  • Insurance policy details
  • Voicemail messages
  • Texts
  • Emails

Having all of this information can also make it easier for reconstruction experts to piece together exactly what happened and make a big difference in how much money you receive. This is particularly important in semi-truck accidents because these larger-sized vehicles, with their heavy loads, can cause far more extensive injuries than a crash with a personal vehicle would normally create.

GriffithLaw Can Help Tennessee Truck Crash Victims

A spoliation letter from an experienced personal injury attorney is likely to carry more weight than one sent by the victim, as it makes clear that you aren’t representing yourself. Having an attorney who knows applicable Tennessee laws may ensure trucking companies and their attorneys take you seriously and don’t try to offer you a settlement that is lower than you deserve.

Trucking companies and their insurance carriers will have a team of attorneys on their side, and you should have legal experts on your side too. Griffith Law was founded by a lawyer who previously worked in insurance claims. We know the tricks insurers might try, and we are ready to protect your interests and seek a fair settlement. Our team has the expertise to ensure that insurance companies don’t take advantage of you in the aftermath of a truck accident.