What is a Spoliation Letter?

A spoliation letter should be sent to a trucking company as soon as possible after an accident involving an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle. “Spoliation” of evidence is the destruction, loss, alteration or concealment of evidence. Intentional spoliation of evidence is a violation of law.

A Spoliation Letter Puts the Trucking Company on Notice

The spoliation letter puts the trucking company on notice that an accident victim has a claim against the company and that the company is responsible for preserving evidence that may be used to prove that claim. This responsibility is a legal “duty,” and a court (a judge) can severely sanction a trucking company for destroying or tampering with evidence after it receives a spoliation letter.

Lists Types of Evidence to Preserve

A spoliation letter specifically states that it is giving notice and then lists specific types of evidence that must be preserved. Examples of evidence that might be listed in a spoliation letter sent by an accident victim’s attorney to a trucking company and its insurance company include the following:

  • The tractor and trailer involved in the crash;
  • Permits and licenses covering the vehicle or freight on the day of the accident;
  • The semi truck driver’s daily logs (a “diary” of each hour spent on the road and “resting” required by law to prevent driver’s from getting too tired);
  • Inspection reports for the tractor (semi cab) and trailer involved in the collision;
  • Maintenance records for the tractor and trailer;
  • The semi truck driver’s qualification file;
  • Photographs, video, etc. of the vehicles (all of the vehicles, not just the tractor-trailer) involved in the accident, the scene of the accident, etc.;
  • The truck driver’s alcohol and drug testing results;
  • Contracts involving the commercial truck and freight;
  • Data from on-board recording devices.
Attorney Investigating Car Wreck
Attorney Eric Hageman examines a car that has been in a wreck. Contact Eric for a free consultation.

These are just a few of the many items which would be included in a spoliation letter. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are two of our lead lawyers for these cases. You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) to call them for your free consultation.

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Category: Accidents
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