Spoliation letters require trucking companies to preserve evidence that shouldn’t be, but often is, destroyed after a wreck. While the trucking companies know they should put a litigation hold on documents that will show whether they caused a wreck, they generally destroy this evidence if they know they are negligent. I have blogged repeatedly on this subject in past posts.
Why do trucking companies allow this evidence to be destroyed? Trucking companies have found that juries will often believe them when they say the damaging documents were "destroyed accidentally" or destroyed or purged in keeping with "DOT Regulations." Spoliation letters help the jury see that the trucking company knew not to destroy evidence but chose to do so anyway.
What if the documents prove a trucking company’s innocence you ask? Well, those they always seem to be able to find when they need them and they never get destroyed.
You, or your lawyer, should make sure a spoliation letter is sent as soon as possible after a wreck. You can use mine, downloadable here, as a form for what should be sent. As no case is identical to another, this form letter is modified for every case we handle. It may not be exactly what is needed in your case but should be a great starting point.
Do you have an experienced trucking lawyer as your attorney? You should ask for a copy of the spoliation letter sent in your case.Remember, you can send this letter to a trucking company even if you don’t have a lawyer, but if you need to send this letter, you need to hire a lawyer ASAP!