It is possible that a commercial trucking company will attempt to destroy truck accident evidence to avoid liability. The legality of this, however, will depend on other factors such as the required amount of time records are to be preserved and whether or not the company received a spoliation letter from the accident victim or his/her attorney.
Impact of Records Retention with Regard to Truck Accident Evidence
One important issue is the amount of time that a commercial trucking company is expected to retain records. These rules are mandated by the Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration (FMCSA) and vary depending on the type of record.
For instance, any supporting data for the following need to be kept for a minimum of six months:
- reports of accidents;
- hours of service; and
Because of the potential to lose valuable information if the company destroys its records, it’s important to act quickly.
Impact of a Spoliation Letter with Regard to Truck Accident Evidence
One way to prevent a trucking company from destroying evidence is by having an attorney send a spoliation letter. This informs the company that a claim is being filed and all evidence must be preserved.
Once the company receives the notice, it must not tamper with evidence. This includes destroying it and making alterations. Most letters will outline specific types of evidence that are to be kept intact, such as those mentioned above as well as the truck itself and other data including the driver’s qualification and personnel files.
Contact an attorney from The Miley Legal Group to learn more about rights of victims of truck accidents and the steps that need to be taken in order to protect them. One of the most important is securing evidence as soon as possible, so don’t delay seeking legal advice. Get started today – call 304-931-4088.