Medical records, police reports, and eyewitness accounts of an accident are all important when pursuing a claim against a trucking company. There is another layer to gathering evidence you may not immediately consider, however, and it is just as crucial to proving negligence so you can recover damages.
You will likely need to acquire specific information directly from the trucking company to strengthen your case. Obviously, the company has a vested interest in keeping that evidence out of your hands. A skilled personal injury attorney can utilize a specific tool to preserve this evidence and ensure it is used to your full benefit if you were injured in a truck crash.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Send a Spoilation Letter
Whether seeking an insurance settlement or taking your case to court, you may need to determine if there were logbook violations, improper hiring or training practices, lack of maintenance on the truck, and so on.
To prevent the trucking company from destroying evidence, your lawyer may send what’s known as a spoilation letter. This document gives the company notice that you are seeking specific information for a legal claim. If that evidence is destroyed anyway, the company can face serious legal repercussions.
For the best chance at a positive outcome, you need a personal injury attorney with experience in Virginia truck cases to draft the spoilation letter. Information that may not seem important could be vital to establishing negligence and showing your injury was specifically caused by the truck accident. A proper spoilation letter can ensure all of the evidence you need is retained, including:
- Alcohol and drug test results for the driver
- “Black box” data from the vehicle like speed and how long it had been in motion or sitting idle
- Cargo details
- Driver logs
- Employee records
- Insurance policy information
- Photos taken by trucking company employees
- A truck incident report filled out by the driver
- Vehicle maintenance schedule details
- Video from dashcams if available
- Witness statements