After being involved in a car accident caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of a commercial truck driver, injured victims have the right to seek compensation for their injuries via a personal injury lawsuit. However, these kinds of cases are often legally challenging since the laws are complicated, and trucking companies and their insurers often have deep pockets with which to defend themselves—even from rightful claims. Further, the trucking companies themselves are also in charge of much of the very evidence that you need to prove your claim of negligence! It is extremely important to be aware of your legal rights after being involved in a crash with a commercial truck, or your case could suffer as a result due to lack of evidence.
Here’s what you should be aware of regarding how to protect evidence in your commercial truck accident injury lawsuit, and how you can get legal help with your case today.
Letters of Preservation in a Truck Accident
One of the most important tools at your disposal after an accident with a commercial truck such as a semi or tractor-trailer truck, tanker, box truck, delivery vehicle, or other cargo carrier is the letter of preservation, or spoliation letter. The fact is that the trucking company controls a lot of evidence that could be important to your case, and it’s necessary to protect that evidence, such as:
- The driver’s log of working hours
- Reports of any accidents the driver has been involved in
- The driver’s safety performance history
- Vehicle maintenance and inspection reports
- Records of any drug or alcohol education
Each of these pieces of evidence are required to be kept by law for a certain minimum period of time, but that period varies based on the record. For instance, the driver’s safety history must be kept for the entire period of their employment and for three years after that, but the driver’s working log only needs to be kept for six months.
The unfortunate truth is that it’s easy for a trucking company to “accidentally lose” or even alter records that could prove incriminating. While this may not be common behavior and it is certainly not acceptable or legal behavior, protecting your own rights by sending a legal letter of spoliation can be a key step towards ensuring the integrity of the evidence that you need to make your case in a court of law.
When you contact an attorney after the accident, ask him or her about drafting one of these letters as soon as possible. By sending this carefully crafted document to the company, you can ensure that the company will be legally required to preserve the evidence that you need to complete your successful personal injury claim based on the driver’s negligent behavior on the road.
Get Legal Help Today
Accidents involving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles can be legally complex. There are a multitude of laws and rules on both the state and federal levels that regulate every aspect of trucking. Finding an attorney who is familiar with the “ins and outs” of this type of case can be an important factor in the success of your personal injury claim. Look for an attorney with extensive experience in this particular area of the law to help you pursue the compensation that you are owed for your expenses related to the accident, including:
- Emergency medical bills and follow-up care
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Short-term care, long-term care, or skilled nursing assistance
- Medical supplies, prosthetics, and other equipment needs
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle and personal property lost in the crash
You may also be able to receive compensation for disfigurement, loss of use or amputation of a limb, lost wages from time away from work and loss of future earning capacity, the pain and suffering you endured from your injuries, and more.
To speak to a personal injury attorney about your accident with a commercial truck, call Wayne Wright LLP today. Our experienced legal professionals understand the difficulties that you are going through and we will fight for your rights in a court of law. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation about your truck accident, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.