Every so often I need to revise and update my standard spoliation letter (a letter telling the trucking company to save evidence that shows who is, and is not, at fault for a wreck). In part because of changes in the trucking industry, in part because it can always be made better.
In this latest update I strengthened some areas and added a request to save documents used in preventability determinations. My thanks to Jen Ojeda, a brilliant Atlanta, GA trucking lawyer, for the idea which was brought to my attention by Steve Gursten, a superb Michigan tractor trailer lawyer. For those of you counting, here is version 5!
Do you have a good tractor trailer lawyer? If the lawyer you are considering cant produce a spoliation letter upon demand, even at the initial meeting, I STRONGLY suggest you consider looking for another lawyer.
If we know the trucking company and driver involved, our firm practice is to send our spoliation letter (often modified for the specific case) out the same day we are hired, or the next day if the mail has run. In some cases our clients are hospitalized – or worse – and we have to wait till the police report is available to identify the trucking company and driver so we know to whom we need to send the letter. Only in rare cases do we find that the spoliation letter shouldn’t be out within the first month of accepting a case.